5 brands already boldly embracing the metaverse — from thedrum.com by Dani Gibson
As part of The Drum’s Metaverse Deep Dive, we round up some of the best examples of brands causing a stir within the virtual online world by creating out of this world experiences.

Marketing in the metaverse — from thedrum.com

Marketing in the metaverse -- The Drum immerses itself in future of the internet

 

11 Trends that Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond — from hbr.org by Brian Kropp and Emily Rose McRae

Excerpt:

9. The chief purpose officer will be the next major C-level role.
Issues of politics, culture, and social debate have fully entered the workplace. Employees have been asked to bring their whole self to work as organizations try to create a more inclusive and productive work environment. This is fundamentally different than a decade ago when employees were expected to leave their personal perspectives “at the door.”

Employees also expect their employer to get more involved in the societal and political debates of the day;

 

Can A New Online Learning Platform Improve Employment For Those With Visual Impairment? — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

A workplace technology report from the American Foundation for the Blind, published this month, notes that many people who are blind, have low vision or are deafblind say that they experience difficulties with accessibility for workplace training.

According to researchers from the foundation, the participants in the study described problems with online trainings that were incompatible with screen-reading software or visual adjustments like changing the font size, with quizzes that didn’t work with a keyboard and with educational images and videos that weren’t verbally described.

Many of the participants say they needed to get help from a manager or coworker to complete mandatory training, the report notes, causing delays and feelings of exclusion.

 

 

From DSC:
I post the following item because I’ve often wondered how law schools should best handle/address the area of emerging technologies. It’s not just newly-minted lawyers that need to be aware of these technologies’ potential pros and cons — and the developing laws around them. It’s also judges, legislators, politicians, C-Suites, and others who need to keep a pulse check on these things.

Hermès Sues NFT Creator Over ‘MetaBirkin’ Sales — from by Robert Williams
The French leather goods giant alleges trademark infringement and dilutive use of its iconic Birkin name.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The complaint, which was first reported on The Fashion Law, raises questions about how trademark protections for real-world items will be enforced in the digital realm as commercial activity heats up in the metaverse. Brands including Balenciaga and Nike are experimenting with virtual fashion. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs (unique digital assets authenticated using blockchain technology), depicting fashion items have sold for millions in recent months.

 

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT theft shows the ease of hacking crypto — from protocol.com by Tomio Geron
The blockchain puts power in the hands of individual crypto owners — which also makes them targets for criminals.

Excerpt:

The story of an art gallery owner who had $2.2 million worth of Bored Ape Yacht Club and other NFTs stolen is just the latest example of crypto theft, illustrating the vulnerability of buyers as a broader set of consumers venture into the field.

With NFTs, the issue has grown in importance as the market has transformed from a niche hobby to an active market filled with speculators and investors.

Todd Kramer of New York’s Ross+Kramer gallery fell victim to a phishing scam in late December, according to a now-deleted tweet. He stored his NFTs using an internet-connected hot wallet — a less secure method — and a thief made off with 15 digital tokens worth $2.2 million.

From DSC:
How’s the legal field doing here? Law enforcement? Governments? The banking systems?

 

Make a commitment to learn, grow, develop and advance in your career — from chieflearningofficer.com by Maria Rodriguez
No matter what you do, what title you hold or what industry you are in, you owe it to yourself to be intentional about your own professional development.

Excerpt:

As a new year begins, create a plan so you can be intentional on how you will spend your time and energy toward your career over the next year. Set your own career goal if you do not have one already, and establish a development plan that includes a list of actions you will take this year to expand and improve your knowledge and skills.  As you plan for your career growth, consider the following…

From DSC:
This is what I mean by the need for each of us to be intentional as we seek to enhance our own, personal learning ecosystems. 

 

The Associated Press is starting its own NFT marketplace for photojournalism — from theverge.com by Mitchell Clark
It’s offering collectors ‘exclusive, historic, and stunning visual content’

Excerpt:

The Associated Press, or AP, has announced that it’s starting a marketplace to sell NFTs of its photojournalists’ work in collaboration with a company called Xooa. It’s billing its foray into NFTs as a way for collectors to “purchase the news agency’s award-winning contemporary and historic photojournalism” and says that the virtual tokens will be released at “broad and inclusive price points” (though it’s hard to tell what types of prices resellers will want on the AP marketplace).

Also see:

Why Samsung built an NFT aggregator into its new TVs — from digitaltrends.com by Phil Nickinson

Excerpt:

Or, perhaps, it’s the idea of an “NFT aggregation platform” being built into the television. It sounds insane — baking something that most people don’t understand, let alone engage in — into a TV. Most of us can’t even describe what a non-fungible token is, let alone tell someone how to go get one. It’s a multi-layered process that’s far more difficult than taking a screenshot of something you saw on Instagram and then sticking it up on your TV.

But that’s also not the point.

“In 2022, Samsung is introducing the world’s first TV screen-based NFT explorer and marketplace aggregator,” reads the press release, “a groundbreaking platform that lets you browse, purchase, and display your favorite art — all in one place.”

 
 

Skillsoft to acquire CodeAcademy, a leading platform for learning high-demand technical skills, creating a worldwide community of more than 85 million learners — from skillsoft.com with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource out on LinkedIn

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Boston – December 22, 2021 – Skillsoft (NYSE: SKIL), a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock.

With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies.”

Expands Immersive Platform with New Ways of Learning. Skillsoft has already assembled an expansive set of learning options, including virtual instructor-led training, coaching, micro videos, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, assessments and badges. Together with Codecademy’s interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning, Skillsoft will be able to deliver even more immersive experiences through its AI-driven platform, Percipio.

 

Global EdTech Venture Capital Report – Full Year 2021 — from holoniq.com
$20.8B of EdTech Venture Capital Investment in 2021 through more than 1,500 Funding Rounds.

Excerpt:

EdTech Venture Capital reached 3x pre-pandemic investment levels in 2021, accelerating startups around the world with over $20B of funding. Fueled by a massive US and EU investment surge and India’s growth charging onwards, collectively global growth covered an $8B investment collapse from China and managed to set record growth for the sector.

 

From DSC:
Below are some items that offer potential future scenarios, predictions, trends, forecasts. and upcoming lawsuits for 2022. These resources provide some interesting fodder for reflection.


10 Forecasts For The Near Future Of Tech & Life As We Know It — from digest.scottbelsky.com by Scott Belsky

The next generation of top talent will have “Polygamous Careers,” transforming the corporate world as we know it. The traditional job market, tax forms, college, and healthcare are all geared for an old world that fails to engage our modern brains…

The rise of immersive experiences will mainstream 3D creation. All this metaverse hype will fall completely flat unless such experiences are filled with rich, engaging, 3D, interactive, and personalized content. 3D content creation will become 100x more accessible.

Here’s our cheat sheet for 2022’s tech lawsuits — from protocol.com by Ben Brody
Your guide to a bunch of the Google antitrust cases, where the FTC is with Facebook, what could happen next with Sec. 230 and more.

How fifth graders see the world in 20 years — from hechingerreport.org by Lillian Mongeau, Christina Samuels, Kathryn Palmer, and Chelsea Sheasley
Flying cars, houses on Mars — and hopefully no more Covid or racism

7 higher education trends to watch in 2022 — from highereddive.com by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
Politics bleeding into college operations, new regulatory action, continued expansion of online ed and more are stories we’ll be following in 2022.

Can ed tech providers build on their momentum?
The last two years have been a massive boon to MOOC platforms. The number of people registered on Coursera, one of the most well-known MOOC providers, swelled to around 92 million in September, up from 77 million in 2020 and 46 million the prior year. Likewise, demand for competitor Udemy surged during the pandemic.

6 Essential educational trends to look out for in 2022 — from blog.neolms.com by Andreea Mihaly

5 gaming trends to watch in 2022 — from protocol.com

What comes next for enterprise tech in 2022 — from protocol.com

After a period of great disruption and rapid modernization, 2022 will be a year during which enterprise companies take a breath and a closer look at the software and cloud services they snapped up like holiday season COVID-19 tests over the last two years. The products and trends that survive that scrutiny will set the priorities for the rest of the decade.

The tech IPOs to watch in 2022 — from protocol.com by Biz Carson and Michelle Ma
Some have filed. Some have hired the right people. And some are just on investors’ wishlists.

The bigger-picture view of the industry is that gaming is on the precipice of major shake-ups to its core business and distribution models, as well as shifts many years in the making around game monetization and developer work culture.

Bitcoin could reach $100,000—and other predictions for 2022 — from fortune.com by Joanna Ossinger

“The race is on to be the app store for crypto,” said Philip Gradwell, chief economist at Chainalysis, in an email. “A major lesson of Web 2.0 was that consumers love platforms, and I don’t think that is going to change for Web 3.0. Currently there is no crypto platform that owns the customer relationship and aggregates suppliers. I predict that in 2022, many companies will race to build this platform…”

AWS will buy a SaaS company, and other 2022 enterprise predictions — from techcrunch.com by Ron Miller

______________

Addendum on 1/7/22:

 

28 Website Accessibility Terms to Know in 2022 — from blog.hubspot.com by Jamie Juviler

Excerpt:

No matter the type of website you run or the industry that you’re in, prioritizing web accessibility is key to your success.

To ensure your website meets today’s standards for web accessibility, you’ll first need to understand the terminology. Accessibility is a big, dense area with a lot of jargon, acronyms, and codes — enough to steer a new website owner away from the topic altogether.

That’s why we’ve put together this glossary of 28 essential web accessibility terms any website owners should be aware of. By knowing the language, you’ll find it much easier to adopt accessibility principles on your own site and better serve visitors with disabilities.

Addendum on 12/31/21:

Accessibility awareness is on the rise, but is it turning into action? — from techcrunch.com by Joe Devon

Excerpts:

Harris Poll reveals that more than half of American adults increased their online activities because of the pandemic. That number grows to 60% for people with disabilities.

The increase in online activities does not mean that everyone is able to achieve their goals. So, what kind of impact is the crisis having on accessibility? Are organizations finally getting the message on the importance of accessibility?

With that, here are the key results from the Alexa top 100 website testing:

    • Out of the websites tested, 62% were accessible to screen readers, up from 40% in 2020.
    • Every single page passed for having the valid document “lang” attribute.
    • Only 11% of websites tested had errors in input field labels.
    • The most common error was the use of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications specification)
    • The second most common error was color contrast.

From DSC:
That last article linked to:

 
 

From DSC:
As with many emerging technologies, there appear to be some significant pros and cons re: the use of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)

The question I wonder about is: How can the legal realm help address the massive impacts of the exponential pace of technological change in our society these days? For examples:

Technicians, network engineers, data center specialists, computer scientists, and others also need to be asking themselves how they can help out in these areas as well.

Emphasis below is mine.


NFTs Are Hot. So Is Their Effect on the Earth’s Climate — from wired.com by Gregory Barber
The sale of a piece of crypto art consumed as much energy as the studio uses in two years. Now the artist is campaigning to reduce the medium’s carbon emissions.

Excerpt:

The works were placed for auction on a website called Nifty Gateway, where they sold out in 10 seconds for thousands of dollars. The sale also consumed 8.7 megawatt-hours of energy, as he later learned from a website called Cryptoart.WTF.

NFTs And Their Role In The “Metaverse” — from 101blockchains.com by Georgia Weston

Many people would perceive NFTs as mere images of digital artworks or collectibles which they can sell for massive prices. However, the frenzy surrounding digital art in present times has pointed out many new possibilities with NFTs. For example, the NFT metaverse connection undoubtedly presents a promising use case for NFTs. The road for the future of NFTs brings many new opportunities for investors, enterprises, and hobbyists, which can shape up NFT usage and adoption in the long term. 

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are a new class of digital assets, which are unique, indivisible, and immutable. They help in representing the ownership of digital and physical assets on the blockchain. Starting from digital artwork to the gaming industry, NFTs are making a huge impact everywhere.

The decentralized nature of the blockchain offers the prospects for unlimited business opportunities and social interaction. Metaverse offers extremely versatile, scalable, and interoperable digital environments. Most important of all, the metaverse blends innovative technologies with models of interaction between participants from individual and enterprise perspectives. 

From DSC:
How might the developments occurring with NFTs and the Metaverse impact a next-gen learning platform?

—–

Artist shuts down because people keep their work to make NFTs — from futurism.com by Victor Tangermann
NFT theft is a huge problem

Someone is selling NFTs of Olive Garden locations that they do not own — from futurism.com by
And you can mint a breadstick NFT — for free, of course

 

The top 5 legal technology news of 2021 — fromabajournal.com by Nicole Black

Excerpt:

There were also a significant number of acquisitions, resulting in the unprecedented consolidation of legal technology companies. What follows are the more notable examples, although there were many others that are not listed below.

  • Litera acquired Kira Systems, Clocktimizer, DocsCorp and  Foundation Software.
  • MyCase acquired Soluno, Casepeer and Woodpecker.
  • Clio acquired CalendarRules and Lawyaw.
  • Francisco Partners acquired Paradigm, which had previously acquired PracticePanther, Headnote, Bill4Time and MerusCase.
  • Private equity firm Warburg Pincus acquired NetDocuments.
  • Smokeball-Leap-InfoTrack Group acquired LawLytics and Lawgical.
  • ProfitSolv acquired Tabs3 (and also owns Rocket Matter, Cosmolex, LexCharge, ImagineTime and TimeSolv).
  • Veritext acquired Reportex.
  • Intapp acquired Repstor.
  • Onit acquired Bodhala and BusyLamp.
  • Consilio acquired Xact Data Discovery.

Also see:

  • Legal Transformation Is A Business Story — from forbes.com by Mark Cohen
    Excerpt:
    The first step in law’s transformation journey is to align the legal function with the mission, purpose, and culture of business and to instill a customer- centric, team-oriented mindset. This is not an easy or quick process, but it is a necessary one. The legal function cannot achieve alignment unless it: speaks the language of business and understands its goals and risk profile, works proactively and at the speed of business, operates as a team (internally and across the enterprise), upskills, and adopts a customer-centric, results-oriented approach to everything it does. Legal must embrace the data-backed, tech-enabled, multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving, value-creation, and customer-centricity of business.
 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian