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Good ideas

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Business Spotlight - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 5/2018 vom 29.08.2018

Die beiden Ideen, die wir hier vorstellen, haben eins gemeinsam: Sie wollen unser Leben verbessern oder zumindest leichter machen.

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Full marks to…: …Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK),

for helping healthy people experience what it feels like to have dementia.

A Walk Through Dementia is a virtual-reality app and 360-degree YouTube video developed by ARUK, using the experiences of people with different forms of dementia. It takes the user through everyday activities such as a visit to the supermarket, a walk home from the shops and making tea for the family.

“Popping to the shops is no easy task,” ARUK writes on ...

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... its website. “It requires planning, decision-making, concentration, spatial navigation and calculation. All of these get harder when you have dementia.”

The organization hopes that the app will help viewers recognize signs of dementia and develop empathy for dementia sufferers. “We all feel the frustration when a supermarket changes its layout,” ARUK points out. “Spatial memory and navigation problems mean that people with dementia can experience that feeling every time they go shopping.”

Users can see how a dementia patient could mistake a puddle for a hole or have trouble climbing stairs because of a failure to judge distances. They can also see what it’s like to struggle to find the right change in the supermarket, or to accidentally pour boiling water on to a counter instead of into a teacup.

Full marks to…: …materials scientists,

for finding new ways to use natural fibres to make the buildings, cars and planes of the future.

Dr Mohamed Saafi of Lancaster University, England, for example, is mixing tiny particles of carrots with cement to create extremely strong concrete.The Economist reports that what Saafi and his colleagues call “nanoplatelets” have been removed from carrots thrown out by supermarkets or food-processing plants. The Finnish forestry company Stora Enso has developed an alternative to conventional plastics. Its new material, called DuraSense, is made from wood fibres, including lignin, an organic polymer contained in wood pulp and produced in the making of paper. Stora Enso says that adding wood fibres can reduce the amount of conventional plastic needed in manufacturing by 60 per cent. The company is also experimenting with using lignin to replace oilbased resins and adhesives, which are found in a variety of products, including plywood.

Meanwhile, Drs Liangbing Hu and Teng Li of the University of Maryland are removing lignin from blocks of wood to create a material that is stronger than many metals — and bulletproof. In future, the two scientists believe, such material will be used to build houses, furniture and even cars.



sunset clause

A “sunset clause” is a legal agreement whereby a deal or programme ends automatically after a certain period of time. The term is mainly used in North America, as in: “The Canadian prime minister refused to approve a sunset clause in the trade deal with the US.”


The word “thing” is used in informal English to refer to a practice or phenomenon that is becoming widespread. Its use often implies surprise or disbelief on the part of the speaker, as in: “Jake came to work in shorts and flip-flops. Is that a thing now?”

”What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make “

British primatologist
Jane Goodall, 84

Sources:Toronto Star ; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

CHINA: Sorry, not for us


Marketing cosmetics: know your customers

China is an enormous market, which makes it extremely attractive for foreign companies. But many of them are finding that it’s difficult to get established there.

Consumer products that sell well in the West are often less successful in China. Rexona deodorant, for example, did not do well there. Unilever, which owns the Rexona brand, put it on the Chinese market in 2008. As the company later discovered, fewer than ten per cent of Chinese people actually use deodorant.

“It has to be something visible or something you can smell,” Shanghai economist Ye Tan toldThe New York Times . “Deodorant fails partly because it is invisible.”

Deodorant marketing in the West focuses on shame. Consumers are told that sweat smells bad and that, without deodorant, they will lose friends and lovers. This doesn’t convince Chinese consumers, however, says Unilever manager Lucia Liu.

“The traditional thinking here is that sweating is good because it helps people detox,” Liu comments. “There is a marketing barrier that is really hard to overcome.”

Up and down

International tourist arrivals rose to 1.3 billion in 2017, up from 674 million in 2000 and 278 million in 1980. Since 2008, 80 per cent of the growth in global tourism spending has come fromChinese visitors, according to the UN.

Sources:The Wall Street Journal ; United Nations World Tourism Organization (www2.unwto.org )

According to a trucking industry report from 2017, automated trucks could reduce the demand for drivers in theUS andEurope by 50 to 70 per cent. This would mean that professional trucking jobs in those two regions would fall from 6.4 million to about two million.

Sources:Financial Times ; International Transport Forum (www.itf-oecd.org )

Source:The Guardian

British households are £900 (€1,000) worse off after the June 2016 Brexit vote, according to Bank of England governor, Mark Carney. “Real household incomes are about £900 per household lower than we forecast in May 2016, which is a lot of money,” Carney told the Treasury select committee of MPs in May 2018.

Fotos: PR; slowgogo/iStock.com; Tinseltown/Shutterstock.com