THE DAILY SCOPE, 12/14/21: Sustainability is increasingly a significant component of every CE manufacturer’s product strategy and messaging, and it’s leading to some nifty design and manufacturing innovations that will likely be on display at CES 2022 in January. We got an advance look at the Concept Luna, Dell’s new sustainable PC protoype, which basically makes all the parts easy to swap out and either recycle or replace. For example, the palm rest and keyboard are easy to remove and disassemble (since Dell found that in this era of COVID, most consumers don’t want a refurbished keyboard), while the recycler-friendly printed circuit board (PCB) is made with flax fiber and uses polymer that easily dissolves in water. Dell Concept Luna even uses 10 times fewer screws, which makes it easier to take apart and repair. These might seem like little things, but they are thoughtful little things that together add up to a product that will last longer and eventually die a more sustainable death. Though still in the conceptual stage, some of Concept Luna’s innovations will likely find their way into Dell PCs in the future.
In holiday news, what’s a good gift for the parent or grandparent who has everything? How about a non-fungible token (NFT)? As Bloomberg reports, cryptocurrency and NFTs – and the accessories and hardware needed to store and consume them — are the new hot holiday gift this year. So even if you don’t sell the actual virtual gear such as NFTs, you might find shoppers on the hunt for everything from physical hardware wallets to high fallutin’ 4K and 8K displays. Don’t know what we’re talking about? Here’s an excellent guide to gifting crypto and NFTs by The Wall St Journal’s Joanna Stern. Then make sure to check out the NFT section at CES 2022.
And lastly in Groundhog Day news: In response to the spread of the Omicron variant and the general public’s seemingly blasé attitude about basic pandemic safety best practices, Apple said today that it will reinstitute mask and limited capacity requirements in its brick-and-mortar retail stores. Apple is also encouraging its store employees to get booster shots, which so far seem to offer protection for those that get them against Omicron variant-related hospitalization. Meanwhile, Kroger announced that it will eliminate some health benefits and charge $50 per month for employees that are unvaccinated. This is all against the backdrop of reinstated mask requirements in states such as California and New York. While this will certainly keep some Omicron variant spread at bay, piecemeal measures only go so far. Mandates or not, communal and coordinated effort on the part of all of us individuals is the only way out, because divided we fall.
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