Box of Amazing: Using Virtual Reality to secure your promotion  
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Box of Amazing is a weekly digest curated by Rahim covering emerging technology, trends and extraordinary articles, hand picked to broaden your mind and challenge your thinking.

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Editor's Note
For my UK readers, if you haven't read this piece about Boris Johnson, you should. He could quite easily be our PM in a matter of days. 

If that's not long enough, I have some excellent Long Reads for you this week. Hopefully, some of you are lounging in the sun somewhere and have time to consume them.

1. The Great Race to Rule Streaming TV - for anyone who wants to understand the TV wars
2. Road Tripping with the Amazon Nomads - astonishing
3. The man who’s going to save your neighbourhood grocery store 

And for those of you sneezing, you might want to debate The Reason Anxious People Often Have Allergies 

Have a great week!

Onward! - Rahim
 
What's Amazing
 
1. Using VR to secure your promotion
Walmart is using VR to help decide who should get promotions. Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S. with 1.5 million workers, is using virtual reality to help find candidates for management positions in all 4,600 stores. Walmart’s idea for a VR assessment was rooted in seeing how its workers might respond to challenging situations and how they prioritize different tasks—things that would be hard to identify in an interview. So far, 10,000 employees have undergone the VR test as part of an initiative to identify potential high performers and cut back the overall number of managers in each store. This is part of a larger plan to change how many higher-paid managers are overseeing teams and to give its frontline workers more decision-making power in their jobs. Link
2. Alexa, how do I stop my diarrhoea? 
The UK's NHS has teamed up with Amazon to allow elderly people, blind people and other patients who cannot easily search for health advice on the internet to access the information through the AI-powered voice assistant Alexa. The health service hopes patients asking Alexa for health advice will ease pressure on the NHS, with Amazon’s algorithm using information from the NHS website to provide answers to questions such as: “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?”; ‘Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?’; and “Alexa what are the symptoms of chickenpox?” The Department of Health (DoH) said it would empower patients and hopefully reduce the pressure on the NHS by providing reliable information on common illnesses. Link
3. Slackification of your home
What if you took the productivity tools of today and used them at home. Things like Slack, Asana and Trello are known in the workplace to get things done and now people are using them at home. "Julie Berkun Fajgenbaum, a mom of three children ages 8 to 12, uses Google Calendar to manage her children’s time and Jira to keep track of home projects. Ryan Florence, a dad in Seattle, set up a family Slack account for his immediate and extended family to communicate more easily. And Melanie Platte, a mom in Utah, says Trello has transformed her family life. After using it at work, she implemented it at home in 2016. “We do family meetings every Sunday where we review goals for the week, our to-do list, and activities coming up,” she says. “I track notes for the meeting [in Trello]. I have different sections, goals for the week, a to-do list.” Her oldest son started high school last year, and Platte says that without productivity and task-management software, she doesn’t know how he could manage it all. Trello allows her son to track responsibilities and deadlines, and set incremental goals." Link
4. Email is the new voicemail
I know you're reading the email....but I don't expect you to reply back to me. (you might do and I'll reply) - but email has descended to the depths of low priority communication. "Once upon a time, though, email was great! How many of us squirmed out of trouble at one time or another with "oh my email must have gotten lost," a thing that has happened, in actuality, exactly never? But our collective honeymoon period with email is long gone. By 2014, Gizmodo had put together a list of "11 reasons email is the worst." In 2015, Fast Company published an investigation titled "how email became the most reviled communication experience ever." The same year, BuzzFeed News' Matt Honan told the Reply All podcast that his approach to managing his personal account was "set it on fire and turn around and run." By 2016, the Harvard Business Review was putting forth "a modest proposal: eliminate email." Now pretty much everyone with any respect for their sanity avoids replying to emails for as long as they can get away with.  Link
5. New Workers of the World
When we think new work, we (well me anyway) think the infusion of tech, how to improve what we are doing, what are the new jobs and what are the new ways of doing things. But actually, the world has changed and people who might have been in squalor are now linked to global work. Bloomberg's New Workers of the World piece is eye-opening.  Link
6. The Pentagon’s New Laser-Based Tool Uses Your Heartbeat to Track You
The US Pentagon is developing an infrared laser that captures a person’s unique “cardiac signature” from as far as 200 meters—the length of just over two football fields—away, as long as you’re still. According to Steward Remaly of the Pentagon’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO), even longer ranges may be possible with higher intensity lasers. Although chilling, the tech builds on previous ideas. Contact infrared sensors have long been used to monitor a person’s pulse, in a clinical setting or when traversing high altitudes. Here, the devices shoot infrared light into a finger and measure how much blood flow alters the refraction. Unlike this classic setup, the Pentagon’s new tech—dubbed Jetson—uses laser doppler vibrometry that detects minute movements on the skin caused by heartbeat.Link
7. Robot Nurses
Moxi is a robot designed to make nurses’ lives easier. But the friendly bot is turning out to be a welcome presence for some patients, too. But Moxi, which was designed and built by the Austin-based company Diligent Robotics, isn’t trying to act like a nurse. Instead, Diligent Robotics founders Andrea Thomaz and Vivian Chu have designed their robot to run the approximately 30% of tasks nurses do that don’t involve interacting with patients, like running errands around the floor or dropping off specimens for analysis at a lab. “We’re helping them augment their staff,” says Thomaz, who formerly was a robotics professor at UT Austin and Georgia Tech, where she ran the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab. “It’s hard to argue that we’re taking anyone’s job. Everyone is trying to make the nurses they have go further.” Link
8. AI's Retail Minority Report
Ever felt gamified when buying online. It's going to happen more. Retailers will soon know you’ll return a product even before you buy it. "Retail can be a game, a game that Indian online apparel retailer Myntra is learning to play better by predicting people's propensity to return what's in their shopping cart before they purchase, and using rewards and punishments to block returns. Like something out of the movie "Minority Report," where killers are apprehended before they kill based on a pre-sentiment, practitioners of machine learning are trying to gauge the likelihood you'll return a piece of apparel even before you buy it.  Myntra, the Bangalore-based online fashion retailer owned by Indian e-commerce startup Flipkart (which is backed by WalMart and others), has published new research this week describing experiments that assess a person's online shopping cart before they click to buy. It's based on patterns of what you've looked at online, but also a guess about your size and fit that even you may not have been aware of." Link
9. An ‘EpiPen’ for spinal cord injuries
An injection of nanoparticles can prevent the body’s immune system from overreacting to trauma, potentially preventing some spinal cord injuries from resulting in paralysis. The approach was demonstrated in mice at the University of Michigan, with the nanoparticles enhancing healing by reprogramming the aggressive immune cells—call it an “EpiPen” for trauma to the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. Link
10. Beanless Coffee
Atomo is creating coffee without the coffee. A group of scientists are engineering all the 1,000 compounds to recreate the perfect cup of coffee, not bitter, not coffee, but great. It's available to buy as well.   Link
This email contains the ten most important stories that I have read this week. 
You can get my long list of recommended reading by following Box of Amazing on Twitter.
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Box of Amazing is a project that I started to share my thoughts with like-minded individuals who are interested in the future world that we are fast approaching. This newsletter now has readers spanning the globe from San Francisco to Tokyo and across multiple industries including strategy consultancy houses (McKinsey to Bain), from all the FAAANG companies (Facebook to Alphabet), from startups to scaleups, from unicorns to brand new companies as well as people just interested in staying ahead of the game. If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends, family, co-workers, enemies, competitors, pets, potential love interests and others who are interested in learning about the emerging technology and trends that will affect us all in this lifetime. 

Thank you for reading

- Rahim

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