The COVID-19 crisis is strengthening technologies and opening up new avenues to support ‘Homebody Economy’ - GulfToday

The COVID-19 crisis is strengthening technologies and opening up new avenues to support ‘Homebody Economy’

Dr Mohamed Abdulzaher


Academic and Artificial Intelligence Journalism pioneer


Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

As a result of the novel coronavirus epidemic, most economic activities have stopped, where staying indoors and social distancing have become a normal lifestyle for countless people in recent days. Consequently, the ‘Homebody Economy’ activities are rising among the millions of stay-at-home people around the world.

In the last few months the Homebody Economy has shown significant growth, which has reinforced the role of technology companies in searching for new reliable technologies, tools and solutions to facilitate human life inside the home, and throughout the quarantine period.

The Homebody Economy has added many new technologies to the global market, which is expected to gain significant investments in the post-coronavirus world and will help to innovate new technological solutions and tools to serve humanity.

The post-coronavirus world will primarily enhance human service technology and solutions that support healthcare and social needs, according to the Artificial Intelligence Journalism for Research and Forecasting’s forecasting study.

Online Gaming: Online gaming is one of the main source for Homebody Economy. It is getting a big boost during the coronavirus pandemic, and still has a big opportunity to gain more revenues in the coming 3 years.

The global gaming industry is expected to register a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period 2020-2025, and virtual reality will become a major cornerstone piece of the gaming industry. By 2020, players will spend $4.5 billion on immersive gaming.

The video games market could become a $300 billion industry by 2025, with the growth of mobile gaming and innovative offerings, like cloud gaming, according to a new report from GlobalData.

Telemedicine: Coronavirus has increased the role of telemedicine and created global attention towards increasing the investments in this filed. And it will open doors for great investments in Telemedicine technologies and solutions.

According to Nielsen Holdings study in China, during the epidemic, contactless services such as telemedicine and VR / AR were top of the mind for Chinese consumers. Homebodies embraced technology products with a more positive attitude. Ninety-three percent of the respondents were willing to buy 5G mobile phones, and 67% of them believed that VR / AR devices can be used in virtual shopping scenarios in the future.

Consumer Behaviour: COVID-19 crisis has changed the purchasing behaviour of many consumers around the world and looking for the cheapest and more user-friendly tools and technologies is becoming more important.

Consumers’ behaviour has changed from traditional goods like safe hygiene and healthy eating, to caring about adopting technology-enabled smart health. Consumers’ awareness has been  raised toward health concepts, tech-enabled health and fitness, breaking traditional boundaries and linking technology with homelife.

“The COVID-19 epidemic is quickly revolutionizing how Chinese consumers think about their health, as well as changing their purchase behaviour and the channels they are using to shop. It is both a challenge and an opportunity for brands and retailers. With the advent of 5G, AR, artificial intelligence, and a shifting market environment, brand owners should be continually embracing change while exploring new business strategies,” said Sargent (Nielsen Holdings study).

Fintech Apps: Global usage of online payment has been bombed. Fintech companies have created new online tools and solutions to facilitate payment process, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, which will accelerate and move people to utilize all forms of digital financial services.

Coronavirus-triggered social distancing, isolation and lockdowns have driven-up the use of financial apps in Europe by 72 per cent in a week, reveals deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations. The sharp increase in the use of financial technology comes as the world readjusts to life fighting against the global health crisis and economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to deVere Group research.

Use of fintech apps has been raised, as people doing work and study remotely look for the easiest and safest way for online payment.

The payments platform, which enables users to pay for online gaming, music and video streaming services, reported a 30% rise in payment volumes to $966 million in January and February. Average payment volumes increased by 2.5% in February compared with January as the virus spread across more countries (Boku report).

All these new technologies and solutions will help the tech companies to invest more in the new technologies that serve the Homebody Economy.

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