The Week Unwrapped: Carbon apps, super shoes and VR art
Can phones measure our carbon footprint? Is tech more important than sporting talent? And could we turn our homes into virtual art galleries?
Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.
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In this week’s episode, we discuss:
A raft of new smartphone apps claim to be able to calculate your carbon footprint, with the aim of encouraging you to reduce it. But are they accurate - and will they effectively lead people towards environmentally sound decisions? Or are they a distraction from the bigger policy action needed to address climate change?
The superiority of the latest high-tech running shoes - often labelled “super shoes” - came into focus last week when British athlete Elliot Giles, who has never before reached a world final, ran the second-fastest indoor 800m in history. Critics said it was his Nike spikes that got him on the podium. Giles shot back that this was an “insult”. But does his surprise victory, and the other rapidly tumbling world records, show that foot races are rapidly becoming an arms race?
The rise of virtual reality poses several questions for the art world, ranging from the way we think about physical art in galleries to the sort of works that super-rich collectors will want on their walls. A recent sale of 25 limited edition virtual sculptures sold for more than £7,100 each, raising hopes for artists seeking a new income stream. But questions of authenticity - and doubts about long-term value - abound.