Global Tech Roundup; Nike to sell virtual sneakers in the metaverse and others


Hi there. Welcome to the end of another fantastic week. It’s a busy week in the tech world, with a lot going on both locally and internationally.

As usual, we have curated some of the biggest stories in the global tech scene just for you as you ease into the weekend. 

Nike is planning to sell virtual sneakers in the metaverse

The leading apparel company, Nike, said on Monday that it has purchased virtual sneaker developer RTFKT for an undisclosed fee, as the sportswear giant seeks to quickly extend its impact in the rapidly expanding “metaverse.”

Nike was one of the first major companies to embrace the shared virtual environment that exploded in popularity when Facebook renamed itself as Meta Platforms last month.

Users can buy virtual land and other digital goods such as apparel for avatars in such blockchain-based ecosystems using a crypto-asset called a non-fungible token (NFT).

Nike Chief Executive Officer, John Donahoe said in a statement: “This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming, and culture.”

Meanwhile, this isn’t the first time Nike has tried to create a virtual reality showroom for the metaverse.

The US footwear and clothing company has previously launched “Nikeland,” a virtual showroom based on the Roblox game platform.

On that platform, visitors may try out outfits for their avatars with Nike apparel. Virtual reality goggles will be used by shoppers to inspect 3D reproductions of genuine garments.

“We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community, and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities. ”

Nike CEO John Donahoe

Google to fire employees who refuse vaccination

The technology company, Google, has reportedly advised its employees in the United States that if they do not follow the company’s vaccination requirements, they would eventually lose their employment. 

According to an internal memo seen by CNBC, employees at the IT firm were required to provide documentation showing their COVID-19 vaccination status. Those who do not comply will be placed on unpaid leave and eventually fired, according to the company. 

Google has been pressing for a return to the workplace. But the move which has been frequently postponed will require all workers to have been vaccinated.

The company did not deny the allegations from the leaked memo, but a spokesperson said, “As we’ve stated before, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running.”

The report from the leaked memo shows that the company had told the employees that they had until 3 December to send proof of vaccination or to apply for an exemption on medical or religious grounds.

Those who did not comply by the 18th of January next year would be placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days, followed by unpaid leave for up to six months, according to the memo. 

They would lose their employment after that time of unpaid personal leave.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta bans surveillance-for-hire companies on its platform

Meta, previously known as Facebook, announced on Thursday that it had banned seven firms from selling software and services on its platforms. 

Facebook rebrands, becomes Meta- a social technology company

According to the parent company, the reason behind this drastic move is that these companies have been used to spy on journalists, human rights activists, politicians, and others in over 100 countries. 

The tech company says these malicious surveillance businesses create false accounts, befriend people, and harvest data through hacking tactics. 

Cobwebs Technologies, Cognyte, Black Cube, and Bluehawk CI, all located in Israel, were among the companies. 

The report provided by Meta’s cybersecurity team shows that action was also taken against an Indian company named BellTroX, a North Macedonian organization called Cytrox, and an unknown entity in China. 

The banned companies claimed that their services and software are intended to aid in the detection of criminals and terrorists, but Meta claims that was incorrect. 

Following months-long investigation, the social media giant discovered that the products were being used to target people who were not members of such groups. 

They create phoney accounts to search and see someone’s social media profile and list of friends, connect with individuals using bogus personalities, and fool users into giving away their account information by getting them to click on dangerous links. These were just a few of the strategies used.

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