More Archive News
Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs reveals $1.3bn Toronto smart city plan
Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has unveiled plans for a $1.3 billion smart city on Toronto’s waterfront. The urban design company, which is the Google owner’s smart city subsidiary, published its blueprint for an urban-data driven ‘city within a city’, which is hopes will bring $38 billion in private investment by 2040.
A third expect 'radical' digital disruption by 2021
Research and investment in new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, are climbing to the top of business leaders’ list of priorities, with a third (34 per cent) of firms expecting their business to change “radically” in the next two years. An HSBC survey of more than 2,500 companies in 14 countries found that more than half of businesses (55 per cent) are planning more investment in research and development of new technologies as they seek to become more customer focussed.
Majority ‘have no say in workplace tech’
More than half (58 per cent) of employees disagree that their employer gives them the opportunity to influence how new technology is used in their workplace, according to a report on technology from the Commission on Workers and Technology, which is due to be presented by Labour MP Yvette Cooper. In a speech at the Community conference in Liverpool today, Cooper will summarise the findings of the commission, which has spent the last year visiting workplaces and taking evidence from workers, academics and business leaders.
Police Scotland rolls out mobile tech
Police officers in Dundee, Perth, Kinross and Angus are to be equipped with new Samsung phones and digital notebooks, which enable them to email and log into a number of police systems, including the Police National Computer. A spokesperson said that by spring 2020, every response officer and community police officer in the country will be equipped with the devices.
IoT trial for Peterborough’s smart city status
Social housing estates in Peterborough are being transformed into a test bed for smart city technology. A partnership between social housing landlord Cross Keys Homes (CKH) and CityFibre, will assess how a network of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors deployed throughout its estate could monitor health, safety and environmental factors, as well as deliver cost savings and reduce the carbon footprint of both CKH and its residents.
Technology laggards ‘face extinction’
Conventional wisdom has it that large companies always have the resources and know-how to compete, but in an age of disruption, many big businesses are struggling to digitally transform and could face an uncertain future. This is according to a new report from the CBI and Oracle, which suggested that more technology adoption, coupled with better management practices, could add £100 billion to the UK economy and cut income inequality by five per cent.
85% of firms struggle to protect systems from cyber attack
New research has revealed that 85 per cent of large enterprises rated having “insufficient visibility into network activity to be certain about what is happening” as a significant challenge for their organisation. This is according to a survey commissioned by Endace and carried out by Virtual Intelligence Briefing among senior executives and technical staff at more than 250 large enterprises globally, which also found that 80 per cent rated ‘alert fatigue’ as a significant concern.
1 in 5 businesses lose out to ‘dirty data’
One in five business in the UK are losing customers and revenue due to ‘dirty data’, according to new research. A Censuswide survey of 510 UK and US decision-markers for information database firm Dun and Bradstreet found that, a year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), almost 20 per cent of businesses have lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information about them, with a further 15 per cent saying they failed to sign a new contract with a customer for the same reason.
Facebook to call for tighter internet regulation
Facebook is set to call on lawmakers to draw up tighter regulation for global tech giants, signalling the company’s openness to sweeping changes to the rules governing online content.Speaking ahead of a major speech today, Nick Clegg, who became Facebook’s head of global affairs and communications in 2018 after serving as the UK’s deputy prime minister from 2010 to 2015, said that responsibility for new rules on removing harmful and violent content from its platforms was not something the company “can or should” do on its own.
Automation could put 40% of jobs at risk
Workplace automation and new technology could lead to nearly 40 per cent of jobs changing significantly or becoming redundant in the next five years, according to a new report from the Open University. The study, based on a survey of 500 chief technology officers, managing directors, HR directors and HR managers in the UK, estimated that 12 million jobs could be affected by the digital revolution, with 37 per cent expected to change or be eliminated altogether in the next five years.
BIS warns over BigTech entry into banking
Governments and regulators should act to ensure the entry of BigTech firms into financial services will not pose risks to financial stability, competition and data protection, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The Basel-based entity, which promotes co-operation between central banks, used its latest annual report to issue a call for a swift regulatory response from governments to ensure a “level playing field between BigTechs and banks”.
Pi Labs ramps-up PropTech investment
Investment firm Pi Labs is to significantly increase its funding activity within the PropTech sector. The company, which has already raised £110 million and backed 44 tech firms, says it will raise stakes in each startup it selects from £250,000 to £1 million and double the number of companies it backs each year.
Over a third of businesses implementing AI
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding, with more than a third (38 per cent) of businesses implementing some form of the technology within the past year. A social media survey of 500 professionals carried out by MHR Analytics found that machine learning or AI featured in respondents’ analytics approach in the last 12 months.
NAO highlights government data shortcomings
A new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that the importance of investing in good quality data is not well understood and there is a culture of tolerating and working with poor data. In a new report, the NAO stated that despite the government planning to publish a data strategy next year, and efforts by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to encourage good practice, not enough progress has been made, largely because staff have been diverted to working Brexit.
94% of enterprises improve bottom line with better data
An overwhelming majority (94 per cent) of enterprises claim that using data-driven insights to inform business decisions improves their bottom line by enabling them to better serve customers. This is according to cloud-based data warehouse Snowflake, which surveyed 159 global enterprises, of all sizes and across various sectors, finding that 96 per cent view data as integral to how they serve their customers.
Retailers fall short in digitising supply chains
New research has found that just six per cent of European retailers have developed a digital trading relationship with their supply chain. A study of 700 European retailers and manufacturers conducted by digital services provider TrueCommerce found that efforts to digitise supply chains are falling short of industry aspirations, with 85 per cent saying they would like to digitise trade with their entire supplier base.
Facebook cryptocurrency plans face backlash
Facebook’s plans to launch its own ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency have sparked a wave of criticism from lawmakers and businesses over its data privacy and regulatory impact, including calls for the project to be halted. Hours after Facebook confirmed on Tuesday that it was working on a long-rumoured project to launch a cryptocurrency and digital wallet as part of a push into financial services, representative Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the US House Financial Services Committee, called on the social media giant to testify in congress and put the development on ice to allow authorities to review the plans.
Workplace IT creating a £4bn UK productivity ‘black hole’
Workplace IT issues are creating a £4 billion productivity ‘black hole’ in the UK through lost working hours, according to new research from Capita. The business services group commissioned Opinium in March to survey 2,000 UK workers who use a computer to access data and applications, finding that almost half (48 per cent) lose at least an hour a month to IT problems, with an average 1.2 hours lost.
5G will ‘help startups compete with incumbents’
A new report from Vodafone has revealed that 60 per cent of small businesses think the 5G network roll-out will help them compete against more established rivals. The survey was carried out among 508 startup decision-makers - from retail & hospitality, construction, manufacturing, professional services, financial services, media and healthcare industries - in May, finding that 58 per cent think 5G will enhance their competitiveness within two years, while 56 per cent expect it to change the way they operate their business.
A quarter of digital transformation projects fail
Digital transformation projects are failing in more than a quarter of cases (26 per cent), according to new research. Digital services firm Econocom commissioned Censuswide to survey 150 IT and financial decision-makers in retail, legal and financial services companies in the UK, finding that the overwhelming majority (62 per cent) of firms are in the process of implementing a digital transformation project.
UK PropTech fundraises for growth
CreditLadder is looking to raise £600,000 through the Seedrs platform, plus up to £2 million externally. The UK PropTech startup provides recognition tools for agents and landlords to report rental payments and help improve their tenants’ credit scores.
Oxford accepts £150m donation for AI ethics hub
Oxford University has received a record £150 million donation to fund a new institute for the study of ethics in artificial intelligence (AI) and the humanities. The university said the gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the billionaire chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone - the largest single donation it has received since the Renaissance - would found the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.
Stanford study highlights IoT security risks
Stanford University research, in collaboration with digital security firm Avast, has revealed that about 40 per cent of households across the globe now contain at least one Internet of Things (IoT) device. Avast scanned 83 million IoT devices in 16 million homes worldwide to understand the distribution and security profile of connected devices by type and manufacturer. The findings were then validated and analysed by research teams at Avast and Stanford University.
Cyber security no longer a cost factor for c-suite
Cyber security is now recognised as a key business driver by the c-suite, rather than a cost factor, according to new research. Radware commissioned Merrill Research to survey 263 executives from across the globe, with four in five of them helping to lead companies with revenue of $1 billion. Respondents this year were split across 30 per cent in financial services, 21 per cent in retail and hospitality, 21 per cent in telecoms, seven per cent in manufacturing and distribution, seven per cent in computer products or services, six per cent in business services and consulting.
Facebook to launch cryptocurrency in 2020
Facebook expects its cryptocurrency ecosystem called Calibra, including a digital currency and wallet, to go live in 2020. The social media giant has confirmed that it has developed a digital wallet to store, save and send Libra, a new global currency built on blockchain technology.
Smart home tech revenue to hit $57m by 2024
Automation revenues will exceed $57 million by 2024, up from $18 million in 2019, driven by smart security solutions. Juniper Research found the ‘Do It For Me’ model, with vendors offering advice, installation, maintenance and cloud storage on monthly/yearly subscriptions, is gaining ground.
Cryptocurrencies held back by lack of trust
A lack of trust and understanding in cryptocurrencies is holding consumers back from using digital currency, with just 10 per cent saying they have a grasp on how it works. A survey of 13,434 consumers in 22 countries by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that despite the fact that 29 per cent of survey respondents had ‘some knowledge’ of cryptocurrency, the vast majority (81 per cent) had never purchased one.
Intel launches Israeli tech startup programme
Intel has launched a program aimed at boosting Israeli startups developing artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems and other data-centric technologies. Initially based in Tel Aviv, the 20-week programme will offer 10 to 15 pre-seed technology startups with mentorship from Intel and industry experts in a variety of product, management and technical areas.
Business leaders call for EU action on 5G
Europe’s largest businesses are urging the new European Commission to prioritise digitisation and 5G networks.The latest confidence survey from the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), which compiled the views of 52 chief executives and chairmen of Europe’s leading industrial companies, found that business leaders would like the newly formed European Commission to urgently focus on driving the development of new technologies.
Singapore and UK sign GovTech agreement
GovTech Singapore and the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration in the design and delivery of digital government public services. Under the terms of the MoU, GovTech and GDS - based in the Cabinet Office - will mutually share knowledge and best practices in improving the delivery of digital public services, building digital skills and capabilities of government officials, and adopting open standards for government information, data and software.
Baroness Blackwood underlines UK HealthTech importance
At the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) UK conference yesterday, Baroness Blackwood said she wants the UK to be the best place in the world to develop, test and launch innovative technologies, helping NHS patients to get faster access to new treatments. But while she praised the progress that has been made, Blackwood warned that this is no time to get complacent. “Working in a hyper-competitive global industry, you all know an important truth: if you do not relentlessly push for progress, you are finished.
Robots to take 1 in 5 finance jobs
One in five financial services jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) or automation within the next five years, according to the latest KPMG and Harvey Nash report. The survey of 3,600 IT leaders found that 43 per cent of banks expect a fifth or more of their workforce to be replaced by AI or automation by 2024.
Quantum computing developer gets £3.25m funding
Quantum computing software developer Riverlane has raised £3.25 million in seed funding, led by venture capital investors Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Amadeus Capital Partners, with the participation of Cambridge Enterprise. The UK startup is building a simulation engine for microscopic systems to replace expensive laboratory tests with computer simulation. Its software leverages the capabilities of the quantum computer, which operates using the principles of quantum mechanics. In the same way that graphics processing units (GPUs) accelerate machine learning workloads, Riverlane uses quantum computers to accelerate the simulation of quantum systems.
Facebook adds 500 UK jobs to online safety hub
Facebook has announced the creation of 500 new jobs for an engineering centre in London which will develop artificial intelligence (AI) software to help combat harmful and malicious content on its platforms. The 500 new roles, including 100 focussed on AI, will bring Facebook’s total London-based workforce to 3,000 by the end of 2019.
Survey finds AI investment/skills mismatch
UK companies are currently spending an average of £3.1 million per company on artificial intelligence - with large businesses investing over £6.5 million - but two-thirds aren’t educating staff well enough on how to use it or have no AI strategy in place. ABBYY commissioned 3Gem to survey 500 UK IT decision-makers in May, finding that the majority of UK companies are still at the start of their automation journeys, with just over a quarter (27 per cent) of those which have not invested in automation admitted this is because they “wouldn’t know what to do with it”.
Majority of SMEs still in the dark on cloud
New research has revealed that 58 per cent of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not use cloud-based computing. In total, a third of SMEs stated that they do not use the cloud at all, while a quarter are not currently using the technology, but plan to implement it in the next 12 months.
Facebook to pay users for collecting data
Facebook has launched a new app that pays users in exchange for collecting data on how they use apps from rival companies.The ‘Study’ market research app, which launches in the US and India today, is targeted at adults and comes after the social media giant was heavily criticised for paying children as young as 13 to gather data on how they were using competitors’ apps. The app was later shut down, but Facebook defended the initiative and said that parental consent had been received.
Government confirms digital identity goals
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Cabinet Office are set to launch a Digital Identity Unit in the coming weeks. Speaking at the Identity Week conference yesterday, the minister for implementation Oliver Dowden provided an update on GOV.UK Verify and set out the government’s next steps towards enabling the creation of a digital identity market.
Report warns on tech spend outside IT department
Tech spend outside IT department creates opportunities, but opens back door to potential security and consumer trust risks, according to the world’s largest technology leadership survey. Now in its 21st year, the 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey was conducted among 3,645 chief information officers and technology leaders between December and April 2019, across 108 countries.
HealthTech app chosen by NHS to tackle diabetes
Changing Health’s platform has been selected by the NHS to help tackle type 2 diabetes in the UK. Spun out from work at Newcastle University in 2015, the app gives access to information, online tracking tools and lifestyle coaching to help users to lose weight and improve their diet.
5G to reach 1.9bn subscriptions in 5 years
The number of 5G subscriptions is on course to reach 1.9 billion in the next five years, as the global rollout gathers pace and users switch to 5G-enabled devices. Ericsson’s latest mobility report found that there were 44 million new 5G subscriptions recorded in the first quarter of 2019 alone.
Salesforce buys Tableau for $15.7bn
Enterprise software giant Salesforce has agreed to buy analytics firm Tableau Software for $15.7 billion, as its steps up efforts to face down Google, Microsoft and Amazon in the cloud and data analytics sector. The deal will enable Salesforce to diversify its range of services beyond Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, incorporating Tableau’s data and analytics insights platform which helps staff understand raw data through the creation of visualisations.
Fiat Chrysler partners Aurora for self-driving fleet
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has struck a deal with autonomous vehicle startup Aurora to develop self-driving commercial vehicles. The partnership will focus on integrating Aurora’s technology into Chrysler’s Ram trucks, and potentially also into Fiat Professional vehicles.
AI could grow UK economy by a fifth: McKinsey
UK firms adopting artificial intelligence (AI) tools could deliver a 22 per cent boost to the UK economy by 2030, according to a new report from McKinsey and data analysis from Quantumblack.The analysis, based on simulations from McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), also suggested that firms could benefit from a 120 per cent increase in total economic value, implying additional growth in cash generation of about six per cent a year for the next 12 years.
Gov and industry pledge £1.2bn tech investment
Tech companies have backed the UK with investment of more than £1.2 billion to accelerate the development of quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Speaking at London Tech Week, the prime minister Theresa May is set to pledge £153 million in government funding, with an additional £205 million pledged by industry, to unlock the potential of quantum technologies, including accelerated drug development.
Coriolis launches AI supply chain project
Data analytics firm Coriolis Technologies is trialling artificial intelligence (AI) to improve supply chain data, supported by a grant from Innovate UK. The 18-month project, which is also backed by the National Institute of Economics and Social Research (NIESR), is aiming to improve access to trade data, with the ultimate goal of making it real-time. The plan is to develop an accessible tool useful for international statistics agencies, governments and central banks, and small business exporters, especially in the UK.
FuturMaster launches AI forecasting software
FuturMaster is launching a new forecasting solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help companies more successfully launch new products. The supply chain planning software firm already counts L’Oreal, Heineken and LVMH as clients and found that in a recent trial with a Chinese textiles firm, the tool was more accurate in over three-quarters of forecasting scenarios and twice as fast at unravelling data, when compared to using teams of trained forecasters and manual methods.
Cornish spaceport wins £20m funding
Cornwall Council will provide up £12 million in funding to develop Europe’s first horizontal launch spaceport at Newquay airport, with the UK Space Agency contributing up to £7.85 million. The council hopes Spaceport Cornwall could create 150 jobs, with launch operator Virgin Orbit planning to spend a further £2.5 million to enable small satellites to be launched from the site from the next few years.
Google challenges cloud rivals with $2.6bn data deal
Google’s cloud division has announced plans to buy big data analytics firm Looker for $2.6 billion in cash, as the search giant steps up efforts to rival Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud offerings.The deal will enable the company to expand its specialised software offering, and is the first major acquisition for Thomas Kurian, who took up the role of Google Cloud chief executive in November.
Amazon promises delivery drones 'within months'
Amazon will begin making drone deliveries “in the coming months” as it unveiled its latest Prime Air technology at the Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas. The new six-rotor hybrid aircraft is capable of vertical take-off and landing, as well as sustained forward flight, and uses a combination of data from visual, thermal and ultrasonic sensors to autonomously navigate.
Majority have suffered employee access breach
New research has revealed that 64 per cent of businesses globally believe they’ve likely had either a direct or indirect breach due to misused or abused employee access in the last 12 months, while 62 per cent believe they’ve had a breach due to compromised vendor access.
This is according to BeyondTrust, which surveyed 1,006 IT decision-makers from industries including manufacturing, finance, professional services, retail, healthcare, telecoms and the public sector, across the US, EMEA and APAC.
Scientists use tech to tackle hospital superbugs
Hospital superbugs such as MRSA or E.coli could soon be under attack from a new generation of drugs designed with the help of advanced computing technologies from STFC and IBM Research. Superbugs are becoming steadily more resistant to antibiotics, causing an ‘antibiotics crisis’ and a serious threat to public health. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2050, 392,000 deaths could be caused by antibiotic resistance in the EU, and worldwide, 10 million people will die from untreatable superbugs.
Jaguar Land Rover and BMW partner for electric cars
Jaguar Land Rover and BMW Group are joining forces to develop next generation Electric Drive Units (EDUs), a central part of the automotive industry’s transition to an ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) future. The strategic collaboration will build on the knowledge and expertise in electrification at both companies. Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated its technical capability in bringing the world’s first premium battery electric SUV - the Jaguar I-PACE - to market, as well as plug-in hybrid models, while BMW has produced several generations of electric drive units in-house since it launched the BMW i3 in 2013.
MPs warn of UK cyber security vulnerabilities
As a leading digital economy with many online government systems, the UK is especially vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a new report from the Public Accounts Committee, which set out a series of recommendations to tackle the problem. It cited The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which has dealt with over 1,100 cyber security incidents since it was established in October 2016.
‘Don’t forget human element': cyber experts
Organisations must not forget about the human element of cyber security, working with HR teams and staff to deter insider threats, according to a panel of experts at the Information Security Europe conference. Jenny Radcliffe, the founder and director of Human Factor Security, commented: “I’m always sceptical of people and businesses who focus only on the technology side, keeping the human side separate – attackers don’t see it that way, people are often the best targets.
Law Society warns over AI in justice system
A report of the Public Policy Commission into algorithms in the justice system has called for new measures to regulate what it described as ad-hoc procurement practices, suggesting a statutory register and a requirement for public bodies to own software rather than rent it from commercial suppliers. The commission was established by the Law Society for England and Wales, and took a year to investigate the matter, hearing from academics, civil society bodies and police forces, before publishing its findings.
Public concerns ‘still a barrier to drone adoption’
Less than a third of the public (31 per cent) feel positively towards drones, while more than two thirds are concerned about the potential use of drones for criminal purposes, according to PwC research. This contrasts with 56 per cent of business leaders who are positive about drones and their benefits. Including those already using drones in their business, this rises to 83 per cent.
AI could create 'vicious cycles' in decision making
Artificial intelligence-driven decision making could lead financial services firms into “vicious cycles” of automation, according to a panel of experts. Speaking during a discussion on the implications of AI technologies, such as machine learning and biometrics, at the Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam, Dror Oren, chief product officer and co-founder at conversational AI platform Kasisto, highlighted the need for continued human oversight of algorithms.
Brits reluctant to swap passwords for biometrics
Over half of consumers in the UK (53 per cent) are worried that the shift to biometrics to authenticate online payments will dramatically increase the amount of identity fraud, according to new research conducted by Paysafe. The research was completed among 6,197 consumers from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria, across ages groups and professions, finding that 79 per cent still favour passwords for making payments online, due to concerns about the security of new biometric options.
Consolidation of the Nordic data centre market
EcoDataCenter and Fortlax merge with the ambition to create a Nordic data centre giant. The merger supports the ambition to consolidate the data centre industry in the Nordic region.
NHS app assessment portal launches
NHS Digital has launched a portal for developers to assess apps for possible inclusion in the NHS Apps Library. The public beta went live on 20 May, ahead of a full live roll-out in September, providing an online self-service tool for developers to test whether their apps are likely to be accepted for the library.
BAE Systems partners UiPath for military ML
BAE Systems has partnered with robotic process automation (RPA) company UiPath to develop suites of software robots to automate high-volume, repetitive business processes, and integrate machine learning capabilities into defence and intelligence work. The companies are working together to develop and embed new automation capabilities within BAE’s Advanced Analytics Lab, which transforms large volumes of unstructured and semi-structured data into relevant and actionable intelligence for customers.
Dashlane closes $110m Series D
Dashlane has closed a $110 million Series D funding round led by Sequoia Capital. The credential and digital identity management solution will welcome Sequoia’s Jim Goetz to its board of directors, and also sealed investment from Rho Ventures, FirstMark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners in the round.
Half of office workers would sell corporate info
Nearly half (45 per cent) of office workers would be willing to sell their firm’s corporate information, according to a new survey which highlights the growing risk of insider threat to UK businesses. A study by Malvern-based cyber security startup Deep Secure found that a quarter of employees would accept £1,000 as the price for giving away company information to outsiders, whilst five per cent would offer it for free.
Cyber security certification equivalency agreed
Cyber security certification bodies CREST and EC-Council have announced mutual equivalency for their professional entry-point technical qualifications. This initiative reflects the need to create an industry framework for equivalent technical cyber security qualifications measured against the same criteria, to replicate the approach in other professions.
Open letter criticises GCHQ chat spying proposal
An open letter signed by more than 50 companies, civil society organisations and security experts - including Apple, WhatsApp, Liberty and Privacy International - has called on GCHQ to abandon proposals to enable eavesdropping on encrypted chat services. The plans were first mooted by two senior intelligence officials, Ian Levy, the technical director of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, and Crispin Robinson, head of cryptanalysis at GCHQ, in November 2018.
Data breach fines up 30% last year
British companies were hit with a 30 per cent increase in fines last year for breaching privacy rules, with even bigger penalties are forecast for this year. PwC’s fifth annual UK Privacy and Security Enforcement Tracker revealed fines worth £6.5 million were handed down by regulators in 2018, over £2 million more than in the previous year. The private sector accounted for 86 per cent of these cases.
Uber partners with INSHUR
Uber has partnered with INSHUR to offer a range of insurance services to drivers who use the ride-hailing app. INSHUR uses information about average trips, location and driver ratings in near real-time. The data is then used to calculate risks and pricing, rewarding safe driving with cheaper policies.
Volvo launches mixed-reality car development
Volvo Cars and Varjo, the Finnish augmented-reality headset maker, have created a world-first mixed-reality approach to evaluating prototypes, designs and active safety technologies. The collaboration will be strengthened by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund’s decision to invest in Varjo.
Inovus uses VR for cyber surgery training
A UK MedTech startup is using virtual reality (VR) techniques to teach students and medical professionals how to carry out laparascopic surgery, also known as keyhole surgery on the abdomen. Inovus Medical, based in St Helens, designs and manufactures surgical simulation tools for more than 60 per cent of the UK’s NHS trusts.
IKEA to launch VR app for in-home visualisation
IKEA is launching a virtual reality (VR) feature that will enable customers to visualise how products would look in their own homes before purchasing them in-app.The Swedish furniture and home furnishings giant’s chief digital officer Barbara Martin Coppola told Reuters that the app’s VR experience would be part of moves to combine in-store and online shopping experiences.
Blockchain ‘not transformative for public services’
Blockchain is not yet transformative or disruptive for public services, but in its current form can provide some benefits, according to a new report. The European Commission’s ISA² interoperability group proposed a framework of policy steps to exploit the potential of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), stating that the priority is for the ecosystem to become more mature.
Co-op launches HealthTech app
The Co-operative has entered the HealthTech space with a new app that allows customers to repeat prescriptions in real time. Co-op Health lets patients registered with a GP in England to order their medication and collect from any pharmacy in England.
IT issues ‘costing businesses £3.4 billion’
IT malfunctions are costing UK companies £3.4 billion in lost productivity every year, according to new research. A survey of 1,137 UK workers carried out by technology services firm Probrand found that a third (33 per cent) of said their workplace IT systems were hindering their productivity.
SmartCity pavement tech firm launches fundraise
SmartCity tech firm PaveGen, which has developed paving stones that convert footsteps into electricity, has received backing from the Hinduja Group. Launching a £5 million fundraising effort on Crowdcube, PaveGen revealed it had also signed partnerships with technology giant Siemens.
Less than 1% of cyber crimes prosecuted
Cyber crime and hacking offences are going unpunished in the UK, according to a new report, which claims less than one per cent of reported attacks reach prosecution. City law firm RPC stated there were 65 prosecutions for computer hacking in the UK in the year ending 2018, up 38 per cent from the 47 incidents recorded in 2017.
Uber’s JUMP launches e-bike hire in London
Uber is launching a trial of its electric bike service JUMP in London this week, as the ride hailing giant seeks to diversify its range of services in the capital. A total of 350 free JUMP bikes will be available to rent in Islington from Friday, with plans to expand into other London boroughs if the service proves successful, according to Reuters news.
Facebook to ‘launch digital payments in 2020’
Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its own cryptocurrency and digital payments in 2020. It was first reported in December last year that the social media giant was working on plans for a digital payments system in around a dozen countries for the first quarter of 2020.
Major automakers launch first EV charging station in UK
Major car manufacturers including Daimler, Ford, BMW and Volkswagen have launched their joint venture for electric vehicle (EV) charging, IONITY, in the UK. The UK’s first IONITY station will be operated by Motor Fuel Group on their forecourt in Maidstone in Kent.
Salesforce launches $125m cloud startup scheme
Software giant Salesforce has launched a $125 million fund to support the growth of innovative cloud startup companies. The Europe Trailblazer fund, launch by Salesforce Ventures, the company’s investment arm, will be used to help growth and development of companies pioneering digital payments, machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the API economy.
Y Combinator seeks Government 2.0 startups
Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator has put out a call for tech companies which can solve the problems of government. Specifically, it is seeking to fund startups creating solutions that provide Americans with the foundations for economic growth, rather than looking to replace the government and its policymakers.
Retailers concerned over impact of AI & IoT
Nearly three quarters of retail professionals believe that artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the biggest IT challenges over the next five years. A study of 200 retail professionals carried out by cloud solutions firm Cradlepoint for this year’s RetailEXPO event, found that 72 per cent saw new technologies including AI and connected devices as the main disruptors of the next half decade.
Academic warns over IoT legal liability
As connected devices increasingly control systems capable of inflicting death or personal injury, a new wave of liability is set to wash over the world of cyber security: strict liability for defective products. The warning came from Robert Carolina, executive director at Royal Holloway University’s Institute for Cyber Security Innovation, who wrote in a new paper that as the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, risks caused by cyber security failures also grow.
US eases Huawei restrictions
The US has announced a temporary reversal of certain trade restrictions on Chinese technology firm Huawei after customer fears of disruption to services sent global tech shares sliding yesterday. The US government placed the Chinese telecoms firm on an exports blacklist last week after long running concerns that the company’s hardware could be used to facilitate Chinese intelligence gathering – an allegation that has been vigorously denied by Huawei.
Call for ethical biometrics and facial recognition tech
The Biometrics Institute (BI) has called on governments, law enforcement agencies and border authorities to ensure the responsible use of biometrics such as facial recognition technology. The independent ethics watchdog warned that failure to make use of good practice guidelines could result in the public losing trust in the application of biometrics with policing and counter-terrorist procedures.
EU highlights China tech transfer problem
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China has raised significant concerns about European companies being forced to transfer technology in China, despite Beijing stating the problem does not exist. China's trading partners have long complained that their companies are often compelled to hand over proprietary technology in exchange for trading access to the world's second-largest economy.
Half of businesses lack AI necessary skills
More than half of businesses do not have the right in-house skills to execute their artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, despite 93 per cent being “fully invested” in AI, according to new research from SnapLogic. A survey of 300 IT decision-makers from large companies in the UK and US found that the AI skills shortage was most acute in the UK, with 73 per cent lacking the talent they needed to execute their plans, compared to 41 per cent in the US.
Digital transformation outstrips cyber threat
The fast pace of digital transformation is outstripping the cyber security capabilities of UK businesses, according to a new report from KPMG. A survey of more than 1,800 chief information security officers (CISOs) and 2,000 consumers - including 100 CISOs and more than 100 consumers in the UK - found that, despite the evident risk to customer relationships of a breach of financial data, more than half (55 per cent) of UK CISOs prioritise financial loss and reputational risk in the event of a breach above the impact of such an incident on customer relationships.
Government expands use of ePassport gates
From today, visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States will be able to use ePassport gates at ports across the UK in a move designed to speed up border controls for low-risk countries. There were over 10 million arrivals in the UK by nationals from these countries in 2017. In the year ending September 2018, 51.9 million passengers used them across the UK and juxtaposed controls.
Smart city tech revenues to reach $4bn by 2023
Smart city traffic technology solutions deployed to ease chronic congestion in cities will generate $4.4 billion in revenue in 2023, up from $2 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. These solutions typically use sensors in combination with machine learning algorithms to dynamically alter traffic light phasing according to traffic levels; smoothing urban traffic flows.
DWP leads Nat Tech Awards winners
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took home two awards at last night’s National Technology Awards. The government department took home Best Public Sector Project for its DWP Digital Find a Job recruitment tool, and also the Tech Team of the Year award.
Amazon heats up food delivery with Deliveroo investment
Amazon has made a significant investment in Deliveroo, as part of a £450 million fundraising round for the food delivery app.The e-commerce giant’s investment, for an undisclosed sum, brings the total funding for the food ordering and delivery network to $1.5 billion since it launched in 2013.
NHS ‘should prescribe HealthTech devices’
The NHS should prescribe HealthTech options like smart scales and fitness trackers to those unable to purchase them, according to a new report. The Social Market Foundation think tank suggested that there are “huge opportunities” to keep patients away from burdening NHS services by using digital technologies.
Half of financial firms struggle with cyber threat
Almost half (45 per cent) of financial services firms across Europe are struggling to combat the rising cyber security threat, with hackers particularly exploiting internal loopholes through Business Process Compromise (BPC). A survey of more than 1,000 IT decision-makers in Europe by cyber security firm Trend Micro found that 61 per cent of decision makers felt the overall volume of threats have increased over the last year, with two fifths (43 per cent) saying that BPC attacks are a major threat.
China hits back at Trump’s Huawei ban
China has hit back at a decision by US president Donald Trump to blacklist Chinese produced telecoms equipment, as the standoff over Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks and trade tensions between the two superpowers escalate. The ratcheting up of rhetoric between the two countries came after Trump declared a national emergency and signed an executive order banning use of technology from “foreign adversaries”, while imposing stringent export controls on telecoms companies such as Huawei.
Fetch.AI and T-Labs cooperate on IoT
Cambridge-based technology startup Fetch.AI and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs are working together to create and deploy a possible economic Internet of the future. The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see T-Labs and Fetch.AI research, build and deploy autonomous economic agents on the Fetch.AI test network. They will look at how such agents can be built into Internet of Things (IoT) devices to provide them with the authority and autonomy to organise themselves free of human intervention.
Google launches €10m online safety programme
Google has launched a €10 million grant programme to support universities, social enterprises and research institutions in developing online security and data privacy solutions. The European grant fund is the latest initiative from Google.org and will focus on the tools that technology companies can use to keep users safe online and tackle online harms such as extremism.
Huawei offers to sign ‘no-spy’ agreements
Huawei has offered to sign “no-spy” agreements with governments, the company’s chairman has said, as the Chinese telecoms giant steps up reassurances over its equipment being used for intelligence gathering by Beijing.Speaking at a conference in London yesterday via an interpreter, Liang Hua sought to underline Huawei’s commitment to national security through its involvement in 5G networks, after it was reported that the UK government will allow Huawei to provide ‘non core’ elements of its network.
Digital treatments market due rapid growth spurt
The market for digital therapeutics - software that augments or replaces traditional therapies - will expand rapidly over the next five years, reaching over $32 billion in revenues in 2024, up from an estimated $2.2 billion in 2019. This is according to Juniper Research, which found that the biggest application for digital therapeutics will be diabetes and weight loss, generating over $19 billion in 2024.
Digital ID programme launched in Tower Hamlets
A new GovTech programme has been launched to assist vulnerable residents of Tower Hamlets access online services by helping them to build a digital identity. Etive, a digital data management solutions company, has been working with Tower Hamlets Discovery and Alpha projects to assess the how the use of local authority data, collected and stored in a Digital Log Book, can create secure digital identity profiles to help citizens build a digital footprint.
Daimler commits to carbon neutral vehicles
German car manufacturer Daimler has pledged to build a carbon neutral passenger car fleet by 2039, making the firm - which owns Mercedes - the first automaker in the world to commit to such an ambitious a carbon neutral production target. The carmaker said its emission free ‘Ambition2039’ strategy would also see have plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles account for more than 50 per cent of all car sales by 2030.
Innovate UK seeks AI fracture diagnosis tech
Up to £240,000 is being made available for organisations exploring the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in fracture diagnosis. NHS Scotland performs around 5,000 X-rays of upper and lower limbs annually, and although injuries in these areas are often categorised as minor, misdiagnosis and mismanagement can hamper recovery and lead to financial cost.
Huawei ‘would refuse to pass info to Beijing’
Huawei is a private company and would refuse to comply with any request from the Chinese government to hand over security information, the company’s vice president of Western Europe has said. In an interview to coincide with a Huawei-commissioned report claiming that the company had made a £1.7 billion to the UK economy last year, Tim Watkins told Radio 4: "There is no obligation on Huwaei's part to cooperate with the government in the way in which the Americans are indicating.”
Belfast startup enters defence accelerator
Belfast tech startup Liopa has been selected to take part in a new Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) investigating how behavioural analytics can improve understanding and measurement, help make ethical predictions, and guide better judgements on interventions for defence and security. Liopa will leverage its existing Visual Speech Recognition (VSR) technology, which deciphers speech from analysis of lip movements for activities such as key word spotting. The existing VSR engine takes, as input, video of a subjects speaking and predicts most likely utterances.
Tech staff quit over fear of social consequences
Nearly one in five of tech employees who have seen their company take decisions that could have a negative impact on society have quit their job on ethical grounds, a new study has found. A survey of more than 1,000 technology professionals by think tank Doteveryone found that a rising number of employees across a range of sectors are concerned by ethical impact, with more than a quarter (28 per cent) saying they had seen decisions made that could make technologies harmful for people or society.
Uber’s stock falls following IPO
Uber’s long-awaited Initial Public Offering (IPO) has seen the company valued at $82.4 billion, less than the $100 billion it was hoping for, but still making it one of the largest IPOs of all time. The San Francisco-based ride-hailing app asked investors to pay $45 per share, according to a regulatory filing published ahead of Friday’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
SoftBank invests $800m in Greensill Capital
The Softbank Vision fund has made an $800 million investment in Greensill Capital, a UK FinTech which supplies capital to help global companies with supply chain finance. The investment will see Greensill Capital join the likes of Uber, WeWork and Slack, as the latest company to benefit from Softbank’s megafund, now ranked as the world’s largest technology investment fund.
ICO warns over biometric data consent
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned that organisations need to obtain explicit consent when using consumers’ biometric data. In an official blog, the regulator’s deputy commissioner for policy Steve Wood responded to its investigation of HM Revenue and Customs’ Voice ID service, which led to the government having to delete the data of about five million customers, for whom consent was judged to be out of date.
Nationwide invests in AI voice analysis startup
Nationwide has announced an investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) voice analysis firm Scaled Insights as part of its £50 million startup venture fund. Scaled Insights uses behavioural AI to analyse the people’s speech to profile them on using demographic and social markers, before communicating in “the language that is most accessible for them”.
NHS Digital strikes deal with VMware for AWS cloud
NHS Digital will act as a service broker for the supply of VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to public sector organisations. The national ICT partner for the NHS has set up a commercial framework with the company for the provision of its virtualisation platform running on the AWS cloud.
Dyson reveals patents for electric car ‘by 2021’
Dyson has given a first glimpse of the possible designs for its much-awaited electric vehicle, revealing a “radically different” car featuring large wheels suitable for offroad travel. Patent filings emailed to more than 500 staff working on the closely-guarded £2 billion design project show a car which inventor and company boss James Dyson said would “include fundamentally new technologies and make some inventive leaps”.
Google set to launch AR shopping search
Retail brands will soon be able to add 3D interactive augmented reality (AR) models to Google searches of their products so customers can superimpose items in the “real world” to try them out.The online search giant confirmed plans to integrate AR into standard Google search results during a launch event for its Pixel 3 smartphone at its annual developer’s conference.
Voice shopping up 83% in one year
The number of shoppers using voice-assisted technology to research and place orders has jumped 83 per cent in the last year, according to new data. A survey of 4,500 online shoppers by cloud commerce firm Episerver found that consumers are increasingly turning to connected devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Google announces $25m AI grant winners
Google has announced the 20 companies that will share in its $25 million Google AI impact challenge prize pot.The grant money will be shared among the organisations which have demonstrated use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools to make a positive impact on wider society.
Government digital ID system 'failing users'
GOV.UK Verify, the government’s flagship digital ID service, is not delivering value for money and has left the public beset by problems with sign up and access to online services, according to an influential committee of MPs. A damning report from the Public Accounts Committee found that three years after it went live, the initial plan for the service had proved over-optimistic, with key targets “badly” missed and results not delivered.
Crypto platform suffers $41m bitcoin hack
Cryptocurrency platform Binance has confirmed that hackers have stolen 7,000 bitcoin with a value of more than $41 million. In a statement posted early this morning, the Hong Kong based firm - which runs one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges - said cybercriminals had used phishing, viruses and other attacks to carry out the hack and obtain a “large number” of user API keys, 2FA codes and other information.
London chosen as WhatsApp payments hub
Facebook has announced that London is to become the focus of its drive to roll-out payments across its WhatsApp messaging service. WhatsApp is looking to recruit 100 new staff members in the capital as parent company Facebook continues with its push to monetise the social media messaging platform, which is used by 1.5 billion people globally.
Apple Pay and Google Pay join GOV.UK Pay
Central government services running GOV.UK websites have begun to accept payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay as part of a trial aimed at providing more options. The Cabinet Office stated that it plans to make Apple Pay and Google Pay available for other central government services, followed by local government, police and the NHS later this year.
Brexit hitting London tech investment
Political uncertainty has had a direct effect London-based tech firms’ ability to access capital, according to new research which has revealed a sharp fall in venture capital investment. Trade body Tech London Advocates found that 87 per cent of tech firms felt the Brexit process had tarnished London’s reputation as a business centre, while 39 per cent said it had become more difficult to access capital in the capital since the referendum.
Fired minister hits back at Huawei leak claims
Gavin Williamson has hit back at the “haphazard way” the Huawei leak inquiry was carried out, complaining he was only fired because of information he had personally volunteered to Downing Street investigators. The former defence secretary showed the inquiry call records on his phone, which revealed that he had spoken to a Daily Telegraph journalist shortly after a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday last week.
GovTech startup workspace opens in London
A GovTech workspace, designed to facilitate a closer relationship between politicians, civil servants and tech startups, is set to open in Westminster in July.It is a collaboration between venture capital firm Public and workspace accelerator Huckletree. The 250-member Public Hall will be the first technology-focused co-working space in the heart of London's political heart, located immediately opposite the Ministry of Defence.
NICE launches online resource for health tech
HealthTech Connect, a new online resource provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to help identify and support new health technologies as they move from inception to adoption in the UK, has been formally launched. Developed by NICE with help from a range of partner organisations and funding from NHS England, HealthTech Connect is aimed at promoting the development of medical devices and diagnostic, digital technologies.
Gov consults on IoT security labelling
Plans to ensure that millions of household items that are connected to the internet are better protected from cyber attacks have been launched by digital minister Margot James. Options that the government is considering include a mandatory new labelling scheme, which would tell consumers how secure their products such as ‘smart’ TVs, toys and appliances are. The move means that retailers will only be able to sell products with an Internet of Things (IoT) security label.
Health secretary promises NHS fibre broadband
Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced plans to upgrade every hospital, GP practice and community care service to full fibre broadband connectivity. Almost 40 per cent of NHS organisations are using slow and unreliable internet supplied through copper lines, which restricts the ability to offer digital services to patients, according to the government.
AWS rolls-out Managed Blockchain service
Amazon Web Services has announced the general availability of Amazon Managed Blockchain, a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks. The e-commerce giant promised that customers wanting to allow multiple parties to execute transactions and maintain a cryptographically verifiable records without the need for a trusted, central authority can now setup a blockchain network spanning multiple accounts in the AWS Management Console.
Santander partners Microsoft for cloud transformation
Banco Santander has partnered with Microsoft Azure to drive its hybrid cloud strategy, as part of a €20 billion digital transformation plan. The Spanish-headquartered bank said the software giant’s cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities will improve customer service and operational efficiency as a part of a multi-year agreement.
Technology proposed to increase vaccination rates
Technology could play a major role in overcoming barriers to the uptake of adult vaccinations, according to a report from the International Longevity Centre (ILC). The research suggested that the use of big data, gamification, the sharing economy and artificial intelligence can counter misinformation on the value of vaccination and increase takeup.
Tech firms optimism at 10 year low: KPMG
Tech firms’ optimism dropped to a 10-year low in the first quarter of 2019, due to fears over a skills shortage and a subdued economy, according to a report from KPMG. Its quarterly monitor of business activity in the UK’s tech sector recorded the lowest levels of confidence in a decade for the three months to March, despite business activity growth recovering to its fastest pace since the second quarter of 2018.
Phishing and cloud top cyber security concerns
The biggest security threats that worry companies are phishing (29 per cent) and cloud security (27 per cent) according to a survey carried out at the recent RSA Conference. AT&T Cybersecurity spoke to 733 attendees across a variety of sectors, from financial services to healthcare, retail to manufacturing, finding that social media threats were the third most worrisome threat (16 per cent).
Toyota halts connected vehicle tech plans
Toyota is pulling back from plans to install anti-collision connected technologyin its US vehicles.The Japanese car firm had announced plans in April 2018 to develop Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology, which would allow cars and trucks to communicate, in an effort to cut down on road accidents.
Jaguar Land Rover trials driver crypto rewards
Jaguar Land Rover is trialling software that will offer drivers the option to earn cryptocurrency in exchange for sharing data from their connected cars.The British carmarker said that smart wallet technology is currently being developed which will reward drivers with coins if they agree to share information collected by the vehicle’s internal system, such as traffic congestion data and potholes, which will then be reported to navigation providers or local authorities.
DEAC looking for Riga data centre partners
European Data Center (DEAC) in Riga is on the lookout for long-term enterprise partners of its new facility under construction in Latvia.
Microsoft scientist uses AI to interpret Shakespeare
Cloud computer scientists at Microsoft are developing ways of using artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to visually map the plays of William Shakespeare. Phil Harvey, a cloud solution architect at Microsoft has used the software giant’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to track sentiment, topics and key phrases in the text of 19 Shakespeare plays.
Musk promises ‘a million’ self-driving taxis by 2020
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has promised that “a million” self-driving taxis will be on the road next year, with full self-driving capabilities ready this year. He made the remarks at an “Autonomy Investor Day” at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters earlier this week, at which other executives gave details on a new neural network chip for autonomous driving that will be built into all new Tesla cars.
Amazon doubles profits on cloud computing sales
Demand for Amazon’s cloud computing and advertising services drove a doubling of profits in the first quarter. The e-commerce giant’s latest results reported a 17 per cent rise in revenues to $59.7 billion for the first three months of 2019, with a net income of $3.6 billion, up $1.6 billion on the same period last year.
UK ‘won’t allow high risk vendors to provide critical 5G kit’
The cabinet office secretary David Lidington has said the UK government will not consider allowing high risk tech firms to supply parts for critical elements of the nation’s 5G data communications networks. His comments come after reports that the National Security Council had decided to approve Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to provide ‘non-core’ parts of the high speed 5G network, sparking backlash from MPs concerned over allegations of spying by the Chinese government.
Former BAE cyber chief ‘to promote industry abroad’
A former executive at BAE Systems’ cyber security division has reportedly been recruited by international trade secretary Liam Fox to help the UK’s cyber security companies compete for contracts overseas. According to Sky News, Henry Pearson, a former employee of Detica, the cyber defence subsidiary of BAE Systems, is set to be announced as the UK’s new cyber security ambassador on Friday.
GCHQ calls for cyber co-operation with banks
The head of GCHQ has called for closer co-operation between the financial services sector and the UK’s intelligence services to combat the threat of cyber attacks on consumers. Speaking at the CyberUK cyber security conference in Glasgow yesterday, Jeremy Fleming said GCHQ would seek to work more closely with banks, internet service providers (ISPs) and online platforms in order to “bake” cyber defences into business systems and increasingly “take the burden of cyber security away from the individual”.
UK gov 'approves Huawei 5G involvement'
The UK government has reportedly given the green light for Huawei to build “non-core” parts of the 5G data network, after months of warnings over a potential security risk. The Daily Telegraph reported that a long-awaited decision on the involvement of the Chinese telecoms giant in the UK’s 5G infrastructure network had concluded that its equipment could be used to help build antennas and other non-core infrastructure.
Smart city street lighting to realise $15bn energy savings
Smart street lighting deployments will realise $15 billion in cumulative energy savings for cities between now and 2023, according to Juniper Research. This will be achieved as a result of converting lamps to energy-efficient LEDs, as well as the addition of connectivity to monitor and control the status of each individual light; saving up to 50 per cent energy per light.
JD.com launches blockchain for business
Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has opened its underlying blockchain framework JD Chain to business customers. This will enable companies to build their own blockchain solutions from the ground up, following JD’s earlier launch of a new blockchain technology open platform, which enables businesses to leverage pre-built Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in their own businesses.
EU industrialists call for digital disruption action
European governments need to take urgent co-ordinated action with the private sector and wider society to deal with the most pressing challenges of the 21st century - including preparing citizens for massive technological developments, digital disruption and climate change - according to a group of leading European businesses. A new report from the European Round Table of Industrialists, a group of 55 major European businesses whose members include Heineken, L’Oréal, Nestlé and Rolls Royce, highlighted the need to strengthen the peace and prosperity offered by European unity in the last seven decades and called for joint action in the face of wide-ranging digital and environmental disruption.
EU approves creation of biometric database
The EU Parliament has given the green light for a system of interconnected migration, border control and law enforcement data from across the European Union, which will create a vast database of biometric records of EU and non-EU citizens. The shared Biometric Matching Service will enable law enforcement authorities in multiple jurisdictions to search and share fingerprint and facial images of more than 350 million people, in order to match details in a unified system.
Qualcomm launches smart cities accelerator initiative
Qualcomm has announced a Smart Cities Accelerator Program, which provides B2B website of Qualcomm tech-enabled Smart Cities solutions providers worldwide.
Cyber risk mounts as three in five firms hit
More than three in every five companies (61 per cent) suffered a cyber security incident in the last year, with average losses rising from $229,000 in 2018 to $369,000 in 2019, according to the latest cyber readiness report from Hiscox. The insurance firm surveyed more than 5,400 private and public organisations in the US, UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, finding a 45 per cent increase in reported cyber incidents since last year.
Businesses need more value from IA adoption: KPMG
The vast majority of organisations are struggling to secure value from their Intelligent Automation (IA) activities, with more than a third (38 per cent) of companies confirming investments of more than £7.7 million. A survey of nearly 600 business leaders across 13 countries - including 42 vice president, director and C-Suite executives in the UK - conducted by KPMG International and HFS Research, found that only around a fifth (22 per cent) of companies have scaled up or industrialised IA technology.
UK HealthTech startup competition begins
Innovate UK and the Office for Life Sciences have opened a competition for HealthTech startups to apply for a share of £1.5 million to help evaluate cutting-edge devices, diagnostics and digital technologies in a real-world clinical settings. It aims to provide evidence to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing medical technologies and solutions to be commissioned by the NHS.
Facebook ‘working on voice assistant’
Facebook is reportedly working on its own voice assistant to challenge the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. After CNBC reported on the development work, a spokesperson for the social media giant said yesterday: “We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products."
Imandra completes $5m seed round
Imandra has completed a $5 million seed investment round, led by AlbionVC, IQ Capital and LiveOak Venture Partners. The capital will be used towards further growth in financial services and applications of its artificial intelligence (AI) technology for autonomous vehicles, robotics and machine learning. It will also support Imandra’s expansion in both the US and the UK, with significant hiring of AI, engineering and product talent in Austin, London and Edinburgh.
WHO releases digital health guidelines
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released new recommendations on 10 ways that countries can use digital health technology, accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers, to improve people’s health and essential services. Over the past two years, WHO systematically reviewed evidence on digital technologies and consulted with experts from around the world to produce recommendations on key ways such tools may be used for maximum impact on health systems.
OutSystems joins Manufacturing Technology Centre
OutSystems, a low-code app development platform for industry, is collaborating with the Manufacturing Technology Centre’s innovation hub. Announcing its membership, the enterprise software firm stated it would now be able to work alongside some of the UK’s leading manufacturing businesses, such as Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Unilever, BAE Systems and Siemens to develop applications for technologies including Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Cyber attack could close more than half SMBs
More than half of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) say a data breach or cyber security incident would put their business at risk of closure. A Censuswide survey of 501 IT decisions-makers, commissioned by IT security firm Webroot, also found that more than three quarters of SMBs (78 per cent) believe that their business could be jeopardised by a lack of cyber security knowledge on the part of their employees.
Mettis Aerospace hosts first WiFi 6 IoT enterprise trial
The West Midlands region is the setting for the world’s first Industrial Enterprise and IoT trial of new WiFi 6 services. The Wireless Broadband Alliance has announced the world’s first WiFi 6 Industrial Enterprise and IoT trial, as part of its ongoing WiFi 6 programme.
Geovation accelerator names new startups
Seven startups using location, land and property data in their products and services have been accepted onto Ordnance Survey and HM Land Registry’s Geovation Accelerator Programme. Over the next 12 months, the companies will receive a range of resources, including access to experienced software developers, geospatial and property expertise, and mentorship on business proposals and investor relationships.
Tech Nation names cyber security scale-up cohort
Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs, has announced the 20 cyber scaleups accepted onto its first national cyber security growth programme. Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and supported by global cyber security firms Tessian, Digital Shadows, Darktrace and CensorNet, the six-month programme is aimed at helping to accelerate the growth of UK cyber security businesses.
Environmental AI could create 38m jobs by 2030
Harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) in just four sectors to support better management of the environment could yield productivity benefits, higher GDP, reduced carbon emissions and up to 38 million jobs globally. Microsoft commissioned PwC UK to assess the global economic and environmental gains that the AI era can harness between now and 2030, finding that things like clean distributed energy grids, precision agriculture, sustainable supply chains, environmental monitoring, and enhanced weather and disaster prediction have transformational potential.
Dstl launches game to recruit cyber workers
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has launched an online game to recruit more than 60 staff to work in cyber and information systems. A statement from the Ministry of Defence’s science and technology arm explained that there are opportunities across a range of areas, including data science, cyber warfare, space, sensors and security systems.
Microsoft confirms email account hack
Microsoft has confirmed that hackers accessed a number of Hotmail, Outlook and MSN email accounts over a three month period. The software giant did not release figures for how many accounts were breached during the incident, which left accounts potentially exposed between 1 January to 28 March, but confirmed that it had addressed issues identified with a “limited subset” of accounts.
IoT adoption ‘threatened by security concerns’
A quarter of people who own a voice assistant have used it to make a payment, with 57 per cent willing to make a payment via a connected car and 45 per cent would pay for groceries via a Wi-Fi refrigerator touchscreen or compatible application. This is according to a Transaction Network Services (TNS) commissioned survey of 1,046 UK adults, 1,050 US adults and 1,022 Australian adults in January, which also revealed that 74 per cent said that security concerns would stop them from making a payment via a voice assistant.
Youtility trials budgeting tools with Citizens Advice
Home finance platform Youtility has been selected as one of four providers to participate in the Citizens Advice product testing programme. The project will see the clients of four Citizens Advice Bureaus - Bassetlaw, Hammersmith and Fulham, Cardiff, and Vale and East End - trial digital tools designed to help users budget, while testing the providers’ switching services for better home finance deals.
Three quarters enable mobile cloud access
Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of companies now have a majority of employees accessing cloud services via their mobile devices, according to a new study. A survey of 404 chief information officers (CIOs), chief information security officers (CISOs) and heads of network architecture in the UK, Germany, France and the Benelux region, for network security firm Zscaler, found a growing number of firms are enabling access on mobile devices.
ICO to protect children from online harms
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has set out measures to protect children online, including plans to discourage ‘nudge techniques’ such as likes on social media. Under 16 new standards opened up to consultation, the data watchdog said the code would be the first of its kind to set out the protections expected of those responsible for designing, developing or providing online services likely to be accessed by under-18s.
Cash injection readies police for cyber crime
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has announced that every police force in England and Wales now has a dedicated cyber crime unit, following a multi-million-pound investment from the government. Forces were able to access £7 million worth of funding this year to build the cyber crime units - including recruiting specialist officers and staff to the units and investing in technology, equipment and training. Investment in the units by the Home Office and the National Cyber Security Programme will continue through 2019/20 and 2020/21.
Automation ‘could solve security skills shortage’
A shortage of IT security staff across geographical regions is impacting crucial protections, although automation is providing a partial solution to the problem. This is according to a survey of more than 1,400 security professionals based across the US, the UK and Asia Pacific (APAC) by DomainTools and the Ponemon Institute, which found 78 per cent of all respondents admitted their teams are understaffed.
Financial services most attacked sector in EMEA
Cyber criminals are targeting financial services firms more than any other sector, with a new report finding that finance accounted for 30 per cent of all attacks in the last year. A global threat intelligence report from NTT Security, based on billions of data points from organisations in 18 industry sectors across its security network, revealed that finance has knocked business and professional services from the top spot in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) cyber attack rankings for the 12 months between October 2017 and September 2018.
Armis raises $65m for enterprise IoT security
Enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) security company Armis has raised $65 million in Series C funding, bringing the company's total funding to $112 million. The round was led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Insight Venture Partners and Intermountain Ventures joining. Bain Capital Ventures, Red Dot Capital Partners and Tenaya Capital also participated as return investors.
Luxembourg University joins blockchain micropayments
The University of Luxembourg is joining Ripple’s blockchain research initiative, which aims to develop the networks needed for micropayments. It will participate in the University Blockchain Research Initiative, working on initiatives to change the way consumers pay for content on the internet.
Sheffield Uni lands €2.1m for walking tech
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have been awarded a €2.1 million to fund development of technology to assess how well people walk – considered to be a key indicator of health and wellbeing. The digital monitoring project, led by the university’s Insigneo Institute - which will also include researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - will involve placing small ‘in silico’ sensors on a patient’s body to measure gait and mobility.
Coinbase launches cryptocurrency Visa card
Cryptocurrency platform Coinbase has launched a Visa debit card allowing users to use cryptoassets such as Bitcoin to make real-world purchases. The card uses a customer’s cryptocurrency balance in Bitcoin, Ethereum, lite coin or other virtual currencies and converts it into pounds to pay in-store and online.
OutsideClinic deploys digital GP messaging
Home hearing and sight testing provider OutsideClinic has deployed an electronic transfer system to give instant referrals with its NHS partners and GPs. The solution from British technology firm Docman Connect enables online clinical communication between different care settings delivered within a secure and structured messaging platform.
Venture capital investment drops in Q1 2019
Overall venture capital (VC) investment dropped from record heights of US$71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $53 billion in the first quarter of 2019, due to a decline in Chinese investment, among other factors. The latest KPMG market analysis revealed that while US and European investment remained relatively robust quarter over quarter, Chinese VC fell from $10.1 billion in the fourth quarter last year to $5.8 billion in the first quarter of this year, as ‘megadeals’ took a pause.
EC publishes guidelines for trustworthy AI
The European Commission (EC) has published its own guidelines outlining the need for “trustworthy AI”.The report, published by the EC’s expert group on artificial intelligence, sets out basic ethical principles governing the use of AI, as well as seven key requirements to be met for machine learning tools to meet an EU-wide standard and ensure they remain “human centric”.
EU rejects connected cars legislation
The European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee has rejected proposed legislation on connected cars, amidst a row over the connectivity technologies specified in the initiative. The European Commission is trying to push through legislation coordinating regulatory frameworks around connected cars across the EU, with a full European Parliament vote scheduled for next week.
Physical ATM attacks in Europe on the increase
Physical attacks on ATMs have risen for the fourth consecutive year, up 27 per cent when compared with 2017, from 3,584 to 4,549 incidents. The European Association for Secure Transactions (EAST) reported that losses due to ATM related physical attacks were €36 million, a 16 per cent increase from the €31 million reported during 2017.
Google leads voice search readiness race
Google Maps is the platform most ready for the voice search revolution, followed by Yelp and Bing. This is according to analysis from Uberall, which identified 37 directories that directly feed voice search platforms, ranking them according to how important they are to a business’s voice search readiness.
Government funds innovative data projects
New systems designed to highlight the safest roads for cyclists to use, create a database of all the UK’s trees, and launch a mapping system to help people find their way around public buildings, could soon be created by a government competition designed to find new ways to use data. In November, the minister for implementation, Oliver Dowden, announced a £1.5 million competition to help organisations find innovative ways to use crowdsourcing and location-based data.
Calls for clarity on online harms regulation
MPs and industry bodies have warned that the government’s plans to regulate tech giants and hold them liable for harmful content are “too vague” and will need significant work before the public can have confidence that concrete action is being taken to protect internet users. The Department for Culture Media and Sport yesterday published a whitepaper outlining plans for the UK to consult on a regulator to introduce new internet rules that will make social media companies legally liable for harmful content posted on their platforms.
Scottish students to take GCHQ- approved courses
Aspiring cybersecurity experts in Scotland will be able to gain an official qualification developed by GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The Scottish Qualifications Authority has announced that it will be accrediting courses devised by the NCSC, the cybersecurity arm of GCHQ, to teach teenagers about cyber security and set them on the path to careers in technology and cyber defence.
90% of firms worry about ‘dark data’ risks
Nine in 10 organisations admit to concerns over “dangerous” quantities of unstructured and ‘dark data’, which could put them at risk of breaching regulation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).That is according to a new study of more than 100 chief information officers (CIOs) conducted by Crown Records Management, a data management firm, which found that two thirds of data across UK organisations is unstructured, leading to increased compliance risk from so-called ‘data oceans’.
IT leaders admit cyber security compromises
New research has revealed that 95 per cent of chief information and chief information security officers in the UK admit they make compromises in how they protect the business against cyber threats and other disruptions. Endpoint security specialist Tanium surveyed 500 people in those positions, finding that 35 per cent cited pressure to keep the lights on, while 31 per cent suggested they were restricted by legacy IT commitments.
Health secretary names NHSX chief exec
The secretary of state for health and social care has admitted that the NHS technology the systems of the past “haven’t been good enough” and promised to upgrade healthcare via the government’s new NHSX organisation. Speaking at a Royal Society of Medicine event yesterday, Matt Hancock said that he has made it his mission to get the best technology available into the NHS.
RBS and Barclays trial blockchain for property
RBS and Barclays have participated in a global trial of blockchain technology which claims to be able to cut the buy-sell period from three months to less than three weeks.The lenders joined 40 global financial and professional services firms, including Swiss Re, AXA and Clifford Chance, to test the application of distributed ledger technology (DLT) developed by Instant Property Network (IPN), a property transaction network.
Google ditches AI ethics council a week after launch
Google is pulling the plug on a council to examine ethics issues in artificial intelligence (AI) and “going back to the drawing board” just a week after it launched the initiative.The sudden dissolution of the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council (ATEAC) comes after controversy regarding the suitability of its board members, according to news site Vox, which was first to report the collapse of the board.
Social media ‘responsible for harmful content’
New laws could hold bosses at BigTech firms such as Facebook and Twitter responsible for harmful content on their platforms, according to a leaked report.The Guardian reported that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is planning to introduce a statutory duty of care for bosses of tech firms, according to a white paper seen by the publication.
Are you ready for the GPS rollover?
At 1am on 7 April, the Global Positioning System (GPS) method for counting time will reach its maximum limit and will reset, or rollover, potentially affecting the performance of some GPS receivers. Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have warned UK businesses and users to check their GPS devices to ensure they continue to work correctly over the weekend.
UK leads £62bn self-driving car race
The UK is in pole position in the global race to market for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), with a £62 billion boost to the UK economy by 2030 up for grabs. This is according to a new report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Frost & Sullivan, which also warned that a disorderly exit from the European Union could put this potential advantage at risk.
Cyber breaches in UK businesses down 11%
Ministers have called on businesses to take further action to protect themselves against cyber crime despite a government survey showing that the percentage of UK businesses experiencing cyber security breaches fell to just under a third (32 per cent) from 43 per cent last year.The results of the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s annual cyber crime survey revealed that moves from UK businesses and charities to upgrade their defences following the introduction of tough new laws have driven down the overall number of reported breaches in 2019.
Eutelsat partners with Seraphim Space Camp
Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat Communications is set to become a partner of Seraphim Space Camp, the UK's first accelerator for space technology startups. Eutelsat will join the likes of the European Space Agency, Rolls-Royce and Airbus in supporting the third edition of the Seraphim Space Camp programme. Over the course of nine weeks, the selected startups will have their businesses accelerated to become investment ready and to achieve commercial scale, receiving assistance with fundraising, business and commercial advice, individual coaching and mentoring opportunities, as well as access to Seraphim Space Camp’s industry network.
Microsoft and BMW launch cloud initiative for smart factories
Microsoft and BMW Group have launched an Open Manufacturing Platform, as the automobile industry continues its push to create ‘smart’ factories linked up by cloud technology.Announcing a deepening of its technology partnership with BMW, Microsoft said the initiative would drive industrial development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and establish a community to share smart factory solutions across the automotive and manufacturing sectors.
Survey shows IT chief/employee security gap
New research has revealed that 79 per cent of IT leaders believe that their employees have put company data at risk accidentally in the last 12 months – with 61 per cent believing they have done so maliciously. This is according to a survey commissioned by data security company Egress and carried out among 250 US and UK-based IT leaders - CIOs, CTOs, CISOs and IT directors - and over 2000 US and UK-based employees.
5G to boost UK economy by £15bn by 2025
The roll-out of 5G networks could supercharge the UK economy by up to £15.7 billion per year by 2025, but the opportunity could be missed because industry leaders still do not know enough about the benefits of investing in the technology. This is according to new research from Barclays Corporate Banking, which analyses a series of potential scenarios that UK businesses could face when implementing 5G.
Blockchain mortgage platform Acre lands £5m
Blockchain-based mortgage platform Acre has secured £5 million in funding from insurance giant Aviva and financial advisor Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG). The FinTech, which uses blockchain to build a “record of transaction” of the elements of the mortgage application process, says it will use the investment to grow the platform.
Finger vein payments trial begins in Manchester
Biometric payments company FingoPay has announced that Manchester will be the first city in the UK to trial finger vein payments.The FinTech, owned by Sthaler, has developed a Hitachi-backed payment systems which allows shoppers to pay with a scan of the vein signatures in their finger, removing the need for cards, apps or pin numbers. The advanced security offering also removes the need for transaction limits.
NHS makes £4.8m available for digital social care
Organisations that provide and commission adult social care services have been invited to bid for a share of £4.8 million to enable them to roll out their local digital projects on a wider scale. Applications for the Social Care Digital Pathfinders grant have opened today for existing products and services that have already been piloted in small local areas, or have a strong evidence base, with the view to implementing them on a larger scale.
Daimler buys Torc Robotics stake for self-drive lorries
Daimler Trucks is to acquire a majority stake in Torc Robotics, as the US truck company powers ahead with plans to put ‘highly automated’ trucks on the roads. Announcing the deal, which has been made for an undisclosed sum, Daimler said the acquisition would “create a technology power house for automated trucks”.
City tycoon leads £20m HealthTech startup funding
Female HealthTech firm Elvie is reportedly the focus of a multi-million pound funding round led by IPGL, the private investment vehicle of City tycoon Michael Spencer. According to Sky News, the former Conservative Party treasurer is investing around £20 million in Elvie, a startup specialising in so-called ‘FemTech’ products including pelvic floor trainers for new mothers and digitally-controlled breast pumps.
Zuckerberg calls for social media regulation
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has called on governments and regulators to draw up new laws aimed at supporting big tech firms in the battle against online harms and misinformation. In an opinion column published in the Washington Post, he said that the responsibility for monitoring and controlling the content published to online platforms is too great for companies to shoulder alone, and that making the internet a safer place requires joint action.
Government awards £9m to UK HealthTech firms
Innovative digital technology projects to address key challenges in healthcare have received a £9 million funding boost through the government’s Digital Health Technology Catalyst. The catalyst, delivered by UK Research and Innovation, aims to accelerate the development of digital health innovation, under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
T-Mobile expands into mobile payments
T-Mobile is “putting Square and Clover on notice” with the launch of its GoPoint mobile Point of Sale (mPoS) solution, offering free same-day funding and no software licensing fees. The telecoms provider is also promising merchants 24/7 live technical support from a real person and the Business Marketplace suite of mobile device management and productivity software.
Orange invests in DevOps startup
Orange Digital Ventures has invested €3 million in Cycloid, a French startup that aims to make it easier for enterprises to adopt DevOps processes and transition to the cloud. Cycloid has developed a platform that “industrialises” the DevOps approach between developers and administrators and counters the increasing fragmentation of tools and hosting platforms.
ICO opens data protection sandbox
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has opened the beta phase of its regulatory sandbox, designed to support organisations using personal data to develop innovative products and services. Participants will be able to work with the ICO’s specialist staff to help ensure they comply with data protection rules, providing some comfort from enforcement action and, where feasible, increased public reassurance that products and services are not in breach of data protection legislation.
Report highlights Huawei security flaws
The UK’s cybersecurity watchdog has criticised Chinese firm Huawei for failing to fix software and security flaws in its mobile network technology, citing “significant technical issues” that need to be addressed. The Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board, chaired by Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, released its latest assessment of risk associated with use of Huawei’s equipment, raising concerns about “basic engineering competence and cyber security hygiene”.
Cisco launches Decibel tech VC firm
Cisco is planning a technology venture capital firm to invest in early-stage startups in sectors including enterprise, automation, security and open source software.
A third of IT bosses admit ‘systems not ready for AI’
Over one third of IT decision-makers (ITDMs) in the UK’s largest financial services firms believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the industry in the next decade – but the same percentage admitted that their infrastructure is not prepared for the transformation. A Censuswide survey of 200 ITDMs for data centre firm Digital Realty also found that they thought the potential for AI to transform their business functions outweighs the disruptive potential of other technologies.
Academic group calls for global e-waste action
An international team of experts has produced recommendations to reduce the harm to human health and the environment from current e-waste processing practices. Hazardous e-waste, such as old mobiles, computers and circuit boards is piling up at alarming rates – with 45 million metric tonnes recorded in 2016 for instance.
Google creates AI advisory council
Google has created an external advisory council to give it guidance on ethical issues relating to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The panel of independent experts will help it implement principles to address some of the company’s most complex challenges to do with facial recognition and ethics in automation.
FinTechs join government Future50 programme
FinTech challengers Starling, Monzo and Revolut have led the list of tech firms joining the government’s Future 50 startup programme.The mobile-only banks are among 24 new entrants for this year’s programme, which backs 50 of the UK’s fastest-growing late-stage tech startups in their efforts to scale-up by enabling contact with senior government decision-makers and a peer-to-peer network.
EU backs online copyright reforms
The European Parliament has backed controversial copyright reforms that aim to close loopholes which currently allow big tech companies such as Google and Facebook to provide news from third-party sources without paying for it. Yesterday’s vote saw 348 MEPs in favour of the Copyright Directive, with 278 against.
EU-funded Flame project trials 5G in Bristol
Set within the wider UK Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport (DCMS)-funded 5G programme, the H2020 Flame showcase demonstrated how 5G can be used to overcome the current obstacles that prevent multiple users experiencing shared and synchronised VR content.
Well Tech partners for Indian HealthTech accelerator
London-based tech development firm Well Tech has launched a new HealthTech accelerator in India, along with incubation platform Venture Catalysts. The new accelerator will back up to 10 startups annually for next three years, investing between $500,000 and $2 million in each of them. The total amount to be invested stands at around $20 million.
Huawei chairman says sales unaffected by US saga
Huawei’s chairman Eric Xu has rejected expectations that ongoing tensions with the US over spying concerns are affecting sales at the Chinese technology firm. Xu, who is currently serving in Huawei’s rotating chairmanship, said that revenue had risen 36 per cent in January and February this year, despite the company’s high profile battle with the US government over use of Huawei equipment in the rollout of 5G networks.
One in three City roles ‘under threat of automation’
More than a third of financial services jobs in The City of London are at risk of automation, according to a study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).The analysis concluded that 1.5 million jobs in England were at high risk of having some of their tasks automated, with 710,000 jobs located in The City’s financial services hub being under threat.
87% of IT leaders call for AI regulation
New research has revealed that 87 per cent of IT decision-makers believe that technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) should be subject to regulation. A study of 300 ITDMs from the UK and US commissioned by integration platform SnapLogic found a growing need for firms to focus on corporate responsibility and ethics it the development of AI solutions, with 94 per cent saying more attention needs to be paid to this area.
Study finds hidden tracking on government websites
When EU citizens visit their governments online, or when they access public health service resources about sensitive issues such as pregnancy, sexual health, cancer or mental illness, more than 100 commercial companies are systemically and invisibly tracking them. The warning comes from a report which used the Cookiebot web scanning technology on 184,683 pages on all EU main government websites, finding advertising technology trackers on 89 per cent of them.
EC to urge 5G cyber security data-sharing
The European Commission (EC) is set to encourage member states to share more data to boost their cyber security defences ahead of the roll out of 5G networks, according to reports.The EC is also poised to advise governments against acting upon US calls for an outright ban on using technology by Chinese firm Huawei, according to Reuters.
Inmarsat agrees $3.4 billion takeover
UK satellite firm Inmarsat has agreed to a $3.4 billion takeover offer from a consortium of private equity and pension plan investors, which see significant opportunities in global Internet of Things (IoT) and in-flight connectivity. The offer of $7.21 a share in cash is being made by a consortium of Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, who own the newly-formed Triton Bidco joint venture company.
Ford and GM double down on EV investment
Carmaking giants Ford and General Motors are both planning to up their investment in electric and self-driving vehicle technology, as the automotive industry continues its rapid shift towards greener vehicles.This morning Ford said it was planning to invest $900 million in boosting production capacity at its plant in Michigan, after Joe Hinrichs, the company’s head of global operations, said it had “ taken a fresh look” at electric and driverless vehicles.
Scottish government developing payment platform
The Scottish Government is working on a new payments platform for the public sector. In September 2018, a small team was set up to take a closer look at how payments are made and received, as part of a wider programme of public service reform.
£6bn a year spent on cybersecurity testing
More than £6 billion is spent every year on cyber security testing by UK firms responding to a rise in the number of data breaches, according to figures from Avord. A survey of businesses by the cyber security testing firm found that 93 per cent had seen an overall increase data breaches in the last five years, with a third of companies experiencing a breach in the past year.
Investigation launched into algorithmic bias
The potential for bias in the use of algorithms in crime and justice, financial services, recruitment and local government is set to be investigated by the Cabinet Office’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI). The government body stated that algorithms have huge potential for preventing crime, protecting the public and improving the way services are delivered, but decisions made in these areas are likely to have a significant impact on people’s lives, so public trust is essential.
EU regulators hit Google with $1.7bn fine
Google has been slapped with a $1.7 billion fine over unfair advertising practices by the EU’s competition watchdog.The penalty is the third EU fine for the online search giant since 2017.It follows a record $5 billion fine last July, after the EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager found the company had abused the dominance of its Android operating system. Google received its first fine for $2.7 billion in 2017 over its online shopping comparison services.
Europe falling behind in data-privacy compliance
European firms are lagging behind their Asian and US peers in the race to comply with data-privacy regulation, according to a report from Ant Financial and The Economist Intelligence Unit. The joint study surveyed by 250 chief executives in China, the US, Western Europe and South-East Asia to asses levels of preparedness amongst firms for data regulation, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
BPF finds UK well placed to lead in PropTech
The UK is well placed to become global hub for real estate technology and innovation, according to British Property Federation (BPF) research. The report suggested that the UK is already a front runner in terms of its capacity for innovation, data infrastructure, market transparency and quality of education, but falls behind other countries in terms of venture capital investment and technology infrastructure.
‘Not enough progress made’: GovTech survey
Industry body techUK has found that not enough progress is being made by the government on its commitments to help UK businesses with technology. Its latest report, which provides recommendations on how to improve small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) access to the public sector market, was informed by the fourth annual Govtech SME Survey.
Cloud could disrupt gaming industry
Consumer spending on cloud gaming content subscriptions is forecast to grow to $1.5 billion by 2023, and this sector creates new disruptive opportunities for cloud service providers, says IHS Markit.
UK firm wins competition for AI defence tech
UK-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Massive Analytic has won a Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition to investigate the application of its AI technology, Artificial Precognition, to enable defence and security forces to effectively conduct electromagnetic (EM) operations. Massive Analytic’s team has made progress in the automated recognition, understanding and classification of patterns with deep learning techniques. It is developing cognitive radio systems powered by the advanced mathematics to improve how UK defence can sense, manage, visualise and utilise the EM spectrum, in real-time.
Government spends £1bn on cloud transition
The government is set to spend more than £1 billion annually on transitioning to the cloud, according to new data. Figures obtained by the Telegraph showed that public sector bodies and government departments are expected to spend as much as £1.3 billion on cloud services in the year to April.
A third of SMEs lack cyber security strategy
A third of small of the UK’s small business are without any cyber security strategy, according to a new report that warns lacks of preparedness for a cyber attack could cost firms and their users thousands of pounds. A study from corporate responsibility body Business in the Community found that 42 per cent of small business reported at least one attack or data breach incident over the course of 2018. In 17 per cent of cyber security incidents it took the business and its systems at least a day to recover from the breach.
Three quarters of gov.uk websites ‘not secure’
Only a few weeks before the retirement of the Government Secure Intranet (GSI) platform, only 28 per cent of gov.uk domains have enabled Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). This means that nearly three-quarters are not following the minimum standard requirements suggested by the UK Government Digital Service (GDS) to authenticate email messages.
China slams ‘immoral’ spying claims
China’s top diplomat has lashed out at efforts to discredit Chinese technology firms on security grounds. State councillor Wang Yi, Beijing’s foreign minister, made a veiled reference to attempts led by the US government to boycott use of telecommunications technology produced by firms including Huawei, amid concerns that backdoors could be used for intelligence gathering by the Chinese government.
OneWeb secures $1.25bn in new funding
OneWeb has secured $1.25 billion in new capital, its largest fundraising round to date, which brings the total funds raised to $3.4 billion. This round was led by SoftBank Group, Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm Technologies and the Government of Rwanda.
Sky wants deals with alternative fibre operators
Satellite provider and broadband ISP Sky is in early talks with new network operators in a move to accelerate deployment of full-fibre networks, according to press reports.
'Data is the new oil’ says security expert
Data is like a raw material and as valuable as oil, according to the head of Morocco’s cyber security authority, who urged increased awareness and collaboration to keep this precious commodity safe. Colonel Major El Mostafa Rabii, director at maCERT, or the Moroccan Computer Emergency Response Team, told delegates at the HPS Powercard Users Meeting conference in Marrakesh that governments, regulators, businesses and citizens are all increasingly dependent on the internet and devices connected to it.
UK lags in Euro fibre rankings
There were close to 60 million Fibre To The Home or Business (FTTH/B) subscribers in September 2018 in Europe. The UK is bottom of the list in terms of fibre penetration, but is expected to shoot up to second place by 2025.
NAO criticises gov cyber security programme
Failings in the way the Cabinet Office established its current cyber security programme mean that the government does not know whether it will meet the programme’s goals and raises questions about its plans to tackle cyber attacks after 2021, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). The report stated that as UK has one of the world’s leading digital economies, it is more vulnerable to cyber attacks from hostile countries, criminal gangs and individuals, which continue to increase and evolve as it becomes easier and cheaper to launch them.
Expert warns over wearable tech data security
Personal data security is being put at risk as companies race to create wearable device-optimised versions of their apps, according to one expert.Mike Lynch, chief strategy officer at mobile device security firm InAuth, told National Technology News that while things like smart watches can offer useful insight, convenience and accessibility, with any new technology that collects consumer information, there is a potential for fraud if the right security measures are not in place.
BIS issues crypto exposure warning to banks
Cryptocurrencies could pose a risk to financial stability and increase the number of risks faced by banks, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). A statement issued by the BIS’ Basel Committee, which develops regulatory standards for central banks around the world, said that the increasing in bank exposure to the spread of crypto asset trading platforms and crypto currencies such as Bitcoin is heightening the level of risk for financial institutions.
The world’s most valuable tech brands in 2019
Amazon is the world’s most valuable tech brand, and while Samsung has fallen in brand value, Chinese brands Huawei and WeChat are growing, according to a new report.
Tech investment revealed at Spring Statement
The chancellor has announced several new policy and investment commitments in the technology sector in his Spring Statement. Despite being overshadowed by yesterday evening’s unsuccessful Brexit deal vote, Philip Hammond addressed parliament today with spending support for cutting-edge science and tech to help “transform the economy, create highly skilled jobs and boost living standards across the UK”.
Call for action on ‘bullying’ tech giants
An independent report into the dominance of online tech giants has called on the government to beef up the powers of regulators to scrutinise mergers and promote competition in the digital sector. The independent report led by Jason Furman, a former economic adviser to Barack Obama, was commissioned by the UK Treasury to assess the impact on competition of large tech companies who have a monopoly over web users’ online data.
Berlin-Tegel Airport launches smart navigation app
The Berlin airport app has been enhanced by a new functionality that helps users find their way inside the airport building.
Phishing attacks double in 2018 to almost 500m
Kaspersky Lab’s anti-phishing system prevented more than 482 million attempts to visit fraudulent web pages during 2018, a two-fold increase on 2017, when 236 million such attempts were blocked. Annual rises in the number of phishing attacks have been observed for the last few years, yet the figure for 2018 indicates a significant surge in the use and popularity of such attacks, according to the anti-virus software firm.
Web must be saved from ‘dysfunctional future’: Berners-Lee
The internet is set on a “downward plunge to a dysfunctional future” unless action is taken to correct its course, according to Tim Berners-Lee. In an interview with the BBC to mark thirty years since he invented the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee warned that he was “very concerned about nastiness and misinformation spreading” online.
Retail and banking to lead AI spend
IDC has broken down spending on Artificial Intelligence by sector, led by the retail industry, and followed by banking. "Significant worldwide artificial intelligence systems spend can now be seen within every industry as AI initiatives continue to optimises operations, transform the customer experience, and create new products and services", said Marianne Daquila, research manager, Customer Insights & Analysis at IDC.
IKEA’s SPACE10 smart town project links solar power by blockchain
IKEA’s SolarVille project has used a model town to evaluate how solar energy systems linked by microgrids and blockchain can open new opportunities, potentially allowing people to ‘leapfrog’ the traditional electricity grid.Created within IKEAS’s Space10 facility, the Solarville scheme is one of the company’s ‘Playful Research’ projects that aim to ‘democratise’ access to clean energy.
Tech disability champions appointed
The government has named its five new disability champions, selected to ensure technology and online businesses are not forgetting about their disabled customers. Marianne Waite, founder of Think Designable, has been appointed as brand and design champion; Paul Smyth, head of digital accessibility at Barclays, is the new web accessibility champion; Patrick Stephenson, client managing director for central and local government at Fujitsu, is the technology champion; Heather Smith, national equality specialist for the National Trust is the countryside and heritage champion; and Ed Warner, founder of Motionspot is the products and spaces champion.
Microsoft partners Mott MacDonald for smart city infrastructure
Microsoft is partnering with engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald to develop technologies to improve infrastructure and public services in cities around the world. The collaborative project will make use of Microsoft Azure’s live data and analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud capabilities to assist the UK-based consultancy firm in maintaining and improving urban infrastructure.
Data management issues cost UK £1.2m a year
UK organisations are scrambling to gain a competitive advantage in today’s digital economy, but failure to effectively manage their data can end up costing them dearly in lost productivity and missed opportunities. This was the finding of new research from Veritas Technologies, which commissioned Vanson Bourne to interview 1,500 IT decision makers and data managers across the US, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UAE, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Tech M&A deals reach five-year high
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity amongst enterprise software and IT and business services surged to a five year high of $182 billion in 2018, driven by deals from Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe and SAP. Hampleton Partners, an international technology M&A advisory firm, found consistent growth in transaction volume, multiples and valuations of enterprise software deals.
PropTech CapitalRise launches funding round
PropTech firm CapitalRise has launched its first equity crowdfunding campaign on Seeders. The London-based startup has developed a digital property crowdfunding platform that connects prime real estate developers with investors.
UK lands third place in tech disruptor ranking
The UK has risen one place, to third, in a global ranking of most promising countries in the world for innovation, disruption and technology, according to a report from KPMG. The UK came in behind the USA and China in the accounting firm’s 2019 assessment of the countries expected to produce the most disruptive technologies, but managed to break away from closest rival Japan, which nearly tied the UK for fourth place in 2018.
‘It’s time to rein in big tech’: Lords committee
The House of Lords Communications Committee has called for a new, overarching regulatory framework so that services in the digital world are held accountable to an enforceable set of shared principles. In a new report, the committee noted that over a dozen UK regulators have a remit covering the digital world, but there is no body which has complete oversight. As a result, regulation of the digital environment is fragmented, with gaps and overlaps meaning big tech companies have failed to adequately tackle online harms.
Block on Huawei will delay 5G rollout: Vodafone
Vodafone has warned that any move to block use of 5G equipment from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei would cost it hundreds of millions of pounds.Scott Petty, Vodafone’s chief technology officer, said that moves from the British government to bar Huawei’s involvement amid security concerns could “significantly” slow down the planned roll out of high speed 5G networks across the UK in the coming years. It would also require the mobile provider to strip out components from its existing 4G network.
JD.Com uses AR to teach ‘stranger danger’
Chinese retail giant JD.com is using its advanced technology to bring augmented reality (AR) features to a picture book that teaches children about ‘stranger danger’.The new AR book is based on the popular German children’s book “Ich geh doch nicht mit Jedem mit!” (“I’m not going with everyone!”) by Dagmar Geisler, a well-known volume among Chinese parents for the simple way it educates children about how to interact safely with strangers.
Regulator reveals cryptoassets research results
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published two pieces of research looking at UK consumer attitudes to cryptoassets - such as Bitcoin or Ether - indicating potential harms, including the fact that many consumers may not fully understand what they are purchasing. The research includes qualitative interviews with UK consumers and a national survey, which found that several of those interviewed talked of wanting to buy a ‘whole’ coin, suggesting they did not realise they could buy part of a cryptoasset.
Huawei sues US govt over security block law
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has stepped up its battle against US attempts to block use of its technology by suing the US government. Huawei said a law introduced by US president Donald Trump barring federal agencies and third party contractors from procuring Huawei’s equipment and technology services was unconstitutional, as it filed the case with a federal court in Texas.
Microsoft opens first data centres in Africa
Microsoft has tested and launched data centres in all types of location, including underwater ones off the shore of California, but it is finally opening its first facilities in Africa.
Tech startup to tackle water leaks
London tech startup Hero Labs has launched the UK’s first smart leak defence system. The company laid out plans to install its tech into thousands of properties in the UK in next two years – with a focus on mass-affluent consumers.
Huawei opens cyber security transparency centre in Brussels
China's Huawei has opened the doors to a new cybersecurity centre in Brussels today to offer more transparency about its products and services, in light of recent security concerns.
NAO delivers damning report on Gov.Verify
The National Audit Office (NAO) has published its investigation on Verify, the government’s flagship identity verification portal, finding performance has consistently been below the standards initially set and take-up among the public and departments has been much lower than expected. The Government Digital Service (GDS), part of the Cabinet Office, developed Verify to be the default way for people to prove their identities so they can access online government services securely. It originally intended for Verify to be largely self-funding by the end of March 2018.
Corporate AI adoption triples in 12 months
Corporate adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) has tripled in the last 12 months - with one in seven large companies having adopted AI - although increasing adoption overall masks a growing divergence between leaders and laggards in understanding of the actual technologies. This is according to a report from venture capital firm MMC Ventures, in association with Barclays, which revealed that within the next two years, two thirds of large companies claim they will have live AI initiatives, and over three years, the proportion of enterprises with AI initiatives will have grown from one in 25 to one in three.
Big business doesn’t grasp cyber risk: government
A government report has found that some of the UK’s leading companies are struggling to understand the potential impact of a cyberattack on their business, with less than a fifth (16 per cent) of boards having a full grasp of the threat. A joint survey of the cybersecurity threat landscape compiled by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) analysed the approach to cybersecurity among the UK’s FTSE 350 companies.
Novartis names trio joining UK HealthTech accelerator
Novartis and O2’s innovation arm Wayra UK have revealed that Virtue, TestCard and ExSeed will join its nine-month Health Hub accelerator programme. “After a rigorous judging day, I believe the innovations these three startups offer will make a significant difference to patients and the NHS,” said Novartis market access director Fiona Bride.
Juniper to acquire Mist Systems
Juniper Networks has agreed to acquire Mist Systems, a provider of ‘AI-driven WLAN’, for just over $400 million, to expand its presence in the cloud-managed segment of the wireless networking market.
Santander pumps £110m into tech research hub
Santander has invested £110 million in the expansion of a scientific research hub at Harwell Campus.The open access scientific facility in Oxfordshire is planning to begin work on a 400,000 square foot extension - in a development equivalent to the size of Wembley stadium - to provide scientific facilities and office spaces for private, public and academic organisations.
UK businesses ‘not confident’ of cyber security
Only 15 per cent of UK enterprises are confident in their ability to defend themselves in increasingly sophisticated threat landscape, according to LogRhythm research. The security intelligence company surveyed 1,500 IT professionals from organisations with over 1,000 employees, finding that over a third (38 per cent) are driven to make additional investments when a high-profile data breach occurs.
Cloud to serve as launchpad for scale and pace of digital innovation - IDC
Worldwide public cloud services spending is forecast to reach $160 billion this year, according to IDC. Worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is forecast to reach $210 billion in 2019, an increase of 23.8 per cent over 2018, according to the latest update to the International Data Corporation
FedEx launches e-commerce delivery bot trial
FedEx is looking to catch up with rival US delivery giant Amazon with the launch of an autonomous delivery bot based on Segway-style technology. Under a pilot scheme due to go live this summer in Memphis, the FedEx SameDay Bot will enable retail partners including PizzaHut and Walmart to accept orders from nearby customers for same-day and last mile delivery services.
OneWeb celebrates successful satellite launch
OneWeb has confirmed the successful launch of its first six broadband satellites aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. Lift-off occurred at 21.37 on 27 February, with the satellites separating from the rocket in two batches and signal acquisition confirmed for all six.
London top European city for tech unicorns
London continues to top the tables for investment in FinTech companies, with capital having the highest number of tech ‘unicorns’ in Europe. Data comped by technology and investment advisory firm GP Bullhound for London &Partners found that London’s tech companies attracted £1.8 billion in venture capital (VC) funding, more than any other European City.
Google for Startups relaunches London campus
Google has announced the appointment of serial entrepreneur Marta Krupinska as the new head of Google for Startups UK, in a shift of focus towards diversity and supporting underrepresented founders. The appointment comes as the Google for Startups Campus in London’s Shoreditch reopens next week, following a renovation. It first opened in London in April 2012 as one of the UK’s first open spaces for collaboration, workshops and events aimed at the startup community.
Barclays and UCL launch deep tech programme
Barclays and University College London (UCL) are launching a joint programme to support early stage ‘deep tech’ startups. Announcing the launch of the Conception X venture builder project this morning, Barclays said its £1.2 million investment would enable PhD students and UCL’s faculty of engineering to work with potential investors and future clients to develop startups in areas including AI, quantum computing and blockchain.
MP says it's ‘OK to fail’ in GovTech innovation
It is “OK to fail” while trying new technologies to improve government services, according to minister for implementation Oliver Dowden. Speaking on a podcast, the MP - whose brief inside the Cabinet Office includes oversight of the Government Digital Service - said one of the priorities was to highlight the best of what government is doing with emerging technologies and how it can be applied elsewhere.
BBC and ITV to launch BritBox in UK
ITV and the BBC said they are in the concluding phase of talks about establishing a strategic partnership to bring the BritBox SVOD service to the UK, allowing them to compete better with the likes of Netflix.
Accenture: Business and tech execs underestimate disruptive prospects of 5G
Business and technology executives globally underestimate the disruptive potential of 5G technology that will result from increased network speeds and capacity, according to results of a global study from Accenture.
Ford partners with MapTech firm What3Words
Ford is looking to upgrade its voice-command navigation technology through a new partnership with UK mapping tech startup What3Words. What3Words’ technology allows drivers to enter precise destinations by voice command. Its platform has mapped the planet into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, each of which have a three word tag, allowing for more accurate pinpointing of addresses.
5G roll-out ‘to cost $2.7 trillion by 2020’
The real cost of rolling out and implementing 5G telecoms technology across all sectors of the economy worldwide is expected to reach at least $2.7 trillion by the end of 2020, according to new research.A new report by capital finance firm Greensill found that high-speed 5G internet networks will demand $1 trillion of investment in telecoms infrastructure and a further $1.7 trillion for Internet of Things (IoT) and connected device technology.
IoT tech confidence increasing: Vodafone
More than a third (34 per cent) of businesses now use Internet of Things (IoT) devices, with 70 per cent of these adopters having moved beyond pilot stage, while 95 per cent have reported seeing the benefits of investment in this technology as it moves into the mainstream. This is according to Vodafone’s IoT Barometer report, which surveyed 1,758 businesses worldwide, finding that 60 per cent of those that use Wi-Fi connected or ‘smart’ devices agree that the tech has either completely disrupted their industry, or will do so in the next five years.
China role in 5G tech ‘goes beyond Huawei’: spy chief
The head of the Government’s Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has said the challenge of China’s emerging dominance as a global technology provider is much greater than Huawei’s involvement in 5G telecoms networks.Speaking in Singapore, Jeremy Fleming said that the speed of technological change was generating risk and security challenges for governments around the world.
CBSG Consortium trials international mobile wallet
The Carrier Blockchain Study Group has welcomed new telco members joining the consortium to collaborate on building a global cross-carrier blockchain platform and ecosystem. The group also tested a cross-border mobile payment service.
Disruption for Good Challenge returns
The Responsible Finance & Investment Foundation (RFI) has launched the Support Disruption for Good Challenge, returning for a third edition. The application period, which runs through 24 March, seeks FinTech firms and others which have developed technology that is useful for financial institutions to measure, manage and/or mitigate their indirect exposure to waste, emissions to air and water, and workplace health and safety.
VR trial reveals childcare improvements
Nine out of 10 children’s services experts in a trial of virtual reality (VR) technology to improve understanding of children who have experienced trauma, said that it could help improve the quality of care. A 12-month trial led by Cornerstone VR with social care workers, alongside adoption and foster services across 30 local authorities, gave staff an immersive insight into the some of the traumatic experiences and domestic environments experienced by the vulnerable children in their care, helping staff to identify potential triggers.
Government/industry AI skills scheme launches
Thousands of graduates are set to become qualified experts in artificial intelligence (AI) as part of a new joint government/industry package to drive up skills in the sector. For the first time, the UK will have a nationwide programme of industry-funded AI Masters courses, coupled with work-based placements.
BBC trials live radio over 5G
The broadcaster has started testing live radio broadcasts over 5G, which could help the BBC reach more people in rural areas in future.
JD.com and Rakuten trial unmanned delivery
China’s largest retailer JD.com, and e-commerce solutions provider Rakuten, have signed an agreement that will see the former’s drones and autonomous delivery robots utilised in the latter’s unmanned delivery solutions in Japan. Rakuten launched its drone delivery service in 2016, and has gained experience through trials in collaboration with corporate partners and local governments. In 2018, its first delivery was conducted using a combination of drones and autonomous delivery robots, in a step toward solving the last mile challenge for the logistics sector in Japan.
Excluding Huawei ‘like barring Man Utd’
Excluding Huawei from involvement in the UK’s 5G network is equivalent to leaving Manchester United out of the Premier League, the company’s head of carrier business has said. Ryan Ding told reporters yesterday that the Chinese telecoms giant would present a plan to address security concerns expressed by the UK authorities over use of its technology in the 5G high speed network by the first half of this year.
Codecool gets funding to fill digital skills shortage
Budapest-based IT education startup Codecool has received €3.5 million of Series B round venture capital - provided by Lead Ventures and Portfolion - to finance its European expansion. The company launched a disruptive model for training coding and other digital skills three years ago. It has now trained 400 people with no previous qualification on the digital field, to fulfil a programming jobs at nearly 100 corporate partners.
Samsung phone gets biometric certification
The new Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ smartphones are the first products to feature certification from the FIDO Alliance’s new Biometric Component Certification Program.
This validates that the new in-display fingerprint recognition system meets industry standards for user verification and detecting presentation - or ‘spoof’ - attacks.
National Technology Awards shortlist announced
The National Technology Awards’ shortlist has been announced, with a record number of entries across the 30 categories.The 3rd annual industry event celebrates the pioneers of technology across a variety of different sectors, from regulatory technology to manufacturing, gaming to security.
ThousandEyes bags $50m funding
ThousandEyes has raised $50 million in a Series D round of funding led by GV - formerly Google Ventures - bringing total funding to more than $110 million. Thomvest Ventures joined the round as a new investor, alongside existing investors Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Tenaya Capital.
Chip makers to reap rewards from the move of AI processing to the Edge
Revenue from the sale of Artificial Intelligence (AI) chipsets for edge networking will grow see a healthy growth by 2023, creating massive new potential revenue streams for chip vendors, according to ABI Research.
Musk ‘certain’ of self-driving cars by next year
Tesla’s outspoken chief executive Elon Musk has told a podcast he is “certain” that Tesla vehicles will be able to drive themselves without human intervention by the end of 2019, pending regulatory approval.In an interview with ARK Invest, he suggested that the driver may still have to pay attention to the road, but the vehicles would be capable of operating themselves by the end of this year.
40% of UK businesses fear 5G cyber threat
Two fifths (40 per cent) of UK businesses consider the risk of cyberattack as their major concern around the adoption of 5G, according to a new report from EY. A survey of 200 UK enterprises’ preparedness for high-speed 5G networks and Internet of Things (IoT) technology by the auditing firm, found that while UK businesses are increasing spending on the technology, there is still uncertainty surrounding the maturity of services.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has promoted a rapid but realistic expansion of fast internet infrastructure. At the Digitising Europe Summit organised by the Vodafone Institute, she said: "In the 5G discussion, everyone is saying that this is a good time to put all kinds of things into it, especially in parliament; but everything must also be physically feasible."
Tech firm lands contract to track all UK waste
Data analytics firm Topolytics has been selected by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to design a ‘smart' system to capture the more than 20 million movements of waste from their sources through to final processing or disposal. The Scottish company is working with the Ordnance Survey to create a system to monitor and track all of the UK's waste, from households to local authorities, businesses and the construction sector.
Manchester Airport becomes UK’s first ‘5G-connected’ airport
Vodafone UK is testing video streaming and other services at Manchester Airport as part of its ongoing 5G trials. The telco has switched on a 5G hotspot that enable customers to use a free ‘Entertainment Pass’ for streaming the NOW TV service to download and stream content.
Macquarie invests in drones and electric cars
Infrastructure giant Macquarie Group has invested in a map system for drones and electric vehicle sharing, the company’s senior vice president has said. The decision by the world’s largest manager of infrastructure assets to seed money in new technology suggests an industry-wide pivot towards sustainable forms of transport and delivery, as global businesses prepare for a future powered by environmentally responsible fuels.
Germany 'begins blockchain consultation'
The German government has launched a consultation into the potential of blockchain technology. Sources told Reuters that staff and industry groups working with startups developing blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions have been invited to submit recommendations from this week onwards.
UK 'can mitigate concerns over Huawei 5G involvement'
The UK’s security services have reportedly concluded that it has the ability to mitigate risks posed by by the use of Huawei-made components in the development of 5G networks. The Financial Times reported that an assessment led by researchers at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) concluded that the UK would be able to sidestep potential security risks arising from alleged Chinese state involvement in the development of Huawei technology.
J.P. Morgan issues its own digital coin
J.P. Morgan has become the first US bank to create and test a digital coin representing a fiat currency. The JPM Coin is based on blockchain technology, enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts.
MPs call for compulsory tech code of ethics
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee has published its final report on disinformation and ‘fake news’, calling for a Compulsory Code of Ethics for tech companies overseen by an independent regulator. The report also suggested that this regulator should be given powers to launch legal action against companies breaching the code, along with demanding that social media companies be obliged to take down known sources of harmful content.
Trakm8 Prime upgrades vehicle tracking solution
Telematics specialist Trakm8, the UK’s first fully-online vehicle tracking solution, has unveiled a new pricing and a 30-day rolling contract for its plug and play vehicle tracking solution, Trakm8 Prime.
ICO calls for a role in BigTech regulation
The Information Commissioner has called for UK involvement in global action to regulate the world’s biggest tech companies. In an address to the Institute for Government think tank yesterday, Elizabeth Denham, who heads the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said that the ICO would need to play a part in formulating and implementing any future regulation of social media and search engine giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.
UK smartphone shipments plummet, Brexit partly to blame
UK smartphone shipments declined 14 percent annually from 8.5 million units in Q4 2017 to 7.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.The UK is the largest smartphone market in Western Europe and it is suffering from weak sales, due to longer replacement rates, a lack of wow designs, and Brexit uncertainty causing consumers to hold off on some new purchases.
AI firm Peltarion lands $20m funding
Swedish artificial intelligence (AI) startup Peltarion, whose mission is to “advance humankind through artificial intelligence”, has secured $20 million in a Series A financing round led by Euclidean Capital.The raise, which was also saw further investment from Swedish investment family the Wallenbergs and EQT ventures, takes the firm’s total funding to $34 million.
J&J to buy surgical robotics firm for $3.4bn
Consumer and healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to acquire surgical robotics firm Auris for $3.4 billion cash, as part of plans to expand its digital surgery portfolio.
The deal will give J&J’s robotic surgery and medical device division Ethicon access to Auris’ Monarch device, which is used by surgeons via a remote control to direct a camera-ended scope through the patient’s body.
Vendors scaling down robo-taxi ops - research
Top end packages are not living up to consumer expectations, forcing a rethink in how companies approach autonomous technology currently used in robo-taxis, says a new report.
Google adds to warnings over AI risks
Google owner Alphabet has become the latest tech giant to warn that use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology could pose ethical and reputational issues capable of damaging their business.In financial filings submitted last week, Alphabet Group acknowledged the rapid growth of AI to automate technologies, but cautioned investors that unknown consequences of bots and machine learning could spell trouble for tech giants in the coming years, as consumers acquire better understanding of how the technology works and the impact it has upon their data.
Legacy tech ‘serious cyber risk’ to hospitals
A new report has warned of far-reaching implications that vulnerable legacy applications have for healthcare organisations when defending against cyber attacks. Co-authored by cybersecurity consultancy AbedGraham and healthcare data management specialists BridgeHead Software, the paper pointed out that with the devastating effect of the Wannacry attacks of 2017, and the increase of cyber-crime specifically targeting the healthcare industry, organisations need to take action to protect themselves.
Connells appoints eTech for surveying solution
Connells Survey & Valuation has partnered with eTech Solutions, adopting its mortgage valuation mobile app for the completion of valuation reports. A statement from the property management group explained that moving to eTech’s software will bring efficiencies to its surveying team, providing a platform to deliver further planned enhancements to customer service.
Softbank invests $940m in driverless delivery startup
Nuro, an autonomous delivery vehicle firm has secured $940m from Softbank’s Vision Fund in a funding round that values the company at $2.7 billion. The $100 billion megafund is betting on the Silicon-valley based firm as Nuro races ahead of the pack in developing compact local delivery robots for short, unmanned journeys.
Amazon buys eero to expand smart home portfolio
Amazon has agreed to buy eero, a specialist in home mesh wireless that was an early mover in the mesh router space. Like other providers, the company uses multiple access points to create a customisable Wi-Fi ‘blanket’ for the home, creating a system that is performing, reliable and simple.
Govt blockchain understanding ‘lamentable’
A panel of experts at the London Blockchain Week conference took aim at regulation yesterday, with one calling the authorities’ understanding of the emerging technology ‘lamentable’.Jonny Fry, chief executive of sector advisory firm Team Blockchain, noted that at industry events he’s attended in other countries, delegates have told him how lucky he is to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – “a regulator that actually listens to industry”.
Jumio launches biometric video selfie tech
Jumio, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven digital identity startup is launching a video selfie-enabled authentication tool for banks and other businesses. Jumio Authentication allows customers to record a video of themselves to prove they are the account holder and verify high-risk transactions, restore forgotten passwords and unlock rental cars, in a secure method that replaces manual passwords and guards against online fraud.
Trump signs order for AI investment
Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order mandating federal government agencies to prioritise funding and research into artificial intelligence (AI), according to reports.The US president is said to want to use the American AI Initiative (AIA) to enable agencies to access federal data and research models to help realign the US economy and workforce for the rise of the era of AI, Reuters news reported.
Boots plans new MedTech hub
An £8 million hub designed to bring new medical technologies to market is being planned for Boots' Enterprise Zone in Beeston. The pharmacy group has partnered with Nottingham Trent University's Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (MTIF) to develop products and materials aimed at meeting future healthcare needs.
KPMG report warns of IT skills shortage
A new report from KPMG and the REC has revealed rising demand for both permanent and temporary IT workers during January. Adjusted for seasonality, the IT and computing permanent vacancies index registered well above the neutral 50.0 level at 61.1 in January.
ICO readies regulatory sandbox for April launch
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has developed a “fully functioning” beta phase of its planned regulatory sandbox, with the aim of opening for applications at the end of April. In November, an analysis of the call for views was published, exploring a range of issues, from identifying areas where data protection might be perceived as a barrier to innovation, to the general scope of the sandbox and on to some more detailed questions about what mechanisms and operational approaches we should take.
Orbex unveils rocket with 3D printed engine
The UK-based company has unveiled a new rocket featuring the world's largest 3D printed rocket engine. Orbex also unveiled new customers in the shape of smallsat manufacturer SSTL and Astrocast, which is building a global satellite IoT network.
Huawei security measures ‘could take 5 years’
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has admitted that it will take three to five years to address security issues highlighted by a UK government report last year, according to a letter sent to lawmakers by Ryan Ding, president of the firm’s carrier business group.The letter, seen by Reuters news, stated that a $2 billion commitment from the company to address security concerns with Huawei equipment will take a number of years to see results, amid mounting scrutiny of the firm’s relationship with the Chinese government.
Cambridge first to rollout Urban Data Project
As part of its smart city project, the UK city of Cambridge has revealed that it will build a digital mosaic of street-by-street, minute-by-minute information that will generate trusted IoT data.
ASI Data Science launches AI brand Faculty
UK technology firm ASI Data Science has launched new artificial intelligence (AI) brand called Faculty, aimed at helping companies to harness machine learning. In addition to offering business customers AI-driven strategy, skills and software services, Faculty has been appointed to run a cross-government AI adoption review to identify areas in which government departments should be investing in AI.
The global cloud top 10 revealed
According to new research, worldwide cloud infrastructure spending reached $23 billion in Q4, with spending forecast to grow fast, but only one telecoms company makes it into the global 10 list.
Auto industry ‘not ready for cyber attack on smart vehicles’
An overwhelming majority (84 per cent) of automotive professionals have warned that vehicle manufacturers are failing to ensure their cyber security practices are keeping pace with evolving technologies, leading 62 per cent to expect a cyber attack on smart car systems in the coming year. A survey of 593 professionals from automotive manufacturers and suppliers commissioned by software firm Synopsys and engineering association SAE International, also highlighted a number of deficiencies across the automotive industry in preparing for the adoption of software-enabled and Wi-Fi-connected vehicles, with the typical organisation having only nine full-time employees devoted to cyber security.
Amazon eyes public transport delivery option
Amazon is weighing up the option of delivering packages to their customers on public transport.The e-commerce giant has published a patent for mobile delivery locations which would see packages collected on “vehicles the user takes every day travelling from the office to the home”, such as a bus.
Labour demands regulation of digital market
The Labour Party has called for a state regulator to fix the “distorted” and dystopian digital market dominated by social media and tech giants which are at risk of subverting democracy and causing serious social harm. In a speech in London today, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson - who is also shadow secretary of state for digital culture, media and sport - will set out his party’s proposals for a new statutory regulator with powers to prevent market abuse and break up “monopolistic” technology companies which have a stranglehold over the content viewed by billions online.
Facebook bolsters blockchain team
Facebook has hired a team of blockchain experts from London startup Chainspace, prompting renewed speculation that the social media giant is drawing up plans for a blockchain-based payments technology. According to the news site Cheddar, the so-called ‘acqui-hire’ of four of the five founding members of Chainspace is the next stage in the development of Facebook’s blockchain unit, led by former PayPal president David Marcus.
University of Surrey kicks off €5m blockchain project
A new collaborative project that will support startups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in using blockchain technologies has been awarded €5 million funding from the European Union. Blockstart unites the University of Surrey with SETsquared Surrey, and partners across Europe, to drive small business innovation in the areas of health, logistics and agrifood.
SSC and Goonhilly to co-develop new space capabilities
Goonhilly Earth Station and Shetland Space Centre have teamed to form a north-south partnership that will develop rocket launch and tracking business capabilities for the emerging new space launch sector.
Nearly 60,000 data breaches reported since GDPR
Over 59,000 data breach notifications have been reported across the European Economic Area by public and private organisations since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force last May 2018, according to DLA Piper. The Netherlands, Germany and the UK topped the table in the report, with approximately 15,400, 12,600, and 10,600 reported breaches respectively. The lowest numbers of reported breaches were made in Liechtenstein, Iceland and Cyprus, with just 15, 25 and 35 reported breaches respectively.
NHS makes £1m available for digital social care
Local authorities developing digital social care projects are set to be boosted by Social Care Digital Innovation Programme (SCDIP) funding worth over £1 million. Projects that support innovative uses of digital technology in the design and delivery of adult social care are set to share the money, provided by NHS Digital and managed by the Local Government Association.
AI HealthTech firm raises €2.75m
HealthTech firm Medicus has announced the completion of the first tranche of its Series A funding round at €2.75 million, with the second tranche of over €2.25 million due over the coming months. Medicus is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that interprets medical reports and health data. It works with diagnostic labs to deliver insights to both doctors - in terms of smart testing and diagnosis support - and patients - in the form of visual and interactive reports.
Army trains in virtual reality with £1m trial
The British Army has awarded a software developer a £1 million contract to explore how virtual reality can be integrated into its soldier training programmes. The Virtual Reality in Land Training (VRLT) pilot has been developed by Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BiSim), a global developer of military simulation and training software based in the US.
Bionic arm startup secures £4.6m funding
Bristol-based prosthetics startup Open Bionics has secured £4.6 million funding to boost production of its 3D-printed arms for young people in the UK and overseas markets.The company has developed a Hero Arm prostheses specifically for children and young people, which uses 3D printing to create a low-cost and lightweight arms controlled via sensors that detect and respond to movement in the upper arm muscles. The device, which is designed to adapt with the user as they grow, can be used by children as young as nine years-old.
UK to launch £800m fund for tech research
The government is to announce an £800 million investment into university research covering robotics, cybersecurity, medical technology and offshore wind energy.The funding from UK Research and Innovation, the national agency for supporting science and research, will fuel the government’s plans to set up 75 new centres for PhD training at leading UK universities and set aside £445 million to fund the research.
Merck secures patent for AI and blockchain
US pharmaceuticals company Merck has been granted a patent for ‘crypto-objects’ technology which combines artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to link physical objects in the real world. The company says the process uses machine learning to issue physical objects with a unique identifier or digitally ‘fingerprint’, which is then verified and stored on the blockchain network. It is currently being developed by an innovation project in the Merck Innovation Center.
Social media firms must have legal ‘duty of care'
The Science and Technology Committee has concluded that social media companies must be subject to a legal duty of care to help protect young people’s health and wellbeing when accessing their sites. Figures produced by Ofcom indicate that 70 per cent of 12 to 15 year-olds have a profile on a social media, while the OECD reports that 94.8 per cent of 15-year olds in the UK used social media sites before or after school.
Less than half SMEs ‘have tech advantage’
Less than half (46 per cent) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK feel that they have the upper hand in applying the latest technology, according to American Express.A global study of senior executives at 3,000 SMEs conducted by Oxford Economics for American Express also found that more than two thirds (64 per cent) felt threatened by the burden of changes in the regulatory and political landscape, given rising uncertainty over Brexit.
Waste management firm bins crypto-payments
A UK-based waste management firm has ditched a scheme which allowed firms to pay them Bitcoin, after finding that digital currency was proving to be an “unreliable” source of payment. BusinessWaste had announced in 2017 that it would become the first in the industry to accept cryptocurrencies - including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin - in order to offer its customers flexible payments options in an increasingly digital age.
Autonomous vehicle InsurTech raises $5m
Autonomous vehicle InsurTech firm Avinew has announced $5 million in seed funding, with investment led by Crosscut and additional participation from American Family Ventures, Draper Frontier and RPM Ventures. Through Avinew’s proposed insurance solutions, consumers and fleets who own vehicles equipped with autonomous and semi-autonomous capabilities will have access to insurance that will reward them for using their vehicle’s safety features. Currently, selected vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes, Ford, GM, Nissan, Audi, Volvo and more will be eligible.
US and China ahead of the pack in AI development
The US and China have “stolen a lead” on other nations in the race to harness artificial intelligence (AI), according to a new report by the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).The WIPO study - the first of its kind to track trends in the development and application of AI techniques - found that China accounted for 17 of the top 20 academic institutions for patenting AI, with a focus on developing “deep learning” and neural network methods, which use machine learning to map speech recognition patterns and similar trends.
The increasing meaninglessness of AI
The term artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the most ubiquitous in the tech sector, with companies from financial services to retail, healthcare to agriculture all claiming to be harnessing the power of algorithmic automation. But in the rush for competitive advantage, many may be spending money and time on irrelevant technology and further confusing consumers on what actually constitutes AI.
Robotics firm launches ‘digital worker’ bots
Robotic process automation (RPA) firm Automation Anywhere has launched a range of human-centric ‘digital workers’ that combine task-oriented, cognitive and analytical abilities to automate repetitive tasks and speed up digital transformation.The digital workers are built to support human workers in specific business functions across a range of business functions, and come equipped with specific skillsets, including a digital accounts payable clerk, a digital talent sourcer, or a digital IT operations engineer.
Global ransomware attack 'could cost $193bn'
A global ransomware attack affecting more than 600,000 businesses could inflict up to $193 billion of economic damage worldwide, according to a report which studied a hypothetical cyberattack as part of a risk management model.The report, compiled by a group of leading insurance and risk modelling institutions, including Lloyds of London, Aon and the University of Cambridge, tested the potential impact of a ransomware attack in which malware is sent to a business via an infected phishing email, which is opened by one employee and from there automatically forwarded to all contacts.
London PropTech secures €4.6m funding
PropTech startup Hubble has just secured €4.6 million in Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley-based JLL Spark Global Venture Fund. Other investors participated in the round included Downing Ventures, the directors of M7 Real Estate and Starwood Capital, bringing its total capital to €7.35 million.
Gov announces cyber security design plan
Business secretary Greg Clark has announced new measures aimed at helping digital device and online service providers to ‘design out’ some of the most damaging cyber security threats. In an announcement timed to coincide with yesterday’s data privacy day, Clark announced that designers of online services and digitally-enabled products will be encouraged to develop hardware solutions to complement software to tackle the rising threat of cyberattack.
Global IT spend to reach $3.8 trillion in 2019
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.76 trillion in 2019, an increase of 3.2 percent from 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. “Despite uncertainty fuelled by recession rumours, Brexit, and trade wars and tariffs, the likely scenario for IT spending in 2019 is growth,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “However, there are a lot of dynamic changes happening in regards to which segments will be driving growth in the future.”
Brits undecided on driverless car dilemma
Driverless cars could have to make life-and-death decisions that more than a third of drivers would prefer not to think about until they happen. A survey has revealed that more than half (59 per cent) of Brits think that if they were the passenger in a fully autonomous vehicle, and it had no choice but to crash, it should put them at risk if the alternatives risked more lives.
Capgemini launches enterprise AI services
Technology consultancy Capgemini has launched a range of services aimed at helping businesses to keep up in the artificial intelligence (AI) “arms race”. Arguing that the adoption and application of AI is critical for growth and survival in the coming years, Capgemini has introduced its Perform AI portfolio to let clients roll out enterprise-grade AI across their business.
Japan set to hack citizens' IoT devices
The Japanese government is set to conduct some proactive hacking of Internet of Things (IoT) devices as part of a safety survey ahead of next year’s Olympic Games. The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will use default passwords to attempt to gain access to more than 200 million citizens’ connected devices, including routers and web cams.
BP invests $5m in AI geoscience platform
BP Ventures has invested $5 million in Belmont Technology, a US startup that has developed a cloud-based and artificial intelligence (AI) driven geoscience platform.
The energy giant’s investment arm made the investment as part of Belmont’s Series A financing round as it seeks to bolster AI and digital capabilities, as well as exploring opportunities to apply machine learning and cognitive computing in its global oil and gas business.
Brexit uncertainty stalls £27bn of IT projects
Businesses in the UK have hit the pause button on more than £27 billion worth of IT, digital and technology projects as they wait on the outcome of Brexit, according to new research.A survey of 504 business leaders conducted by polling firm Opinium for internet service provider Beaming found that almost a third (31 per cent) of companies in the UK - equivalent to 1.7 million businesses nationwide - have put IT initiatives schedule for 2019 on hold due to Brexit uncertainty.
AI ‘will require social safety net’
Artificial intelligence (AI) will help economies grow, but will also require greater investment in social security safety nets, according to a new report from Credit Suisse. Produced in conjunction with several economic, social policy and technology professors, the document - published at this week’s Davos summit - delves into the impact of technological progress on employees, businesses and society at large.
Minister launches new GovTech challenges
The government has announced five new challenges for the UK’s GovTech companies, as part of a programme that enables private sector firms to come up with ideas to solve digital problems in the public sector.Speaking at the ICT conference this week, minister for implementation Oliver Dowden set out the third round of challenges open to bids for contracts under the £20 million GovTech Catalyst programme.
Latvian PropTech raises €1m and moves to London
Latvian PropTech startup Giraffe360 has secured €1.1 million in its second funding round led by Change Ventures and moved its headquarters to London despite the uncertainty around Brexit. It had previously raised €500,000 in a seed round led by Koha Capital.
Amazon trials autonomous delivery robot
Amazon has begun trials of an autonomous delivery robot called Scout.The blue, six-wheeled bot which is “about the size of a small cooler” will be trialled in neighbourhoods in Snohomish County close to the e-commerce giant’s Seattle headquarters.
Microsoft Bing inaccessible in China
Microsoft’s Bing search engine is currently unavailable to some users in China, the company has said. “We’ve confirmed that Bing is currently inaccessible in China and are engaged to determine next steps,” the company said in a statement seen by Reuters news.
Owl Ventures raises $315m for EdTech
Owl Ventures has closed $315 million for its third fund, which will make early and growth stage investments in education technology companies across early childhood, higher education and professional learning. Owl Ventures has over $600 million in assets under management and has invested in 24 companies since its founding in 2014.
PM Connect partners with Proximus
UK mobile payments provider PM Connect has signed a partnership deal with Proximus, Belgium’s largest mobile carrier, to bring its subscription services for sports to more than six million mobile customers.PM Connect, a Birmingham based firm founded in 2008, provides mobile payments processing and interactive mobile content.
MedTech HighLife closes €32m fundraise
MedTech company HighLife has closed a €32 million Series B round equity financing round co-led by US Venture Partners and Andera Partners. Sectoral Asset Management and Jose Calle Gordo, chairman of the company, joined the round, while Sofinnova Partners - which led the Series A round - also invested.
IBM on cloud nine after Q4 results
IBM has posted its first annual revenue growth since 2011, as the company’s cloud, software and services growth strategy begins to bear fruit. Shares in the US technology services giant rose seven per cent after its fourth quarter earnings estimates were announced, stating it was on track to post above expectations full-year profits.
Food delivery robots launch on US campus
Students on a US university campus will soon be able to take convenience food to a new level with the arrival of a fleet of food delivery robots. The partnership between food a facilities management firm Sodexo and autonomous delivery firm Starship Technologies will launch food delivery bots to 40,000 students, faculty and staff at George Mason University’s Campus in Virginia.
Computational law startup raises $4m
Symbium has announced a $4 million round of seed financing led by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners (HWVP). This investment will help the computational law (Complaw) startup expand its services in cities and counties across California. Mitchell Kertzman, former chief executive of Sybase and current managing director at HWVP, will join Symbium's board.
Church of England uses cashless donation tech
The Church of England is trialling a ‘digital collection box’ solution for making charitable donations via contactless technology from SumUp. Using a card reader and smartphone, members of church congregations can now donate with their card, rather than cash. Parishioners can choose a donation amount - from four set by the Church itself - and pay in seconds.
PropTech analytics firm lands £3m
Real estate analytics platform REalyse has secured £3 million funding to expand its PropTech platform.The Series A funding round was led by venture capital firm Anthemis and XTX Ventures, the venture capital arm of XTX Markets, a global electronic liquidity provider.
Google fined £44m by French authorities
Google has been handed a record €50 million (£44 million) fine by France’s data watchdog in the first penalty to stem from the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR). France’s data regulator CNIL said it was levying the fine on the search giant for failing to provide transparent and easy to access information on its data consent policies and opt-ins and opt-outs for use of personal data, both of which fall below the strict data protection and management protocols set out in GDPR regulation.
Smart Home startup Den raises £2m
London-based smart home startup Den has raised £2 million in a funding round led by investors including Ian Marchant, former chief executive of SSE energy, and Betfair founder Mark Davies.The latest raise takes the total investment to £5 million since the startup was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Yasser Khattak, who was then 17.
Ministers under pressure over Huawei 5G involvement
Government ministers are expected to come under further pressure this week to sideline Chinese telecoms firm Huawei from 5G infrastructure projects over spying concerns. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, the chairman of the science and technology committee, is set to write to Jeremy Wright, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, to reveal whether the UK will take action to bar Huawei from involvement in next generation telecoms networks.
Digital therapeutics firm raises $10m
Kaia Health, creator of the world’s leading back pain app, has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Balderton Capital. The investment will be used to support a US roll-out - including a new office in New York City - and to fund further clinical studies.
Tech growth weakest for three years: KPMG
UK tech companies have experienced a loss of momentum in the final quarter of 2018, according to KPMG’s latest market analysis, which found business activity expansion at its slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2015. Uncertainty around Brexit and global trade frictions have dented client confidence, but buoyant staff hiring and capital spending plans are still in place for 2019, according to the survey.
Fossil sells $40m smartwatch tech to Google
Fossil Group has agreed to sell intellectual property (IP) related to its smartwatch technology to Google for $40 million. The American fashion brand said that under the terms of the deal, its research and development team would be joining Google to support the ongoing development of the technology.
Cook calls for new data ‘shadow economy’ law
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has called for the introduction of a national privacy law in the US in to tackle the “shadow economy” which trades in citizens’ personal data without their permission. Writing in a column for Time Magazine, the tech giant boss stepped up his campaign against data gathering and brokering by firms with a view to profit, arguing that companies have a responsibility to be more transparent about the data they hold, and that individuals should be given greater powers to request deletion of data held about them.
Enterprise to buy travel tech Deem
Car rental giant Enterprise has announced its intent to acquire travel technology platform Deem. The deal would provide Deem with an infusion of capital and resources to help further expand its product roadmap and increase the pace of development and enhancements.
IBM and Vodafone in £426m cloud & 5G deal
IBM is linking up with Vodafone’s business unit in a two-stage deal worth £426 million that will create joint cloud and hosting services, in addition to building artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to help companies prepare for 5G connectivity. As part of the eight year managed-serviced deal, Vodafone has agreed to pay IBM to provide jointly-delivered enterprise solutions to businesses. It will also enable Vodafone Business customers to access IBM’s cloud offerings.
Fitbits used for digital health research
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a project using Fitbit wearable tracking devices to research digital healthcare. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) project forms part of an existing digital health experiment launched in May 2018 called All of Us. Fitbit users currently enrolled in this can now choose to sync their accounts to help researchers unlock deeper insights into the relationships between health indicators such as physical activity, heart rate, sleep and health outcomes.
Oil industry invests in blockchain platform
Major oil industry players Chevron, Total and Reliance Industries have made a strategic investment in blockchain-based post-trading platform, highlighting the expansion of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the commodities industry. Vakt is a London- based post-trade lifecycle management platform which aims to create a digital ecosystem for the commodities industry powered by blockchain.
Majority set to invest in digital: report
A vast majority of businesses will increase their investments in digital technology over the coming year, and many expect IT modernisation to fuel future transformation efforts that lead to cost savings and greater profitability. This is according to a new global survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by IT services firm DXC Technology.
GovTech Cloud platform expands to cope with Brexit demand
Public sector cloud services provider UKCloud has announced that it has completed an expansion of its sovereign cloud platform to support public sector organisations through Brexit-related challenges. The cloud data storage platform cited growing concerns about the implications of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on areas such as customer capacity, IT supply chain logistics, the cost of US dollar-based licenses and services, and uncertainty as to long term requirements of data protection regulations and national security needs.
Brits reveal home smart tech desires
Nearly a third (32 per cent) of UK consumers would be happy to welcome a laundry-folding robot into their home, according to a survey of the most desirable smart home tech devices of the near future. An analysis of a Mindshare survey of more than 6,000 UK consumers by RecycleZone also found that a smart thermostat which automatically adjusts to an individual’s body temperature tops the wish list, with 46 per cent of Brits saying this is the tech they would most like to own in their home.
Liverpool puts public archives into the cloud
Liverpool Record Office has chosen Preservica’s cloud-based active digital preservation software to create a new online archive and to digitally preserve culturally significant records dating back to the 13th century. The new system will enable greater use of the archive’s digital collections by academic researchers, the local council, community groups and the general public. Currently many requests to the archive are handled manually, with material transferred and made available on CDs and memory sticks.
AVORA raises £5m, plans US expansion
AVORA has raised £5.1 million in a Series A funding round led by Albion VC and existing investor Crane. The machine learning-powered enterprise analytics platform also saw several previous backers reinvest, including former Salesforce chairman Steve Garnett and former Sage Group chief executive Stephen Kelly.
US gov shutdown disrupts official site security
The US government shutdown has led to the website security certificates for agencies like NASA and the Department of Justice expiring, limiting some services and leaving them exposed to cyber attack. The shutdown is already the longest in US history and shows no imminent signs of ending, as president Donald Trump holds out for concessions from the Democrats over his budget plans. It has so far affected around 800,000 federal staff, with roughly half of those having been placed on furlough.
Wearable HealthTech spend to hit $60bn by 2023
Wearables, including health trackers and remote patient monitoring devices, are set to become ‘must haves’ in delivering healthcare, with $20 billion forecast to be spent annually on these devices by 2023. This is according to market analysis by Juniper Research, which also suggested that connected hearing aids made available via healthcare providers - as well as directly to customers at varying price models - will mean this sector generates revenues of over $40 billion by 2022.
Three quarters back smart city traffic tech
Nearly three quarters of Brits think that ‘smart city’ infrastructure, such as smart traffic lights and automatic bollard systems, could help to reduce traffic congestion in the UK’s urban centres.A survey of city-dwellers by Security firm ATG Access found that 65 per cent are frustrated with the levels of congestion. Londoners were the most frustrated with traffic levels, with 76 per cent venting their ire.
Google data censorship ‘should be limited to EU’
Google should be able to ringfence the “right to be forgotten” to searches made in the European Union, the advocate general has found in a preliminary opinion over a French fine.The internet search giant welcomed the opinion advanced by Maciej Szpunar, the advocate general and top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which stated that Google and other search engines should only be required to delist sensitive information about individuals which appears in searches made in the EU - not the rest of the world.
Commercial drone market to be worth over $15bn
The growing market for commercial UAS (unmanned aerial systems) platforms and associated services will grow to over $15.1 billion by 2027, driven by various sectors, but this will require the right regulation, according to a new report.
Amazon to invest in French robotics firm Balyo
Amazon could buy almost a third of shares in a French warehouse robotics firm that specialises in self-driving forklift trucks.The e-commerce giant is reportedly planning to boost its stake in Balyo over the next seven years in a deal that could drive up sales of the French firm’s automated warehouse technology.
First AI-centric data centre switch
Huawei has unveiled what it claims is the industry’s first data centre switch built for the Artificial Intelligence era, the CloudEngine 16800. According to the vendor’s Global Industry Vision 2025 report, the AI adoption rate will increase from 16% in 2015 to 86% in 2025.
Alibaba buys German data startup for £80m
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has bought German data analysis startup Data Artisans in a deal reportedly valuing the company at around €90 million. The acquisition will also see Alibaba invest an undisclosed sum to develop Data Artisan’s Apache Flink, an open source data processing software.
Small-satellites market is heating up
The small-satellite launch service market is gaining pace with 89 small satellites launched in the third quarter of 2018 and thousands more expected. A whole range of applications will be supported for different industries.
Drone sighting halts Heathrow flights
Flights at Heathrow airport were suspended for an hour yesterday evening as police responded to reports of a potential drone sighting above the runway, less than a month after drone sightings caused Christmas travel chaos at Gatwick airport. Flights were grounded for approximately half an hour and the military was called in to assist after police investigated reports of a device flying above the airport.
IBM unveils first quantum computer for commercial use
At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, IBM has unveiled Q System One, the world's first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use. IBM Q systems are designed to one day tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical systems to handle. Future applications of quantum computing may include finding new ways to model financial data and isolating key global risk factors to make better investments, or finding the optimal path across global systems for ultra-efficient logistics for deliveries.
Intel’s Mobileye partners Ordnance Survey for mapping data
Intel’s self-driving data firm Mobileye is partnering with Ordnance Survey, the UK’s mapping agency, to build an accurate picture of the UK’s under and overground infrastructure. The deal, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will draw upon Mobileye’s camera-based and self-driving mapping data combined with Ordnance Survey’s geospatial expertise to offer smart mapping of UK road networks to markets including the energy and infrastructure sector.
Samsung warns of profit fall
Apple is not the only one with woes, as Samsung Electronics said it expects fourth-quarter operating profit to fall 29%.
Amazon unveils in-garage delivery option
Amazon customers will soon have the option to have parcels left in the garage, according to an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Amazon Key service, which is integrated with the Key app, is set to be available to in the US to Prime customers with garages fitted with MyQ technology from the second quarter of 2019, the company said.
Government to extend drone exclusion zone
Police are to be given new legal powers to combat illegal drone use after flights were suspended for two days last month at Gatwick airport due to drone sightings over the runway, resulting in holiday travel chaos.Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, has said that the government is to extend the drone exclusion zone around UK airports to around five kilometres, including extensions for runways, up from the 1km zone which currently applies.
Terminology confusion ‘stifling cyber insurance’
The lack of standard terminology in cyber insurance policies causes confusion for brokers and customers, and is ultimately stifling market growth, according to cyber insurance comparison engine Cyber|Decider. While demand for cyber insurance is growing, there is much confusion about the policies available and the terms of cover because insurers fail to use standard wordings. For instance, what one firm calls ‘network expenditure’, another terms ‘data restoration costs’, while in some policies the definition of 'computer' also includes ‘industrial control systems’ and in others it does not.
Huawei server chip takes aim at the cloud
Huawei has unveiled a new ARM-based server CPU and a new line of servers boasting higher computing power for data centres.
Boots buys digital healthcare company
Boots UK has acquired Wiggly-Amps, a health technology company which has developed an accessible digital solution that enables patients and their GPs to manage their prescription needs. Richard Bradley, pharmacy director at Boots UK, said he was looking for ways to make things simpler and quicker for customers and patients. “It’s an exciting time for the future of pharmacy and today’s announcement is just one of the ways we are strengthening the development of our digital healthcare ambitions.”
Mercedes accelerates autonomous vehicle plans
Mercedes-Benz is pushing forward with efforts to be one of the first two companies developing self-driving vehicles to scale up the technology. Speaking to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag over the weekend, the car manufacturer’s North American head of autonomous driving Christoph Schroeder acknowledged that Google is leading the field in autonomous vehicle technology with its Waymo division, which completed the highest number of test miles with its prototype vehicles.
Amazon expands fleet with 10 new planes
Amazon has expanded its fleet of dedicated cargo delivery aircraft with the lease of 10 new Boeing 767 planes. The e-commerce giant announced it was stepping up its Prime delivery fleet, taking the total number of cargo aircraft leased through its partnership with Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to 50.
Alphabet life sciences company raises $1 billion
Verily, a life sciences division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has raised $1 billion in its latest funding round.Reuters news reported that the company, formerly called Google Life Sciences, has raised the money in an investment round led by Silver Lake, a private equity firm specialising in technology investment.
ERA: Streaming drives entertainment sales in 2018
The entertainment market is now three quarters digital, while the video games sector now accounts for more than half of the UK's entire entertainment market, according to a new report. Booming streaming services helped the UK entertainment market to another all-time-high of £7.537 billion in 2018, according to preliminary data compiled by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
Mobile biometrics to top $1.67trn by 2023
Goode Intelligence forecasts that over $1.67 trillion of mobile biometric payments will be made annually by 2023 and over $8.7 billion revenue will be generated for suppliers of mobile biometric technology by 2023. Mobile biometrics have transformed how financial firms identify and authenticate customers, enabling them to dispense with inconvenient technologies that have been shoehorned to work on smart mobile devices.
Nokia completes video business sale to Volaris
Nokia has completed the sale of its IP video business to the Canada’s Volaris Group for an undisclosed sum, following news of the divestment first announced in September.
Shares in Apple slump on sales forecast cut
Shares in Apple plummeted by 7.7 per cent after the company issued a revenue guidance warning, knocking its market value below $700 billion and dragging down tech stocks across the sector. The iPhone producer’s revised sales guidance, predicting revenue of around $84 billion (£67 billion) for the three months to December, is the first time it has felt the need to preface its quarterly results since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007.
Study proves feasibility of satellite quantum communication
Researchers in Italy have demonstrated the feasibility of quantum communications between high-orbiting global navigation satellites and a ground station, with an exchange at the single photon level over a distance of 20,000 km.
Google gets go ahead for touchless tech plans
Google’s project to build touchless tech computers controlled by hand gestures has received the green light to operate sensors at higher frequencies by US regulators. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Monday that it would allow the Alphabet-owned company to continue to operate and test sensors for Project Soli, a radar-based technology which aims to enable virtual control by sensing the motion of fingers.
Drone detection firm raises $7.5m
Digital Global Systems (DGS) has raised an additional $7.5 million to improve its CLEARSKY drone threat management solution. The Series B-3 and B-4 fundraising rounds bring its total investment since inception to more than $28 million.
What's in store for technology in 2019?
With only a week or so to go of 2018, it’s time to look forward and make some big predictions for what’s coming in 2019. From HealthTech to cyber security, telecommunication networks to the Internet of Things (IoT), we’ve brought together a brain trust to see what the future holds.
Facebook hits back at message sharing claims
Facebook has hit back at reports that it improperly allowed third party apps, including Spotify and Netflix, to access millions of users’ private messages.Following a report in the New York Times this week which alleged that Facebook had disclosed private messages to commercial partners without users’ knowledge, the social media giant used a blog to refute the claims.
Drones cause flight chaos at Gatwick Airport
Unmanned drones have caused holiday travel chaos and disrupted flights for 10,000 travellers at Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport. All scheduled flights in and out of Gatwick have reportedly been suspended until 7pm today (Thursday), after runways briefly reopened at 3:01am following reports of drones flying over the airfield last night.
Dataiku raises £80m and plans new UK HQ
Dataiku has announced an £80 million Series C funding round led by ICONIQ Capital and supported by Alven Capital, Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital and FirstMark Capital. With this latest funding round, the enterprise data science and machine learning platform provider plans to double its current staff of 20 in the UK. It will also open a new UK headquarters in central London in early 2019, aimed at becoming a local hub of data science for AI education and innovation.
3M acquires HealthTech business for $1bn
3M has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire M*Modal for a total enterprise value of $1 billion. M*Modal is a healthcare technology provider of cloud-based, conversational artificial intelligence (AI) powered systems that help physicians efficiently capture and improve conversations with patients.
Pilot tests robot impact on guide dogs
The charity Guide Dogs and autonomous delivery provider Starship Technologies have announced the findings of a preliminary test to explore the impact that autonomous technologies will have on visually impaired people using guide dogs. The collaboration marks the first time that autonomous delivery services, operating live on public pavements, have been tested out on the street in conjunction with assistance dogs. Conducted in Milton Keynes, the pilot saw guide dogs accompanied by their owners and/or trainers encounter Starship’s autonomous delivery robots in live scenarios, including meetings from the front and rear, overtaking one another, and heading towards each other at a road crossing.
France to push ahead with tax on tech giants
France’s finance minister has said he expects a new tax on major tech companies such as Google and Apple to raise an estimated €500 million a year. Bruno Le Maire said that the French government would plough on with attempts to impose a levy on companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple unilaterally, after attempts to agree EU-wide legislation broke down earlier this month, according to AFP.
Innovation required in digital security for UK 5G: report
A new report, produced as part of the UK's 5G Testbed and Trials programme, has been released, arguing that the UK needs to rethink its mobile security strategy to ensure safe future 5G networks. It makes four key recommendations to protect the UK’s future vital infrastructure and safeguard the country’s position as a leader in 5G technologies.
Met police trials live facial recognition tech
Live facial recognition technology will deployed in locations in Westminster this week as part of the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) ongoing trial of the technology. The mobile deployment and will cover areas in the vicinity of Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square in London.
UK cyber security recruitment 'hit by Brexit'
The UK’s cyber security industry could be hit by proposals to slash immigration from the EU by 80 per cent after Brexit, according to recruitment experts. Home secretary Sajid Javid has outlined plans to cut EU migration from 74,000 to between 10,000 and 25,000 within the next six years. The proposals, aimed at regaining control of Britain’s borders after Brexit, are set to be included in a long-awaited government whitepaper, expected to be unveiled before the end of the week.
Industrial IoT rise drives testing market
Rebounding from a two-year slump, the non-destructive test (NDT) inspection services market is undergoing an overall transformation. This is according to analysis from Frost & Sullivan which stated that the convergence of technologies such as Big Data, predictive analytics, digital twins, cloud computing and smart factories is enhancing growth opportunities and giving rise to several new business models.
Orange and DT push Euro made Djingo smart speaker
Both operators said they are teaming to push Europe’s technology innovation, to stop the region falling behind the US and Asia. Orange presented a range of new products and services at its annual Hello Show, including the Djingo smart speaker, developed and presented jointly with Deutsche Telekom.
Apple details US expansion plans
Apple has announced a major American expansion, with expansion in Austin, Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, along with new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City. The tech giant plans to invest $10 billion in US data centers over the next five years, including $4.5 billion this year and next. Those in North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada are currently being expanded, while in Iowa, preparations are underway for the company’s newest data center in Waukee.
Russian ‘AI android’ is man in robot suit
An Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot that appeared on Russian state television to demonstrate the country’s technological progress was in fact a man in a robot suit. Footage of the alleged android called Boris singing and dancing at an event for school pupils was broadcast by the Rossiya 24 news channel.
PM's FinTech ambassador predicts banking ‘Amazonification’
The prime minister’s FinTech amabassador has predicted the “Amazonification” of banking, as global tech giants leverage their personal data dominance to branch out into financial services. In an exclusive interview with FStech on the fringes of the Finastra Universe conference in London this week, Alastair Lukies, the founder of mobile banking firm Monitise, who has served as the UK government’s FinTech ambassador under two prime ministers, said tech giants could use Open Banking to challenge incumbent banks.
NICE publishes health technology standards
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published new standards which set out the requirements needed to develop digital health technologies for the NHS and speed uptake of products like healthcare apps and wearable devices. A statement from the body noted that the “digital revolution” is rapidly evolving and new technologies such as apps and wearable devices are emerging at a fast pace.
UNICEF announces first blockchain investments
Six companies in developing and emerging economies will receive investment from UNICEF's Innovation Fund to solve global challenges using blockchain technology. The fund will invest up to $100,000 in the six companies - Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar and W3 Engineers - to deliver open-source prototypes of blockchain applications within 12-months.
Vehicle to vehicle comms to be in 62m cars by 2023
Over 62 million vehicles will be capable of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication by 2023, rising from just over 1.1 million in 2019, according to Juniper Research. This represents an average annual growth rate of 173 per cent over these four years, with the roll-out of 5G networks - anticipated to launch next year - being the key accelerant behind the expansion.
BoE uses automated detection to counter hacks
The Bank of England (BoE) has turned to automated technology in order to keep up with the growing threat of cyber attacks from rogue states, its heads of technology and infrastructure have told NTN.In an exclusive interview, Neal Semikin, head of technology infrastructure and security, and David Ferguson, a technology management principal, highlighted the critical role of new technologies and automated threat detection as they warned that the BoE is under regular attack from malicious actors and cyber criminals attempting to hack their systems.
Swisscom launches national infrastructure for blockchain
Swiss Post and Swisscom are building a secure and sustainable infrastructure for blockchain applications in Switzerland, both for their own services and for Swiss-based companies, using distributed ledger technology for a variety of verticals and applications.
O2 apologises as data outage affects millions
O2 is investigating a data outage across its network which has left millions of users unable to send and receive messages or access the internet from their smartphones.The telecoms network said a software issue has been identified as the cause of the data services failure which has affected customers of O2 as well as Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Lyca Mobile and GiffGaff, which use O2’s infrastructure. O2 has 25 million customers in addition to 7 million at networks that rely on its infrastructure.
MPs encourage govt to explore quantum tech
The Science and Technology Committee’s report into quantum technologies has outlined how the National Quantum Technologies Programme should turn the UK’s quantum research into a world-leading industry. The inquiry concluded that quantum technologies offer the opportunity for significant economic growth and improved capabilities across most industry sectors.
Pindrop raises $90m for global expansion
Voice authentication firm Pindrop has closed a $90 million Series D funding round led by Vitruvian Partners. Other new strategic investors include Allegion Ventures, Cross Creek, Dimension Data, Singapore-based EDBI, and Goldman Sachs. Existing investors CapitalG, IVP, Andreessen Horowitz, GV - formerly Google Ventures - and Citi Ventures also invested in the round.
Vodafone survey reveals attitudes to ethical AI
Vodafone has released its predictions for the upcoming year, which include attitude to digital transformation, automation and the use of artificial intelligence technology.
Alphabet to launch drone delivery pilot in Europe
Google’s parent group Alphabet is to roll out its delivery drone technology to Europe with trial in Helsinki next spring. Alphabet’s drone company Wing announced plans to launch a small service trial of its twelve-propeller drones- capable of delivering packages of up to 1.5kg for up to 6.2 miles- in the Finnish city at an appearance at the Slush conference in Helsinki, the Telegraph reported.
Big data ‘spreads beyond IT and marketing’
The benefits of big data are spreading from IT and marketing teams to other departments like finance and sales, according to DLA Piper's 2018 Tech Index. The law firm commissioned Coleman Parkes Research to interview 350 executives from European technology firms, members of the investment community with a tech focus, and government officials focused on tech policy.
Cushman & Wakefield dives into PropTech
Global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield has partnered with innovation and startup accelerator platform Plug and Play to invest in PropTech businesses. The Plug and Play Real Estate & Construction program launched earlier this year as a spin off from one of its oldest programs focused on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Nokia warns of malicious attacks on IoT devices
The use of malicious software to attack Internet of Things (IoT) devices, like smart home security monitoring systems, is rising substantially and growing more sophisticated as cyber criminals take advantage of lax security, Nokia's 2019 Threat Intelligence Report 2019 has warned. IoT botnet activity accounted for 78 per cent of malware detection events in communication service provider (CSP) networks in 2018, according to the report, which is based on data aggregated from monitoring network traffic this year on more than 150 million devices globally where Nokia's NetGuard Endpoint Security product is deployed.
4 industries to dominate Euro DX spend - IDC
European spending on technologies and services that enable the digital transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organisations will reach $378 billion in 2022, according to IDC. Europe is the third largest geography for this spending, after the US and China.
Healthbot interactions to reach 2.8bn by 2023
Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots will soon become the first responders for peoples’ engagements with healthcare providers, as the number of chatbot interactions exceeds 2.8 billion annually by 2023. This is up from an estimated 21 million in 2018 - an average annual growth of 167 per cent - according to analysis from Juniper Research.
Monax launches smart contracts platform
Digital legal infrastructure company Monax has announced the private beta launch of the Monax Platform, the latest in its line of smart contract products. The platform is a collaborative workspace for businesses, legal and tech professionals, complete with market-ready smart contract templates available for individual or commercial use.
Microsoft partners Mastercard for digital identity solution
Microsoft and Mastercard are partnering for a new digital identity solution which offers internet users the option to dispense with multiple passwords and verify themselves instantly online. The software giant announced it was joining forces with the payments provider to develop a decentralised identity product that will alleviate the burden on individuals when it comes to providing digital or physical proof of identity as part of the online verification process.
MI6 head: Do not underestimate UK cyber defence
The head of MI6 has used a rare public speech to warn Russia and other state adversaries “not to underestimate” the UK’s cyber defence capabilities to counter emerging threats.In his second speech since becoming head of the Secret Intelligence Services in 2014, Alex Younger, known as chief of the agency or ‘C’, said that rogue states view themselves in a state of “perpetual confrontation” with the UK, but emphasised the UK was “well equipped” to respond.
Government seeks technology disability champion
As part of today’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the government is announcing that it will recruit a new technology disability champion to help tackle the issues disabled people face as consumers. The champion will use their status as a leader in the tech industry to raise awareness of the need for compatibility of mainstream products with assistive technology.
Tesco and VW partner for vehicle charging
Tesco and Volkswagen have partnered to develop the largest UK retail Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network. Customers will be able to charge their electric cars using a normal 7kW charger for free or a ‘rapid’ 50 kW charger, for a small cost in line with market rate. More than 2,400 EV charging bays will be installed by Pod Point across 600 Tesco stores within the next three years.
BlackBerry to help improve digital infrastructure for healthcare
BlackBerry has become a HIMSS Analytics Certified Consultant to help address the digital infrastructure needs of healthcare organisations around the world, with particular focus on cyber security issues. Working with HIMSS Analytics, Blackberry aims to provide healthcare providers with the critical information they need to provide a higher, more secure, level of care.
Marriott guest reservation system hacked
Another week, another data breach, this time concerning the Marriott hotel chain, which could affect up to 500 million of its guests. The Marriott hotel group says its guest reservation system has been hacked, potentially exposing the personal information of approximately 500 million guests. The hotel chain said the hack affects its Starwood reservation database, a group of hotels it bought in 2016 that includes the St Regis, Westin, Sheraton and W Hotels.
Majority of Brits unaware of smart city benefits
Almost 70 per cent of the UK public do not know what a smart city is or the benefits it can bring, according to a study of 1,000 people conducted by ATG Access. The research revealed that just over a quarter found the prospect of smart cities “worrying” due to a lack of available information on the topic.
GovTech Challenge combats rural isolation
Five small technology companies have been awarded up to £50,000 each under a GovTech Challenge to help tackle the problem of rural isolation and loneliness. Box Clever Digital, Enable International, GPC Systems, The Behavioural Insights Team and Zipabout will be given 12 weeks for research and development on the feasibility of technology platforms to match the supply and demand for transport in rural areas.
7 in 10 move to cloud despite cybersecurity fears
More than 70 per cent of businesses are planning to transfer their business functions to the cloud, despite rising fears over cybersecurity risks amongst IT professionals. A study of 1,200 senior IT decision makers from across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, commissioned by data centre provider Equinix, found that 71 per cent were gearing up to shift operations to the cloud in the coming years.