2022 in Review: July – September
Top article – Indonesia threatens to block Google and Meta if they do not agree to new regulations
Crawley Town FC release NFT-only football strip and mull giving token owners say over transfers. Crawley Town FC becomes the first English football club to launch an NFT-only strip despite lash back Liverpool FC received after being accused of exploiting fans. Crawley’s own NTF will act as a season ticket for overseas fans and the club will also make a third kit available to those who invest in its own NFT. The tokens will offer owners the opportunity to have a say in how the club is run, and whilst this may worry some, the club said that fans need to have some “genuine” buy in. The strip will launch next month.
Amazon launches UK e-cargo bike fleet. Dubbed the “micromobility hub” the fleet will deliver in the London Borough of Hackney across London’s low emission zones. Hackney council gave Amazon the green light after it said the new hub will go some way to tackling transport emissions. Amazon said it plans to deliver one million parcels a year via the hub. The ecommerce giant also plans to roll out additional e-cargo hubs across the UK this year.
UK to unveil new AI regulation. Westminster said that more needs to be done to harness the economic and societal benefits of artificial intelligence while also addressing the complications it presents. It added that establishing “clear”, “innovation-friendly” and “flexible” approach to regulating AI is central for growth whilst ensuring people are kept safe.
The approach reflects six core principles: Ensure AI is used safely, technically secure and functional, explainable, fair, identifying a legal person to be responsible for AI and clarify routes to contestability.
The government will allow different regulators to take a tailored approach to the use of AI in a range of settings rather than awarding its governance to a central regulatory body.
Hyundai Motor to build its first South Korean EV factory. This marks the first automobile plant to open in the country in nearly 40 years. The company’s union said production will begin in 2025 after the South Korean automaker said it would invest $49.8 billion in the county throughout 2025. The facility is expected to produce 300,000 vehicles per year.
“Sales of internal-combustion-engine vehicles are scheduled to be banned in certain markets so the new EV factory is vital to Hyundai Motor’s survival,” Chang Moon-su, an analyst at Hyundai Motor Securities, explained to Reuters.
This article explains just how crucial technology is to businesses and it shows that change, in this case ‘change’ being the need for digital transformation, can happen whether it is wanted or not.
In this instance, EasyJet was forced to develop a chatbot and improve personalisation due to the impact that Covid-19 had on the British airline. It found itself struggling for business and submerged in customer queries, or hit by a “tsunami of questions” as it reads in the article.
The article captures the idea of ‘technology having no limits’ (even though it does) EasyJet said it needed a new and quick method to respond to its customers, and the initial build of the chatbot took just three weeks.
Top article – Indonesia blocks PayPal and Yahoo over new regulations
Samsung partners on smart glasses for healthcare sector. Samsung has chosen AR headwear firm NuEyes to deliver a pair of smart glasses to support training and patient care in the healthcare sector. The glasses come with a binocular HD display that connects to Samsung 5G mobile phone and tablets. NuEyes said they have been designed to act as a portable solution for common healthcare functions such as ultrasound imaging and remote medicine.
In a statement the glasses manufacturer added that its alliance with the South Korean Electronics company’s healthcare division would “continue to advance the medical industry and bring the promise of the metaverse closer”.
Microsoft announces successful hydrogen fuel cell trial at its US data centre. Currently Microsoft is using diesel-powered generators which burn fossil fuels, however the software giant hailed its first attempt at running backup hydrogen-powered generators to support potential power outages and other service disruptions at its data centre in Latham, New York. The hydrogen used in the trial was a low-carbon “blue” hydrogen which is obtained as a byproduct of the industrial production of chlorine and sodium hydroxide.
Microsoft said it will use “green” hydrogen in the future from electrolyzers which split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The trial shows its commitment to eliminate diesel fuel and become carbon negative by 2030.
Tinder metaverse plans crumble as business wavers. After a dip in earnings for the last quarter, Tinder has abandoned plans to enter the metaverse and scrapped the possibility of an in-app “Tinder Coins” currency. Tinder CEO Bernard Kim has instructed AI firm Hyperconnect, which was set to help Tinder on its metaverse journey, to scale back “given uncertainty about the ultimate contours of the metaverse”.
The decision follows Hyperconnect’s contribution of a $10 million operating loss in Q2 2022, down from an operating income of £210m in the same quarter last year. The dating platform also said it received a “mixed bag” of results from soft-launching Tinder Coins which reward active customers with coins to use as payment for premium Tinder features.
NASA strikes agreement for next gen spaceflight processor. NASA has selected US firm Microchip Technology to develop a processor that provides at least 100 times the computational capacity of current spaceflight computers. This capability would assist all space missions from planetary exploration to lunar and Mars surface missions.
Nasa said that Microchip plans to architect, design and deliver the HPSC processor over three years at a $50m fixed contract. The design will have a higher fault tolerance and will also be more reliable.
The processor will “ebb and flow”, added Microchip, depending on current operational requirements, not only reducing energy usage but also improving overall computing efficiency for journeys into space.
Editor’s pick – Beam me up Larry: Scaling holograms for enterprise
To me, holograms have been an area in technology that hasn’t received much attention. Yet, written by our very own Nicole Deslandes, this feature shows how lucrative they can be, especially in the workplace.
Hologram company ARHT Media’s holographic technology alluded to this type of technology offering a better form of digital communication, and partnered with coworking space firm WeWork to integrate its tech into 30 of the company’s locations globally. Currently healthcare is top in terms of hologram usage but most recently both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and former US secretary of state Hilary Clinton appeared as holograms to tech conferences around Europe.
Its ability to offer an in person feel and allowing interaction similar to physical presence is what may see more enterprises capitalising on this technology.
Top article – Almost 400 new mines needed to meet future EV battery demand, data finds
UK telecoms companies ordered to follow new security rules. The rules have been established by the UK government to protect telecom providers against cyber-attacks. Usually telecom companies are free to decide their own rules, however in a review the government said that providers often had little incentive to adopt the best security practices.
The new rules identify and assess the risk of any edge equipment that is directly exposed to potential attackers, control who can make network-wide changes, protect against malicious signalling and ensure business processes are supporting security. If UK telecom providers fail to follow the new measures they could be fined up to £100,000 a day.
Orange Spain announces opening of its first metaverse store. The store will display products from brands such as Oppo, Honor, Huawei and Google, as well as Meta, which the customer can manipulate in a 3D visualisation to access demos, promotions and the online store. Orange said that customers can access the space via a computer or with VR glasses from home or in-store. The telco added that sales representatives will be on hand to serve in the form of an avatar and the space will be split into three areas to include a commercial area, a leisure area and its own amphitheatre to hold events in a virtual space.
Digital twins to see mannequins crash out of safety tests, survey predicts. According to digital twin and simulation software firm Altair, test dummies, which have been used in the automotive industry since 1968, are soon to be a thing of the past. Instead, digital twins are being used across a range of sectors for their ability to provide a real-time virtual representation of an object which draws on stimulation, machine learning and reasoning.
A third of respondents believe the product development timeline will speed up with the use of digital twins and just over a quarter claim that fewer simulations would be needed. 76% of respondents also said that this technology will give more accurate risk assessments, a faster time to market and improved customer satisfaction.
India’s plans to attract $25 billion in semiconductor investment. Investment in the sector is unsurprising according to a study by the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA) which predicts the market to cash-in around £300 billion in cumulative revenues by 2026.
The investment was sparked after Covid-19 led to a shortage in materials used to make semiconductors. India’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme has already cashed-in $10bn which the country has set aside to construct a chip and display manufacturing electronics system. According to the report, the scheme will also increase the local sourcing of semi-components in conjunction with the Maki in India initiative which was launched in 2014.
Optus falls victim to cyberattack exposing sensitive customer information. According to the telco – owned by Singapore Telecommunications Limited – some customer data has been exposed, however its own mobile and broadband services were not compromised. The type of customer information retrieved is not clear but Optus said that a vulnerability or misconfiguration in its perimeter infrastructure caused the attack.
Optus managed to block the attack and has begun immediate investigation, working alongside the Australian Cyber Security Centre to protect its customers. Other key regulators have also been notified of the breach.
Optus assured customers it is working hard, and engaging with all the relevant authorities and organisations, to help safeguard them as much as possible.
Editor’s pick – How Schiphol Airport is tackling queues with data
Airport queues was something of an epidemic in 2022 following disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic. This article unpicks the problem and shows how technology is able to resolve, to some extent, a large-scale issue.
Through digitisation, specifically modernising its data strategy, Schiphol Airport was able to get a grip on the problem. It moved the airport’s centralised data lake to a data mesh system, allowing data to be accessed seamlessly. The airport also looked at the passenger’s journey and combined all data points, from check-in to boarding, to provide passengers with the ability to plan better. Schiphol said in terms of automation it still isn’t there yet, however digitisation is a journey it will continue on.
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