Research: Higher robot densities linked to increased productivity

Research has found a link between higher densities of robots in a population and increased levels of productivity.

The study – conducted by supply chain specialists Balloon One – analysed countries with similar levels of manufacturing output and looked at their densities of robots and GDP per hours worked.

The UK, in particular, is falling behind in robot density:

(Credit: Balloon One)

The UK is the glaring example here but, aside from some...

Frankfurt Airport is using IOTA to verify COVID-19 test results

Frankfurt Airport is using the IOTA DAG (Direct Acyclic Graph) to securely and privately verify the COVID-19 results of passengers.

COVID-19 is set to continue causing disruptions to our lives for the best part of this year, or potentially longer. Fortunately, technologies are emerging which are hastening the return to some form of normality.

Spending long periods under “stay-at-home” restrictions has many people craving for some extended time outside their four...

Pan(ic)demic buying: 51% of consumers bought a smart home device

A new study has found that 51 percent of consumers have bought a smart home device to help adapt to pandemic living. 

The study, commissioned by Xiaomi, provides some fascinating insights into the ways people have responded to the complete upheaval that COVID-19 has caused to their lives.

70 percent of respondents said they’ve made changes to their living environment due to spending more time at home for both work and leisure. Three in five of the consumers reported...

UK proposal gives autonomous car backup drivers accident immunity window

A proposal from the UK’s Law Commission suggests giving backup drivers of autonomous vehicles a window of immunity for potential accidents.

Despite rigorous testing, it’s almost guaranteed that some accidents will occur with self-driving cars⁠—especially with early deployments.

“Even the best designed AVs, which reduce the overall number of accidents, may still cause collisions.” explains the Law Commission.

“The main aim of the Law Commissions is...

Juniper Research: Active smart home devices will exceed 13B by 2025

A report from Juniper Research suggests the number of active smart home devices will exceed 13 billion by 2025.

For comparison, the analysts expect 7.4 billion devices will be active by the end of 2020. The rapid proliferation of smart home devices over the next five years is expected to be propelled by entertainment-related tech in particular.

Juniper expects smart entertainment devices alone will generate over $230 billion of revenue in 2025.

Entertainment...

LAPD ban facial recognition following alleged unauthorised use

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has banned the use of facial recognition after officers allegedly used it without authorisation.

Facial recognition systems have faced increased scrutiny in recent years due to repeated studies showing they have serious biases.

Wherever facial recognition systems are deployed, the public needs to have faith they’re being used fairly—something which no deployment so far has been able to do.

Public trust in facial...

Continued investment in emerging tech can spur the NHS into the future

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for most organisations, large or small, and the NHS is no different. To overcome these challenges, the NHS has looked towards technology to help keep its hospitals running at capacity and continue to provide the standard of care we’ve come to expect.

Working at Vodafone, I’ve witnessed the digital transformation of the NHS first hand. During the pandemic, we worked with the NHS to increase the 4G network capacity at the temporary...

Uber and Lyft lose appeal to avoid classifying drivers as employees

Uber and Lyft have been ordered to classify their drivers as employees by a Californian court after losing an appeal.

The ride-hailing giants classify their drivers as contractors which means they can avoid giving many of the usual rights and benefits afforded to employees. Uber and Lyft argue most drivers prefer the flexibility of so-called gig economy work.

Most groups representing drivers for the companies appear to be in favour of them being classed as employees....

WEF: Inequality likely to worsen as robots set to do half of work by 2025

A report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that robots will do half of all work tasks by 2025, with inequality likely to worsen as a result.

Concerns about the impact of automation on jobs are not exactly new, but most felt the timeline for significant change would be longer – providing more time for mass reskilling of the workforce.

The pandemic we find ourselves in is creating “a double disruption of jobs” with businesses reducing their employees while...