Fox Sports broadcast last week’s German Bundesliga opener between champions Bayern München and Werder Bremen live in virtual reality to a global audience. Fox teamed with VR specialist NextVR to deploy seven cameras – located in in the stands, along the sidelines, in midfield and behind the goal – capturing pitch-level shots for a produced feed. The Bundesliga opener was the fifth major event this year – and the first outside the US – in which Fox has partnered with NextVR to offer live VR content.
Standard Chartered is looking to roll out a range of fingerprint and voice biometric technologies across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The move will enable some 5 million customers to access their bank account balances, cards and investments using their fingerprints or voices as identifiers. Touch login is already up and running in Singapore, the UAE and India, and will launch in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan and Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe by end-2016.
Seven countries stand out on digital innovation with their high levels of networked readiness and entrenched business ICT adoption. And the technology-enabled innovation evident in Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Singapore, the Netherlands and the US will likely keep these markets ahead of the pack as it unleashes new competitive pressures that call for yet more innovation by tech and non-tech firms alike, according to the Global Information Technology Report 2016 from the World Economic Forum.
Manchester City is outflanking its Premier League rivals in the digital space, writes Steve Mullins. In just the last few months in the run-up to the start of the new season, the football club has relaunched its website, hired an e-gamer, launched a global virtual reality initiative, lit a dedicated Giphy page and rolled out a chatbot platform for fans, along with other innovations.
The Guardian is moving into time-based advertising, selling its space in slots of 10, 15, 20 or 30 seconds. First to purchase the new format is The Economist, which has a campaign up and running until September. In fact, The Economist is pretty au fait with time-based ads, given that it also runs them on its own website. Also in the UK, the Financial Times rolled out the format last year, based on research which found that brand recall increases significantly the longer an ad is in view.
Cool Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is looking to enter the US handset market and plans to push its communications along social media channels to target young consumers keen on getting their hands on new technology. Xiaomi does already have a US presence selling audio earbuds and fitness bands via its online store.
Worldwide plug-in vehicle sales reached 180,500 units in the first-quarter, up 42 % on the same period in 2015. However, growth was down compared to last year – which was 71 % on 2014 – according to EV Volumes data. China remained the global plug-in sales driver, with passenger car volumes more than doubling in the first three months of the year. Japan recovered after a weak 2015 (-22 %) with a 36 % spike for the first quarter, while the US market for plug-ins lifted, posting 19% for the same period. Europe struggled to maintain the 99% growth rate of last year.
Accenture is investing €500,000 in RoboValley, a Dutch hub for start-ups working in robotics. RoboValley was founded by the TU Delft Robotics Institute specialist engineering college with a view to fostering robotics knowledge and supporting international collaboration in the sector. It is currently home to some 30 start-ups, as well as a handful of more mature robotics companies.