BMW Group Financial Services has today launched an Innovation Lab in the UK to seek out early-stage start-ups. The laboratory has been designed specifically to uncover new technologies to deliver new services to its customers, with BMW claiming the initiative as the first of its kind in the automotive financial services sector. BMW Group Financial Services says the Innovation Lab provides an opportunity to get a different perspective on its business and to generate new ideas more quickly.
So, how is Brexit likely to pan out for the UK film and TV sector? Not that great, reckons the Independent Film and Television Alliance. “The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow,” says Michael Ryan, chairman of the alliance. “Producing films and television programmess is a very expensive and very risky business and certainty about the rules affecting the business is a must.”
A number of the usual suspects inhabit the upper reaches of the MIT Technology Review’s 50 Smartest Companies 2016 rankings – think, Amazon, Baidu, Tesla, Alphabet (Google) and Tencent – but there are also a few rather unfamiliar brands in the top 10. Such as Mobileye (sixth), which is smart in a smart-car kind of way in that it is a maker of driver-assistance-tech like collision warning systems for the likes of Tesla, GM and VW, and is also busy working on fully autonomous vehicles.
YouTube has made the move into drama production with the acquisition of the Step Up film franchise, now destined to become a TV series on the YouTube Red streaming platform. The YouTube Originals unit calling the shots here has apparently been chasing Step Up, which has spawned five movies to date, for a while as it believes the drama is a great fit with the YouTube audience and can help drive Red $10-a-month subscriptions.
Samsung is looking to give a helping hand to next-generation storytelling, aka virtual reality, with the launch of a VR ‘ecosystem’ to empower immersive narratives. The CE giant rolled out the initiative at last week’s VidCon video convention where the Samsung Creators team were tasked with putting VR capabilities in the hands of filmmakers and influencers to further accelerate the new medium.
If the UK’s employment rate for workers aged 55-69 was equal to that of Sweden then UK GDP would be around 5.4% higher, equivalent to around £100 billion. And government policies aimed at achieving that could include providing tax rebates to companies taking on older workers, increasing spend on retraining older workers in digital skills and apprenticeships, plus enforcing age discrimination laws more strictly, says PwC in its Golden Age Index report.
Female tech workers in London are 2.5-times more likely to work for a technology start-up than their counterparts in the rest of the UK, while the capital’s tech firms are also better at promoting opportunities for women, according to a survey conducted by technology recruitment outfit Mortimer Spinks. However, the research also found that one in 10 tech teams in London have no female members at all and women are underrepresented across the board.
binge.watch has joined forces with the Reeperbahn Festival to launch Europe’s first creative festival for virtual reality, mixed reality and spherical video in September in Hamburg. And binge.watch is also looking to host an awards ceremony highlighting the best VR work of this year, with an international jury awarding the best entries across seven categories.