Ready yourself for ‘empathy tech’. That’s because a new breed of social machines are becoming integrated into our daily lives. And these devices and systems can understand a wider range of human needs and behaviours “to provide relevant assistance and support at key moments”. This opens the possibility of more intimate relationships with the objects in our lives, says the Living Within The Internet of Things report from PFSK and Intel.
Anglo-Saxon economies predictably dominate the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2015, with the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, respectively, filling the top four spots, writes Steve Mullins. What is the GEI measuring? Put simply, it’s a combination of entrepreneurial attitudes, abilities and aspirations, along with those characteristics of entrepreneurship which enhance productivity – such as innovation, market expansion, being growth-oriented, and having an international outlook, explains the Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute.
Uber’s getting a rough ride from pretty much everyone right now. And that ride may get rougher in India as the car-sharing outfit takes on the traditional rickshaw. UberGO has been rolled out in 10 cities, including New Delhi and Bangalore, with chauffeur-driven hatchbacks such as the Etios Liva and Maruti Ritz hitting Indian streets. Uber, in typical brash Uber style, claims the service is available to 1.2 billion citizens (note: around 30% of Indians live below the poverty line).
Smartphone owners around the globe are now making cities smarter, according to the Smart Citizens report from Ericsson Consumerlab. For example, three-quarters of consumers want sensors to be deployed in public spaces so they know which areas are crowded and best avoided. The same proportion want to see both interactive street signs and bike/car sharing.
No one really likes Uber. Peter Thiel has described the company as one of the most-ethically challenged in Silicon Valley, and there have been reports that Uber has considered aggressively investigating journalists it believes are unduly negative about its activities, writes Steve Mullins. It wants to give them a taste of their own medicine, you see, and has reportedly put aside $1 million to fund smear campaigns.
Everyone wants to get in on the start-up scene, be they Coca-Cola or Deloitte, writes Steve Mullins. Coke has gone the safe route, only backing tried and trusted entrepreneurs, but Deloitte UK is looking to support new talent with its £25 million fund aimed at its own employees who want make a go of it with a start-up. Deloitte will now provide incubator support to any insider ideas it takes a fancy to.
Microsoft the geeky, corporate dinosaur? That’s not how young people in the UK see it, as the brand has spiked to 87% positive sentiment in Voxburner’s latest Youth 100 ranking. Just 5% have negative sentiment towards MS and the brand topped its category ahead of cool types such as Apple and Beats. In fact, in separate Youth 100 focus groups Microsoft’s Surface tablet – by no means a top-seller – was cited often as an ‘awesome’ product.
Flush with funds from its recent €1.4bn IPO, German startup outfit Rocket Internet is planning to launch 10 new outfits in 2015, up from the seven it has rolled out this year to date, writes Steve Mullins. And the bent of these investments? Factor in a relentless focus on being early, ￼long-term market leadership over short-term profitability, plus aggressive support for winners and closure for non-performers. And online travel booking is the way to go, with Rocket looking to target affluent consumers in emerging markets.