The future may be a lot more to do with intuitive interaction with the web via the body. Think of kit like DuoSkin, which looks like temporary tattoos but actually allows users to control mobile devices, as well as display and store information on their skin. Plus there’s the Samsung smart contact lens equipped with a camera that can also project images straight into the wearer’s eye.
Visa has opened a new innovation centre in London, the largest in its global network of innovation clubs that includes such tech hotspots as Berlin, Dubai, Miami, San Francisco, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv. The new UK facility has been developed as an ‘immersive environment’ where the company can work together with financial institutions, merchants and other partners to develop next-gen payment solutions.
The Indian government is busy rolling out the world’s biggest biometric identity database, India Stack, as part of its ambitious Digital India initiative. The project is based on compiling more than 1 billion records of each Indian citizen, with everyone assigned a national identity number – an Aadhaar (foundation) – that links to standard data such as name, gender and age, along with biometric information such as fingerprints and iris scans.
Citi has rolled out the global Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge to encourage tech innovators to promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector. The open innovation initiative is aiming to source innovation in a number of areas, among them government transactions and procurement, culture, ethics and citizen engagement and the perennial reducing red tape. Citi partners in the project include Clifford Chance, Facebook, IBM, Let’s Talk Payments, Mastercard, Microsoft and PwC.
Jack White’s Third Man Pressing vinyl music facility is slated to fire up in Detroit this week. First items off the production line are limited-edition, Detroit-centric pressings of the White Stripes’ first two albums – The White Stripes and De Stijl – both of which will be released on opaque red vinyl, and debut LPs of the Stooges and MC5, plus seven-inch singles from Derrick May and Carl Craig. On the February 25 opening day, there will be guided tours of the facility with visitors able to watch records pressed from a viewing platform.
Swedish start-up Soundtrack Your Brand is looking to expand its geographic footprint and further develop its technology after successfully completing a $22 million investment round. The Stockholm-based firm, which boasts leading streamer Spotify as an investor, as well as a former Spotify business development head as a co-founder, boasts a streaming platform delivering custom background music to the likes of stores, eateries, hotels, bars and museums.
There’s never been a riskier time to run a sharing economy company. That’s in part because regulators are getting increasingly tough on the segment, tightening up rules and also going ahead and enforcing them. Plus legal rulings in areas such as employment regulation are set continue challenging existing business models, says PwC in its sharing economy forecast for 2017.
The Dubai authorities are looking to embrace disruptive innovation as a fundamental mantra to ‘actively shape’ the future and place itself 10 years ahead of all other cities. The government reckons its new Dubai 10X initiative will deliver on that objective – the ‘X’ is a symbol for experimental, out-of-the-box, ‘future-oriented exponential thinking’ that will transform Dubai into ‘the world’s largest laboratory for the governments of the future’.