We think technology is great—whether it’s making our lives more convenient by eliminating the need to carry heavy change or helping us spot the early signs of Parkinson’s disease through facial expressions. And we love that in our jobs we get to write about technology and the things it’s helping us achieve. It also means that we’re never short of a conversation topic or two at Gloo HQ.
Any change sir?
How often do you use cash—for every payment, occasionally, never? At Gloo HQ, we have big adopters of cashless payments, from contactless to services like Apple Pay and Google Pay—it’s something we’ve written about in the past too. Now, a new report by UK Finance shows that we’re not alone. One in 10 UK adults are now living a predominantly cash free life. Contactless payments reached 7.4 billion across the UK in 2018, with the South East and the Midlands home to the most adopters.
FinTechs helped start this cashless trend by offering us innovative ways to help us manage and use our money. And their popularity is increasing, the Global FinTech Adoption Index 2019 reveals that 68% of global consumers are already adopting services provided by FinTechs. The main reasons for doing so are more attractive rates (27%), because it’s easier to set up an account (20%) and access to different and more innovative products and services (18%).
Facial recognition to spot Parkinson’s disease
Start ups aren’t just disrupting finance, they’re having a big impact on healthcare too. Take FacePrint for example. This company aims to diagnose Parkinson’s disease just by looking at facial expressions.
The company’s founder realised that there are measurable differences in the facial expressions of people with Parkinson’s and people without. Using facial recognition software, FacePrint is able to look for these differences. It’s a clever application of an existing piece of technology, and it has the ability to scale for the future. The software is compatible with social media too—but we don’t expect to see any push notifications diagnosing us just yet.
From food aisle to fridge
We all know that food shopping is a hassle—that’s why they invented online shopping, right? But even then, you still have to be in to receive the order, and then unpack it all. What a drag. Luckily for those in the US, Walmart is launching a new InHome delivery service to help make things easier.
Walmart employees will now be able to deliver your food shopping directly to your fridge. Equipped with wearable cameras, you’ll be able to watch the unpacking in progress—but don’t worry, all staff will receive training on the appropriate way to organise a fridge. This isn’t a new concept though—it’s something Amazon is already exploring. The question is whether this new level of convenience is worth allowing businesses and their couriers unrestricted access into our homes?
Other things we loved this week:
- Transport for London have released a new campaign featuring 11 posters to advertise its cheaper travel options. We love the illustrated typography of these posters. The design is simple, yet incredibly effective.
- Unicorns are alive and kicking in the UK! A new study finds that more than a third of Europe’s fastest-growing tech companies are based here.
Posted by John on 14 June 2019