Chris Cunningham of C2 Ventures offers some predictions for what 2022 will bring to tech, covering NFTs, managing change, tech bubbles, and much, much more…
From their purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 respectively, Facebook has always demonstrated a real understanding of going where the attention is. I think their most recent move is no different. While the name switch seems random to some, it made perfect sense to me for the times we’re in. With their entrance into the VR space through innovations like Oculus Quest, and of course the current surge of NFTs and Web3 technology, rebranding as Meta is a timely decision that makes a lot of sense for where the company — and society — is ultimately headed.
“All kinds of automation are great, BUT a city is about satisfying the quality of life of its residents before everything. Integrated dashboards with AI and robots, and tech-supported decision makings are a life-long technical dream of all generations of urban professionals, engineers, architects, but most of the people would agree that there would not be worse governance than the one of scientist government. For the simple reason that humans are sensitive entities more than rational ones, highly unpredictable and so far never completely understood by any science.”
Despite most code being built on logic and syntax, the perception of someone else’s code is usually very subjective. Differences in style, documentation, and aesthetics are usually issues that come up but one of the most challenging aspects when working with code developed by others is truly understanding how the code functions and affects the application. CRANQ is a low-code integrated development that visually represents how each individual element in code affects the application’s functionality. By working in a unified environment where code intent is visually represented and searchable, developers are able to confidently integrate third-party components including APIs, cutting down development time and cost. London TechWatch caught up with Cofounder and serial entrepreneur Toby Rowland (cofounded King.com) to learn more about the inspiration for CRANQ, building the company remotely, strategic plans, and recent round of funding led by Mark Esiri of Venrex Capital and Rogan Angelini-Hurll of PROfounders Capital.
As the world emerges from the shadows of lockdowns of the last 16 months, consumers, starved for entertainment options out of the home, will be greeted with new and novel immersive experiences that fuse technology and groups together. Advances in motion tracking, touch screens, and sound technologies are making location-based entertainment solutions more compelling and attractive for those wanting to try something new. Electric Gamebox is a provider of social in-person multisensory gaming experiences designed to be enjoyed by groups of 2-6. The company currently has four locations that offer 30-60 minute experiences that are designed to collaborative and fun with plans for aggressive geographic expansion over the next few years. The Electric Gamebox experience requires a small physical footprint and the company plans to integrate into existing retail locations to increase its availability. Like Escape the Rooms, the gameplay is meant to be versatile for outings for groups of friends, dates, corporate team-building, birthday parties, etc. The company currently offers 6 games that it has developed with plans to bring more titles onboard including brand name franchises to enhance its experiential capabilities. Pricing for its London location starts at £9 for kids and £14 for adults for 30 minutes, making it quite accessible. London TechWatch caught up with CEO, Cofounder, and repeat entrepreneur Will Dean (founded Tough Mudder) to learn more about the inspiration for the business, how the company managed to expand despite lockdown during the pandemic, strategic plans, lastest round of funding from investors that include Philian, Brookfield Asset Management, Index Ventures, Project A, and ActivumSG.
The robotics industry is at an inflection point where the baton is being passed from the scientists to the practitioners. In historical terms, we are witnessing the Edisons of the world harness the innovations of the likes of Faraday to create life-changing businesses and wealth. Automation has moved from smart manufacturing and logistics to fry cooking and salad tossing.
The World Bank estimates that 3.5 million tons of solid waste is produced by humans every day, with America accounting for more than 250 million tons a year or over 4 pounds of trash per citizen. This figure does not include the 34 billion gallons of human organic materials that are processed in water treatment centers across the country each year.
COVID-19 has radically transformed the university experience with the shift to remote classes. Many college students have decided to postpone their undergraduate studies; many of them will never enroll. Others are on contemplating whether to drop out or not. This not only presents a challenge for the colleges but also for society in general as those with just a high school diploma are expected to learn ~£1M less on average than those with their bachelors over the course of their lifetimes. Purlos is a personalized engagement platform built on Salesforce that helps academic institutions retain students by engaging and communicating with them in the channels that students are already actively using. The platform works to address the concerns of potential students during the admissions and enrollment process. The company’s digital assistant, Jenni, provides support through its AI-powered chat and for issues that cannot be addressed, the platform will escalate issues directly to administration. For the institutions, they are provided with a robust data analytics console that identifies the students that are most likely at-risk to drop out. London TechWatch caught up with CEO David Bartlett to learn more about the challenges facing higher educational institutions, the company’s traction, future plans, and much, much more.
“I am extremely skeptical about the quality of the artificial intelligence behind the housekeeping robot in Samsung’s CES video. They show it performing an extremely wide variety of tasks, from pouring wine to loading the dishwasher to doing laundry. Developing an AI robust enough to go into an unknown consumer home and learn from them how they want to pick up toys is already a hard problem.”