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By January 9, 2015EU

By the London technology team

Wearable tech: the next big thing?

CES 2015 (the Consumer Electronics Show), held this week in Las Vegas, has seen an array of new wearable tech devices unveiled. The concept of wearable tech has been excitedly discussed in the media for years now. However, arguably the most famous wearable tech device, the Apple Watch remains yet to be launched. Many feel that this will be the device to make wearables ‘mainstream’. 

At CES the wearables showcased have ranged from the somewhat predictable smartwatches and tracking bands to more innovative devices, such as heart rate monitors and the intriguing and tiny Mota SmartRing. Meanwhile, in the UK the Government has provided a clear illustration of its belief that wearables will play a significant role across a number of sectors through Innovate UK’s investment of £210,000, designed to ‘encourage innovation’ in wearable tech. As part of the scheme, successful companies will receive up to £35,000 and the chance to work with commercial partners, including McLaren and Disney.

Wearables and the use of the data collected by them have the potential to transform many aspects of everyday life, and the launch of more sophisticated devices is eagerly anticipated amongst the tech community.

Wearable tech at CES was excellently covered by Leo Kelion from BBC News and the Innovate UK funding launch can be found here.

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Like, Share … watch? The rise of Facebook video

Facebook has published stats showing a huge increase in people using the social network to watch video. There has been a 75% increase globally, and now has over 1 billion video views per day. There’s a little bit of trickery involved, as videos now automatically play when scrolled down on one’s news feed, without the user clicking play.

For marketeers, Facebook has been the go-to social network for a while, with huge advertising spends making it one of the world’s largest online firms. Apple’s latest ad got 20 million views on Facebook, compared to 3 million on YouTube, and Facebook have been posting blogs for video creators how to get the most out of it.

Video has been long heralded as the crown jewel for future content and reaching audience (though it’s usually an annoying addition), but these new stats could show people are being won around.

Stuart Dredge covered the story in The Guardian and Darren Allan for IT Pro.

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Departmental IT spending

This week the Register reported that some Government departments were spending too much on ‘ERP’ fees. If you are not a regular follower of public sector IT drama, you may well ask what is ERP? Well ‘ERP’ is an acronym for ‘enterprise resource planning’ and refers to business process management software that allows organisations to integrate business functions and automate many back office functions.

Such software can drive huge efficiencies and is to be welcomed but according to 2012 Cabinet Office guidance, all Government departments should only be spending a maximum of £93 per employee for such software licences. The Register’s Kat Hall has reported that some departments, for example DEFRA, are spending £155 per employee – typically for many licences per head – at an annual cost of £1.3m per year.

The Register article includes a response from DEFRA and is available here.