Innovation Roundup: Latest Insights

In our latest roundup we cover how some of the world’s largest companies are innovating with AI and VR tech plus launching new products, partnerships and collaborations to leverage emerging technologies and digital initiatives.

To spot these stories we’ve been using our Catalyst platform to track the best insights from across the web and you can create your own daily innovation alert for free.

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Wearables Take a Backseat as Tech Giants Focus on VR and AI


Two years ago at Mobile World Congress, one of the world’s biggest tech shows, “wearables” was the buzz word. At MWC last month, tech firms are choosing to move away from talking about wearables and instead focus on new areas such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Apple’s New $5bn Headquarters to Open in April

Apple has announced that it will begin moving staff into its new $5 billion (£4 billion) headquarters in April, opening a futuristic campus that has been more than six years in the making.


The latest fintech news including insurtech, online payments and digital currencies

Visa Bridges The Gap Between Brands and FinTech

Visa has opened a new Fintech Innovation Center in Paddington, London. The new center, along with it’s contemporaries in Tel Aviv, Berlin & Sao Paulo features interactive immersive installations such as an IOT connected Bentley and will act as a ‘sandbox’ for the company and its partners to experiment with emerging technologies.


NatWest Launches Digital Lending Platform To Compete With Fintech Startups

Natwest is overhauling its SME lending products with the new Esme platform. The new platform will offer near-instant loan decisions and is a clear response to Fintech challengers such as Zopa, FundingCircle and MarketInvoice.


Shipping Giant Tests IBM’s Blockchain Tech To Track Cargo

Maersk Line and IBM have teamed up to start integrating blockchain technology as a way to track its cargo. The new technology is hoping to eradicate the enormous paper trail requirements to transport good and create a frictionless tracking solution for transportation companies.


Will 2017 Be the ‘Year of the API’ in the Finance Industry?

A number of non-traditional players have introduced new technologies to the finance sector that better address the needs of customers. This has put banks’ existing infrastructures and ageing systems under pressure to evolve and to do so quickly.

12 Top Fintech Companies to Watch

Entrepreneur magazine has selected the hottest FintTech companies to watch including Stripe, YapStone, Braintree, Adyen, Lending Club, Robinhood and Wealthfront.

Innovation in machine learning and artificial intelligence

Watson, Meet Einstein: IBM, Salesforce To Team Up On Artificial Intelligence

IBM and Salesforce announced a partnership where they plan to integrated their AI services to leverage IBM’s Watson with Salesforce Einstein technology to create better “humanlike” bot with a sales-oriented and customer service approach.


Ford Makes $1 Billion Bet on Artificial Intelligence Startup as Recruiting Tool

The billion dollar investment will not only be good for Ford technologically, Argo-AI will be run semi-independently giving ford the opportunity to behave like a startup and offer lucrative stock options to tempt top talent away from Silicon Valley.


Dyson Is Working AI into All of Its Home Gadgets

Dyson has recently announced a $412 million investment in a new AI research facility located in Singapore.

“Almost every product can benefit from AI, lighting, purification, cleaning — everything that you see in a room needs artificial intelligence” – Sir James Dyson


Now Santander Lets You Make Payments Using Just Your Voice

Santander has become the first bank in the UK to introduce voice pay. The bank has taken this next step in bringing innovation to payments by letting consumers make payments using their voice.

The Future of Work: The Intersection of AI and HR

The future of the workplace will be dominated by new AI and chatbot technologies in the coming years – from HR team using chatbots to improve employee experiences to intelligent assistants that automate the most mundane processes and eliminate paperwork altogether.

The Industries That Will Change The Most As Machine Learning Grows

A look ahead at how industries such as healthcare, retail, transportation, advertising and finance will be impacted by AI and machine learning technologies.

Latest developments on virtual reality and augmented reality news

Sotheby’s Launches Virtual Reality Surrealist Paintings

In the run up to its ‘Surrealist Art Evening’ Sotheby’s teamed up with VR designers to enable would-be-buyers to step inside four of the paintings. The move is part of Sotheby’s wider digital strategy to engage tech-savvy younger buyers.

IMAX Opens New Virtual Reality Site That Will Change Entertainment Forever

Imax has opened its first virtual reality experience to the public. The site, located in Los Angeles is still in ‘beta’ mode but others like it could soon be heading to a city near. Imax has raised a $50 million fund with other industry partners to co-finance approximately 25-30 VR experiences over the next 3 years.

Qualcomm Launches Virtual Reality Display Accelerator Program

Qualcomm has announced the launch of a new accelerator program targeting companies making head-mounted displays for virtual reality. One of the aims of the program is to help participants drive up the speed of creating and shipping new products.


VR: The Brands That Are Imagining A New Commerce Reality

There has been a lot of hype around VR and AR technologies, especially in the gaming and entertainment industry. Though there are some exciting opportunities for retail and commerce sector, creating unique instore experiences for customers and brands.

London Start-Up Opto Launches VR Headset To Challenge Tech Giants

Virtual reality startup Opto has launched a new VR headset, with inbuilt speakers, larger lenses and interchangeable magnetic covers, challenging giants in the VR headset market such as Samsung and Facebook’s Oculus.

The latest news on social media and content marketing trends

YouTube Unveils Subscription Television Service

YouTube has announced plans to introduce a new subscription service called YouTube TV which will include 40 TV channels, including all four major networks, Disney Channel, FX and ESPN for $35 p/month.


How Teen Craze Got Too Big for Pop to Ignore

Video sharing app which lets you lip-sync to 15 seconds of a song has amassed millions of fans worldwide. With a predominantly American audience the app immediately took to the platform, launching it to #1 on the App Store charts in 2015 and keeping it in the Top 40 ever since.


Pinterest Labs Wants To Unlock The Power Of AI To Predict User Behavior

Pinterest has announced the launch of Pinterest Labs a new group which aims to accelerate the growth of AI and machine learning for “smart” image search across the platform. For example, creating a “taste graph” as a new way to map the connections between pins, people, and boards in order to surface relevant ideas for users.


Why Facebook Is Focusing On Live Sports

Facebook is currently in talks with Major League Baseball to live stream one game per week on its platform. Live streaming via online apps continues to be a major trend, and this partnership shows how rich content can engage Facebook users and sports fans alike.

And Finally…

These Are the 50 Most Promising Startups You’ve Never Heard Of

New data from market research company Quid has revealed the rising stars of the startup world that you may not be on your radar. The top areas of investment included cybersecurity, AI, autonomous driving, AR, smart sensors, drones and education tech companies.

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