Week Ending: 2nd April - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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It’s the start of the Easter bank holiday weekend today, but also, it’s time for our weekly round-up! With the glorious weather and the excitement of four days off, you may have missed the recent developments in the I.T. and Tech industry this week.

A new pilot scheme using drones to fight post-lockdown litter this summer, how social media hacking cost individuals £3.5 million in the UK last year and Microsoft selling augmented reality goggles to the army are just a few of the news stories you may have missed.

Let’s get you up to date.

Microsoft to sell augmented reality goggles to US army

The US tech giant, Microsoft, has announced this week the latest development in US army training using augmented reality headsets. This product is based on Microsoft’s HoloLens which allows users to see holograms laid over their actual environment.

The contract is for more than 120,000 headsets that will be manufactured in the US, worth up to $21.9bn (£15.9bn) over 10 years. The deal has seen Microsoft shares surge 3% in the last few days.

Microsoft commented

“The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios. It will keep soldiers safer and make them more effective.”

Augmented reality has become increasingly popular in the consumer market, unfortunately it doesn’t come cheap! With the HoloLens commercially available for $3,500 per headset, Microsoft sell these primarily to businesses.

Adding graphics to a user’s existing field of view, instead of replacing it with completely different environments, allows the army to use them during training. Adding hostiles or enemies into generic battlefield scenarios allows the soldiers to practise safely and more effectively than basic training.

Could augmented reality goggles be the future of practical training outside the army? And can we see this coming over to the UK in the near future? We think this industry is definitely on the rise, so watch this space!

Explore more here.

Bournemouth drones to help fight post-lockdown litter surge

Now that Boris Johnson has announced the roadmap out of lockdown, we are expecting to see a surge in post-lockdown litter. With the recent onset of warm weather and picnic season upon us, mass gatherings are likely to lead to a mountain of litter being left behind. Luckily, a ground-breaking pilot scheme using drones has been announced by Bournemouth Council this week.

The Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole (BCP) Council want to collect data to inform them on bin locations, street cleaning schedules and ultimately change visitor behaviour. The council have commented

“This cutting-edge technology will identify and categorise individual pieces of litter, to give unprecedented insight into what types of litter is being dropped where and when. Fixed cameras, as well as mobile and vehicle technology, will also help create ‘litter maps’ and identify hot spots.”

This type of technology was reported being used in Sorrento, Italy last summer which helped reduce litter by 45% and cigarette butt waste by 69%. The scheme being used in the UK will be funded by McDonald’s meaning no cost to the council to clean up our streets and parks.

Bournemouth being a hot spot for tourists, with its large beach and pier, is pulling out all the stops to make sure its beach, town centre and parks are ready for the flood of tourist’s post-lockdown. Their plan after using the drones will be to put extra large bins in to deal with the additional waste, alongside more daily collections, and manual crews on standby when locations become busy.

These drones have already started gathering data and will be repeated in May and July for the summer months and to coincide with lockdown restrictions being eased.

Discover more here.

Social media hacking cost individuals £3.5 million in UK last year

Social media and email hacking has been on the rise in the past 12 months, with recent research carried out by showing victims lost over £3.5 million in 2020. In addition to this, 13,343 cases of social media and email hacking were reported, with April 2020 being the worst month.

Recent reports show that Metropolitan Police had the highest number of cases with a shocking 2,357 reports, making that an average of six incidents per day! The collective amount of financial loss from these attacks totalled £1.8 million, the equivalent to £764 per case. Following this, the West Midlands Police occurred 630 incidences with an overall monetary loss of £382,400.

Thames Valley Police reported 547 cases with a financial loss of £43,400 which is the equivalent of £79 per case. West Yorkshire Police occurred 539 cases, Kent Police reported 529 cases and Greater Manchester with the least amount of 525 cases. These numbers have shown that cybercrime is certainly a major concern for police forces across the UK.

Social media hacking has become a primary target for cybercriminals, especially due to more people working remotely with multiple devices, not changing passwords regularly and using the same password for all social media and email accounts.

Many people may not realise that their social media could be used against them, therefore protecting yourself against potential threats could save you financial loss. Opting for a multi-factor authentication on your social media accounts and having to verify your identity with two pieces of personal information could be a simple step that stops cybercriminals in their tracks.

Read more here.

Those were some of this week’s biggest stories in I.T. and tech, but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels.