What a week it’s been for Team GB, and the gold medals just keep on coming. If like us you’ve been glued to the Tokyo Olympics, this week’s I.T. and tech news headlines may have passed you by.
But never fear, here’s our weekly round-up to catch you up.
In this week’s round-up we cover everything from delivery drones fulfilling orders for coffee, takeaways and books, Sir Paul McCartney’s digitally ‘de-aging’ in latest music video and with Covid restrictions easing across England, will any of the latest Tech innovations stick?
How delivery drones are already helping fulfil orders for coffee, takeaways and books
Do you remember when Jeff Bezos first unveiled plans to deliver products by drone? That was in 2013, and eight years on there is still no sign of Amazon drones in our skies.
However, Amazon might not be taking the initiative, but other companies are, and Irish start up, Manna are one of them. The company has been delivering orders by drone from Tesco, local coffee shops, takeaways via Just Eat and bookstores in Oranmore in County Galway since October, and since starting they’ve had a good take up on the service. Of the 3,000 homes located in its delivery area, 35% have tried the service.
Now the company is expanding and has announced a new trial on a second Irish town of 40,000 people, where it’s anticipating making between 500 and 1,000 deliveries a day, over the next 18 months, before expanding into the UK and Europe.
They have also been offering 10,000 residents in Oranmore, living within 2km of Tesco superstore, small basket delivery by drone as part of a trial that started in September last year. The combined items must not be more than 2kg in weight and must fit inside a shoebox.
Jeff Bezos watch this space…
Bobby Healy, Manna’s chief executive and founder expects consumers will be more willing to spend money with them rather than with Amazon. He said:
“Do you want to spend all your money on Amazon, or do you want to spend it on local vendors? It’s a pretty easy answer. We have a very valid and viable way for the local bookstore or hardware store to counteract the threat from Amazon – we can give them the tools to have viable businesses when they’re not going to have viable businesses otherwise.”
Manna’s drones aren’t equipped with cameras, dispelling any notion of the fleets being used to conduct mass surveillance, apart from in specific cases to scope out routes at the beginning of a project.
Discover more here.
Sir Paul McCartney: Digitally ‘de-aged’ in new music video
Beatles icon Sir Paul McCartney, may look a little, shall we say, different in his new music video. The 79-year-old singer has had decades knocked off his appearance in a video clip for his new track Find My Way.
The video, which shows Sir Paul as his former youthful self, has been co-produced by Hyperreal Digital, which creates "hyper-realistic" digital avatars - similar to the technology used to make deep-fakes.
In the video, Sir Paul, as many will remember him from his Beatles days, is dressed in a shirt and tie and is energetically strutting through a non-descript corridor, backed by dancers and various different scenes. However, at the end of the video, track collaborator Beck appears to be behind a mask of the legendary singer, suggesting he could have been the one dancing instead of Sir Paul.
Remington Scott, Hyperreal CEO commented
“The technology to de-age talent and have them perform in a creative environment like this is now fully-realised, even with one of the most recognised faces in the world.”
This isn’t the first time that de-aging technology has been used, as de-aging technology has been growing in popularity. One example being a high-profile use on Mark Hamill, who was digitally enhanced to make him look like the young Luke Skywalker in the second season finale of The Mandalorian.
Read more here.
Will lockdown change our new tech habits?
The pandemic has created a new era for technology, from video conferencing via Zoom, the NHS app pinging people into isolation, electric scooters and a mass of online shopping. However, with Covid restrictions easing across England, will we see a decrease in this digital world we’ve created?
Back in April 2020, Microsoft stated that two years of digital transformation had taken place in just two months. With this increase, we saw that formerly risky online behaviour such as scanning unknown QR codes or clicking on seemingly innocent links in text messages has become the norm. This unfortunately has made people more susceptible to malicious attacks.
Lisa Forte, Red Goat Cyber Security commented,
“It’s been a good year for hackers. We’re now used to using tech in this haphazard way. We’ve just had the longest time in history where it has been practically mandated. As long as there is uncertainty in an environment, then it’s ripe for attack. We’ve unlocked, but the uncertainty is still there, so there will still be people exploiting it.”
Transport however has changed drastically, with social distancing causing less space on trains and buses but with more apps to enable travellers to better plan their journey and safely interact with travel staff.
One thing that we feel is here to stay is Zoom, the video conferencing platform was a lifesaver during the first lockdown. With many employees working remotely, the use of Zoom helped keep communication flowing. Now that Covid restrictions are easing, Zoom has adapted and now offers hybrid workers the opportunity to still present, or be included, as well as Zoom Apps showcasing the ‘fun’ side to meetings within meeting games and apps.
It’s safe to say that the world of digital is ever changing, regardless of Covid restrictions easing. In our opinion the pandemic just helped it along quicker than it originally planned.
Find out 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.