Weekly News Update 30.03-05.04

A news highlight about what’s new with the tech industry, smart cities and smart mobility in the past week.

Microsoft get rids of Cortana and Apple changes Siri

Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, will no longer be an available feature on mobile, and on Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, the default voice will no longer be female. Read more here.

Microsoft to make augmented reality goggles for US Army

The United States Army has announced they awarded Microsoft a contract to provide them with augmented reality goggles, based on the HoloLens 2 device, designed to help soldiers fight and train. The entire deal could be worth as much as $21.9 billion. Read more here.

Google Maps to direct drivers to eco-friendly routes

Google Maps will start directing drivers to more environmentally-friendly routes as part of the company’s commitment to fighting climate change. The feature will first launch in the US and then expand globally. Read more here.

Xiaomi to invest $10 billion in electric vehicles

The enormous Chinese phone maker, Xiaomi, will be investing $10 billion in electric vehicles across a span of ten years.  Read more here.

MIT designs robots that can sense through walls

A team from MIT has designed a robot that can sense objects hidden behind obstacles, such as walls, by using radiofrequency waves. Read more here.

Electronic Shark Deterrents to save people from shark attacks

According to a new study, using electronic shark deterrents could save more than 1,000 people from shark attacks in the next 50 years, especially when spread across areas where shark attacks are most common. Read more here.

Autonomous robot cleans underwater nuclear waste

The A212 (Autonomous Aquatic Inspection and Intervention) autonomous robot is designed to eliminate the need for human beings to go into hazardous environments and is capable of cleaning underwater nuclear waste. Read more here.

Inmarsat launches new programme for IoT solution providers

The Application and Solution Provider (ASP) programme is launched by Inmarsat with the aim of ensuring more companies are able to access Internet of Things (IoT) to expand into new sectors and geographies. Read more here.

One of the US’s largest school districts hit by cyberattack

Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-based district, Broward County Public Schools, was cyber-attacked by a ransomware gang that demanded $40 million in ransom, threatening it would post the personal information of students and employees online otherwise. Read more here.

Eastern Caribbean launches central bank digital cash

The Eastern Caribbean will be issuing digital cash, called DCash, making them the first currency union central bank to do so. Read more here.

A priest-in-training gets a bionic arm

Sixteen years after losing his arm, Daniel Cant, a trainee vicar, has gotten a bionic arm and for the first time in their lives, can hug his kids with both arms. Read more here.

Virus-killing robots meant for passenger planes are being tested

Robots that use ultraviolet light to eliminate viruses aboard passenger planes are currently being tested by Swiss start-up UVeya with the help of Dubai-based company Dnata. Read more here.

Digital Gym-On-A-Wall startup now valued at $1.6 billion

Tonal, the digital Gym-On-A-Wall startup, which provides customers with a home exercise virtual experience has raised $250 million, valuing the company at $1.6 billion. Read more here.

New Ericsson lab in Canada aimed at testing new 5G tech

The Swedish company Ericsson has opened a lab in Ottawa, Canada to work on new 5G radio access networks (RAN) technologies. Read more here.

US Lawmakers request Big Tech to provide research on kids’ mental health

Four Republican U.S. Lawmakers have made a request for Facebook, Twitter and Google to provide any research they have done on how their online platforms affect the mental health of children. Read more here.

Electric vehicles as huge focus of Toyota’s Lexus lineup

Lexus, an auto brand owned by Toyota, has announced that by 2025, it will be introducing 20 new or improved car models of which more than ten will be electric, including battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrids and hybrid electric cars. Read more here.

AWS launches Space Accelerator programme for startups

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is launching AWS Space Accelerator, a support programme open for space startups interested in using Amazon’s cloud computing services. Read more here.

Apple Maps to show COVID-19 airport travel guidelines in India

Apple Maps has made it possible for users who are travelling by aeroplanes to see COVID-19 travel guidelines at select airports. Read more here.

People’s trust in tech drops according to a new study

According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in technology has declined during the pandemic and has even hit an all-time-low in 17 of the 27 countries that were surveyed. Read more here.

Amazon brings Alexa to Lamborghini’s Huracán EVO

Drivers of Lamborghini’s Huracán EVO now have access to Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, and can use it not just to ask questions but control settings inside the car such as adjust air conditioning and airflow direction, all hands-free. Read more here.

Launch of the first WiFi 6e network in Europe, Africa and the Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced they will be launching the full 6 GHz frequency band available for Wi-Fi use, which will make them the first country to accomplish this in the Europe, Africa and Middle East regions. Read more here. 

US Supreme Court rules in favor of Google in case against Oracle

The US Supreme Court has made an official ruling in the decade-old Google v. Oracle case, saying that Google is not guilty of copyright infringement against Oracle. Read more here.

Irish startup makes app that tracks carbon footprint of food purchases

Dublin-based startup Evocco has created an app that can figure out the climate impact of what you eat based on your grocery store receipt. Read more here.

Facebook data leak of over 500 million users under investigation

The personal details of over 500 million Facebook users have been stolen, including their phone numbers and locations, in a data leak that is currently under investigation by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC). Read more here.

Klaudia Żychowska

Klaudia Żychowska is a Polish native who grew up in Chicago. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Professional Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she decided to move back to Poland to reconnect with her roots. She is fascinated by smart cities and innovative technologies and is responsible for content strategy at NaviParking.

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