Week in Tech: Cardiac, Cashless, Criminals and Cabs

Isn’t the glorious world of technology diverse? Every week, a new and exciting tech gadget comes along and changes the way we live our lives. And while many of these inventions, like contactless cards, cryptocurrency and health and transport apps help to make our lives a whole lot easier (no more waving down a black cab in the freezing cold!) should we also be thinking about any new risks that these inventions might bring along with them? Or should we just quit the worrying and enjoy the ride? Well anyway, enough with the doom and gloom, here is a quick round up of this week in tech…  

Google’s new AI algorithm predicts heart disease by looking at your eyes
Windows to the soul or windows to the heart? Google and its health-tech subsidiary Verily have revealed their new AI technology that can be used to assess an individual’s risk of heart disease. By scanning the back of the eye combined with other bits and bobs like age, smoking status and blood pressure they can predict the risk of someone suffering a heart attack. Although it needs some more testing before it hits the market, this algorithm has the same accuracy rating as the current methods without needing the dreaded blood test. Praise the lord, no more needles!

Debit cards are set to overtake notes and coins as the public turns to digital payments
Now the day has finally come that corner shops are no longer allowed to enforce that pesky minimum card spend, whoever has cash anymore? I think we are all guilty of being a bit tap-happy with our contactless card and these newly released figures prove just that. Research has shown that in 2016, £6 billion less was withdrawn from ATMs than in 2015. It has also been predicted that cash transactions will make up just 21% of the UK’s payments by 2026. Sorry waiters and waitresses, it’s looking like a cash in hand tip is becoming less and less likely.

Criminals are abducting the ‘cryptorich’ to steal their Bitcoin
Bad news for the cryptorich, a number of tech-savvy criminals around the globe are reportedly harassing and abducting people who have become rich trading cryptocurrencies, followed by a hefty ransom demand (rumoured has it to be in the starting range of $1 million!)
Despite sounding an awful lot like one of Liam Neeson’s next films, this is a very real problem facing cryptocurrencies owners today, as although the transactions themselves are traceable, its near impossible to identify the two parties involved. And just to add to the Hollywood drama of it all, this has become such a concern that some members of the cryptorich have even hired personal security teams to stand guard.

Citymapper’s launched a mincab-bus hybrid carpooling service after TFL approves PHV licence
Uh-oh, watch out Uber there’s a new guy in town. City transport app Citymapper have launched a coach/cab(ish) travel service called SmartRide, after receiving approval for their PHV licence allowing for up to 500 drivers! Citymapper will be running a small fleet of 8-seater minibuses with fixed destinations and pick up points, not unlike a bus stop. And to celebrate their launch they are running a week of free rides! I’m liking these people already.