Month in Tech: Tech into Christmas
Here we are again. The clocks have gone back, the lights have gone up, the festive sandwiches are on the shelves, and our Business Development Manager is out sampling them. Now we find ourselves at the start of December with Christmas around the corner – the busiest retail season of the year. Ahead of the chaos, we take a look at some of the biggest news stories emerging from the world of tech…
Woolworths, Toys R Us, Poundworld. The list of retail casualties is long. We’re constantly hearing about the death of the high street as shoppers seek better deals online. But luckily, Google – traditionally part of the problem – has decided to spread a little Christmas spirit and do something about the issue (while cashing in). It’s teamed up with start-up, NearSt, to help consumers see what’s available in their local shops via the web. The system will give info on proximity and prices, and will be rolled out across the UK over the next 12 months.
For our own good, we can’t be trusted to shop online. Stats from Action Fraud show UK customers lost more than £11 million to online shopping fraud last Christmas. Fraudsters capitalised on our collective desire for cheap MacBooks, UGG boots, and iPhones, using bargain deals on popular items to fool consumers into paying for items that will never arrive.
More than 90 contactless donation points have been set up across London to help tackle homelessness this Winter. By tapping, passers-by will automatically donate £3 to the cause, which will be put into a collective pot and split between 22 homeless charities across London. It’s probably the cheapest but most valuable gift you’ll give this year.
Capitalising on the human need to exert as little effort as possible at all times, LG is developing a self-driving shopping trolley to follow shoppers around the supermarket. Featuring an odd little robotic “face-like” screen (creepy) and a barcode scanner, the invention is will likely undergo trials in South Korea, before failing disastrously in its UK roll-out because we’re not ready for it and our high street’s dying anyway.