Last week was one of the largest meetings of tech companies in Europe. London Tech week is a chance for the worlds best, brightest and innovative companies to showcase their latest software’s and gadgets. Across London there were a variety of different conferences from TechXLR8, held at the Excel Centre, to the India-UK Tech Summit held at the luxurious Jumeriah Carlton Towers in Knightsbridge.
Below are 5 keys takeaways:
- AR/VR has come a long way!
The cavernous rooms at the Excel Centre are impressive on their own merit. Try throwing in over 20 companies showcasing their variation of Augmented and Virtual Reality product. Two companies that particularly impressed were Valorem Active and Redbox VR. The formers Hololens AR headsets, allow engineers in different geographical locations to view a mutually visible hologram of an item (for example a deconstructed modem) and manipulate that products individual components. The latter’s educational VR googles, who’s image is ultimately powered by the students mobile phone, allows entire classrooms to look round the international space station! In summary, AR/VR is looking very impressive at the moment.
2. AI – The 4th industrial revolution
We sat down in IBM’s silent theatre and took in a couple of 20 minute presentations on the applications of AI. The applications from banking to education were astonishing and the direction the technology is developing shows AI is no longer the stuff of dreams. There is now even a Ministry of AI. This government body has been established to ensure there are enough AI courses at University, ensuring there is a strong skill base in the UK. But what of the impacts of AI? Recently Oxford University received a donation of $150 million to fund studies into the ethics of AI by US billionaire Stephen Schwarzman. Concerns have been made about how the expansion of artificial intelligence could have a significant impact on society – including the loss of jobs due to automation.
3. Sometimes 1 summit just isn’t enough
After attending 2 summits in 1 day and meeting a variety of clients, we felt we had reached our maximum. However, we met a few individuals who had attended 5 meet up’s/summits that day! Surely one would think “summit fatigue” (a phrase coined?) would have set in. But no, these individuals wore their admission passes like a badge of honour. Very commendable and a sign of true dedication to expanding their wider knowledge.
4. Crypto Winter is well and truly over
We spoke with a number of Asset Management companies who are looking to add Cryptocurrency to their investment portfolio. It seems confidence in the market has never been higher! With companies like Vo1t, the cold asset storage facility, receiving insurance backing from AON, it’s never been safer to buy and store your; Bitcoins, Litecoins and Etherium. With the recent announcement that Facebook are launching their own form of the Cryptocurrency called Libra (backed by the USD and GBP) the chills of Crypto winter seem but a distant memory.
5. Monty Panansar is a funny bloke
We caught up with Monty at the India-UK Tech Summit. He was there as a guest speaker at the 7 pm networking event for Global Investor & CXO Networking Reception (not entirely sure why my colleague and I were there). Apart from plugging his new book, the Full Monty, he gave a great summary of the day and provided some well needed comic relief to the end of a long day. He has my business card…yet to connect with me. Come on Monty! We’ll make that book into a movie yet!