Category Archives: Technology

Weekly news round up 9 November 2017

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.


The Spanish Bank, BBVA, approached its latest mobile app in a totally different way. They reduced the size of the team to 15 and incorporated Design Thinking (for more information about Design Thinking, read this excellent article from the UK Design Council). The results have been very impressive:

  • Credit card applications increased by 80%
  • Current account openings by 20%
  • Sales of investment funds up 50%
  • Sales in pension plans, health insurance and home insurance doubled
  • Car insurance tripled
  • People carrying out mortgage simulations tripled.


Warning: fake WhatsApp apps started appearing this week
Warning: fake WhatsApp apps started appearing this week

It’s been a shameful week for security with two large public scams. The first was a fake WhatsApp app appeared in the Google Play store. It would have taken a very keen eye to spot any problem with the fake app. And the second scam was fake supermarket vouchers being distributed among WhatsApp users. The problem with the voucher was that it took users to a landing page which asked for personal details. Continue reading Weekly news round up 9 November 2017

Weekly news round up 2 November 2017

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.


There might be fewer [free] ATMs in the UK soon. Link, the banking organisations who fund 70,000 UK-based, free UK cash machines, want to cut their contributions by 20%.

McKinsey wrote a report about banks needing to create their own platforms and new business models as Alibaba, Amazon and Google start competing with them. McKinsey said that banks need to capitalise on their consumer trust and wealth of data. I agree and wrote a comment on the article which then spawned an online debate. Continue reading Weekly news round up 2 November 2017

Weekly news round up (18 October 2017)

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.


The five biggest announcements from Amazon’s hardware event were:

  1. The Echo alarm clock (spot)
  2. Echo plus (a home hub)
  3. Cheaper echos in a three-pack
  4. Echo buttons
  5. BMW integration
  6. New Fire TV.

Hmmm… that’s six products. The big question: does a houseful of echos make an echo chamber?

The new GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera. It looks outstanding, even if it makes your hand look a little odd on playback. Watching it again, I cannot believe the video quality of this tiny device:

Continue reading Weekly news round up (18 October 2017)

The future of digital advertising

Shipping and sea routes - see the big data example belowI was kindly invited to an event today called “The Ad Apocalypse And The Rise Of Interactive Brand Experiences”, hosted by wayin. Wayin runs a content management system for brands to run interactive campaigns in their digital advertising.

Although the event proved how wayin was the answer to several of life’s challenges, there were a few interesting thought leadership pieces at the event which I’ve tried to capture below.

My apologies for brevity in the notes format and any spelling mistakes.

Wayin introduction, Richard Jones (Wayin CEO)

Richard started by describing how Mondelez has pulled £100M from their advertising recently due to the lack of impact that their digital advertising spending is having. They’ve never pulled ad spend before the holiday season. Continue reading The future of digital advertising

Weekly interesting news round up

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.


Let’s start with some good news! ING ran a trial of contactless charity donation boxes. The trial resulted in average donations doubling old-fashioned cash collection tins. I think the new donation box design could be improved, but it still encourages generosity to charities. .

Apple is close to launching their person to person payments service. It’s purely proprietary – which means only Apple users will be able to send and receive payments. I predict Apple Pay Cash will have a bigger cash stockpile this time next year than many high street banks. This is because users will keep their received cash on their device, simply because it will be easier than transferring it into a bank account. Continue reading Weekly interesting news round up

InsTech London September event

19 start ups appeared at InsTech London September
Here are the 19 start ups at InsTech London September

Last night was the latest InsTech London event. InsTech, or InsureTech or InsurTech (please can someone confirm the standard nomenclature?) applies to the insurance industry in the way that FinTech was the industry disruption in the financial industry.

Insurance is ripe for this disruption because so many business processes are done on paper (quite literally – and this is where the term underwriter comes from) or a combination of Excel spreadsheets and email. Continue reading InsTech London September event

Digital best practice: Release regularly

One of the best practice digital principles we talk about at Endava is regular rollouts to users. The more regular and automated you can make them, the quicker you can provide additional functionality to your users.


Amazon’s release to live every 11.6 seconds. This was the mean average for weekdays during May 2011. During that month, they had up to 1,079 production deployments per hour. Continue reading Digital best practice: Release regularly

The safe view of autonomous cars

A former GM car factory in Detroit
Credit: Thomas Hawk on Flickr

There are three key factors which affect car insurance – accidents (claims), theft, and the policy holder.

Here’s a thought about autonomous cars and accidents: “A total of 25,160 people were killed or seriously injured in the year ending September 2016, up by 6 per cent from the previous year, and 182,560 casualties of all severities.” Of that 25,160, around 5% are caused by drink-driving. The current estimate is that 1,380 people were killed or seriously injured when at least one driver was over the limit.

Whilst these figures only overlap by a few months (the drink driving numbers are for the year 2015), let’s combine them as there’s nothing to suggest there was any statistical anomalies around that time.

According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists, “in 2014 driver/rider error or reaction were cited as contributory factors in 74% of accidents”. I doubt driver or rider skills changed much between 2014 and 2016, so some simple maths shows that around 18,618 people were killed or seriously injured by a car driver or rider who was at fault for the accident. Continue reading The safe view of autonomous cars

2017 digital predictions

This is now the seventh year of my digital predictions for the forthcoming twelve months (see here for 2016).

Supermarket checkouts - RIP in 2017 from Amazon Go?
Supermarket checkouts – RIP in 2017 from Amazon Go?

There are industry commentators and research analysts who release their predictions for the coming year. But I’m the only one brave enough to mark their homework at the end of the year! Last year I scored a respectable 61%.

Although President Trump and Brexit-at-some-point won’t have a direct impact on technology, there will be an indirect impact on consumer prices and investments into startups. Whether this affects the technology market in 2017 or later is difficult to say. Continue reading 2017 digital predictions

My Favourite Gadget, Book and App in 2016

Every year I list my favourite gadget, book and app from the last twelve months, so here they are for 2016:

Favourite gadget

A smartwatch. I never expected them to be this useful.

During the summer I ran my first marathon and bought a running watch to track my runs. The watch, a Garmin Forerunner 235, has a number of smartwatch features, including alerts that show on my phone, such as text messages, calls, Facebook alerts and so on, also show on my watch.

The watch also has a step and sleep counter, which I’d never as useful beforehand, but the step counter is moderately addictive. I can tell how well I sleep – I don’t need a watch to tell me.

Although the user interface on the watch is terribly over complicated, I still love the watch. Friends who have an Apple Watch still need to charge them daily, and the Forerunner can last at least a week.

Favourite book

The book that stopped me tweeting before boarding flights

I haven’t read as many books this year, but my favourite was ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed’ by Jon Ronson. I like Ronson’s style of writing, and I’m constantly worried (and telling the kids) of the dangers of a simple social media update upsetting others.

If you are interested in social networks, I thoroughly recommend the book. Since reading the book I try not to tweet when I’m boarding a plane, just in case autocorrect strikes.

Favourite app

I have a few friends who have started producing podcasts, and they use Podbean. I’ve been using the Podbean app for a while, but I still don’t find it very intuitive. It could be much simpler.

My favourite app for 2016 was Google Maps. Google have released a number of new, really good features. As a family we travel all over the UK. Google Maps has excellent voice recognition and smart route navigation, taking real-time traffic into account. But the 2016 killer feature is being able to search for something en-route, such as a petrol station or a specific restaurant. This is also voice controlled, and results are shown along the route.


This leaves me to wish everyone who reads this site, and your family, a wonderful holiday period, together with a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.