The tech business week: ‘Digital Quarter’ for Cork, Kinesense in video analytics deal for UK police

14 Apr 2014

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the call for a Digital Quarter for the City of Cork.

Cork City needs its own ‘Digital Quarter’, urge tech leaders

The City of Cork, which has a long-standing heritage in the global technology industry, needs to create its own Digital Quarter in order to foster innovation and create jobs, according to a think tank.

Denis Collins of IBM, who is also chairman of the board of it@Cork and the European Tech Cluster, led the call for a Digital Quarter for Cork during a recent meeting of key leaders in the region, convened through the EU-funded BeWiser project.

The think tank gathering focused on harvesting recommendations to increase digital literacy, expand ICT education and attract new business, thereby stimulating dynamic focused economic growth in the area.

Dublin tech firm in deal to bring CCTV video analytics to UK police

Dublin video analytics start-up Kinesense has partnered with Northgate Public Services to provide police in the UK with software to allow them to source video evidence from CCTV footage quickly and easily.

Video content analytics (VCA) technology allows investigators to save up to 95pc of the time normally spent sifting through CCTV footage to find key events, which the software finds automatically.

In the UK, it is estimated CCTV is used in more than 75pc of major investigations and in more than 64pc of all cases. However, the time and effort required to retrieve, view, analyse and report on video footage as evidence can be a huge drain on resources.

Twitter buys Android lockscreen player Cover for undisclosed sum

Social media giant Twitter has acquired lockscreen app maker Cover for an undisclosed sum.

Cover is an Android-only app that learns when and where a consumer uses different apps and places them on his or her device’s lockscreen for easy access.

“Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android,” said Todd Jackson, founder of Cover. “They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter – more useful and more contextual – and together we’re going to make that happen.”

Dropbox secures more than US$500m

Dropbox has secured more than US$500m in credit financing, which could be earmarked to improve the cloud storage company’s infrastructure and ensure its strength in an increasingly competitive online storage market.

Reports from Re/code and The Financial Times differ in speculating how this financing will be used, with the former reckoning it will be applied to the company’s general business while the latter sees it being invested in global infrastructure.

The Financial Times reported this credit facility led by JP Morgan makes Dropbox one of the best-financed private US internet start-ups, with more than US$1.1bn raised to date.

Mobile on curve to become world’s fourth largest advertising medium

Mobile advertising is growing six times faster than conventional desktop advertising and by 2016 is forecast to represent 28pc of internet expenditure and will leapfrog radio, magazines and outdoor to become the world’s fourth-largest medium.

Improvement in the global economy, the spread of programmatic buying, and the rapid rise of mobile advertising is to drive this growth, according to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts.

Global ad spend will be boosted this year by the three ‘semi-quadrennial’ events – the Winter Olympics, the football World Cup, and the mid-term elections in the US – which will benefit television in particular, according to the forecasts.

Shake-up at Apple – Jony Ive to lead software design as Christie departs

Apple’s senior vice-president of design Jony Ive is set to embrace a more expanded role at the technology giant following the retirement of long-time human interface chief Greg Christie.

The move will mean Ive, who played a critical role in the design of iOS 7, as well as leading the physical design of Apple’s hardware devices, such as Macs, iPhones and iPads, will assume total responsibility for Apple’s software design going forward, according to reports from both 9to5Mac and The Wall Street Journal.

The shake-up means all software engineers will work directly under Ive and alongside his industrial design group.

Financial results this week

Three high-profile tech companies are scheduled to release their first-quarter financial results this week. Chip giant Intel is to reveal its results on 15 April, while tech giant IBM and internet search titan Google are to release their results on 16 April.

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