Caught our eye

Driverless cars and robot colleagues


Mobile Computing

The watch is taking charge

The smart watches that are available up to now are not particularly convincing. Without a mobile phone, they can only be used to a limited extent, if at all. So why strap an additional device to your wrist when you have to take everything you need along in your trouser pocket anyway? The Canadian start-up Neptune is now reversing the dependency: the watch is becoming the smart hub that controls the apps and establishes mobile connections. And the phone? That degenerates to a dumb touch screen without its own processor. Same difference? No, because instead of the “pocket screen”, any touch screen that is just as restricted and, by means of a dongle, any screen can be transformed to an input device for the hub on your wrist. The major advantage: I always have my central computer with me, only need to synchronise it with my data cloud and can change my input device as I wish. Simon Tian, the only just 20-year-old founder of Neptune, is sure that his concept will usher in a new era in computing. In purely visual terms, his literally smart watch and its dumb screens certainly make a good impression. Whether they also keep their promises when it comes to use will become clear in February 2016. This is when the set consisting of watch, phone screen, tablet screen, keyboard, dongle and headphones currently advertised on the crowdfunding platform is due to be delivered.

The 20-year-old behind NeptuneThe Neptune Suite on Indiegogo

“We wanted to bring a driverless car to Switzerland to experience it live, try it out and gather real experience.”


First driverless car

“Autonomous driving will come in stages”
Why did Swisscom bring this car to Switzerland?

In our opinion, autonomous driving will come in stages. We wanted to bring a driverless car to Switzerland to experience it live, try it out and gather real experience. Over the next few months, we will continue to research aspects and topics relating to autonomous driving. For this purpose, we are looking into possible collaboration with various partners. We believe that on powerful communications systems and the networking of vehicles, objects and people are crucial for autonomous driving. These are our primary interests.

What is Swisscom planning for the future when it comes to driverless cars?

With regard to driverless cars, it is particularly interesting for Swisscom to examine which demands on the mobile network, backbone and cloud infrastructure are to be expected – in particular with regard to architecture, scalability, availability and security. Specifically, Swisscom is interested in examining the following services, among others: real-time traffic information, cloud platforms for applications as well as services for networked cars and infrastructure.

The driverless car in action


Startupbootcamp FinTech

Start-up wants to improve the liquidity of SMEs

At the first Startupbootcamp FinTech in Switzerland, Phil Lojacono, among others, presented his idea of a platform for faster payment of open customer items for SMEs. According to Lojacono, these rely on being able to use financial means again as soon as possible. For this purpose, Advanon – the name of the start-up – aims to link the SMEs with investors who will settle the invoices within 48 hours. The finance and banking student has been working on the platform of the same name, together with two colleagues, for almost a year. The motivated young entrepreneurs’ project is currently in a pilot phase and should be going live this summer. At the event, Lojacono received a great deal of positive feedback from the experts, which gave him confidence. For the launch, the start-up plans to expand the team.

First event in Zurich

Startupbootcamp FinTech is an international accelerator that supports start-ups in the area of Financial Technology (FinTech). In collaboration with Swisscom and Credit Suisse, the organisation has held a fast track event for the first time in Zurich. Ten start-ups presented their business ideas to experienced start-up and FinTech experts. They then received critical feedback and tips for implementation in 1:1 sessions. Up to know, the organisation is primarily known for its start-up events in London and Singapore.

More about StartupbootcampMore about Advanon


Industry 4.0

YuMi, my nimble colleague

YuMi is aware of its environment and has remarkable fine motor skills. For this reason, the collaborative robot from ABB no longer needs to sit behind bars like its predecessors, but can put together smartphones or other small devices hand in hand with its human colleagues. Here, it takes over the jobs that are repetitive or hazardous to health. Its flesh-and-blood partner is responsible for everything that requires situational flexibility. However, its human compatibility is not the only thing that distinguishes YuMi from its electromechanical predecessors. The dual-armed assembly assistant does not have to be extensively reprogrammed for every new task, either. It is enough to simply guide its arms and the robot then programs the new motions itself. And because it only weighs 38 kilograms, it can also quickly be moved to a new workstation and a new human colleague to help put together a different little device.

The ABB remedy for the lack of specialist workers Here’s what YuMi can do 


Internet of Things

The world’s best platform for all things

Man is a social animal. He builds up a personal relationship even with the things that he possesses. The Allthings platform from the Basel enterprise Qipp helps maintain the relationships with all the items we have learned to love. It is a kind of social network of things that makes every item – no matter whether it is itself capable of accessing the Internet – into an interactive object by means of a digital identity. And it’s not only individual belongings that can be networked in this way. Brand owners can use it to establish a customer relationship and communities relating to the individual product, property management companies can provide their tenants with an app for organising all domestic equipment including all servicing plans, or companies can distribute their resources more efficiently internally and with other parties. The “Facebook of things” from the Zurich Technical University spin-off has now also convinced the jury at the IoT/M2M Innovation World Cup. In Barcelona, Qipp not only won the Connected Home category but was also selected as the best solution out of a total of more than 400 entries from over 70 countries.

The Qipp app for residents of the Erlenmatt development What Qipp can do 


Big Brother

When the algorithm knows when I’m going to give notice

Big Data reveals things that even those who are directly involved don’t exactly know. For example, whether somebody is likely to hand in their notice within the next year. Precisely this information is what the software from Workday promises to calculate from the data available in the HR system and on social media platforms. The aim is to allow companies to change the minds of those who are candidates for leaving in a targeted manner. The software also supplies the solutions that promise to be successful in each individual case. It knows who will respond to money and who is more interested in a new challenge or even who simply needs a different supervisor. However, in addition to the marketed purpose, the data is likely to also be of interest to security departments within the company. After all, employees who leave the company are responsible for the majority of cases of data theft.

How the HR software reads minds