Innovation

Digital Banking: A Trend You Can Bank On

On June 8, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned that the growing presence of tech players leveraging big data and artificial intelligence technology could significantly disrupt the world’s financial system.

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First Exoskeleton Suit Receives FDA Clearance

Marlborough, Mass.-based ReWalk Robotics has received clearance from Food and Drug Administration for the company’s ReStore soft exo-suit system designed for U.S. rehabilitation centers. ReStore is the only soft exo-suit with FDA clearance, and is intended for use in the treatment of stroke survivors with mobility challenges. The cost for ReStore will hover around the $100,000 mark, putting it out of reach for most patients but not rehab facilities. The technology should improve and lower costs. The global stroke management market is forecast to reach $37 billion by 2023, according to Allied Market Research.

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Delivery Drones

In April, Alphabet’s Wing became the first drone delivery company to gain Federal Aviation Administration approval to make commercial U.S. deliveries. Just five years ago, 63% of Americans thought it would be a “change for the worse” if commercial drones were given permission to fly through most U.S. airspace. But then again, you can’t have consumers assess future technologies because they have little understanding of its inherent potential. That is underscored by Morgan Stanley’s prediction that autonomous aircraft could become a $1.5 trillion industry by 2040. Meanwhile, Amazon has unveiled the latest iteration of its Prime Air delivery drone. Video below in our innovation video gallery.

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Bird Launches Cruiser Electric Moped

Scooter-sharing company Bird will offer an electric moped in select markets this summer, called the “Cruiser” the first to include a seat. Mopeds can be used like a bike, with the electric motor offering assistance to make pedaling easier, or as a motorcycle with feet on the pegs. The Cruiser features a 52-volt battery that lasts for 50 miles. It has disc brakes, a padded seat, an LCD screen, and is limited to a 30-mph speed. On June 12, Santa Monica-based Bird announced that it would acquire San Francisco-based Scoot. As we reported previously, the electric scooter market is heating up with Harley-Davidson recently launching one. Bird has raised a total of $415 million in funding over five rounds.

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KLM Flying V Jet

Dutch airline KLM, working with researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, has launched the Flying V jet concept, named after an iconic Gibson guitar featuring a similar shape. The Flying V was conceived by Justus Benad, a former student at the Technical University of Berlin. The Flying V is projected to use 20% less fuel than traditional designs, while accommodating 314 passengers in its oversize wings. Commercial release is slated for 2040. Boeing predicts that the airline industry will need 790,000 pilots in the next 20 years.

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Panic Playdate

Panic, a 20-year-old Mac software company, has made a major splash announcing its first hardware device. Playdate is a bright-yellow handheld gaming console with a monochrome screen that was co-developed with Swedish design firm Teenage Engineering and features games by such developers as Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy and Keita Takahashi. Playdate fits in your pocket and clearly strives to be the Gameboy of the Digital Natives generation. Playdate, which is a branding stroke of genius BTW, also features an innovative hand crank. If you have to ask, you’re not a gamer… Panic’s website is also stunningly cool.

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