Steve Rogerson looks at some of the recent news that may have missed the front page.
When you go to McDonald’s or another fast-food outlet, do you return your tray or leave it on the table for the staff to clean up? I remember having a discussion about this, and one person said you should empty the tray to help the hard-worked staff. The other side of the argument is that if everyone left their tray on the table then McDonald’s and the like would have to employ more people - thus creating jobs.
Both valid reasons, but obviously the fast-food outlets would prefer you clean your own tray up, and they are now turning to technology to encourage you to do so. Researchers in Singapore have come up with an RFID-tagged tray for which customers have to pay a $1.00 deposit. Only when an RFID reader detects the tray has been returned will it give the customer the money back.
The latest company to win my ‘Naff Name Change Award’ is Adeneo Embedded, and with a name like that I can understand why they wanted to change. But to what? The marketing people have come up with Witekio. What? Their justification for the change was that it: “Signifies a new market positioning for the company based on the belief that the future success of embedded projects will no longer mainly depend on technical expertise but the ability to optimise the system software integration.” If someone can explain how that leads to “Witekio” then I am all ears.
Talking of names, there is a Manchester company called Purple that describes itself as “an intelligent spaces company.” So, not satisfied with making just about every object smart, we are now filling the gaps in between. As to the name, its website says purple was the favourite colour of the founder’s three-year-old daughter. I approve. So Adeneo, next time you want a new name, ask your kids.
The most unusual statistic of the month comes from Pier Insurance brand Loveit Coverit, which analysed insurance claims from its mobile phone users and found that iPhone owners are twice as likely to drop their phones as those with a Samsung model. Speaking as someone with one of each, I just want to know why.
And finally, I can’t be the only one who is a little worried that a company called Firefly has developed an electric car for five to ten year olds. They will probably use it to drive to McDonald’s and take their trays back.
Image: These are drummers, but without massive drum kits because they are using what is claimed to be the world’s largest smart fabric sensor to create the world’s most responsive smart drum pad. It was jointly developed by Bebop Sensors and Keith McMillen Instruments