Round-Up: The Technology You Missed This Week

Driverless cars in the UK next year

Google may have been testing their driverless cars in the US for a while now but the UK has just announced it will start testing from the start of next year.

Now driverless cars are set to be tested in three cities around the UK. Cities who want to test out the cars now have to bid for the right to do so.

Source: BBC News

Hotels without keys


Hilton hotels around the world are going to start letting those staying with them to check in and use iPhones as a hotel key.

The hotel isn’t the first to implement the technology but it is will be the biggest one to date – global roll out is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

Source: 9 to 5 Mac 

Image courtesy of JuliusKielaitis /

Weighing the Way


Astronomers have worked out that the Milky Way is lighter than they thought previously.

Scientists have worked out it is about half the entire mass of a neighbouring galaxy. 

Source: BBC News

Fake plants in space

The first man-made biological leaf could help us to colonise space by providing a renewable source of oxygen.

The leaf has been made so it can produce oxygen by combining water and air.

Virtual reality for addiction treatments

Virtual reality has heaps of potential uses for the future, most of these are for entertainment but one university is using the technology to help trwat heroin addicts. 

The worlds they are creating are set to recreate situations that trigger cravings. 

Source: Motherboard

Image courtesy of JuliusKielaitis /

Wearable tech set to revolutionise disaster recovery and emergency response

Wearable tech can help the emergency services by freeing up their hands an allowing them to access more information while carrying out essential tasks.

At a recent London event Samsung and consultants Ovum said that the emergency services and healthcare professionals can significantly benefit from the rapidly advancing field of wearable technology.

He said the devices have huge benefits for those in emergency services as they will enable workers to use their hands while also receiving the information they need to know.

Adrian Drury from Ovum, at the Futurescape event, said: “Fire police, rescue, these are the people who are really interested in wearable tech to make their jobs better.”

As an example he said those working in hospitals will be able to benefit from seeing vital patient information, on systems like Google Glass, while still being able to treat the patient.

The potential for using Google Glass and other wearable technology in situations which require a fast, or expert, response is only just being realised.

In recent weeks Google announced a first round of companies which would start to use glass in the work place.

This included Augmedix a company that is teaming up doctors with the headwear to help them see information about the patients in front of them.


Now BAE Systems has launched new software that can be used with Glass in the event of a natural disaster.

The company has launched a new prototype app that allows emergency workers to collect data and images from an area while they are doing other, more urgent, jobs.

This will allow damage to be assessed and the data collected uploaded to a server which is accessible by those in a command centre.

The technology offers the potential to be able to allow first responders in emergency environment to focus on life threatening issues while also capturing what is happening in the surrounding area.

This may be able to give those who are responsible for co-ordinating a larger response to see the extent of a potential situation and then act in an appropriate way.


DeEtte Gray, president of BAE Systems’ intelligence and security sector said: “Disasters affecting a large number of people spread across a wide geographical area present a significant challenge for emergency responders.”

Peder Jungck, also from the company, said: “Crowdsourcing enables emergency responders to quickly provide real-time images, video and intelligence back to the command post, so decision makers can effectively determine when and where to deploy resources”.

Image one courtesy of Augmedix