At the Consumer Electronics Show, there are few problems to which the technology industry’s solution is not “more technology”, my colleague Tim Bradshaw reports from Las Vegas, where the world’s gadget makers have flocked for their biggest annual gathering.
So the timing could not have been worse for two Apple shareholders who together own about $2bn of the iPhone maker’s stock to launch an activist campaign over technology addiction and children’s health.
Worse still, the investors turned a social issue that had been steadily gaining momentum over the past year into a threat to share prices, arguing that the “long-term health” of young people and society are “inextricably linked” to the “long-term viability” of companies such as Apple.
Having the topic thrust back into the headlines just as CES got under way blindsided the industry. Unlike artificial intelligence, robots or virtual reality, digital addiction was hardly a hot topic on the show floor this week.
Many tech executives have been privately grappling with the problem, with a growing number of Silicon Valley parents limiting smartphone usage by their children.
Yet the perceived impact on the bottom line of encouraging customers to use their products less makes it difficult for tech companies, software developers or telecoms operators to discuss the problem.
Read more from Tim here, and follow all our CES coverage here.
Flag as Important
Fox and the Mouse
Walt Disney’s looming deal for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets is fueling unease at Fox’s film and TV studio, with questions over how executives and movies will fit Disney’s template
A clampdown on virtual currencies is gathering pace in one of the world’s most exuberant bitcoin markets. South Korea’s plans to ban cryptocurrency trading sent bitcoin tumbling as much as 14 per cent
Asia VC funding set to eclipse US
Global venture capital funding increased nearly 50 per cent year on year in 2017 to more than $164bn invested across 11,042 deals, according to a new survey. In Asia, funding more than doubled while in the US it rose 17 per cent year on year but deal volume fell to 5,052, the lowest level since 2012
Politico goes inside the weird world of Trump-themed podcasts
Uber vs the cops
The ride-hailing company thwarted police raids in foreign countries using a remote system, Businessweek reports
The rise of Roku
Variety profiles the TV streaming powerhouse and its founder, Anthony Wood
Tech tools you can use – Ovie Smarterware
Fresh from CES, here is a gadget to help you keep track of leftovers before they get lost in the back of your fridge.
CNET explains: “Smarterware is basically a Bluetooth button you can stick on your Tupperware. Using it is supposedly as simple as sticking it to your Tupperware when you scoop in your leftovers, and telling Alexa what they are. Ovie’s database will take care of the rest.” Read more here.