Tech addiction worries loom at CES

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.

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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.

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