Tech update June 2018

Posted on: June 8th, 2018

Each month we look at the latest news coming from the world of tech. This month features news from Japanese tech conglomerate Toshiba, KPMG and a new Ugandan social media tax. 

Google have partnered up with energy supplier Eon and German software firm Tetraeder to supply the UK with their new service “Project Sunroof”. The service will enable users to measure the ‘solar potential’ of their homes using data collected from technologies such as Google Earth. This follows a similar launch last year from Swedish home furnishings company IKEA, in collaboration with Solarcentury.

Japanese tech conglomerate Toshiba, has finally completed the sale of its chip division to US private equity firm Bain Capital, more than two months behind schedule. The sale is said to be part of an attempt by Toshiba to fill the financial holes which resulted from the failure of Toshiba’s nuclear unit.

Finnish telecoms company Nokia has decided to sell its digital health sector back to the founder of Withings, the company who originally owned the connected health devices division. It appears the health devices did not bring in as much profit as anticipated, and that entrances to the market from Chinese companies means that competition is becoming very fierce.

KPMG will be joining forces with Google to revolutionise workplace tech. The collaboration will see Google’s Cloud Platform being used to create a portfolio of industry solutions, which will enable customers to play an active role in the creation of their own business solutions.

Swedish dominant telecoms operator Telia, which has a widespread presence across the Nordic and Baltic countries, plans to buy one of the Nordic region’s biggest television companies, Bonnier Broadcasting. Telia shares fell by 4% as a result of the news, with investors fearing this would jeopardise the planned return of cash. However Telia’s CFO has confirmed that cash will be returned to the shareholders as planned.

The UK Government has confirmed that new laws will be put in place this year to help ensure safe usage of drones. The laws will prohibit drones from flying above 400ft and from flying within 1 km of airport boundaries. They will also make registration with the Civil Aviation Authority mandatory for pilots of drones weighing 250g or more.

The Ugandan parliament has passed a law which will enable a tax to be applied to the use of social media messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. The Ugandan President contends that the tax is a necessary means of curtailing “gossip”. However critics have branded the decision as ‘stifling’ to freedom of expression and argue that the tax will be difficult to apply in practice.