FS Fives: Tuesday, June 7

Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.

First up, we bring you news of a conference on smart cities this afternoon in Glasgow.
The European ITS Congress will hear that local authorities across the UK could make better use of new so-called ‘smart city’ technologies, such as big data analytics and cloud computing, to revolutionise their local transport systems and reduce costs. Glasgow itself will be held up as a ‘best practice’ example through its use of technologies such as multi-modal journey planners and traveller information services to keep passengers informed about their journeys.
The Congress will take place from 6 to 9 June at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) with the theme “Delivering Future Cities Now”.

Following a recent report from EY that there has been a record level of investment into Scotland, with software accounting for 19 of the 119 foreign direct investment projects into the country, EY has kindly fleshed out some of where that money went. Below is listed some company names and what was achieved as a result:

eVision Industry Software B.V: Aberdeen, new office

Avaloq Innovation: Edinburgh, expansion of R&D centre

PriceMatch SAS: Edinburgh, new office

FIS: Edinburgh, new office

Uber: Edinburgh &  Glasgow, new offices

All businesses are now digital businesses to a greater or lesser extent, says Angus McSween, chief executive of cloud computing firm Iomart. This morning it announced a 16% rise in revenue, to £76.3m, and a 14% rise in pre-tax profits of £19m. More applications and workloads are moving to the cloud, the Internet of Things is creating more data, and people expect access to what they need through mobile devices. McSween said the growth of global players was creating opportunities for businesses like Iomart: “The public cloud vendors led by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft continue to win market share. It is becoming clear that they will require an ecosystem of businesses orbiting them to provide services and support.”

Edinburgh University is looking for commercial partners to license software it has developed which provides a method for early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Researchers say that while memory impairment is the hallmark of AD, it also occurs in healthy ageing and chronic depression, making it challenging to detect and monitor. “There is an urgent need for a reliable, cost-effective, simple and easily administered memory test that can distinguish AD from other disorders.” They have developed the Edinburgh Temporary Binding Assessment (ETBA), which takes advantage of findings which show that people in the early stages of AD have a particular difficulty in remembering novel combinations of colours and shapes over short periods of time. Software that presents a set of abstract shapes, a set of specific colour hues, and combinations of shapes and colour, has proved to be highly accurate in detecting AD and distinguishing it from memory impairment in healthy older people and people with depression.

And finally…the Powerpoint presentation to beat all Powerpoint presentations; 213 “data-dense” slides delievered at the recent Code Conference in 24 minutes and 40 seconds, from venture capitalist Mary Meeker and her annual Internet Trends report.