FS Fives: Tuesday, May 31

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

First up, people involved in criminal proceedings may soon be able to keep track of the process on their smartphones. According to a new report from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, an attempt to modernise the justice system might include a “track your case” style system for witnesses or accused persons as well as a “make a plea online” element for unrepresented accused, allowing pleas currently dealt with by post to be fully digitised. The proposals were unveiled as examples of how a modernised courts system might work in future, and were contained in the 31-page ‘Evidence and Procedure Review – Next Steps’, of which one key recommendation was a ‘significant re-design of summary criminal procedures, in a way that takes full advantage of the new technologies that are available.’
Eric McQueen, Chief Executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, said: “For too long it has been easy to describe our criminal courts as products of the Victorian age. Our task now is to bring them right into the 21st Century, not by tinkering at the edges, but by radical digital reform to improve the quality of justice for all concerned.”

Scotland needs to realise its vision for digitally enabled care now, according to the organisers of a conference tomorrow featuring Deputy First Minister John Swinney. It’s time to move on from “grossly inefficient analogue systems” that do not meet the current needs of our citizens and hamper Scotland’s aspirations for world-class home-based care, says Tom Morton, chief executive of Communicare247. It’s time to commit to building a digital home care infrastructure; that approach has been taken forward in Sweden, where an impending digital communications switchover drove the country’s move to digital. The Delivering Scotland’s Vision for Integrated Digital Care conference in Glasgow will showcase how Sweden and others are using technology to provide an appropriate level of care for those in need. It will also feature an update on Scotland’s vision for digital health and care, and how health and care leaders can make the bold, logical and inevitable move to digital.

House-hunters will be able to go on a 360-degree ‘virtual tour’ of homes thanks to a new service launched by property law firm Aberdein Considine. Using similar technology to Google Street View, the firm has partnered with Eskimo Intelligent Solutions to offer remote digital viewing experiences across Scotland, via a smartphone/tablet app or desktop computer.
The virtual tours are created using rapid 360-degree imaging iSTAR panoramic cameras, which precisely capture full spherical images of the property. Individual panoramic images are ‘stitched’ together – similar to Google Street View – allowing the viewer to move through the property using their mouse or fingertips.
Bob Fraser, Senior Property Partner at Aberdein Considine, who has been buying and selling property in Scotland for 35 years, said: “I think the sector is now ready for this technology as it has dropped in price over the past 18-months, allowing it to become a feasible marketing tool for people selling their home.”

A ‘demonstrator project’ in Glasgow is testing the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in social housing. The Smart Neighbourhood at Broomhill will explore the benefits to landlords and tenants of the installation of a comprehensive package of sensor-based IoT devices, which will test around three hundred multi-functional IoT devices in RCH homes in Broomhill, near Greenock, and the surrounding external estate. River Clyde Homes hope to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Ability to predict maintenance needs and act at the right time thus saving unnecessary expenditure
  • Near real-time1 monitoring of appliances to minimise health and safety risks for residents
  • Better asset intelligence for business planning purposes
  • Greater visibility of energy usage to enable residents to better manage fuel poverty

And finally…Amid the perennial gloom of the financially-challenged news industry there may be a glimmer of hope, reports MondayNote. Can the likes of the New York Times (and the rest of us, Ed) learn how to monetise their products by taking lessons from the gaming industry? In-app news here we come?