FS Fives: Wednesday, August 3

First up, we bring you news of a breakthrough made by scientists at Edinburgh University, in conjunction with UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The joint research effort has come up with a way of detecting mixtures of chemicals potentially used in explosives through the development of new software that can be used on handheld scanners.

Previously scanners were only able to pick up ‘single’ chemicals but thanks to the new software they will now be able to analyse much larger ‘spectral databases’ in order to identify combinations of chemicals.

The development is being hailed as a major boost to ‘homeland security’.

Rhea Clewes, Senior Scientist in Chemical Sensing, Dstl, added: “This novel software will allow us to accurately identify small amounts of hazardous chemicals much more quickly than before.”

Gaming researchers gather

Over 300 of the world’s sharpest minds in digital games research have now registered to be part of the first joint international conference of DiGRA and FDG, which runs this week at Abertay University in Dundee.

It is being billed as the first time that the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and the Foundations of Digital Games conferences (FDG) will join together in an unprecedented gathering of games researchers.

Conference tracks include: Game design; Game criticism and analysis: Play studies, Interaction and player experience; Artificial intelligence; Game technology and Game production.

Tech events calendar

Ever wanted a quick and easy way to find a tech event near you? Well, a new tool that has been developed might have solved the problem. Open Tech Calendar is currently listing events in various locations across Scotland including: Aberdeen (19) Dundee (3) Edinburgh (56) Falkirk (4) Glasgow (22) Inverness (6).

The firm’s James Baster says: “We are the main listings site for tech events in Scotland, and our Open Data is reused on other websites, posted to Facebook Groups, Slack channels and email lists. In this way, we silently support a lot of other activity that goes on!”

Well worth investigating if you don’t have time to endlessly search Google.

Find tech companies

Another great look-up tool has been posted by InvestinEdinburgh. This map allows you to home in on over 100 leading tech companies across the capital, with the ability to drill down into individual tech disciplines including fintech. It’s quite a handy tool, especially for those not familiar with the city as it highlights transport options and universities and colleges.

And finally…Ever wondered about the secret behind developing sophisticated facial recognition software? Well here’s a step-by-step guide.

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