In the loop: second chances and a principled approach to IoT

Karhoo has found a buyer while techUK has laid out a framework to guide startups creating connected devices

In the loop: second chances and a principled approach to IoT

techUK reveals its IoT trust principles

The internet of things (IoT) is set to make our homes smarter, our cities more connected and our lives easier but there are some concerns, especially around the security of IoT devices. In anticipation of the surge in devices in the next few years, techUK, the trade association for tech companies, has put together a set of principles aimed at creating a framework for IoT companies. For example, it thinks consumers should understand how their data is being used and that devices should be designed with cybersecurity in mind.

Commenting on the principles, Julian David, CEO of techUK’s said: “Trust is the oxygen which will breathe life into the internet of things. Industry needs to show data is safe and that it is properly treated.” Startups cooking up solutions reliant on IoT would do well to keep a copy close to hand.

Karhoo gets a second life

We reported back in November that Karhoo, the taxi app that allows people to compare the price of rides, was headed towards administration. But in a twist, Renault, the car manufacturer, has announced this week that it has acquired the startup and will provide it with full financial backing.

The decision to bring Karhoo back from the brink follows similar moves by other carmakers like Volkswagen and General Motors, which have invested in taxi apps Gett and Lyft respectively. As for Renault, it plans to relaunch Karhoo with Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine as co-CEOs some time this year. Hopefully this means the business will enjoy a smoother ride from here on out.

Under pressure: the cost of office life

We heard last week how peer pressure to eat cake could be making workers more unhealthy and it seems that snug clothes aren’t the only problem: office culture is probably making your wallet feel a tad lighter too.

According to Nationwide, office workers spend around £1,000 each year on things like tea and coffee, socialising and chipping in for birthday or leaving gifts. Commenting on the finding, Alan Oliver, head of external affairs at Nationwide, said: “While most people value the camaraderie of working in a team, birthdays, retirements and charity fundraisers can take their toll on our wallets and purses.”

The figure excludes travel expenses to work and things like your afternoon Pret fix, so when you consider all those extra costs it’s easy to understand why so many Brits are opting to work from home instead.

Overseas shoppers head to the high street, Brits shop from home

While a devalued pound is hurting some, there is a silver lining for Britain’s high-street retailers. Worldpay, the payments processing company, has revealed that foreign shoppers spent £725m in December, which is 22% more than they did they same time last year.

People from Hong Kong the US and the United Arab Emirates were most hungry for a bargain and flocked to bricks-and-mortar shops last Christmas. Meanwhile, it seems that British shoppers opted to stay clear of the high-street queues. BDO, the business advisory firm, surveyed over 70 retailers both big and small and discovered that online retailers enjoyed a 51% year-on-year jump in online sales in the week leading up to Christmas.

Next year, to save themselves from tears, retailers may want to consider how they’re catering to both overseas shoppers and domestic sofa surfers.

Maria Barr
Maria Barr

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