Sky's streaming apps are a viewing nightmare

Live streaming of sports over the Internet is the future of sports broadcasting. But when it comes to our most popular sport, rugby, we're beholden to a cable TV company: Sky. It's not as if Sky hasn't joined the online streaming revolution. It has no fewer than three live streaming apps in the iTunes App ... Read more

Holding algorithms accountable

Every day, more of our lives seem to fall under the control of computer algorithms. Think about the influence that Facebook's news feed has on your daily life, for example. Do you have any idea why you see one friend's posts a lot, but not another's? It's impossible to know for sure, because Mark Zuckerberg ... Read more

Why smartwatches haven't taken off

The Apple Watch was supposed to reinvigorate the ailing watch market. Yet two years after its release, many of us still don't wear a watch. For Apple, the product is a marginal revenue generator. While Apple doesn't reveal sales figures, research firm Canalys estimated that 11.9 million Apple Watches were sold in 2016. That apparently ... Read more

Boom time for blockchain

Last week I wrote about the bull market in bitcoin and other digital currencies. But in fact it's blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, that has the highest upside for the global economy. A blockchain is a distributed database that is used to securely record transactions and other types of data. For the past eight years, ... Read more

Bitcoin startups held up by banks

Earlier this month, the price of bitcoin went over US$3,000 for the first time in its eight-year history. The pioneering cryptocurrency has risen rapidly over the past few months, due to high demand in China plus Japan recently allowing bitcoin to be a legal means of payment. It's price is still volatile (as I write this, it's ... Read more

Your brain: the next frontier for startups

Imagine being able to post a Facebook update by simply thinking it. Or starting a chat with your friend using mind-to-mind communication. While those two scenarios sound more like science fiction than reality, several big-name companies are trying to make it happen. Facebook, Elon Musk's Neuralink and a well-funded startup called Kernel are all working ... Read more

Life After Moore's Law

Every year, we're used to computers getting faster and more powerful. If you buy a new computer every two years for the same price (let's say $2000), you'll basically get double the power each time. This phenomenon is known as Moore's Law, even though it isn't a scientific law at all. It's simply a trend, ... Read more

Transport as a service: are we there yet?

Autonomous cars is one of those tech topics we all love to speculate about. There's little doubt that autonomous cars will rule our roads at some point in the future, but the question is when. Elon Musk claims his company Tesla will have a level 4 autonomous car ready by 2019. There are five levels, so ... Read more

Techweek celebrates local innovation, but it's not all kumbaya

Earlier this month, the second annual Techweek was held in 24 locations across New Zealand. The week-long celebration of local innovation featured 287 events, from Whangarei to Dunedin. It was a big step up from last year's Techweek, which covered Auckland only. Originally created by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Techweek was subsequently ... Read more

Why VR movies are a bust in Hollywood

Virtual Reality has had its fair share of hype over the past couple of years, not least from the entertainment industry. There's been speculation about VR movies from the likes of Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg, and excitement about watching an NBA game or a Beyonce concert using the magic of VR. These are very ... Read more

Smart cities encounter roadblocks in NZ

Former IBM and Siemens executive Steffen Schaefer, from Germany, has worked on mobile internet and sensor networks - what today is called the Internet of Things - since 2000. He was involved with IBM's global Smart Cities initiative from the outset. But he says that many big tech companies have since scaled back, or refocused, their ... Read more

Why our banks are friending FinTech startups

FinTech is an emerging trend worldwide and in some parts of the world, has big banking institutions on the run (so to speak). The Economist recently named China "the world’s leader in fintech," thanks to its thriving mobile commerce ecosystem and "backward banks." There is a nascent FinTech industry in New Zealand too. But unlike ... Read more

Why mobile payments are huge in China, but neglected in the West

Silicon Valley is rightly seen as the world's centre of technological innovation. But there's one major technology category where Silicon Valley continues to be a laggard: e-commerce payments. Other than Paypal, a flawed product that somehow managed to dominate the early e-commerce ecosystem, there have been very few breakout online payments companies. Square and Stripe ... Read more

3D printing: more than just rocket parts & movie props

3D printing is one of those gee-whiz technologies that pops up from time to time in the media. Rockets with 3D printed engines! Peter Jackson's 3D printed props! Those are the glamour stories. But what I want to know - and what I set out to discover in the writing of this column - is ... Read more

Why we should invest in startups, not housing

For New Zealand, a small country thousands of miles away from nearly everyone else, digital trade is critical to our future growth. Technology is already the third biggest export sector in this country, behind our stalwart industries dairy and tourism. But there's still a lot that needs to be done to help us compete in ... Read more