Report: Cryptocurrency Market Has More than Tripled Since 2016

Plus, a robotic falcon patrols Canada's Edmonton Airport to keep live birds safe, and a "traffic light for the workplace" to help increase employee productivity.

by / July/August 2017

3+ Million People Are Actively Using Cryptocurrencies

A report by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance gathered data from 144 companies and individuals in 38 countries, and determined that the cryptocurrency market has more than tripled since early 2016, reaching $25 billion in March. Bitcoin remains the most popular platform, but other large players are Ethereum, Dash, Monero, Ripple and Litecoin.

Recharge Your Wallet

A supermarket chain in Norway is hoping to increase the number of batteries recycled in the country by testing a reverse vending machine that gives customers coupons in exchange for their used batteries. The machine, made by Refind Technologies, identifies the size of the battery and how many have been deposited, and then prints a coupon crediting users 15 cents (or 1 krone) for each battery. After an initial test of the machine, Coop Norway may roll them out to all locations.

50 mph

The maximum speed a robotic falcon, aka Robird, can reach as it flies around Canada’s Edmonton International Airport to keep birds out of the area — preventing them from getting sucked into aircraft engines. Daily use of Robird was planned to begin in June, meant to complement the airport’s other efforts like lasers and recordings of predator bird calls, all aimed at keeping the area safe for people and wildlife.

Do Not Disturb

Essentially a traffic light for the workplace, FlowLight tracks keyboard and mouse activity to automatically switch between red and green, indicating to co-workers when you’re available to chat or in the zone. Developed by a computer scientist at the University of British Columbia, the LED-touting device was tested by 449 employees at international engineering company ABB Inc. — where road safety cones have been used to indicate when someone should not be disturbed — with reports indicating fewer interruptions and even creating a more respectful workplace. The next version may use biometric sensors to detect users’ heart rate variation and pupil dilation as other indicators of when they’re hard at work.
Source: University of British Columbia

Elaine Pittman Former Managing Editor

Elaine Pittman worked for Government Technology from 2008 to 2017.

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