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Selfies for Safety? Moped-Share Company Revel’s Approach

Plus, startups use machine learning to reduce the massive amount of waste in U.S. grocery stores, an app raises funds to identify users’ personal risks in emergencies and LG launches an air-purifying face mask.

by / October/November 2020

Say Cheese

After electric moped-share company Revel suspended service in New York City in July following accidents involving two customer deaths and one critical injury, the company modified its user agreement and resumed operations. Riders must now pass a 21-question in-app test that covers traffic laws and other safety requirements, and the moped will only turn on after a rider submits a selfie wearing a helmet. Revel has also imposed a stricter suspension policy for rule-breakers and an improved system for reporting bad behavior.
Source: The Verge

$5M

An app that aims to gamify emergency preparedness closed a $5 million seed round in August that will help it with its planned October launch. Harbor uses publicly available information from agencies like FEMA and USGS, plus building codes and land maps, to determine the particular risks of a user’s location. The app makes a weekly preparedness checklist of tasks like checking smoke alarms or ensuring enough water is on hand so users can be ready for whatever disaster might occur.
Source: TechCrunch

$161B

In the U.S., 30 to 40 percent of food sold in grocery stores is wasted. That’s about $161 billion in wilted lettuce and expired milk that retailers can’t sell. A handful of startups, like Shelf Engine, are using machine learning to help grocery store buyers better analyze the historic trends of their store to purchase goods more efficiently, thereby producing less waste. Shelf Engine reports that using its software to automate decision-making has increased stores’ gross profits by 25 percent.
Source: Digital Trends

Mask Up

Wearing face masks in public has become part of daily life in the age of COVID-19, and while materials from medical masks to bandanas have proven to be effective against spreading the virus to one degree or another, a new gadget from LG is taking masking to the next level. The PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is a personal air purifier for your face, with three fans and two HEPA filters designed to clean the air you breathe as you breathe it. While not necessarily designed to stop respiratory air transfer of coronavirus, LG claims breathing with the mask on is “effortless.”
Source: Engadget

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Lauren Harrison Managing Editor

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.

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