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2 February 2018

Business

2 February 2018

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While a Game of Thrones star is launching her own app, Amazon has decided to take on healthcare. Here is our rundown of the five most exciting ideas coming out of the business world this week.

 

Mixed Reality on the Silver Screen:

Swiss company Imverse is making waves with its pioneering approach to the ever-growing virtual reality market. Its high-tech headset, developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, allows users to actually see themselves (think looking at your own arms and legs) within the virtual reality world. The company calls the format “mixed reality.” To help show off the technology, they created a film called “Elastic Time” - and critics are taking notice. The film has proven so innovative, it was featured at this month’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Before long, we could all be putting ourselves in the movies: literally. 

Healthcare Takeover:

Amazon’s expansion into new markets and industries never seems to stop. The online retail giant’s latest interest? Healthcare. The company this week announced it was teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to figure out “ways to address healthcare for their US employees, with the aim of improving employee satisfaction and reducing costs.” The three firms say they want to combine their vast resources to tackle a US healthcare system that struggles with spiraling costs and lack of coverage. “Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Taking the Electric Lead:

China’s foray into the electric car market - and its effort to rival leaders like Tesla - took a huge step forward this week with the news that business giants Alibaba and Foxconn were sinking $350 million into XPENG Motors. The company just this month showed off its battery-powered G3 vehicle at CES in Las Vegas, which features an array of high-tech, web-connected smart cameras and radar. “Smart transportation has great potential to become one of the fastest-growing sectors, making a huge impact on people’s daily lives,” said Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s executive vice chairman.

 

Keeping Profits High:

 When French company Bench first launched in 2012, it offered small business a fresh approach to bookkeeping with an intuitive automated interface that integrated businesses’ bank accounts. As it grew in popularity, Bench continued to innovate, and now it utilizes human accountants to handle the customer service side of the operation. The smart thinking has paid off, and this week the company announced $18 million in fresh funding. “We couldn’t be more excited to announce our latest round of funding as we continue pushing toward our goal of getting the world’s entrepreneurs back to doing what they love: growing their business, not bookkeeping,” the company said.

From Fantasy to Tech:

Maisie Williams is best known for her starring role as Arya Stark in the hit TV series Game of Thrones, but now the talented actress has turned her sights on the tech world. On Wednesday she announced she was launching a new app, Daisie. Set to go live this summer, it will help creative minds to share and collaborate on projects. The aim is to help artists get their ideas off the ground, and meet others who can help them along the way. “I want Daisie to give other creatives the opportunities that I was lucky enough to receive at the beginning of my career,” Williams said. 

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