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Five Coolest Things in Business This Week: 07 December 2018

Business · 4 min read

5 Coolest things in business this week

A startup is fighting climate change one building at a time, while Waymo has made history with its new robotaxi service. Here is our rundown of the five most exciting ideas coming out of the business world this week.

Building for efficiency

Buildings are among the largest contributors to CO2 emissions in the US. Making them more energy efficient is of vital importance, but it is often considered a mammoth undertaking. From location to material to climate - there is practically an endless number of issues to consider when trying to bring a building in line with modern efficiency standards. Now an Atlanta-based startup has come to the rescue. Cove Tool works with designers and contractors to identify the factors in a specific structure that can lead to inefficiencies, as well as the different ways to fix them, then runs everything through its software to determine the best way to go about making improvements. The company saves time, money and the environment at the same time - a business model that just earned them $750,000 in new funding. As Cove puts it, they’re “committed to fighting climate change one building at a time.”

YouTube’s young millionaire

It pays to be popular on YouTube. The video-sharing website’s top 10 stars earned an aggregate of $180.5 million this past year, according to a new report from Forbes. Topping the list was seven-year-old Ryan of Ryan Toysreview. The youngster has amassed 17 million followers reviewing toys on YouTube, and is estimated by Forbes to have raked in $22 million over the last year. And the precocious entrepreneurship doesn’t stop there. Ryan has continued to capitalize on his popularity by recently teaming with WalMart to launch his own range of toys and clothing called Ryan’s World. Even his twin sisters have gotten in on the game with a channel of their own: Ryan’s Family Review.

Making 5G a reality

The future of mobile networks is 5G, but accessing data speeds that are 50 to 100 times faster than current LTE networks requires new phone technology as well. Chinese mobile software company Qualcomm this week unveiled a chip that could start powering 5G Android devices as soon as next year. The Snapdragon 855 will be able to support “multi-gigabit” download speeds, improve battery life and performance, and features a multi-core AI engine. Experts say that 5G is so fast it will spell the end of the wifi era, but the infrastructure must first be put in place. Qualcomm’s latest tech is a significant step in improving connectivity for businesses and individuals around the world. 

The autonomous taxi

The development of autonomous vehicles took a huge leap forward this week with the news that self-driving car firm Waymo (which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet) has launched a taxi service. People in the Phoenix, Arizona area can now order a ride on-demand via an app that functions and charges fares similar to Uber or Lyft. A human is required to sit in the driver’s seat at all times in case of emergency, but the car itself functions autonomously. The service is only available to a select group of invitees for now while Waymo works out the kinks, but customers will be able to publish reviews and bring friends along - effectively opening the world of self-driving vehicles to the public. 

The Russian smartphone

Yandex, Russia’s answer to Google, has launched its first ever smartphone. The company behind the most popular search engine in Russia and the former Soviet Union already has a whole host of apps that will come pre-loaded on the new device. The Yandex phone doesn’t boast the most impressive specs in the world, but it will cost just $269, far less than rival products from Apple or Samsung, and will run on Android software. The news is a huge step forward for Yandex, which is aiming to establish itself as a competitor to global tech giants such as Google or Huawei. The company has already released a smart speaker and is currently developing self-driving car technology. 

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