Turning off your camera during video calls could cut carbon emissions by 96% and other small business tech news

Here are five tech events that happened in the past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Turning off your camera during video calls could reduce carbon emissions by 96%.

Scientists have found that by turning off your camera during a videoconference, you can reduce the impact on water, land and carbon emissions. A recent study conducted by Purdue University found that 12 liters of water are used and a range of 150 to 1000 grams of carbon dioxide is emitted for every 60 minutes of streaming or video. The new study is the first time scientists have looked at the impact of the internet on land and water use, rather than just focusing on carbon emissions. (Source: Euro News)

Why it matters to your business:

Wow! So I guess that means if you really want your business to be green and reduce its carbon footprint, tell your employees to leave the sweatshirts off, take their makeup off, and turn off their cameras. They save the environment!

2 —Google Cloud offers image search and recommendation services for retailers.

Google announced last week that it had rolled out two new features that work using machine learning to help retailers when using the tech company’s cloud service. The two new services, named Recommendations AI and Called Vision API product search, were unveiled together as part of a suite called Product Discovery Solutions for Retail. Using the Vison search function, customers will be able to submit a photo and, in return, get product results that match or are similar to the submitted product. The recommendations feature will be able to track a customer’s purchase history and provide them with tailored product suggestions. (Source: ZDNet)

Why it matters to your business:

Using the Vison search function, customers will be able to submit a photo and, in return, get product results that match or are similar to the submitted product. The recommendations feature will be able to track a customer’s purchase history and provide them with tailored product suggestions. The takeaway is that your retail business should rely heavily on images as you grow your online presence.

3 —Microsoft partners with Cruise and GM on self-driving cars.

GM and Cruise have announced a partnership with Microsoft to help realize their self-driving car development. The hope is that the relationship will help bring self-driving cars to market faster. Microsoft’s Azure cloud will be used by Cruise to produce the self-driving technology on a larger scale, and Microsoft will focus on Cruise’s capability and knowledge to better meet the needs of the transportation industry. Microsoft will also be seen as GM’s preference for cloud technology. (Source: Engadget)

Why it matters to your business:

The importance to your small business isn’t so much the self-driving car angle, but the fact that big companies like GM are relying on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to deliver this functionality which obviously will require huge quantities of data processed and delivered instantly. It’s a reminder of just how powerful cloud platforms like this are becoming and how big companies rely on them for basic services.

4 — Citrix acquired project management platform Wrike for $2.25 billion.

Citrix confirmed last week that it would acquire Wrike, a work management platform, for $2.25 billion. Wrike, which was established in 2006, is sold to enterprises as a project management platform using a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model. The platform gives teams the ability to track things like projects, deadlines, and workflows, to name a few. Citrix, 30, is a software company that offers businesses a range of tools from networking to cloud computing. (Source: business beat)

Why it matters to your business:

Citrix says the acquisition will allow them to provide cloud-based work management capabilities that focus on collaboration, which is especially useful as many businesses continue to work from home. That’s good news if you’re a Citrix customer or considering switching to the networking business.

5—Drone-focused construction startup TraceAir has raised $3.5 million.

TraceAir, a construction industry startup that rolled out a drone management feature last year, announced last week that it had raised $3.5 million, bringing its overall funding to $7 million. With the coronavirus causing many hurdles for the construction industry as a whole, the startup hopes the solution provided by the drone management tool will benefit construction companies while many work to find ways to keep operating. TraceAir shared that the recently raised funding will be used to develop future products as well as for sales and marketing. (Source: Technological crunch)

Why it matters to your business:

Drone technology will continue to have a significant impact on the construction industry – the tools will allow construction companies to estimate, assess and manage projects of all sizes. If your business is in this sector, drones should be part of your future investment plans.

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