Tech Digest Weekly Round-up: Gocycle e-bike, London gets smart city cash



Welcome to our weekly round-up of future tech in conjunction with Transition Earth. This week there’s a new e-bike from Gocycle and London gets investment to implement a smart cities programme…

1. Smart bricks that can power your home is a thingSo we have had smart cities and smart homes, how about smart bricks? A UK-based consortium has created a prototype of an intelligent brick that it claims could revolutionise housing and replace fossil fuels. Its bricks can not only make electricity and clean water, but can also keep you informed and offset the environmental impact? The prototype has been created by a group called the Active Living Infrastructure: Controlled Environment (ALICE) research consortium.

2. 5G will shape post-Covid healthcare systems –  PWC issued a new report Powering Your Tomorrow which highlighted how productivity and efficiency gains enabled by 5G will drive business, skills and service change worth US$1.3 trillion to global GDP by 2030. And over half the global economic impact (US$530bn) will be due to the transformation of health and social care within the next ten years and a quarter by smart utilities driving savings in energy, water and waste management.

3. Blockchain could be transformative for the fashion industryIn Germany Retraced announced funding to develop its innovative and potential game-changing use of blockchain. It uses the technology to verify supply chains in the fashion industry, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability.

4. There is a very exciting new e-bike on its way Gocycle has offered a glimpse of its new fast-folding generation four (G4) models ahead of their Spring launch. It says its new Gocycle G4 and G4i models “represent the brand’s unwavering commitment to its no compromises design approach which focuses on lightweight performance and automotive-inspired design.”

5. Halfords has big plans for e-scooters – Halfords unveiled its first Carrera branded model the  impel is-1 .The e-scooter will be available from February 16th and costs £399. The business has already enjoyed a strong run in the e-scooter market selling models from companies like Xiaomi, Unagi and Segway.

6. London is getting a big chunk of cash to deliver its smart cities programmeLondon, along with  Lisbon, Milan, Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw has triggered an investment of €250 million in smart technologies as part of the Sharing Cities programme. The Project is designed to help major cities collaborate on creating solutions to key problems like low carbon transport and buildings and harnessing data for the good of the cities.

7. US investors are betting big on e-scooter hire companies – E-scooters continue to dominate the debate about the future of urban personal transport. The battle for dominance in the micro-mobility market in the US and Europe heated up considerably as leading player Helbiz announced its intention to merge with GreenVision Acquisition Corp in the second quarter of 2021. It will create a new entity Helbiz Inc. which will be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the new ticker symbol, “HLBZ.” The company says it will have a value of $408 million.


Chris Price
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