Tech Digest daily roundup: VR insurance claims surge


Claims for accidental damage involving virtual reality (VR) headsets have surged, according to the UK’s largest insurer. Home contents claims involving the gaming headsets rose by 31% last year and have increased by 68% in five years, said Aviva. The average value of a VR-related claim sits at about £650, with TVs being the most damaged item. The Reddit forum “VR to ER” shows the various accidents that can happen while VR gaming, including people accidentally hitting others, walking into walls or throwing controllers across the room. Aviva said it had already received a handful of claims this year as a result of people falling into or hitting TV screens while wearing VR headsets, and further incidents are expected in the coming months as virtual reality devices proved a popular Christmas gift. Sky News

Energy companies are pushing for the rapid approval of new electricity “superhighways” between Scotland and England amid fears that a lack of capacity will set back the country’s wind power revolution. Businesses including SSE and Scottish Power are calling on the industry regulator Ofgem to approve a series of major new north-south power cables in a bid to ease congestion on the existing electricity network. The plans are vital for a string of new turbine fields being built off the Scottish coast as part of efforts to quadruple Britain’s wind power production before fossil fuel use comes to an end. The National Grid said in November that roughly 17 gigawatts of capacity would be needed for electricity links between Scotland and England by 2033. Telegraph

After yesterday’s news that Samsung is experiencing production issues with its new QD-OLED displays, fresh reports are now suggesting that the business arm of the brand has yet even to reach an agreement on the price it will pay for the new panels from its manufacturing division, Samsung Display, according to The Elec  (via hdtvtest). Reportedly, negotiations between the two companies over the cost per unit are still ongoing. Samsung Electronics is said to be petitioning to pay a price equivalent to what its primary competitor, LG Displays, charges for its own standard OLED panels. However, it has been suggested that Samsung Display is unwilling to accept these terms. With neither side willing to compromise, Samsung is said to be considering delaying the release of its QD-OLED models. What HiFi

Wordle is a puzzle game in which your vocabulary and ability to spell allow you to drill towards the solution. It’s surprising how well the same design still works when the letters are replaced by numbers, and you’re instead relying on your ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide. That’s what you’re doing in Nerdle, which is Wordle for maths fans….I’m more of a word lover than number fancier anyway, so Nerdle isn’t a firm part of my daily routine like Wordle, Worldle and Semantle, but it’s still great. You can play it for free in your browser now. Rockpaper Shotgun

The chief executive of Astra has said he is “deeply sorry” after accidentally blowing up four Nasa satellites. Chris Kemp, the head of the company, destroyed four small CubeSats in a failed launch yesterday. “We experienced an issue in today’s flight,” he tweeted. “I’m deeply sorry we were not able to deliver our customer’s payloads. I’m with the team looking at data, and we will provide more info as soon as we can.” Independent

A National Public Radio network has become a must-listen for some Mazda drivers in Washington State, as a tech bug means they are unable to retune. Owners of 2014-17 Mazdas, in the Puget Sound area, contacted KUOW to report their infotainment systems were permanently locked in to the network. Missing file extensions in album images sent with its digital-radio broadcast reportedly triggered the glitch. The fix, according to Mazda, requires the replacement of a component. “We know lots of you always keep your car radio tuned to KUOW – but now some drivers don’t have a choice,” KUOW told listeners.

Chris Price
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