The wave of crowdfunding was monumental

If there’s one thing every startup needs (besides an MVP people actually want) it’s money. Since the explosion of startups over the last three decades, we’ve seen the rise of new forms of fundraising which eschew more traditional forms of investment like grants and Venture Capital. First, there was crowdfunding. Kickstarter started in 2009 offering everyday people a way to fund products that they liked by effectively placing an advanced order. The biggest funded product to date is the Pebble Time Smartwatch raising a tidy $20 million in February 2015 in just a few weeks. The company raised another $12.8…

This. I started journalism late after careers in other sectors, but internships are such an impediment to sector entry for anyone without inherited wealth. Even when I was in high school, the local paper would only take on interns who had been to the local private school.

It's a trend that seems to continue - I know a lot of journalists who say they couldn't afford to be a journalist solely as a job without a spouse with a higher paying/more secure career.

By 2030, it is estimated that over 60 percent of the global population will live in urban areas, and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants. In response, many cities have spent part of the last decade embarking on ambitious, smart city projects that aim to make cities not only responsive but “smart” and predictive. Smart cities are using technology and smart solutions to make urban tasks more efficient and better, conserve resources, and improve their residents’ quality of life.

A range of this smart infrastructure has IoT embedded in it…

One of the best parts of being a tech journalist is when I discover startups with either an interesting product or a problem they are trying to solve. I first came across Polish startup Airly in Krakow in 2016 at a Google startup event. I wrote about the company — it was CEO and co-founder Wiktor Warchałowski’s first interview in English.

The company is using IoT tech to monitor and track air pollution. As an Australian, I have a personal interest in air quality. Every year during bushfire season, I see photos of my friends wearing masks to protect themselves…

A delicate ecosystem exists in oceans, lakes, rivers, and other waterways. IoT sensors have been used for some time to monitor the underwater health of the various lifeforms that live beneath the water’s surface, particularly in the aquafarm industry. Now, researchers have found a way to hack bivalves with sensors to monitor water pollution.

Bivalves are freshwater and marine molluscs with a shell consisting of two hinged valves connected by a ligament and includes clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops.

Their global decline has prompted active conservation measures. Moreover, continuous behavioral monitoring is a valuable means of detecting the presence of…

Agree 100%. Any credible freelancer doesn't need to use Fiverr, they have their own retainer clients. And yes, it make all of us look bad.

One of the most significant pain points of IoT is battery life. For as long as wearable tech has existed, researchers and enterprises have been searching for new ways to not only prolong the battery life of wearable tech but find sustainable, effective ways to harvest energy.

A new human-machine interface has emerged, which sounds like something out of science fiction: energy harvesting. It’s a combination of engineering, nanomedicine, flexible electronics, and energy storage advancements. What makes it even more impressive is the amount of R&D required. …

Like most tech journalists, I have a graveyard of obsolete IoT devices. There are fitness trackers, earbuds, a drone, homemade connected clothing, smart home light switches, devices for retrofits, and pet toys, to name a few. Overall, at least 95 percent of these products fell victim to planned obsolescence, or the company went bust or withdrew from the product from service. The rest suffer from an absence of “right to repair” options.

The problem of device obsolescence in IoT

While the choice to no longer use a smart device may be the owner’s choice, there’s another problem when it comes to IoT — device obsolescence. A company…

city landscape of a tram at nighttime
city landscape of a tram at nighttime

Mobility startups typically have the advantage of youth, agility, an interest in new technology, and an eye to creating future-proof transportation and technologies. However, they also face a number of unique barriers. Fortunately, smart cities have created a valuable space for mobility startups to innovate within.

By 2030, sixty percent of the global population will live in urban areas, and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants. Many cities have spent part of the last decade embarking on ambitious, smart city projects that aim to make cities not only responsive but…

We’ve recently seen “a perfect storm” in Texas, where unprecedented cold weather hit the energy grid hard. Many power plants were knocked offline, unable to respond to the increased energy demand by people seeking to heat their homes. Others faced fuel shortages. Even wind turbines offered little help, as many were unequipped with the heating required to operate in freezing weather.

The weather left millions of people without power, as providers introduced rolling blackouts to reduce the demand on the grid. Over 50 people died from situations such as car crashes, carbon monoxide poisoning, house fires, and hypothermia. U.S. …

Cate Lawrence

Tech journo and writer, based in Berlin, Germany.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store