PCR Five for Friday (3/11/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missed. Think we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

VR headsets could pose child health risks

The expected rise in VR headsets could be about to hit a roadblock, as scientists link the devices with health risks in children. A team of researchers at Leeds University have linked VR headsets with potential eyesight and balance problems in young users.

The study by the Leeds researchers – who have been working in close collaboration with British VR companies – is the first to link potential health risks with the devices. However the research is far from conclusive at this stage and shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to sales figures. The study looked at 20 children aged between eight and 12 and found that none of them experienced serious determination in their eyesight.

Consumers and businesses demand IoT regulations

Businesses and consumers are demanding that IoT security regulations are put in place. According to a Gemalto survey, as many as 96 per cent of organisations and 90 per cent of consumers believe there is a need for IoT regulations. Those surveyed also said that they wanted government involvement in coming up with and deploying those regulations.

"It’s clear that both consumers and businesses have serious concerns around IoT security and little confidence that IoT service providers and device manufacturers will be able to protect IoT devices and more importantly the integrity of the data created, stored and transmitted by these devices," said Jason Hart, CTO, Data Protection at Gemalto. "With legislation like GDPR showing that governments are beginning to recognize the threats and long-lasting damage cyber-attacks can have on everyday lives, they now need to step up when it comes to IoT security. Until there is confidence in IoT amongst businesses and consumers, it won’t see mainstream adoption."

British women are spending a month a year playing games

British women in 2017 are spending a month of every year playing videogames, according to new research. 

Researchers from Guinness World Records 2017 (Gamer’s Edition) have revealed that the average woman spends up to 12 hours a week playing games on their mobiles and consoles. The former is more of a time-sink, says the research, with women spending an average of eight hours a week playing mobile games like Candy Crush, Words With Friends and Fallout Shelter. 

The survey, which was undertaken by 1,500 women, found that two fifths said that gaming is theraputic, and over a quarter said they get a ‘genuine buzz’ when they successfully complete a level or score sought after points or rewards.

Printer sales declining for distributors across Western Europe

Distributor sales of printer hardware are down across Western Europe, but the UK is stable says a new report.

According to market research firm Context, unit sales of inkjet multifunction printers (MFPs) across Western Europe declined by nine per cent year-on-year in Q3 2017. This is not limited to MFPs though, with the research saying that overall sales of printer hardware is down as well.

“Sales fell in all categories except for laser MFPs: distributor sales of these devices increased by two per cent year-on-year in Q3 2017, driven by the colour laser MFPs subcategory”, said Zivile Brazdziunaite, Imaging Analyst at Context.

“In contrast, unit sales of laser single-function printers (SFPs) continued to contract, and were down by 15 per cent year-on-year, as a result of the ongoing switch from single-function to multifunction devices.”

UK startups receive record $1.13 billion investment from Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley investors are piling their cash into British startups. In fact, the UK is the leading European destination for investors from the US tech hub, with 2017 set to be a record year for investment. In total Silicon Valley companies are expected to pump around $1.13 billion into startups in the UK.

The findings have been released to mark the start of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK), a week-long series of events bringing together leading figures from the US and UK tech scenes. London tech companies received the majority of venture capital investment from the Bay area, accounting for over 90 per cent ($1.04bn) of the total amount raised by UK tech companies this year. Over the last five years, London tech firms have also raised considerably more capital ($2.5bn) than their European counterparts, with Stockholm ($1.4bn), Berlin ($641m) and Paris ($500m).

“With some of best global talent and a strong culture of entrepreneurship, the UK and Silicon Valley are two of the world’s leading places to start and scale a technology business," said Sherry Coutu who co-founded Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK).

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