Author Archive

Legal gridlock ahead for driverless cars?

February 9, 2012

We’re used to seeing the latest technological revolutions sweeping through stores and into our homes and offices. From the rise of mobile phones, to smartphones and tablets, it seems that society is prepared to embrace the rapidly increasing pace of change.

However, the same cannot be said when technologies require buy-in not just from consumers, but also from governments and law-makers. Unfortunately, this is true even when the reasons to adopt such technologies are hugely compelling.

A good example of this is driverless cars. The technology needed to remove error-prone humans from the driving equation has been coming on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Thanks to the ingenious combination of laser range finders, cameras, radar, inertial sensors and high-detail maps, cars already exist that can  autonomously drive while humans sit behind the wheel and monitor software.

Google has been making big strides in this area and was awarded a US patent  self-driving cars at the end of last year. But despite the amazing success of the technology, which has now logged more than 150,000 miles of driving experience without any mishaps, governments and standards bodies have been reluctant to accept its implementation on the open road. This is despite the fact that, according to the World Health Organisation, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.2 million deaths worldwide each year.

Certainly, the technology still needs to be refined. It may take years before robotic cars can cope with the huge variety of scenarios human drivers face around the world every day. Governments and motoring bodies will also insist that the technology is tested and retested – ensuring absolute reliability before it is allowed to see the light of day.

One can only hope that the time taken to test the technology is what is needed, rather than a jungle of unnecessary red-tape. The bottom line is, the consequences of not deploying this technology as soon as it is proven to be ready can be directly linked to road deaths. A delay of even two years (very little in government terms) could cost thousands of lives.

Skywrite searching for 2012 graduates

December 8, 2011

Our fabulous 2011 graduates may only just have settled in, but it’s already time to start the search for the next generation of PR talent. The Hotwire Group Graduate Programme 2012 has launched today.

See the details here and get those applications in!

We’re hiring!

November 3, 2011

Alright everyone, it’s time to dust off those CVs.

Skywrite is looking for both account managers and senior account executives to assist across our portfolio of corporate and consumer accounts.

Work would include everything from technology and telecoms accounts to pure play consumer. This is a great opportunity to work across a broad spectrum of different clients – including some of the biggest brands out there!

Email emma.hazan@skywritepr.com for more information!

Gorkana interviews Skywrite’s Laura Macdonald

August 19, 2011

Our very own Laura Macdonald (or Big Mac as we like to call her) has just been interviewed by Gorkana!

Read her thoughts on Skywrite’s interesting past and glorious future right here.

The Sky’s the limit

August 5, 2011

Esther Kissiedu, on exchange with Skywrite from the FT, gives her thoughts on in-house vs. agency life…

When I was asked if I would like to do a month’s secondment at the Hotwire Group’s offices, I jumped at the chance. Having worked as an in-house PR exec at the Financial Times for over 4 years, this was the perfect opportunity to see how the other side operated.

During my second week I had the chance to work in the Skywrite division of the Hotwire Group, focusing on consumer tech PR. August for some industries is a quiet month, but in an agency work never stops. Jumping straight into it, I began by wrapping-up coverage for one of their biggest telecoms clients – seeing just how much emphasis is put on great results. I soon realised that brainstorming is also weaved into everything they do. Almost every day I took part in a creative session, which generated some out-there ideas and made me see why so many clients use them as their chosen agency.

I was glad I had the chance to work on so many different client accounts, coming from banking and finance background to working on consumer tech clients was fun and diverse. I’m used to the FT brand opening doors and so pitching from a different point of view was a challenge.

Looking at how agency life compares to an in-house role, what’s obvious is we both work really hard for our clients. Working in-house I have to store just one client in my head, whereas agencies manage to juggle several clients and know them inside out – which I find remarkable! I work on several different projects at the FT: managing broadcast queries, promoting the brand and dealing with numerous journalists and keeping abreast of current affairs and news is vital. I found working at an agency similar in those terms, as they have to be quick to react and are constantly on the lookout for opportunities for their clients. The extensive connections with journalists needed across many different sectors is also dizzying!

A week isn’t long enough to get full picture of Skywrite, but it definitely gives me a new outlook on agency life! It’s been a pleasure.

Show jumping rabbits?

May 10, 2011

Definitely one of the week’s stranger news stories, it has emerged that a small village in Germany is hosting an annual rabbit show jumping contest.

The village of Jena has decided to revive the Scandinavian sport of rabbit jumping, with the most athletic bunny on record reaching the epic height of 99.5cm…

Check out the full story here!

Website of the day

April 13, 2011

Never ones to miss out on a comedy website, Skywrite just stumbled across this little gem.

Yes, that’s right, an entire website dedicated to cats that look like Hitler…

Thought control?

April 12, 2011

No we’re not talking about Big Brother and CCTV cameras monitoring your every move, but rather controlling devices through the power of the mind.

We’ve discussed using electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes to decode electrical activity in the brain before, but researchers at the University of California, San Diego have come up with a way to allow you to dial numbers in your mobile phone, simply by thinking them.

The technology just needs a normal handset with a Bluetooth connection to the EEG headband and away you go. Apparently, thought control is relatively straight-forward to pick up and very accurate.

So next time you think about how you should really call your parents or siblings – watch out! – the phone may just start ringing.

You (auto)complete me…

December 6, 2010

 

Technology is a wonderful, helpful thing – with the possible exception of autocorrect software, which seems to be on a mission to try to put the wrong words into our mouths as soon as we let our guard down.

Check out Damn You Autocorrect for a few nuggets of comedy gold…

Skywrite blog receives makeover

December 1, 2010

You may have noticed that things have changed a little at Skywriters…

If you like the new look here, you’ll love our redesigned website.


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