Innovations - March 2
Drone delivery expansion, gig worker rights and bionic eyes
Last night, the State of the Union reinforced the pivotal moment we are in as the U.S., EU and allies continue to aid Ukraine in defending itself against the unjust and potentially catastrophic Russian war against the current world order. The address also demonstrated that America and the world continue to focus on multiple priorities, and today’s issue highlights some innovations that will continue to move forward while we all continue to monitor developments in Ukraine.
Alphabet leading the way for drone delivery
Starting down under and coming to the Lone Star state..
Operating in 4 markets in 3 countries, Alphabet’s Wing program just announced it has reached 200,000 commercial deliveries. You may recall that Wing was the first drone delivery company to be approved in the United States and currently can deliver small packages at a mile/minute, literally. This week, Wing announced a partnership with a leading Australian grocery store chain, Coles, to further expand its operations..
New rights for gig workers..
Will Washington state lead the way for the rest of the Union or will other states be inspired by gig legislations abroad?
Gig work is not a recent phenomenon, but the gig economy which is commonly referenced exploded with smartphones and the rise of apps like Uber, Grubhub and others. Gig work in general refers to nontraditional, short-term and contract work which do not have additional benefits such as healthcare. According to Pew Research Center, 16% of Americans surveyed in August 2021 have earned money from work they obtained on an online gig platform. Of those who are currently (or recently) making money with that type of work, over 30% say it is their primary source of income. And almost 60% state that work from gig platforms is essential or important for meeting their basic needs.
Arguably ridesharing is the most commonly known and used online gig work, and Washington state just passed legislation..
Hope for the blind
..medical innovations that will soon help the blind see
Second Sight Medical Products developed an artificial retina called Argus II which does not restore vision but rather is be a promising step towards the blind regaining their vision by first helping those without sight be able to detect light and dark. The novel treatment would treat a type of blindness called retinitis pigmentosa, a condition in which retina cells gradually deteriorate, that affects roughly 1 in 3000 to 1 in 4000 people (equating to ~90K Americans and more than 2 million globally)..