Day: July 19, 2022

Construction Industry

Dodge construction index rebuffs recession fears, hits

Dive Brief:

  • The Dodge Momentum Index (DMI) inched up 0.3% in June to hit a 14-year high for the benchmark that measures nonresidential building planning.
  • Manufacturing construction starts led the group and reached a record $41.6 billion over the last 12 months ending May 2022. That’s 161% more than the 12 months ending May 2021, according to Dodge data.
  • This peak is largely due to U.S. onshoring efforts, as more American companies move their manufacturing facilities back to the U.S.

Dive Insight:

Though the slight increase wasn’t dramatic, Dodge chief economist Richard Branch said it’s another data point that shows a sign of strength in the construction industry.

A total of 27 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in June, according to the release. Year-over-year, the DMI was 9% higher than in June 2021. The commercial component was 11% higher, while the institutional component was 5% higher than one year ago.

Branch added, however, this positive sentiment will soon come under fire, especially as the Federal Reserve’s tightening policy to fight inflation has increased the possibility of driving the economy into recession either later this year or at some point in 2023.

“A new cyclical high in the Momentum Index is a sign that developers feel that projects still have hope of moving forward, despite concerns of an impending economic slowdown,” said Branch in the Dodge press release. “However, this sentiment will be tested in the months to come as higher interest rates eat away at business and consumer confidence.”

Associated General Contractors of America reported a drop in nonresidential projects in May, a third consecutive month of decline. Total nonresidential spending fell 0.6% to $832.5 billion, though it was still up 1% in the last year.

But the jump in the

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Software

Tech Wreck: Analysts Cut Estimates on Hardware, Software and

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The Cisco Systems logo displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

With second-quarter-earnings season fast approaching, Wall Street analysts are rushing to chop price targets, earnings estimates and in some cases stock ratings ahead of what could be a difficult period for technology shares.

The toxic brew of soaring inflation, higher interest rates, softening consumer demand, unfavorable currency-exchange rates, ongoing component shortages, the lingering effects of the pandemic on Chinese electronics manufacturers, and increasing concerns about an imminent recession are hitting every corner of the technology world—chips, software, hardware, and e-commerce. It is an issue for both small and large businesses, for consumer-facing companies and those that serve enterprise customers.

The Street has taken to cutting their views on tech stocks in batches, in a top-down approach that focuses on macro risks, rather than individual stock issues. On Thursday, that trend was clear, as estimates and targets moved lower for hardware, internet, online travel, and software stocks. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the latest cautionary comments.

Software: Morgan Stanley software analyst Keith Weiss cut revenue estimates for the stocks in his coverage universe on average by 1% for this year and 3% for 2023, while lowering price targets across the group, citing “increased evidence” of slowing demand. “Despite compression in software-as-service valuations, with the average stock down 40% year-to-date, investors remains skeptical to jump back in. Why? Multiples appear de-risked, but estimates have yet to be reset and we are just beginning to see cracks emerge in demand,” he writes.

Weiss sees evidence of elongating sales cycles, particularly for companies focused on small-and-medium-sized

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Technology Business

Helbiz to Offer its AI Helmet Selfie Technology | National

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul 13, 2022–

Helbiz, Inc. (Nasdaq: HLBZ), a global leader in micro-mobility, is releasing the HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification, for sale to micro-mobility operators looking to increase the ease at which they meet compliance requirements and increase the safety of their riders. The technology has been piloted and launched within the Helbiz app already.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220713005567/en/

HelmetChecker uses AI and computer vision to ensure that a rider is wearing a helmet and has the strap secured. Micro-mobility operators are able to use HelmetChecker to stop a vehicle from unlocking until it confirms helmet use or provide incentives to riders. To learn more about the HelmetChecker, visit http://helbiz.com/robotics/helmet-verification.

HelmetChecker uses AI and computer vision to ensure that a rider is wearing a helmet and has the strap secured. Micro-mobility operators are able to use HelmetChecker to stop a vehicle from unlocking until it confirms helmet use or provide incentives to riders. This is a solution that goes further than warning screens or pictures that are checked manually post-ride.

“The HelmetChecker has been a game changer for Helbiz and the value we can bring to cities,” said Salvatore Palella, CEO of Helbiz. “With 99.7% accuracy, this technology can help other micro-mobility vendors remain compliant and improve rider safety, while bringing a new revenue stream for Helbiz.”

There are no SDKs, lengthy integrations or AI engineers needed. All it requires is passing an image through the HelmetChecker API and reading the JSON response that includes a verdict and confidence level reading.

Pricing for the product will be a monthly subscription fee and a per-API-call fee per image submitted.

This is a product developed by Helbiz Robotics, the company division focused on innovation in AI and computer vision. To learn

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Branding

Dev surprises blockchain-sponsored game festival with talk


A game developer set to speak on the “Future of Game Design” at Brazil’s International Games Festival instead surprised attendees with a talk on “Why NFTs are a nightmare”.


Sponsors of the festival included a number of NFT and blockchain companies, such as Lakea and Ripio, as well as panels from sponsors like “Web3 and the New Generation of Games”.


However, Mark Venturelli – best known for developing the game Chroma Squad – surprised attendees and sponsors alike with his statement against crypto gaming.

Eurogamer Newscast: What can Sony do to improve PlayStation Plus Premium?



“These people are outsiders here, they’re not important,” Venturelli told PCGamer after the event. “They’re just trying to buy their relevance, because they have no actual influence over the future of our industry. If you just give them this space uncontested, you’re just giving them exactly what they want, and buying their narrative that they’re relevant.”


The title change was a gimmick, with the developer beginning his talk about new trends in gaming before scratching out the title and changing the topic, which was met with applause by the audience.


And although the topic change was controversial, it was cleared with the festival’s organisers beforehand and wasn’t censored – despite the sponsorship.


“I’ve heard that the sponsors got really mad,” Venturelli says. “They tried to break into the talk while I was talking, but the organisation would not let them. That doesn’t surprise me, because the organisation, not at a single point did they censor me, did they stop me from putting what I wanted on the slides. I gave them access to the slides before the talk. There was never any kind of intention on their side to shut me up or anything like that.”

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