Image of CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.
Image of CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.
Image by Nancy McRae from Pixabay

I’ve been following the Canadian fintech ecosystem very closely since 2016. At the time I was tasked to perform market research on that particular segment on behalf of my employer.

When this working relationship ended, I continued to monitor the space. I’ve seen a lot of startups come and go, changes in the regulatory landscape and even drama.

And then there are developments that I simply didn’t expect…

Lightspeed’s back to back IPOs

Lightspeed has been around a bit longer than people realize: the Montreal-based point of sale (POS) software company was founded in 2005.

Julien Brault, formerly of , wrote about the company’s…


Picture of mushrooms on grass
Picture of mushrooms on grass
Image by imagii from Pixabay (converted to black and white)

In simple terms, “mycelium” refers to a thread-like body of a fungus. The main part of the fungus is the mycelia, which lives inside substrate (e.g. wood, straw, grain). On the other hand, edible mushrooms are only a small visible part of such organisms.

In the last few years, there has been an increased interest to use mycelium as a material in various industries. A big factor for this is (you’ve probably guessed it): high biodegradability.

Video: “What is Mushroom Mycelium?” by Host Defense Mushrooms.

Construction

The capabilities of mycelium as a construction material were showcased through the “mushroom brick tower”…


Picture of microphone and headphones
Picture of microphone and headphones
Image by Andrzej Nowak from Pixabay

The popularity of Clubhouse has been well documented. Anna Wiener, writer at describes the app as a “drop-in audio social network that enabled the creation of voice-only chat rooms”. I think that’s a fair interpretation. For many, Clubhouse has been a unifying platform during a pandemic that often seems endless. That being said, the technical concept behind the app is relatively simple in the grand scheme of things, and other tech companies are coming up with their own renditions.

Video: “Clubhouse explained (full app walkthrough)” by CNET, YouTube.

Facebook Live Messenger Rooms

first reported the development of…


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

By now you might be familiar with the term “Buy Now, Pay Later” (commonly referred to as “BNPL”). Let’s explore some of the reasons for this trend.

So what is BNPL exactly?

“Buy Now, Pay Later” schemes are loan financing products which are somewhat similar to credit cards. Through partnerships with specific retailers, you can buy goods and services through installments (with APRs similar to mainstream credit cards / lines). These typically range from four bi-weekly payments to installments spread over 60 months.

It’s a fairly streamlined process: you don’t need to pull any physical “plastic”, enter your number, etc… Besides the convenience factor, most…


It won’t be easy…

Picture of man waiting for subway train
Picture of man waiting for subway train
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many experts are in favor of strict social distancing initiatives until a proper vaccine can be widely administered.

As national and regional governments are contemplating to gradually re-open their respective economies, the complexity of creating social distancing policies when it comes to passenger transportation is strikingly evident. Passenger transport often translates into packing a large number of individuals into tight, closed quarters… Yet transit authorities, airlines and cruise ship operators have a few ideas to make this happen.

Face covering

Covering one’s face is a well-know method used to stop the spread of viruses and contagious diseases. There…


Image of bee robot
Image of bee robot
Image by marian anbu juwan from Pixabay

Now that CES 2020 is over, let’s rewind a bit and discuss some of the most interesting robots presented at the humongous tech event.

Samsung’s Bot Chef

Samsung’s Bot Chef, which the South Korean conglomerate refers to as a “cobot” (collaborative robot). Bot Chef cannot prepare meals from scratch, but it can assist you with basic tasks. Bot Chef can download and display recipes on a nearby screen, open flames, dice and push ingredients; and more…

“Samsung Bot Chef at CES 2020” by Samsung U.S. Newsroom, YouTube.

MarsCat

The makers of MarsCat claims that the device is “the world’s first fully autonomous robot cat”…


Image of time travel vortex
Image of time travel vortex
Image by Genty from Pixabay

As 2019 is winding down, here are some of my predictions for the upcoming year. 3, 2, 1… let’s go.

Facial recognition will receive more scrutiny

Facial recognition has faced scrutiny this year, and it is likely that global observers will continue to have privacy concerns over such frameworks.

Earlier this month, it was reported that all mobile phone users in China registering new SIM cards must submit to facial recognition scans. The new law requires telecom companies to deploy “artificial intelligence and other technical methods” to check the identities of people registering SIM cards. All retail stores in the country had until December 1st to…


Despite difficult circumstances, perhaps we shouldn’t count out the commercial real estate company just yet

Question marks in a number of road signs
Question marks in a number of road signs
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By now, you might be aware of WeWork’s failed IPO attempt and the difficult situation the once celebrated company is facing.

Despite a massive, last minute bailout from SoftBank (its largest investor), the company is cash-strapped; several reports even indicating an upcoming layoff of roughly 4000 jobs (almost 27% of its total headcount).

So where does WeWork go from here? Does the former unicorn darling even stand a change of surviving another year? Perhaps… but it may require sacrifice and a renewed vision.

Back to reality: Market yourself as a real-estate company

As of late 2019, I think most people realize WeWork is (really) a real-estate company. The tech…


Picture of clouds
Picture of clouds
Image by Felix Mittermeier from Pixabay

Tony Flath is an Edmonton, Canada-based tech influencer who specializes in various fields including cloud computing, cybersecurity, IoT and artificial intelligence to name a few. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and discuss the evolution of cloud technology which is progressively utilizing advanced AI frameworks.

Phil Siarri: Hi Tony, how are you? Can you tell our audience a little bit about your professional experience?

Tony Flath: Hi Phil, I’m doing great, thanks! I hope that you are doing well too. My professional experience has been an interesting one, from years of sales of complex solutions to 15 years of human resources management practitioner experience with a CHRP designation to 2016. Now working as a telecommunications and…


Image of man thinking
Image of man thinking
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Sometimes, technology is complicated and caters to small privileged niche markets. But not all endeavors follow such pattern. Let’s explore a few projects that aim to help the world population in a meaningful and potent way.

Evaporative cooling to improve vegetable storage in rural areas

Across the Sahel in Africa, many small farmers, market vendors, and families lack an affordable and efficient solutions for storing and preserving vegetables. Therefore, harvested vegetables are at risk of spoiling before they can be sold or consumed.

Such translate into a loss of income for farmers and vendors, a lower availability of nutritious foods for local communities, as well as an increase in…

Phil Siarri

Founder of Nuadox | Tech & Innovation Commentator | Digital Strategist | MTL | More about me> psiarri.xyz

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