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The Tech Issue - 2018

Monday, October 22, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture

Coinciding with the annual Tech Jam, Seven Days publishes "The Tech Issue," highlighting some of the innovators, researchers and businesses that make up Vermont's tech scene.

Spectacular images of Vermont's fall colors have been filling my social media feeds these past few weeks. Many of the stunning aerial photos came from cameras on drones. Those battery-powered flying machines are everywhere, it seems; photographer James Buck used one to shoot this year's Seven Days staff photo.

The proliferation of drones is yet another example of the way technology is changing the way we perceive and interact with our environment. Seven Days attempts to document those changes in our annual Tech Issue.

In this year's edition, Katie Jickling chronicles the rise of the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab, which is pioneering the use of drone-assisted research. The school's team of pilots, which works with government and private-sector clients, aims to help develop a market for drone-related businesses in the state.

Ken Picard writes about a much larger battery-powered aircraft that's being developed in a Burlington International Airport hangar. Local startup Beta Technologies is working on a top-secret plane that can take off and land vertically. Employees are training to fly it using virtual reality.

Dan Bolles tried a VR simulator of a different kind for his story on Stowe-based Varises; the company is training orthopedic surgeons instead of pilots.

Not all local tech efforts are soaring. Mark Davis describes the ups and downs of Winooski-based MyWebGrocer. Once a homegrown startup success story, it had lost half of its Vermont workforce by the time a Miami company bought it last week for an undisclosed sum.

It's too soon to tell what that means for Vermont — and Winooski's Champlain Mill, where MWG is headquartered. The same worries whirled around the $1 billion sale of Dealer.com in 2014. Four years later, it still employs about 1,300 people in Burlington's South End.

Source: Seven Days

 


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