5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

UberX begins making passenger pickups at Los Angeles International Airport. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / Getty)

Welcome to a brand new week:

1. By golly, they’ve done it. Back in June, Business Insider reported a former Australian plumber presenting a prototype of his real-time translation earpiece invention to the United Nations, which was met with scepticism from some. Now Danny May and his startup Lingmo have revealed the devices have started shipping out to early believers with 85% accuracy rate for nine languages, including its latest addition, Arabic. Read more here.

2. Here’s who’s who of Australian fintech. To coincide with the Intersekt festival in Melbourne this week, FinTech Australia has released its latest ecosystem map of the industry – this time featuring 162 startups. Check out the state of the nation here.

3. Westpac has made its own wearable. Although many banks are now on Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay, Westpac became the first of the Big Four to launch its own device to give to customers for free. The waterproof wristband is hoped, among other things, to stop joggers from giving sweaty, unhygienic cash stuffed in their underwear and bras to unsuspecting café workers. Read more here.

4. Exetel is launching a mobile-based NBN alternative. Similar to the existing Vivid Wireless service, the Exetel’s coming product uses Optus’ mobile network to provide home internet up to 12Mbps, which is the same as the lowest retail speed tier on the NBN. Read more at iTnews.

5. Uber has ganged up with Qantas to challenge taxi dominance at airports. Air passengers can now book an Uber to get to and from the airport directly within the Qantas app, to give the ridesharing service another edge over taxis in a lucrative market. Read more here.

Have a great day! Please email me your story tips or find me on Twitter.

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