5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

NBA player Harrison Barnes wearing the Fitbit Ionic. (supplied)

Check out Thursday’s top tech news:

1. The shares of a company that makes treatment devices for kids with autism went gangbusters on the ASX yesterday. The stock price for Neurotech International went up 60% after news broke of a successful preliminary trial of its Mente Autism device. The product is a headband that the autistic child wears for 40 minutes each morning and uses brainwave feedback to play audio that’s meant to regulate certain brainwaves. Read more.

2. One basic problem will immediately stop Australians from buying Fitbit’s first-ever general purpose smartwatch. Business Insider has tried the Ionic, which will be released next month, and found there’s a particular imperial measurement that can’t be replaced with a metric unit – and it will be really, really annoying for those relying on the watch for health data. Read more here.

3. An Australian rival to Skype has launched its IPO, aiming to raise $4.2 million. CRN reports the Melbourne startup, which makes both software and hardware for secure video, text and file communication through the cloud, wants the additional capital to scale up production.

4. Simon Hackett has stepped down as CEO at Australian battery maker Redflow. The local answer to Tesla batteries had the former Internode founder as an acting chief executive but that period has now come to an end, according to The Australian, with chief operating officer Richard Aird stepping up as permanent CEO. Hackett will remain on the board as Redflow moves its production to new Thailand facilities.

5. Amazon unveiled a whole bunch of devices that are mostly useless in Australia. Our US colleagues break down each of the announcements here, but the majority of the devices utilise the company’s voice assistant Alexa – a feature that is not available to users in this country. The gadgets may become more useful once Amazon sets up its local operations in the next year or so.

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