Technologies that enable legal and compliance leaders to spot innovations

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COVID-19 has accelerated the push toward digital business transformation for most businesses, and legal and compliance leaders are under pressure to anticipate both the potential improvements and possible risks that come with new legal technology innovations, according to Gartner.

legal technology innovations

Legal technology innovations

To address this challenge, Gartner lists the 31 must watch legal technologies to allow legal and compliance leaders to identify innovations that will allow them to act faster. They can use this information for internal planning and prioritization of emerging innovations.

“Legal and compliance leaders must collaborate with other stakeholders to garner support for organization wide and function wide investments in technology,” said Zack Hutto, director in the Gartner Legal and Compliance practice.

“They must address complex business demand by investing in technologies and practices to better anticipate, identify and manage risks, while seeking out opportunities to contribute to growth.”

Analysts said enterprise legal management (ELM), subject rights requests, predictive analytics, and robotic process automation (RPA) are likely to be most beneficial for the majority of legal and compliance organizations within a few years. They are also likely to help with the increased need for cost optimization and unplanned legal work arising from the pandemic.

Enterprise legal management

This is a multifaceted market where several vendors are trying to consolidate many of the technologies on this year’s Hype Cycle into unified platforms and suites to streamline the many aspects of corporate governance.

“Just as enterprise resource planning (ERP) overhauled finance, there is promise for a foundational system of record to improve in-house legal operations and workflows,” said Mr. Hutto. “Legal leaders should take a lesson from ERP’s evolution: ‘monolithic’ IT systems tend to lack flexibility and can quickly become an anchor not a sail.”

Legal application leaders and general counsel must begin with their desired business outcomes, and

Watch a Spot robot from Boston Dynamics explore an old mine

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The ground is rocky and uneven. Old, rusted rails that used to carry loads of precious metals run the length of the path. Most wheeled robots would have trouble navigating this uneven surface, but it’s not a problem for Spot.

“This is one of the most advanced robots in the world.” Hao Zhang tells me. He’s a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and he’s brought his department’s new robotic dog from Boston Dynamics to the Edgar Mine outside of Denver for testing. The school is one of the first customers to buy a Spot robot since the four-legged machines went on sale this summer.

Spot robot in Edgar Mine

A handler guides Spot the robotic dog with a proprietary tablet controller.


Agata Bogucka

Much of Zhang’s work in robotics involves exploring ways robots can take over dangerous jobs from people, like searching for survivors in a collapsed mine or inspecting nuclear facilities.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Zhang said. “I have been working on robots for more than 10 years, and we’ve never had such a robot that is so well designed that it can do a lot of things just out of the box.” 

Watch the video above to see how Spot handled its first test-run inside the mine.

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SPOT Connect Satelite GPS Communicator

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Untether your iPod®, iPhone®, or Android™ OS smartphone from the grid. Connect it to a global satellite network from almost anywhere on the planet, using the subscription-based service from SPOT. Update your Twitter, Facebook, or SPOT Adventures page so your family and friends are at peace (or envious). Request non-emergency assistance from contacts or professional service providers. In a critical emergency, you can send an SOS message requesting emergency assistance, even if your phone isn’t working.

With an additional service plan, you can type and send custom messages (41 character) or predefined messages (120 characters), and update the Track Progress functions on Google Maps or SPOT Adventures page.

The Connect hooks up with your phone using Bluetooth. A smartphone app gives you easy operation and detailed status info.

  • Compatible with Apple iPod Touch® (2nd and 3rd generation), iPhone® 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, Android™ Platform 2.0 or later.
  • Operating temperature is -25°C to 60°C.
  • Altitude range is -100m to 6500m.
  • IPX7 waterproof rating.
  • Bluetooth range is about 10m.
  • GPS accuracy is 10m.
  • Uses 2 AA Energizer Ultimate Lithium 8X (L91).
  • Dimensions are 7.6 x 6.6 x 3.2cm.

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What Are Trans-Neptunian Objects? Scientists Spot Unusually Close Binary TNOs

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KEY POINTS

  • A team of researchers spotted a close pair of trans-Neptunian objects
  • The unusually close pair was also occulting a binary star system
  • The discovery was made with the help of a citizen science project

With the help of a citizen science research network, a team of researchers has discovered an unusual pair of trans-Neptunian objects (TNO).

Any object in our solar system that has an orbit beyond Neptune is considered a TNO. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), there are about 70,000 known TNOs, including Pluto, each measuring at least 100 kilometers (62.137 miles​) across.

In a new study, published in The Planetary Science Journal, a team of researchers discovered a TNO pair orbiting each other. The researchers discovered them using a stellar occultation, which occurs when the light of a star is blocked by an object from reaching the observer, a news release from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) said.

It is somewhat like a transit, which NASA’s TESS uses to search for exoplanets. NASA explains that the difference between the two is that in occultations, the object completely blocks the one behind it whereas, in transits, the object in front only blocks very little of the star behind.

In this case, the data showed that the binary TNO was actually occulting a binary star.

“Binary stars are not unusual and binary objects are not unusual,” study co-author Marc Buie of SwRI said in the news release. “But it is unusual that we had a binary TNO occulting a binary star.”

Trans-Neptunian Object Pictured: This image is an artist’s impression of the trans-Neptunian object that two Southwest Research Institute scientists recently discovered is a binary object. Photo: Southwest Research Institute

The first author of the study, Rodrigo Leiva, also of SwRI, says the two TNOs are