// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //
- CCS has acquired Locatrix, a mobile and location software developer, which CCS plans to use to expand is SaaS offerings. CCS has just fallen out of an acquisition by Veriluma, after CCS failed to raise enough capital.
- Landis+Gyr is acquiring Acumen, an Australian company managing smart meters that is owned by Pacific Equity Partners. L+G and PEP are forming a joint-venture, intelliHUB Holdings, to do this, gaining 170k smart meters. Worth $203m.
- Neeco has acquired AirX Technologies, a UK-based provider of internet connectivity for enterprises, which Neeco plans to use to expand its ICT solutions portfolio.
// Forecasts, Surveys. Reports, & Blue-Sky Thinking //
- Navigant Research reports that global utility spending on blockchain technologies will reach $3.7bn by 2026.
// Hardware //
- u-blox and the Kudelski Group have announced that u-blox will be using security offerings from Kudelski, via a new MoU for ‘premium-grade’ IoT security.
// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //
- MTN has picked Cisco Jasper’s Control Center, to power MTN’s IoT services in South Africa, citing strong customer interest in the platform.
// Big Data, Cloud, AI, and Machine-Learning //
- Lattice has announced two new AI accelerator chips, designed for its iCE40 UltraPlus FPGAs, aimed at both Binarized Neural Networks (BNNs) and CNNs.
- Intel has hinted that its first commercial ASIC for AI will launch in 2019, the NNP-L1000 – derived from its acquisition of Nervana, a silicon specialist.
- Ayla Networks has announced Google Cloud Platform (GCP) support for its PaaS, meaning that customers can house Ayla inside GCP, as well as AWS.
- C3 IoT and Intel have partnered to create a development testing appliance, pairing Intel hardware with C3’s IoT PaaS, with go-to-market support and marketing.
- Qualcomm and Baidu have announced a partnership, which will pair Qualcomm’s AI Engine with Baidu’s open source PaddlePaddle deep learning framework.
- IBM is apparently undertaking huge layoffs in its Watson Health wing, reportedly firing between 50% to 70% of staff it picked up through acquisitions.
// Smart Homes and Buildings //
- Comcast and Hippo have partnered, to establish a pilot program in Houston that will tie smart home devices to Hippo’s insurance platform – for UBI discounts.
- Google Home has outsold Amazon Echo for the first time, according to Canalys, 3.2m to 2.1m units in Q1. US total market share also fell to less than 50% of global.
- Amazon has caused a private conversation to be sent to a person on an Echo’s contact list, after the device mistook various words in the conversation to be commands.
- Essential has cancelled its next phone, and says it is reverting to focus on its Ambient OS strategy, which encompasses smart home. The company is also up for sale.
- Fortum has picked Digita to provide LoRa connectivity for its SmartLiving smart home service, an expansion of its utility services already used by 2.600 apartments.
// Industrial & Manufacturing //
- Dobrofleet says that a fuel monitoring system from Orange Business Services has helped it save 10% in its fuel costs, as well as preventing fuel theft for its fishing fleet.
// Automotive //
- Uber is shutting down its Arizona testing project, notably before the results of the inquest into the fatal accident have been published – affecting some 500 staff.
- Veeder-Root, a fuel management system provider, has picked a new joint offering from DMI and Information Builders, for pre-bundled analytics.
- Apple and VW have signed a deal to use VW T6 Transporter vans as the basis for Apple’s planned self-driving shuttles – which will be used internally.
- Apple’s CarPlay is now in over 400 vehicles now, according to Mac Rumors. BMW is reportedly considering charging annual subscriptions to use Car Play, however.
// Security //
- The FBI has seized control of a botnet that it says was going to be used to attack Ukrainian infrastructure, built by the Russian hacking group Sofacy.
- Pen Test Partners have reported a flaw in Z-Wave’s legacy pairing function, Z-Wave S0. It is a problem because they can downgrade Z-Wave versions from the secure S2 to S0, and then use the vulnerability to attack the device.
// Smart Cities //
- Nokia is launching Project Smartpur, an initiative to develop 500 sustainable digital villages in India, in partnership with the Digital Empowerment Foundation.
// Smart Grid & Utility //
- Lockheed Martin is providing ComEd with a 2 mWh battery storage system that will be used in ComEd’s Bronzeville community microgrid project in Chicago.
- Itron has signed a 670k-unit deal with Jamaica Public Service, to provide smart electricity metering in the country – extending its existing Gen 5 network.
// Health //
- Open Med Ready has been formed by ARM, ForgeRock, Philips, Qualcomm Life, Sparsa, and US TrustedCare – to work on trusted patient data sharing systems.
- Verily (Google Life Sciences) has launched a new smart watch, for monitoring Parkinson’s’ disease, as part of the Michael J Fox sponsored PPMI project.