Rethink IoT News ATW 168: Around The Web Roundup

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// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • ID Systems is acquiring Keytroller for $9m, a fleet management hardware and service provider for industrial customers, specializing in tracking forklifts and lift-trucks.

  • TEOCO is acquiring CETECOM’s Mobile Communications Testing Services (CTS MC) subsidiary, giving TEOCO the only testing lab with support for all four major US carriers.

  • CPower has acquired eCap Network, a demand response specialist in the PJM energy market in the US, as part of CPower’s global expansion plans in the utility sector.

  • Atheer has acquired SpaceView, adding the startup’s digital-physical business workspace blending expertise to Atheer’s enterprise-leaning AR portfolio.

  • Trax has acquired Nielsen’s Store Observation (NSO) assets in the US, which it claims is the market leader for in-store computer vision analytics for retail stores.

// Forecasts, Surveys. Reports, and Blue-Sky Thinking //

  • The Industrial Analytics market will be worth $25.51bn by 2022, according to, you guessed it, MarketsandMarkets – growing from $11.29bn in 2017 at a CAGR of 17.7%.

  • The global spend on robotics will hit $230.7bn by 2021, according to IDC, growing at a CAGR of 22.8% in the period, from $97.2bn in 2017.

  • Berg Insight says North American and European smart homes totaled 30.3m in 2016, with NA leading EU, with 21.8m of those homes – a 47% year-on-year increase. Berg believes NA penetration to hit 55% by 2021 – some 73m homes.

  • Northeast Group says US water utilities will invest $8.3bn in IoT technologies over the next decade, with 80% already investing or looking to invest in smart water infrastructure.

// Hardware //

  • Sharp and GSS (Gas Sensing Solutions) have partnered to develop an energy-harvesting CO2 sensor for building monitoring, using low-light PV hardware to power the sensor.

// Software //

  • FPT and Siemens have announced an MoU to expand the MindSphere industrial OS, porting it from SAP HANA to AWS and Azure, for predictive maintenance and digital twin apps.

  • The Hyperledger consortium has announced that v1.0 of its Hyperledger Fabric blockchain software is now available – a production-ready release for building automation.

  • Tizen is still getting a kicking, with Program Verification Systems finding some 27,000 programming errors, “a mess with really bad code all round,” and no coherent leader.

// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • Google’s Project Loon moonshot has had a foundational patent canceled by the USPTO, after being challenged by Space Data, over a method for navigating balloons via wind.

  • ZTE has unveiled an NB-IoT energy management project, at the Zhangjaing Research Park, for managing and monitoring lab equipment to help save energy and reduce emissions.

  • Cassia and GE Digital have partnered, adding the Predix cloud PaaS to Cassia’ long-range Bluetooth networking portfolio, in a bid to provide faster ROI and deployment times.

  • Ericsson has launched a new suite of IoT services, aimed at ‘massive IoT,’ to help operators smoothly launch IoT services on their network – including VoLTE for LTE-M (Cat-M1).

  • CallUp has launched eSIM OTA, a remote over-the-air management system for embedded SIM cards (eSIMs), an evolution of its current SIM-based offering, pitched at IoT devices.

  • Telia is claiming the largest NB-IoT pilot in the world, with 1,000 connected Norwegian sheep, in partnership with Nortrace, looking to monitor livestock activity and welfare.

  • Thinxtra and WaterGroup have signed a 5-year agreement for Sigfox-based Australian water monitoring, as Thinxtra plans to grow its national SNO coverage from 71% to 95% in 2017.

  • u-blox, Huawei, Vivo, CAS Tecnologia, and PinMyPethave announced field and lab tests of NB-IoT in Brazil, focused on metering and tracking, and running since Q1 2017.

  • T-Mobile says it has completed the first US NB-IoT trial, working with Ericsson and Qualcomm in Las Vegas – as Huawei is still subject to the US trade embargo.

  • Chungwha Telecom picked Ericsson to build an end-to-end NB-IoT platform, with the Taiwanese MNO saying it will use the system for new trials and lab tests.

// Big Data, Cloud, AI, and Machine-Learning //

  • Gizwits has declared that it is the largest third-party IoT service provider in China, with clients including China State Grid, Daimler, 3M, Honeywell, and Bosch-Siemens.

  • Google has unveiled MultiModel, a new machine-learning architecture that has been designed to integrate multiple domains, like vision, speech recognition, and translation, into a single process – much more brain-like than the current isolated ML processes.

  • The USAF has picked IBM to supply its TrueNorth neuromorphic chips, to power a new supercomputer for its Air Force Research Lab – for advanced simulation tasks.

  • SAP has launched a range of new additions to its Leonardo IoT platform, and partnerships with Bosch, Centrica, Samsung’s Artik, and Apple.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • The Fairhair Alliance has unveiled it first three draft specifications for connected commercial buildings, with its close ties to the Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group.

  • Amazon has launched a smart home consulting service in 7 US markets, where staff visit homes to demonstrate, sell, and install smart home devices.

  • GE’s Current has been picked by Sainsbury’s to carry out a nationwide upgrade for in-store lighting, moving to smart LED lights for the major UK supermarket chain.

  • AEP Ohio has picked Powerley to provide a HEMS and smart home platform to AEP’s utility customers, called ‘It’s Your Power,’ and offering real-time energy management.

  • enModus has secured £3m in Series A funding, with shopping center owner intu involved in the round. enModus provides PLC-based energy and lighting management technologies.

  • Apple has launched in-store smart home demos, for its HomeKit platform, in 46 stores globally. Non-interactive demos will be launched in its other stores.

// Industrial & Manufacturing //

  • Litmus Automation and Ingram Micro have signed a Canadian distribution agreement that sees Litmus’ Loop and LoopEdge edge-compute platform offered via channel partners.

  • MIT Technology Review visits Mexico, to explore the rise of automation and robotics in its manufacturing and automotive markets, featuring Genesis-ICESA and Yaskawa machines.

// Automotive //

  • Audi has unveiled its 2019 A8 saloon, with front-facing LiDAR that powers AI Traffic Jam Assist, a Level 3 self-driving mode that will drive the car in highway congestion.

  • Toyota has picked Xevo’s Journeyware platform for its 2018 Camry, to power the Toyota Entune 3.0 IVI system, including App Suite Connect.

  • Octo Telematics has launched its Next Generation Platform, a new fully-modular insurance telematics system aimed at IoT-augmented Usage-Based Insurance (UBI).

  • Modus and LexisNexis have formed an alliance that sees Modus join the LexisNexis Telematics Exchange, to boost their combined connected insurance offerings.

// Security //

  • Entrust Datacard has launched ioTrust, a digital identity solution for protecting data and users, including support for supply-chain visibility between manufacturer and end-user.

// Smart Cities //

  • BreezoMeter has picked Here’s mapping platform to augment its air quality measurement system, using real-time road traffic data to augment its environmental sensing.

  • Libelium has secured pre-deployment certification for its Meshlium and Plug & Sense connectivity platform, with support from AT&T, Telstra, and Anatel.

  • Lisbon has picked NEC to provide it with a smart city infrastructure project, with installation due to begin by the end of the year, focused on municipal service improvements.

  • Esri and NXN (neXgen) have formed a smart city partnership alliance, with Esri’s spatial analytics and NXN’s MEA consulting expertise and Smart-City-aaS platform.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • Renewables generated more energy than nuclear in March and April, surpassing nuclear for the first time since July 1984, in the US.

  • Landis+Gyr announced a contract with 3 Central American utilities, to roll out 150k smart meters this year, and that it has manufactured its 50-millionth meter.

  • AES and Siemens have launched a joint-venture to target energy storage . Called Fluence, the JV will sell batteries from both vendors, which currently holds 17% of the market.

  • eMotorWerks and Share&Charge have delivered the first blockchain-enabled EV charging station, to allow station owners to be paid when people use them to refuel their EVs.

  • Shell plans to increase its annual spend on its New Energies division to $1bn per year by 2020, as the company tries to diversify from fossil fuels into alternative energy sources.

  • u-blox, Huawei, NOS and Janz have unveiled the first NB-IoT smart meter in Portgual, installed for EDP Distribuição as part of its UPGRID project for the EU Horizon 2020 program.

  • The UK smart meter roll-out has hit 7m units, although the UK utilities are expressing their frustrations with the national program and its ever-rising costs.