Rethink IoT News ATW 171: Around The Web Roundup

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// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Trillium has acquired CanBusHack, an automotive penetration testing firm, to boost its security portfolio and consulting services. The buy was announced at Def Con.

  • GE has acquired IQP for $40m, an Israeli-Japanese IoT application development platform for building apps, which has netted Toyota, Motorola, and Fujitsu as customers.

  • KDDI has acquired Soracom for $181m, an IoT-focused MVNO that the Japanese MNO will use to connect IoT devices. Soracom has 7,000 customers, using NTT’s network.

  • Sierra Wireless is acquiring Numerex for $107m, a provider of managed IoT solutions (PaaS) with some hardware too, which it typically sells to enterprise customers.

  • Aclara is buying a majority stake in GE Philippine Meter and Instrument (GEPMICI), a joint venture between GE and Manilla Electric Company.

  • Facebook has acquired Ozlo, a software startup specializing in conversational digital assistants, adding the 30-strong team to its Messenger division.

// Laws, Regulation, and Lawsuits //

  • A bipartisan group of senators will introduce an IoT device security in the US, which would mandate that vendors ensure internet-connected products are patchable and conform to industry security standards. It would also ban unchangeable passwords – a big step.

  • India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister has said that the regulator plans to ban self-driving vehicles in order to protect jobs – despite the country apparently already suffering a shortage of around 22,000 commercial drivers.

  • The UK government has outlined a set of proposed ‘key principles’ for self-driving vehicles, which call for security hardening and maintenance, and secure data transmission.

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

  • Global SIM card shipments will pass 5.8bn in 2020, despite market uncertainty, growing from 5.4bn in 2016, according to ABI Research.

  • A Bosch survey finds that half of consumers see themselves owning a self-driving vehicle in the next 10 years, with improved safety the top perceived benefit – but some trust issues.

  • The IoT Asset Tracking Device market will triple in size by 2022, according to Mobile Experts, from 22m to 70m units, with service revenue growing from $2.2bn to $7.5bn.

// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • JLG Industries has picked Orbcomm to provide a global telematics connectivity deal for its fleet of telehandlers and aerial work platforms, with a web platform for the satellite links.

  • Iridium has criticized Ligado’s (formerly LightSquared) plans for a 5G network using midband satellite spectrum, claiming that it will cause severe signal interference.

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

  • Samsung has launched Artik Cloud Monetization, a platform for creating an ‘IoT data economy,’ as a way of monetizing data generated by Artik chips in edge-devices.

  • Facebook had to suspend an AI-based negotiation software test after the application began speaking in a new language that it developed itself, deviating from English.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Honeywell has integrated its Lyric smart thermostats with Google Home, allowing customers to use voice commands to adjust HVAC settings.

  • Comcast’s Xfinity Home chief has said that the company has a global opportunity for its SHaaS system, which it licenses to Cox (USA), Rogers (Canada), and Telstra (Australia).

  • Apple’s HomeKit has managed to change the Internet of Shit’s mind about its current capabilities and future potential, in a nice summary piece on The Verge. Key to the shift is the move away from mandated hardware for security, with a new pure software approach.

// Wearables //

  • Xiaomi has taken Fitbit and Apple’s crown in the global wearables market, shipping 22m in Q2 2017 and holding 17% of the market – with Fitbit in second place on 16%.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • Puma, ITG, Magazino, and Gigaton have launched an intelligent warehouse pilot for Puma’s footwear, using ITG’s logistics knowhow, Magazino robots, and Gigaton’s software skills.

  • DB Schenker has picked Magic Software Enterprises’ machine-learning enabled XPI platform to improve the efficiency of its logistics and supply chain operations.

  • SpotSee has launched a new global asset tracking system, which combines its sensor devices with a cloud platform to help track the status of assets being transported.

  • Kongsberg and Yara International are building an autonomous and crewless cargo container vessel, for coastal operations in Norway, called the Yara Birkeland, due in late 2018.

// Automotive //

  • GM has hired the two Jeep hackers, Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller, who have left Uber and Didi Chuxing (previously Uber too) respectively.

  • Magna International and Continental held a cross-border Level 3 autonomous drive, using a Cadillic ATS and a Chrysler 300 to travel between the US and Canada.

  • Didi Chuxing is investing in Taxify, the European rival to Uber that also has an Asian and African presence. The deal increases the pressure on Uber.

  • Lyft is launching its own autonomous driving division, focused on everything but actually manufacturing the cars – doubling the size of its workforce.

  • Ohio has nearly completed its Route 33 smart highway upgrades, featuring extensive fiber optic cabling to support a V2X WiFi network (802.11p), costing $218m.

// Security //

  • A Defcon presentation demonstrated how easy it was to de-anonymize users from with a supposedly anonymized data set of browsing histories – a problematic issue for the IoT, where mass data collection is built on the assumption that identification isn’t possible.

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// Smart Cities //

  • BT and See.Sense have partnered to launch the latter’s bicycle lights and activity trackers in Manchester, which also collect data about traffic flow and road surface quality.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • Alphabet’s Malta is a new moonshot that is investigating using molten salt as an energy storage medium, an idea that has been tried before with mixed success.

  • Stark has picked Trilliant to provide it with a SMETS1 solution for Stark’s UK smart metering services businesses, based on Trilliant’s Smart Metering System Operator (SMSO).

  • Ikea has launched a solar-plus-storage offering in the UK, selling batteries (LG Chem) alongside its solar panels (Solarcentury), starting from around $4,000.

// Health //

  • Garmin and K4Connect have partnered to combine Garmin’s activity trackers with K4Connect’s platform, in a move targeted at improving senior healthcare.