Rethink IoT News ATW 185: Around The Web Roundup

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// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Bell has acquired AlarmForce Industries, a security and smart home provider, for $130.09m, adding the monitoring systems to Bell’s telco offerings – in what looks like a SHaaS move.

  • The Edgecross Consortium has been founded by Advantech, IBM Japan, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Omron, and Oracle – focused on advancing edge computing.

  • Tesla has acquired Perbix, a designer of robotic production lines and current Tesla contractor, as it aims to transform manufacturing – for itself, but also as a product.

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

  • Smart Agriculture will be worth $18.21bn by 2025, according to Grand View Research, which notes that vertical farming will be a key technology to address urban populations.

// Hardware //

  • Energous’ WattUp wireless charging tech has been picked by Myant, to power wireless clothing sensors for its Skiin line of everyday apparel – recording activity sensor data.

  • Ossia has unveiled a AA battery that can receive its long-range power charging tech, aiming to reduce the use of the 3bn batteries thrown away each year.

// Software //

  • Allianz has successfully trialled a blockchain-based captive insurance program, in partnership with Ernst and Young (EY), and Ginetta, as well as Citi Group’s TTS wing.

  • Microsoft has updated its Windows 10 IoT package, claiming to have improved speed, security, and intelligence in the OS, alongside new developer-friendly features.

// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • Spark NZ will launch its LTE-M (Cat-M1) network in early 2018, after trials this month, and promises news on its New Zealand LoRa network in the next few weeks..

  • Vodafone has launched ‘V by Vodafone,’ its new consumer-facing IoT offering, with car dongles, connected cameras, and pet/activity trackers – using SIM cards and fixed prices.

  • Inmarsat and JT Group have announced a new partnership for combining satellite and cellular data for global connectivity – and a demonstration with Actility in Rwanda.

  • Vodacom has launched its NB-IoT network in South Africa, following trials.

  • Gemalto has launched the “first all-in-one” IoT module, providing complete global LTE, 3G, 2G coverage for any device – the Cinterion PLS62-W.

  • The SIM Alliance has published a set of ebooks covering eUICC (embedded SIMs), covering their applications in smart metering, connected cars, and wearables.

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

  • Libelium has announced a shift in strategic focus, moving from sensor hardware to cloud services based around its Meshlium gateways – with NEC joining the partner ecosystem too.

  • Quantum computing researchers have discovered how to spot data corruption in their programs, which hasn’t been possible until now due to quantum physical properties.

  • Qualcomm has launched its Centriq 2400, an ARM-based server CPU that it hopes will take lumps out of Intel’s data center growth. It has the interest of Microsoft and Google.

  • HPE has launched Mission Critical DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) on its cloud offering, for enterprise blockchain-based applications using HPE Integrity NonStop.

  • Qualcomm and Alibaba have showcased the integration between QCOM’s MDM9206 LTE-M / NB-IoT modem and Alibab’s Cloud Link One – hoping to snare more Chinese deals.

  • IBM says it has built a 50-qubit quantum computer, and is also making a 20-qubit machine available through its cloud platforms – but quantum computing is still far from solved.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Lowe’s is setting up new in-store smart home demonstration zones, where staff can show customers how the tech works. Lowe’s is also adding 1000 SH displays before Black Friday.

  • Thread has announced newly certified products, four new testing labs, and an expanded certification program called ‘Thread Ready’ – as well as a liaison with the KNX standard.

  • Logitech is killing off its Harmony Link universal remotes in March 2018, and within the one-year warranty period. Users are not happy, and its forums are censoring “class action.” – UPDATE: Logitech is now offering free replacement Harmony Hubs.

  • Deutsche Telekom is launching its own smart home speaker and voice assistant, as part of its Magenta smart home platform, using its Qivicon system [article in German].

// Industrial & Manufacturing //

  • Bell, BeWhere, and Huawei have launched a pilot project at a Canadian vineyard, using LTE-M sensors to monitor temperature and water levels in the Pelham Estate Winery.

  • Ford is pushing EksoVest upper-body exoskeleton, to help its workers lift more and work more efficiently, designed by Ekso Bionics.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • UPS has joined the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance, a group determined to make existing systems play nice with new blockchain-based logging applications.

  • Workhorse Group has unveiled a new electric van and package delivery drone (N-Gen and HorseFly, respectively), which it is testing for optimized last-mile deliveries in the US.

// Automotive //

  • Ford is launching its Chariot bus service in London, expanding from its current footprint of four US cities. Ford will have to convince the TfL regulator that its minibus are legit.

  • u-blox has announced what it says is the smallest automotive-grade GNSS module, the MAX-M8Q-01A, measuring 9.7mm x 10.1mm x 2.5mm.

  • Seat and Telefonica have agreed to promote digitalization in the auto industry, focusing on urban areas, 5G testing in Spain, and Industry 4.0 projects in manufacturing.

  • Here and Fujitsu have partnered to link their mobility services and autonomous driving technologies, aiming to offer a powerful integrated solution to potential customers.

  • VW and Google have announced a research partnership for quantum computing, with VW Group IT hoping to use it for traffic optimization and machine-learning functions.

  • LexisNexis has expanded its telematics insurance offerings in Europe, and launched the Pan-European Insurance Panel, to link auto OEMs with insurers looking for UBI offerings.

  • Waymo is launching a completely driverless ride-sharing system in Phoenix, Arizona, using an app to link the test cars to riders. Announced at Web Summit, the pilot plans to expand.

  • NASA is denying reports that it has signed an R&D agreement with Uber to develop flying taxis. Here’s the original report, which ran with a comment about ATC cooperation.

  • Uniti has picked Tele2 to connect its upcoming electric cars, with first deliveries planned for 2019, specially designed for urban environments, in a Swedish partnership.

  • The Navya self-driving minibus crash is being rather over-hyped, with Digital Trends giving its account, noting that a horn-toot or reversing a couple of feet would have avoided it.

// Security //

  • Nokia has launched NetGuard Security Management Center, a new analytics and automation-based software suite aimed at service providers looking to add preventative counters for security threats, and to address the 70% of threats that go uninvestigated.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • Vector has been picked by Energy Australia, to provide AMI services for its utility business over the next three years, with Vector installing, supplying, and operating metering.

  • Dynamic Energy Networks, Schneider Electric, and the Carlyle Group have formed a commercial alliance to offer Energy-aaS (EaaS) to global customers.

// Health //

  • Pod M2M (Pod Group, formerly PodSystems) and ForaCare have announced a deal that sees Pod provide its global MVNO service to connect ForaCare’s telehealth platform.