Rethink IoT News ATW 209: Around The Web Roundup

// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Carl Data is acquiring Astra Smart Systems, an environmental monitoring device manufacturer, and has a ‘big data’ data center for its software services.
  • Cisco is acquiring Accompany, which uses AI-driven relationship intelligence to spot sales opportunities and boost customer engagements, for $270m.
  • Nokia is selling its Digital Health business to Withings’ co-founder Eric Carreel. The deal would see Withings become its own company again. Nokia reported a €141m goodwill write-down on its purchase price of €170m, so this may be a bargain sale.
  • Nokia has acquired SpaceTime, an analytics provider that uses machine-learning algorithms to service Entergy, FedEx, NextEra Energy, and Singapore Power.
  • Osram has acquired Fluence Bioengineering, a specialist in LED-based horticultural systems, as Osram looks to grab a foothold in new digital and vertical farming trends.
  • BP has acquired Ubiworx, an Irish smart home and utility software developer, as BP’s solar arm Lightsource explores integrating solar and storage into homes.
  • Altair Engineering has acquired CANDI Controls. It will integrate the CANDI team into Altair’s Carriots PaaS offering, another recent acquisition.
  • Synchronoss is acquiring Honeybee, the digital solutions wing of UK retailer Dixons Carphone, to boost its digital transformation offerings.

// Laws, Regulation, and Lawsuits //

  • Tesla is being sued by Nikola Motor Company, a hydrogen trucking startup, alleging $2bn in patent infringement damages. Founded in 2014, Nikola is filing in Arizona.

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

  • Cisco has found that only 25% of enterprise IoT projects are considered a success, with a third of its survey respondents saying theirs had been an outright failure.

// Hardware //

  • u-blox has announced its SARA-R410M-02B, a LTE-M and NB-IoT module that it says has global coverage within a single hardware configuration.

// Software //

  • Google has launched Android Things 1.0, finally graduating the IoT-focused OS to full release, having been in development since 2016 – with initial support for the NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212 and SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 modules.

// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • Aeris has launched its Aeris Mobility Platform (AMP), a cloud and micro-service platform aimed at enterprise and OEM users, to better connect their devices.
  • Sigfox USA has announced Connectivity-aaS (CaaS), a new self-install kit that provides coverage where a customer needs it.
  • Arista has launched a new Cognitive Cloud Networking for Campus line, designed to provide the infrastructure equipment for IoT-ready deployments.

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

  • Intel has released its new Saffron AI Quality and Maintenance Decision Support Suite, a set of software tools (and a mouthful) that is aimed at finding and solving problems. Accenture and a major aerospace firm are already using it.
  • Google’s Sergey Brin has promised to carefully consider the place of ethics in AI, as both Google and Alphabet advance their commercial interests.
  • Pareteum has announced a $6m contract win for its Global Cloud Services Platform (GCSP), in a 3-year deal to an unnamed MSP in Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
  • Intel has unveiled its Intel Insight Platform, a new cloud service to power drone-based services. With a focus on asset management, IIP is based on Delair’s Stack.
  • Dell and Microsoft have announced a new joint IoT solution, combining Dell Edge gateways, VMware Pulse IoT Center, and Azure IoT Edge.
  • Microsoft and DJI have announced a partnership to provide AI-based analytics to DJI drones and customers, using Microsoft’s new Azure IoT Edge platform.
  • Intel has announced it is supplying Microsoft’s Azure PaaS with its FPGAs, for use in Microsoft’s new Project Brainwave, which will be deployed on those FPGA chips.
  • South Wales Police have disclosed that its facial-recognition system can be wrong 92% of the time. It still claims that the handful of arrests it has aided is a success.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Osram has announced its SensiLUM portfolio, light units with integrated sensors that are connected by Zigbee. They provide occupancy sensing and remote control.
  • Google has announced it has passed 5,000 device integrations for its Assistant platform, growing from 1,500 in January.

// Automotive //

  • Computest researchers have demonstrated serious remote attacks on VW Golf and Audi A3 models, via their Harman-developed IVI systems, which VW can’t patch because the cars lack OTA update capabilities. They only needed a WiFi connection.
  • BMW has picked Innoviz to supply solid-state Lidar for BMW’s autonomous vehicle platforms. Magna, an investor in Innoviz, says this is one of the first serial contracts.
  • The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) has been launched, founded by BMW, Ford, GM, Renault-Nissan, Bosch, ZF, Accenture, IBM, and Consensys.
  • Aptiv (Delphi) and Lyft have expanded their self-driving test partnership, launching a 30-car fleet in Las Vegas that will offer Lyft customers rides, on an opt-in basis.
  • Nikola has announced it has an order for 800 of its hybrid electric-hydrogen trucks from Anheuser-Bush, and will be investing in support infrastructure to match.
  • Volvo has announced new V2V capabilities, with its new line of trucks being able to talk to Volvo cars, to share road and hazard condition updates.
  • Waymo has been involved in a traffic collision. While being driven in manual mode, one of its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica vans was hit by a driver running a red light.
  • Tesla will begin releasing quarterly Autopilot safety reports, in a move to try and counter bad press and misconceptions about the product.

// Security //

  • ARM has unveiled its new Cortex M35-P CPU core designs, designed to provide better protection against physical attacks on the microcontrollers, better able to fend off side-channel attacks. ARM is pairing it with TrustZone.

// Smart Cities //

  • Freestyle Technology has provided the South Korean county of Gochang with a smart water system to help identify leaks and provide data-based welfare checks.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • Mercedes-Benz has halted its home battery storage production, saying that the units were over-designed and too expensive. Vivint Solar was a customer.
  • Centrica will test blockchain-based peer-to-peer energy trading in its Cornwall test bad, in partnership with LO3 – using LO3’s new Exergy platform.
  • Power Ledger has unveiled its first US commercial deployment, with Northwestern University using the trading platform in its Evanston campus.
  • WePower has begun sharing a preview version of its financing and trading platform, which it hopes to use to help fund new energy producers who can then sell electricity.
  • Vattenfall and Volvo have partnered, to expand the utility’s PEV charging plans. The deal sees Volvo owners offered an in-home charger – the InCharge Smart Home.
  • Arqiva and Comarch have extended their commercial partnership, agreeing a 15-year deal to use Comarch’s OSS software to support Arqiva’s smart metering.
  • The Zigbee Alliance has announced a big win, with the UK now apparently backing Zigbee in its Smart Energy 1.4 application standard, and opening the standard up to some 26m potential installations, says Smart Energy Great Britain.

// Health //

  • Fitbit is using Google’s new Cloud Healthcare API to help integrate Fitbit data with electronic medical records (EMRs), building on Fitbit’s acquisition of Twine Health.
  • Fitbit has launched new in-app messaging and quick response tools, as well as menstrual cycle tracking, to its Versa and Ionic – two much asked for features.