Rethink IoT News ATW 230: Around The Web Roundup

// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

// Hardware //

  • ARM and Xilinx have announced a partnership, where ARM will offer free licenses for use with Xilinx FPGAs, under the ARM DesignStart program.
  • Tile has updated its Bluetooth trackers, adding the ability to replace batteries in all its new devices, bar the Slim, matching its main competitor Trackr.

// Software //

  • Microsoft has announced its Robot Operating Systems (ROS) for Windows 10 Enterprise, looking to power new robotic devices and applications.

// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • The Wi-SUN Alliance has launched its FAN (Field Are Network) certification protocol, to approve products compliant with the utility and smart city focused LPWAN network – based on IEE 802.15.4g, typically using sub-GHz spectrum.
  • Orange Polska has announced LTE Cat-M1 services, with an initial deal with a city council to use the LPWAN technology for networked waste management.
  • Telia Norway has announced a 100,000 unit NB-IoT deal with StalkIT, to provide connectivity for waste management, to track the disposal containers.
  • SK Networks is using SK Telecom’s LTE Cat-M1 network to carry out asset tracking for its rental car operations and fleet telematics.
  • SES has announced an integration with IBM, which will see its ‘fiber-like’ O3B network link customers with IBM’s cloud platform and services.

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

  • Libelium and Alibaba Cloud have partnered, integrating the Meshlium IoT Gateways with Alibaba’s cloud-based computing platforms. Alibaba later announced a similar deal with Semtech, focused on LoRa.
  • E.ON has picked Microsoft to power a new smart home platform, which will let customers manage their electricity consumption and in-home devices.
  • Octo Telematics has picked Orange Business Services to supply SIM coverage and cloud-based data processing, renewing its existing contract for another 3 years.
  • Microsoft has open-sourced its Infer.NET machine-learning system, which evolved from being an academic research tool, and creates bespoke algorithms.
  • Shell has picked C3 IoT to provide it with AI-based tools through its PaaS, which Shell says will be used to improve safety and drilling performance.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Nest has launched its Nest Thermostat E in Europe, following a US launch in August, aiming to displace smart meter IHDs with its own two-piece offering.
  • ecobee has been picked by Clayton, to be installed in all new Clayton prefabricated houses (48,000 built in 2017). The shine was taken off the announcement a little, when ecobee suffered a brief server outage.
  • Samsung’s SmartThings hub still seems to be the best option for a DIY smart home foundation, but the lack of a Nest integration is politically telling.
  • Zyxel has picked F-Secure to provide its Connected Home Security software for Zyxel’s line of residential home gateways, aimed at CSPs.
  • Walmart is asking smart home suppliers to support Google Home, as well as not host their services in AWS, as the retailer squares up to arch-rival Amazon.
  • Deutsche Telekom has announced a new smart building bundle, called Building Monitoring and Analytics, which includes sensing devices for office optimization.

// Industrial & Manufacturing //

  • DB Cargo has picked Eurotech to provide hardware and software tool to TechLok, using Eurotech’s BoltGate 20-25 gateway to power diagnostics for trains.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • HID Global is pushing its NFC tag technology to brands looking to improve their protections against counterfeiting. More NFC tagged products means more IoT opportunities, for brands looking to expand.

// Automotive //

  • Sierra Wireless has released the AirLink Management Service (ALMS) Advanced Reporting and Analytics, for fleet management systems using Sierra’s hardware.
  • Denso has partnered with NRI Secure Technologies to create a new joint-venture, called NDIAS, which will focus on in-vehicle cybersecurity systems.
  • Toyota and SoftBank have announced a self-driving vehicle alliance, aimed at developing services such as commerce and healthcare on top of the cars.
  • Ford, Lyft, and Uber have partnered with SharedStreets and NACTO, in an attempt to create a standards-based system for sharing high-definition maps.
  • Consumer Reports says that Cadillac’s Super Cruise was the best performing driver-assist system, in a recent test, followed by Tesla, Nissan, then Volvo.

// Security //

  • Researchers have demonstrated how to manipulate innocuous sounding audio files to target voice assistants, using bird song to trigger commands.
  • It is alleged that Supermicro’s supply chain has been penetrated by Chinese PLA spies, in a bombshell Bloomberg report that has dropped Supermicro’s share price by 50%. There are some concerns with what is claimed in the report, and the main companies involved, Apple, AWS, and Supermicro, are denying it.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • Presciense has unveiled its Polaris in-home display (IHD), with Amazon Alexa built into the device. This allows users to ask Alexa what their energy usage is like, but more importantly, this could give Amazon a foothold in the utility space.
  • Reliant (NRG) has partnered with Google to promote Nest devices to its 3mn customers, with specialized voice commands for usage reduction.