Riot 241: Around The Web Roundup

// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Cubic has acquired Gridsmart Technologies, for $87mn, a company that specializes in vehicle tracking and analysis, which Cubic will put to use in expanding its Intelligent Traffic Management portfolio.
  • Libelium has published a ten-step guide to making a successful IoT project, which is well worth a read, noting that while the IoT is cool, it has to be profitable.

// Laws, Regulation, and Lawsuits //

  • The USA has signed the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act into law, which mandates that government data should be freely accessible to citizens by default. This could open up a lot of IoT options.

// Hardware //

  • ARM’s CEO speaks to Bloomberg about the current strategy, focused on data center and automotive silicon, which has seen the company swell its headcount, which will be slimmed down before a public filing in around five years.
  • STMicro has launched a develop kit that combines Bluetooth and Sigfox, based on an Arduino design, and featuring a fully programmable Jorjin WS2118 module.
  • Wiliot has secured a $30mn Series B round, involving AWS and Samsung, as it generates interest in its ambient-RF-powered sensor tag, which communicates using Bluetooth and feeds off of nearby radio waves.


// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • The HomeGrid Forum is expanding its powerline protocol certification to smart grids, IoT devices, and connected cars, hoping to gain ground on WiFi.
  • Samsung’s SmartThings Tracker is based on technology provided by Zipit Wireless, providing provisioning, billing, and device management functions for the LTE Cat-M device that was recently launched.

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

  • Deutsche Telekom has announced that Braunschweiger Zuführtechnik is one of its first customers for the Connected Things Hub, a platform built on Microsoft Azure that DT developed with Axonize, for IoT applications and data analytics.
  • Telefonica has picked Nokia to provide it with the Evolved Service Operation Center (eSOC) platform, which uses ML technologies to automate network and customer experience functions. The goal is to be more customer-centric.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Apple had a good CES, with The Verge rounding up its most notable wins, which include TV HomeKit integrations with LG, Vizio, and Sony, as well as doorbells, plugs, lights, and Ikea’s new connected blinds.
  • Orange and Groupama have announced a new joint-venture, called Protectline, which will provide French customers with telesurveillance services. The security services are a channel into which Orange can expand its smart home business.
  • Oppo, a Chinese smartphone maker, has announced that it is creating an IoT business group, which will initially be focusing on smart home devices. Under its sub-brand Zhemi, the Intelligent Mobile Devices wing is also going to pursue wearables, as part of an expansion strategy.

// Wearables //

  • Omate has unveiled two smartwatches at CES. The O6S features Sigfox connectivity, via SNO UnaBiz, which is intended for senior citizen support and fall monitoring, and with Soracom in the Omate O6, for eSIM-enabled LTE.

// Industrial & Manufacturing //

  • Two blockchain deals have been announced that show some promise for the embattled sector; with Ford, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, and LG Chem partnering for a cobalt supply chain screening program, for automotive EV batteries, and Chevron, Total, and Reliance Industries joining the Vakt project, as a way to optimize commodities trading for oil.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • Microsoft and Kroger have announced a pilot project that will explore Retail-aaS options for connected stores, based on Azure, and on show at NRF.
  • Intel and Pensa demonstrated how drones could be used for shelf scanning applications, hoping to prove how small UAVs could be implemented in stores.
  • ARM was pushing its Pelion IoT platform at NRF, at retailers looking to break data silos and have more unified views of their customer data.

// Automotive //

  • KCOM outlines the problems of accommodating GDPR in connected car services, particularly balancing the distinction between personally identifiable information (PII) and data that can be freely used for customer intelligence.
  • Cisco and Iteris have announced a strategic partnership that will integrate Iteris’ video detection platform with Cisco’s Kinetic platform, focused on pedestrian safety and connected vehicle applications. We wonder if Iteris could soon be a Cisco subsidiary.

// Smart Cities //

  • Cityzenith has built a digital-twin version of the Indian city of Amaravati, in Andhra Pradesh, using its Smart World Pro platform to create a 3D model that can be enriched with data sources – to better understand how to develop the smart city project, using things like traffic and weather data.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • A group of collaborators has published the DNP3 (Distributed Network Protocol) Application Note AN2018-001, or the Profile for Communications with Distributed energy Resources (DER). The group, which includes the EPRI, DNP User Group, MESA, SunSpec Alliance, EnerNex, and Xanthus Consulting, hopes to improve grid interoperability with new DER systems.
  • Volkswagen has announced the creation of Elli (Electric Life), a subsidiary that will focus on electricity offerings to augments VW’s EV sales, primarily concerned with charging infrastructure and products.

// Health //

  • Fitbit and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have launched the Fitbit Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) project, as part of the All of Us Research Program. Fitbit users will be able to consent to share their data with researchers, to study the impact of activity on health. Fitbit is the first wearable to join the project.