// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //
- Sonda has acquired M2M, a Brazilian fleet management provider, which Sonda, a Chilean systems-integrator, plans to use to boost its vertical offerings. The price was not disclosed, but Brazilian outlets report it is somewhere between $11mn and $15mn.
- Bridgestone has acquired TomTom’s telematics wing for $1.03bn, with TomTom looking to now focus more on its location platform offerings, including traffic and navigation software – to challenge the likes of Here, as well as Alphabet (apparently).
- Google is buying a chunk of Fossil’s R&D department, in a $40mn deal that seems focused on salvaging WearOS by bringing development talent in-house, building on the hardware and user expertise that Fossil has accumulated.
// Forecasts, Surveys. Reports, & Blue-Sky Thinking //
- Some 21.3mn wireless IoT devices have been deployed in Industrial Automation applications, according to Berg Insight, with 4.6mn units shipped in 2018, and that figure expected to grow to 9.9mn by 2023.
// Hardware //
- Intel has unveiled a new RealSense camera, the Tracking Camera T265, a standalone unit that can provide machine-vision capabilities for developers, using Intel’s Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU).
// Software //
- Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 18.04, the first stable release of its stripped down OS, aimed at embedded and IoT devices. Canonical promises ten years of support for the platform, which houses the popular Snaps update and application container technology.
// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //
- Telefonica says it has added 317,000 Spanish M2M connections in 2018, reaching a total of 2.33mn, up 16% in a year. CNMC figures say there are 5mn M2M connections in the country, with IDC expecting total connections to reach 8mn by 2022 – a CAGR of 11%.
- The LoRa Alliance says it now has network operator coverage in 100 countries, a milestone that came on the back of ‘explosive growth’ in 2018.
- Ingenu just appointed its COO as CEO, replacing interim CEO Babak Razi with Alvaro Gazzolo. The company is still alive, but not commenting on future plans.
// Big Data, Cloud, AI, and Machine-Learning //
- C3 has been picked by Enel to provide the Italian energy firm with C3’s AI Suite, which Enel will be using as part of its digital transformation strategy. Key to this will be Enel’s Unified Virtual Data Lake, integrating all its data streams.
// Smart Homes and Buildings //
- Ikea and Sonos are partnering to create a line of smart speakers, called Symfonisk. Amazon Alexa is already working, and a Google Assistant integration is in development, with the new lineup due for launch in the summer.
// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //
- DB Schenker and Magento, an open source e-commerce platform, have partnered, in a move to better integrate DB’s logistics back-end with the small and medium retailers that use Magento to fulfill their orders.
// Automotive //
- Cubic Telecom says that it now connects over 2mn vehicles, using its Pace service, on the back of a new deal with EV firm eGo Mobile.
- Waymo says it will open the world’s first factory dedicated to making autonomous vehicles, in Michigan later this year, where workers will build driverless versions of the Jaguar i-PACE and Chrysler Pacifica.
- Electric vehicle prices will match conventional ICE cars within five years, according to Deloitte, growing from 2mn units in 2018, to 4mn in 2020, and then 12mn by 2025 and hitting 21mn by 2030.
// Security //
- Google’s Nest is in the bad books, after a fairly high-profile hack saw a Nest Cam begin blaring warnings of an imminent North Korean attack on the USA. The camera’s owner was the victim of a “third-party hack,” according to Nest, which is adamant that Nest itself was not breached.
// Smart Grid & Utility //
- Siemens and Kamstrup have won the tender to install 2.5mn smart meters for Irish utility ESB networks, as part of a €1.1bn upgrade program.
// Health //
- Microsoft and the Walgreens Boots Alliance have partnered to develop new delivery and retail methods, as part of a healthcare collaboration that will be powered by Microsoft’s Azure platform.