Riot 246: Around The Web Roundup

­// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Osram has confirmed that it is in talks to be acquired, with both Bain Capital and Carlyle Group interested. It has also shut down its indoor positioning project, deciding to rely on third-parties, such as BeaconInside, in which Osram holds a minority stake.
  • Shell is acquiring Sonnen, a German firm that sells home energy management systems (HEMS), centered around batteries with solar integration. Sonnen will become a subsidiary, and now hopes to use Shell’s position to grow its channels and installed footprint, for both consumer and grid applications.
  • Samsung is shutting down its Artik platform. This is somewhat maddening, as one of the largest electronics firms and semiconductor businesses could not manage to pull off a hardware-plus-cloud IoT offering.
  • Centrica is investing in two energy startups, to expand its IoT strategy. The first, GreenCom Networks, has an IoT platform for demand response consumer offerings, and Mixergy, an Oxford University spinout that has a connected water tank that learns a home’s routine to optimize water heating.
  • Lutron has acquired Limelight, a control system for wireless outdoor lighting applications, following on from a previous commercial relationship with TwistHDM, the owner of Limelight, which saw Lutron license Limelight.


// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • The Small Cell Forum and the CBRS Alliance have partnered to promote CBRS, specifically the adoption of On-Go certified systems for 3.5GHz usage, small cell adoption, and network densification.
  • CheerIoT has announced a new 5-year SIM deal, priced at €8.90 for 300MB of data for the period. It joins the likes of 1NCE, in the low-cost cellular market.
  • Deutsche Telekom has launched its IoT Solution Optimizer, an online consultancy tool that it is pitching at potential customers looking to experiment with IoT deployments. An extensive partner ecosystem is in place, looking to snap up a customer that discovers that their IoT project is not so hard after all.
  • Libelium and Ericsson have launched an LTE Cat-NB and Cat-M developer kit, powered by a Quectel module, which will be on show at MWC.
  • Sequans has unveiled the second generation of its Monarch chip platform. It says Monarch 2 incorporates three years of experience from the original Monarch, with a 60% improvement in power consumption, and support for both 3GPP Release 14 (LTE Cat-M1 and LTE Cat-NB1) and Release 15 (Cat-M2, Cat-NB2).
  • MobiledgeX has announced that it has deployed its first public mobile edge network, for Deutsche Telekom in Germany. It comes as the company has launched the first version of its Edge-Cloud R1.0, a system for linking mobile devices to containerized applications closer to the network edge.
  • Sigfox has announced its annual results, with 6.2mn active devices, €60mn in revenue, and 13mn daily messages. It is targeting 10mn devices in 2019, hoping for 12mn, and has announced that Eutelsat will be deploying the LEO constellation in 2020, for global satellite coverage.
  • Here and Continual have announced a partnership that will use Here’s new Cellular Signals service to monitor the network quality of MNO customers as they move around the network, which will be offered as a service to the MNOs.

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

  • Oracle and Here have partnered, in a deal that will see Oracle’s IoT Cloud integrate Here’s Location Suite into its IoT services, meaning Here is going to be the backbone for Oracle customers that need location-based data in their apps.
  • Arm has announced its Neoverse platform, a new processor family aimed squarely at cloud computing workloads. With two variants, the N1 and the E1, Arm is billing this as a way to handle the trillion devices it anticipates being added to the internet in the coming years.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Renesas has unveiled a PoC that has the KNX automation protocol running over G3-PLC powerline communication, which opens up opportunities to run smart building applications over the installed power cabling in a building, instead of having to run Ethernet or install wireless infrastructure.
  • Apple has hired Sam Jadallah, a former Microsoft employee that spearheaded the abortive Otto smart lock startup. Otto’s premium-looking $700 smart lock campaign fell apart after a buyer backed out, but Jadallah will now be leading Apple’s ‘home initiatives,’ which suggests that something might be afoot. However, Apple has a track-record of being quite behind the times in the smart home.
  • Google is getting a kicking, after not exactly disclosing that its Nest Secure hub had a microphone inside it – something not listed in the device specifications.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • ShipNext has signed a strategic alliance with Mjunction, India’s largest B2B e-commerce company that is a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL. The project will use ShipNext’s blockchain-based platform to coordinate and optimize maritime shipping.

// Automotive //

  • BlackBerry has won a $40mn grant from the Canadian government, which will be put to use developing its QNX operating system. Expected to create 800 jobs in Ottawa, BlackBerry wants QNX to power much more than just the IVI systems.
  • CEVA and Autotalks have announced a collaboration that they say provides the world’s first global V2X solution – an Autotalks chipset that uses the CEVA-XC SDR DSP to create a combined DSRC and C-V2X offering.

// Security //

  • Dojo by BullGuard has announced that it can now offer CSPs a single-platform IoT security service that will support new 5G and Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) architectures.
  • ETSI has announced TS 103 465, which it is calling the first globally applicable standard for consumer IoT security. The specification mandates non-universal passwords, as well as a vulnerability reporting mechanism.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • Enexis and ElaadNL are using the IOTA platform as part of a proof-of-concept for autonomous load balancing, where a grid for charging EVs will use IOTA’s Tangle ledger (note; a DAG, not a blockchain), to mandate when the EVs charge, provide grid-balancing capacity, or when they empty their batteries into the grid.
  • Centrica is expanding its home energy management offerings, looking to provide consumer solar, battery storage, and heat pump services to consumers.
  • EDF is launching a blockchain-based trading pilot in London, in partnership with Repowering London and UCL. Project Community is part of Brixton Energy Solar 1, a peer-to-peer trading platform for integrating solar and domestic storage.
  • EnergySage reports that around a third of solar installer customers express interest in energy storage systems, with 56% of those asking for Tesla’s Powerwall. Unfortunately for Tesla, only 12% of solar installers carry it.