Riot 254: Around The Web Roundup

// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Luxoft has acquired Objective Software, a German software firm specializing in IP-based service for autonomous vehicles, as well as ADAS and associated smart city applications. Luxoft will be incorporating Objective into its own mobility and ADAS portfolio.
  • TeleSense has acquired Webstech, a Danish IoT sensor technology firm that has a strong European customer base. TeleSense claims the acquisition gives it access to the largest remote-sensed dataset in the world, and will be able to offer customers the Webstech suite of grain storage and spoilage sensing tools.
  • CalAmp has acquired Synovia Solutions, in a $50mn deal that is aimed at expanding CalAmp’s fleet management and vehicle safety offerings. Synovia’s Here Comes the Bus app is used by 300,000 student and parent users daily. Synovia reported $28mn in revenue last year, meaning this is another low revenue multiple.
  • Access has acquired NetRange, a provider of white-label Smart TV software platforms. Of particular interest is NetRange’s new OS.CAR system, for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) applications, which Access will want to use in its Twine for Car offering.
  • Intel has acquired Omnitek, an FPGA design-house specializing in video processing and computer vision systems. Omnitek is based in the UK, founded in 1998, and has 220 IP core designs. Intel says it will help Intel improve the time-to-market for FPGA customers. This comes as Intel has binned its 5G smartphone modem project.
  • Verv has acquired Labrador, a startup that made switching between energy providers a very simple process. Verv is a hardware-focused startup in the UK, which produces a box that can be attached to a home’s electricity supply to provide analytics capabilities.


// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • Sequans and Skyworks’ joint-offering, the Monarch SiP, has had its price slashed by Verizon. The US MNO now offers the silicon for $6.50 for members of its ThingSpace IoT Accelerator Program, with the SiP aimed at trackers and wearables. This is a notable price cut, and Verizon seems keen to drive this market.
  • Intel is quitting the 5G smartphone modem market, in a triangular announcement that sees Apple and Qualcomm apparently settle their disputes. Intel seems to have only had Apple as a customer, and so there’s no future. Yet again, Intel has ditched a new project, choosing to renew its focus on its data center offerings.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • Fleetilla has picked Polte, to supply it with Polte’s LTE-based location technologies, ‘Location over Cellular (C-LoC), which Fleetilla will use in its FL950 series of devices. Fleetilla specializes in tracking trailers, rail cars, containers, and rental equipment. Polte’s C-LoC should improve its indoor positioning.

// Automotive //

  • The European Parliament’s Transports Committee has rejected the European Commission’s V2X proposal that would have mandated ITS-G5 (802.11p), in a win for the GSMA community that was pushing for the selection or at least proper inclusion of C-V2X and 5G. There is a Parliamentary vote pending, but it looks like the Commission’s proposal is going to be rejected entirely.
  • Ambarella and Momenta have unveiled a new automotive HD mapping platform, which will be using Ambarella’s CV22AQ silicon and supporting software, with Momenta’s deep learning algorithms. Momenta says that using the chip, it can generate two video feeds from a single monocular camera – one for vision sensing, and one for feature-point extraction for self-localization and mapping (SLAM). This platform brings the pair into conflict with Here and TomTom.

// Smart Cities //

  • Itron and Vinci Energies have partnered to provide Canberra, Australia’s capital, with smart lighting and smart energy services, using Itron’s Streetlight Vision management platform in a seven-year project.
  • Qualcomm has launched the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program, to connect cities and enterprises with the Qualcomm-backed ecosystem. Qualcomm wants it to act as a hub, to drive smart city adoption. The members included in the announcement are: Arrow, Askey, Ayla Networks, Cradlepoint, Esplendor Group, Guardhat, MuSpace, Quantela, TSM, UROS, USI Global, Verizon, and Xingtera, but the full list is here.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • Tendril has announced Google Assistant integrations for its home energy optimization services, allowing Tendril users (utility customers usually) to use Assistant to view bills and make payments, using devices like Google’s Home Hub. This function is the first step towards consumer brands becoming brokers to utilities, able to be middlemen for things like Demand Response and HEMS.
  • The HomeGrid Forum is ramping up its promotion for its power-line communication specification, targeting smart grid and smart city applications. There are a few other prominent PLC options, and both LoRa and Wi-SUN are staking claims here.
  • The Wi-SUN Alliance says that 91mn Wi-SUN devices have been awarded globally, with 50 new members joining the alliance in the past year, growing to 227 members. It comes as the LoRa Alliance announces strong interest in its namesake LPWAN protocol in Chinese energy applications.

// Health //

  • Sweati and ICL have demonstrated that a patch-based wearable can accurately track glucose, lactate, and hydration data via a wearer’s sweat. This, Sweati says, makes it the only company able to continuously monitor these three markers. This form factor seems like a very good option for early-adopter hospitals.