Riot 263: Around The Web Roundup


// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • PTC has acquired Twnkls, an AR services firm based in the Netherlands with 30 staff, for an undisclosed sum, and poached a McKinsey partner to head up a new digital transformation solutions group for PTC.
  • GE Ventures is apparently up for sale, with the still-troubled industrial titan looking to offload its portfolio of 100 startups.
  • Broadcom’s warning that the Huawei embargo is going to have up to a $2bn hit on its sales figures has sent ripples through the rest of the chip industry. Broadcom is down around 7%, and sell-offs in other stocks are happening.
  • Iteris is acquiring Albeck Gerken, a Florida-based traffic operations engineering services provider, to boost Iteris’ transport and agricultural software and data services portfolio. Iteris is paying $10.7mn, with a possible $2.3mn in incentives, for a company that had revenue of $8.1mn and EBITDA of $2mn, in 2018.
  • Engie has acquired ChargePoint Services, in a deal that sees the French utility snap up an EV charging station provider that has around 900 installations in the UK. These charging platforms are a foundation to build grid-scale services on.
  • Accenture has acquired Déjà vu Security, adding the IoT-focused design and testing startup to Accenture’s enterprise offerings. No price has been given.
  • Wireless Logic has acquired SIMPoint, a connectivity provider for cellular and LoRa that is a partner for KPN. Founded in 2012 and based in the Netherlands, SIMPoint’s price has not been disclosed, but this sees Wireless Logic snap up a rival.
  • Cognizant has acquired Zenith Technologies, an Irish life sciences manufacturing technology specialist, in a move which sees Cognizant expand its design, integration, and management offerings into connected medical markets.
  • Tendril has acquired FirstFuel Software, in another deal to boost its portfolio of utility-focused software and services. This is the third buy this year for the company, but the first that does not have a consumer angle.
  • Total’s Saft has acquired Go Electric, a microgrid specialist that Saft hopes will expand its grid-scale battery offerings. No price has been given.

// Laws, Regulation, and Lawsuits //

  • The IoT bill has been advanced to a vote in congress, after the House Committee on Oversight and Reform advanced the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019 to a vote on the House floor, which could see the NIST-backed rules get signed into law – a small but important first step.


// Networks, Protocols, & Wireless //

  • Thread 1.2 has been released by the Thread Group, with new performance enhancements and the claim that it can “seamlessly integrate with other IP-based networking technologies, [and] it has far lower power requirements relative to comparable solutions.”
  • AVSystem and AT&T have announced an automated Lightweight M2M (LwM2M) partnership, using AVSystem’s Coiote IoT Device Management platform, which the pair say will boost LwM2M adoption as a core IoT ecosystem technology.
  • CEVA and Nurlink have announced that a Nurlink NK6010 SoC, which uses CEVA’s Dragonfly NB2 eNB-IoT design, has made what they say is the first successful “call” on a commercial LTE Cat-NB network. The data call was made on China Telecom’s network, and to be clear, this is not a voice connection.
  • Helium has launched LongFi, its new wireless networking technology that it claims has 200x the range of WiFi at 1/1000th the cost of a cellular modem. Selling the access points for $500, the initial applications are focused on collecting sensor data and tracking assets.

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

  • Atos has won a National Grid contract to supply AI-based analytics for the energy distribution platform’s core business in the UK and northeastern USA, worth $150mn.
  • HPE has announced a raft of new edge solutions, with enhancements for Aruba Central, integrations with ABB, Microsoft, and PTC, and a new Intelligent Edge and IoT Center of Excellence. HPE is citing a new McKinsey figure, that the IoT and related data growth is an $11tn annual opportunity.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Dish has launched OnTech, a new installation service that is open to non-Dish customers too, which charges a flat $99 fee to install smart home devices. It sounds like an easy way to get some valuable face-to-face opportunities for upselling.

// Wearables //

  • IDC says that the wearables market will reach 222.9mn units in 2019, growing to 302.3mn in 2023 at a CAGR of 7.9%. Smartwatches and ear-worn devices are going to be the main drivers, and will account for over 70% of shipments.

// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //

  • IBM, KPMG, Merck, and Walmart are testing a blockchain-based system for protecting pharmaceuticals in the supply chain, as part of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).

// Automotive //

  • Volvo Trucks’ autonomous Vera vehicle is being put to work in a Swedish cargo container port terminal, where the cabin-less truck will haul trailers around, in a partnership with DFDS, a logistics firm.
  • Telechips has picked Imagination’s PowerVR Series9XTP GPU, as the basis of a new IVI and vehicle cockpit offering, which might also be used in smart home applications.
  • Volkswagen has confirmed that it will be in-housing the operating system for its cars, with a target of 2025 for total portfolio usage. Some 5,000 developers are being formed into the Car.Software unit, to develop vw.os.
  • Nissan has found that its Leaf EV battery packs are lasting much longer than initially anticipated, with might hamper plans to reuse these packs in secondary applications – with most expected to easily outlast the vehicle.

// Security //

  • The Kudelski Group and Sequans have partnered, integrating the Kudelski IoT Security Platform into Sequans’ Monarch chip for L-LPWAN connectivity.
  • The Trusted Computing Group (TCG), a nonprofit focused on hardware-based security systems, has developed a tiny Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that it wants to promote as an IoT-friendly option for developers.
  • Mirai has begun targeting corporate SD-WAN devices, exploiting vulnerabilities in VMware’s SDX family of appliances, according to Palo Alto Networks.
  • Clavister and Tieto have announced a collaboration, to jointly develop packaged offerings for connected cars, combining their cybersecurity expertise.

// Smart Grid & Utility //

  • The Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) has announced that it will be deploying 430,000 smart meters in the country, facilitated by a $131.7mn loan from the French Development Agency (AFD) that is intended to improve the Tunisian grid.
  • EnerNex has won the contract from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to implement a smart grid pilot project with Côte d’Ivoire Énergies (CI-ENERGIES).