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Riot 272 Around The Web Roundup

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// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //

  • Goodix is acquiring NXP’s Voice and Audio Solutions (VAS) assets, for an undisclosed price. Goodix says that the deal shows its commitment to becoming a semiconductor innovator, and NXP’s hardware and software should help in that regard. What is less clear is why NXP wants to part ways with the sector.
  • Telus has acquired Farm at Hand, an agricultural technology (ag-tech) startup focused on tracking farm inventory and managing field records that was founded in 2012. This is an expansion for the MNO, which addresses a major element of the Canadian market.

// LPWANs & IoT Networks //

  • The Zigbee Alliance has announced that it has now passed 3,000 certified products, with Amazon’s second-gen Echo Show claiming the title.
  • Optus and Myriota have announced what they say is the first such deal between an Australian telco and a nanosatellite provider, which will see Myriota provide coverage for remote devices.
  • Deutsche Telekom has unveiled new IoT tariffs, for pre-activated SIM cards used in the EU, powered by 1NCE’s IoT platform. Prices begin from €7.95 per unit for a 5-year contract, consisting of 6MB of data and 250 SMS messages, up to €11.95 for 30MB of data.

// Smart Homes and Buildings //

  • Ikea is establishing a dedicated smart home business unit, to leverage the 780mn customers that visit its stores annually. Initially a side-project, Ikea is now focusing on the Ikea Home Smart offering as a strategic pillar.
  • The Industrial Internet Consortium is launching the Smart Buildings Challenge, hoping to foster collaboration between smart building technology providers. The project is being launched in partnership with the Trusted IoT Alliance.

// Energy Generation & Storage //

  • SoftBank is investing $110mn in Energy Vault, a Swiss startup that specializes in gravity storage. This is SoftBank’s first storage investment, and Energy Vault plans to unveil its first storage tower, a 35 MWh unit in Italy, this year. s
  • New Mexico is considering impeaching three of its five utility regulators, after the state flipped to Democrat in the mid-term elections. The commissioners are accused of trying to bypass the new Energy Transition Act, trying to keep the San Juan coal plant open.
  • Smart Energy in Australia is the subject of a profile, which explores its Smart Savings Plan, where rooftop solar customers pay for the system via the savings it generates – with the typical customer paying it off within 5 years.
  • Tesla is now relaunching its solar division, and is going to offer a rental scheme in six states that starts at $50/month for a 3.8 KW system.
  • Walmart is suing Tesla after a number of solar panels installed on the top of seven Walmart stores caught fire, citing a breach of contract, gross negligence, and failure to live up to industry standards.

// Automotive Electrification//

  • BP Chargemaster has begin installing 400 ‘ultra-fast chargers’ in the UK, in a project that will be complete by the end of 2021. The 150 KW units will feature contactless payment options.
  • Shell has launched its first Southeast Asian EV chargers, firing up 10 locations in Singapore – around 20% of its retail footprint in the city state. The units should deliver 80% charge in 30 minutes of use.
  • Venson Automotive Solutions has published the results of a survey into EV adoption barriers among potential customers, with 69% of company car drivers citing charging infrastructure as the main barrier.
  • EO Charging and Moixa have partnered, pairing Moixa’s Smart Home Battery offerings with EO’s EV chargers, to be combined with a solar array at a customer home. The sales pitch is reduced energy bills and better EV charging.
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