// M&A, Strategies, Alliances //
- Lantronix is acquiring Intrinsyc for around $26.5mn ($11.5mn in cash plus 4.3mn new shares), as the IIoT networking equipment specialist looks to expand, using Intrinsync’s embedded computing expertise, using its Open-Q modules. Intrinsyc is notable for its use of Qualcomm technology in its design.
- Alphabet is buying Fitbit for $2.1bn, as “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.” This is something of a lifeline for Fitbit, which has had to pivot to healthcare in the wake of the bottom falling out of the consumer wearable market.
- EDF is rumored to be buying Pod Point, an EV charging firm that is strong in the UK. Neither company has commented, but this is the fifth day of reporting on the matter.
- EDF has acquired Pivot Power, a UK startup focused on battery storage and EV charging infrastructure. This could be the deal that sparked the rumors that EDF was buying Pod Point. No price has been given, but Pivot Power has announced plans to deploy 2 GW of storage alongside a national EV charger network.
// LPWANs & IoT Networks //
- Qualcomm will use Deutsche Telekom’s nuSIM stack for its 9205 L-LPWAN modem, adding an eSIM capability to the chip. Qualcomm says that it has 16 design wins for the modem, including Fibocom, Gemalto, Gosuncn, MeiG, Neoway, Quectel, SIMCom and Telit.
- Hiber has announced that its Hiberland Satellite IoT offering is now available, claiming to cover 90% of the Earth’s surface. It says it already has 70 customers, including Royal Eijkelkamp for soil moisture monitoring, Centaur analytics for crop monitoring, and an unspecified beehive monitoring deal.
- Altair and Renesas have announced a partnership to offer jointly-developed L-LPWAN chipsets to customers, which will leverage Renesas’ sales channels – a boost to Altair’s (and parent Sony’s) reach.
// Smart Grid & Utility Infrastructure //
- Rocky Mountain Power has picked Itron to provide it with 250,000 smart meters in Utah, connected using Itron’s OpenWay Riva IoT product family.
// Smart Homes and Buildings //
- Toshiba is launching an IoT platform to push smart home offerings in Japan, in 2020, and has partnered with SoftBank, KDDI, and Tokyo Gas. Called ifLink Open Community, the project looks to provide manufacturers with connection kits and product integration services, as well as promote the offerings to consumers.
- Synaptics and Chirp have partnered, targeting smart home device connectivity using Chirp’s data-over-sound technology, embedding Chirp’s stack into Synaptics’ SoCs.
// Automotive Electrification//
- Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, has announced Vattenfall and Connected Kerb as new partners for its Park & Charge project, which uses its cable and fiber infrastructure as a platform for EV chargers on streets. SMS, Cenex, Ginger Town, Fully Charged, DETA, and Loughborough University are also involved, as are a number of UK councils.
- The UK DoT says there are now more public EV charging points than petrol stations in the UK, with 15,116 points, 2,495 of which are ‘rapid charging,’ compared to 9,000 petrol stations.
// Smart Cities //
- Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has taken a bit of a kicking. It has now got approval for its Toronto Waterfront development to move ahead to the public consultation phase, but it has dropped the scale of the proposal substantially – down from 190 acres to just 12. Notably, it has also scrapped the Urban Data Trust element, and will no longer be using the term ‘urban data,’ and is also giving up on being the lead developer. This smacks of serious egg-on-face.
// Retail, Marketing, & Supply Chain //
- Ralph Lauren has picked Avery Dennison and Evrythng to provide it with a complete product digitalization offering, focused on traceability. The Polo line will now be managed by Evrythng’s platform, with the items tagged using Avery Dennison’s range of RFID tags and labels.