Tag: internet of things

British firm promises flexible displays

FlexEnable's prototype fabA company based in Cambridge claimed that by the end of this year it will produce properly flexible displays by the end of this year.
FlexEnable is aiming to position its OLED displays into mobile products, wearables, surface displays and imaging systems.
On its website it says that the display could be used on smartphones with wraparound displays that can open out into tablet size.  The material is flexible enough to be folded in half.
It also envisages including screens that are so flexible they can be built into clothes and follow the curves of the body.
It also sees its displays being built into both cars and aircraft designs, using complex curves and irregular shapes.
The technology also has medical uses, creating flexible x-ray sensors. The technology can be as thin as 25 nanometres. It provides reference kits to its clients so they can make their own products. The company also claims to have created graphene based displays.
FlexEnable is a spin off of Plastic Logic and believes its technology will become an element of the internet of things.

 

Organisations anticipate internet of things

Internet of ThingsAlthough there’s still a clear lack of standards with different vendors vying to take the lead, many organisations are getting ready for the internet of things (IoT).
Companies including Intel, Qualcomm, Google and others want to have a big stake in the future of IOT.
And there’s no doubt the hype is generating interest.
That’s the conclusion of market research company Gartner which said in a study that 40 percent of businesses think the IoT will have a “significant” impact in the next three years.
Nick Jones, a senior analyst at Gartner, said: “Only a small minority has deployed solutions in a production environment. However, the falling costs of networking and processing mean that there are few economic inhibitors to adding sensing and communications to products costing as little as a few tens of dollars”.
But even though many organisations are anticipating the IoT, few have put executives in leadership roles.
The main concerns of the  people surveyed are security and privacy.  And there is a shortage of people with the relevant skills to plot the future.

 

Intel buys German chip company

Intel Q4_14_ResultsGiant US microprocessor combine Intel has paid an unknown amount of money to snap up a Germany chip company.
Lantiq, owned since 2009 by a private equity company makes semiconductors used in different applications including broadband, wi-fi, and fibre connections.
Lantiq was sold to private equity company Golden Gate for a quarter of million euro. Lantiq was originally a wing of Infineon.
It’s believed that the Intel acquisition is part of its attempt to be a major player in the much hyped “internet of things”.
But while there is no doubt that the internet of things will generate a lot of revenue, there is no one standard and other companies, including Qualcomm and Google want to grab a share of that market too.

 

Intel carries on wasting money

Intel Q4_14_ResultsChip giant Intel is being stubborn about its mobile strategy and will continue to throw money at the problem.
The firm has attempted to make headway in the tablet and smartphone market but has wasted around $7 billion so far without very much result.
Now, according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, there’s evidence that Intel is going to carry on wasting money in a segment that has brought it nothing but woe so far.
Digitimes said that it is in cahoots with Chinese firms Spreadtrum and Rockchip and wants to continue to compete with Qualcomm and Mediatek in these markets.
The report claimed that it has licensed its X86 tech to both companies in a bid to ramp up its mobile business.
The report said Spreadtrum will release a number of system on a chip devices in the second half of this year.
Intel apparently wants to be a leader in the much hyped “internet of things”.

 

Connect your kitchen to the internet of things

Internet of ThingsAn estimate by Gartner analysts predicts that connected kitchens are going to save us 15 percent by 2020.
Gartner says the potential of kitchens being connected to the internet of things means there are big business opportunities for companies.
An example would be when your smart fridge detects you’re a bit low on milk or bacon so auto connects to your favourite grocer to make a delivery.
But Gartner warns there’s still a lack of standards related to the internet of things.  IT companies will have to mix up different elements from a variety of different providers.
If your kitchen is connected, your car is going to be even more connected.
In the same report it said that by 2020 there will be quarter of a billion connected vehicles.
James Hines, a research director at Gartner, said: “The connected car is already a reality and in vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands to high volume mid market models.”

 

Ubuntu gets snappy with the internet of things

frog-mouth-crocodile-blair_42596_990x742The Linux OS maker Canonical wants to extend its Ubuntu Snappy Linux technology to power the Internet of Things.

Ubuntu is best known as a popular Linux operating system for servers, cloud and desktops. Now Canonical is tweaking Ubuntu to power embedded devices and IoT.

The key to this is apparently the Snappy Ubuntu Core technology. Snappy Ubuntu Core was first announced on December 10, 2014, as a cut down version of Ubuntu.

Snappy was supposed to be a cloud technology but has been seen as a wizard thing to run embedded devices.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, said that the use of Snappy could improve the security, reliability, and efficiency of update mechanisms and help to isolate apps from one another.

This fixes a problem with IoT that its operating systems are harder to upgrade – which makes them insecure.

Shuttleworth said that Snappy updates can be delivered as smaller, more efficient transactional updates. It also has an update rollback feature, which can enable an application to be reverted if the update is unsuccessful for some reason.

He said that Snappy has very efficient bandwidth usage, making it ideal for IoT embedded devices. With

Shuttleworth told eWeek that Canonical could deliver an update for something like a Heartbleed or Shellshock vulnerability, completely independently of the lawnmower control app that would come from the lawnmower company.

With IoT, anything and everything can be connected to the Internet, even potentially a lawnmower, and it is usually up to the vendor to provide patches for any security issues.

To help capitalize on the IoT opportunity, Canonical now has an entire Internet of things division within the company.

While it sounds grandiose that we have a whole Internet of things division, this is an extremely efficient repurposing of the technology we already have,” Shuttleworth said.

 

Internet of Things promises analytics boom

Internet of ThingsThe growth of devices with internet protocol (IP) capabilities will generate a boom in big data and analytics revenue.
That’s the prediction from ABI Research which said in a report that integrating, analysing and storing data from the internet of things (IoT) will be worth as much as $5.7 billion this year.
That figure will expand over the next five years and represent a third of all big data and analytics revenues, the research outfit predicts.
Analyst Aapo Markkanen said that trying to make sense of data from machines and sensors has its own challenges, including deep domain expertise in analysis and time series databases held in storage.
That is leading to the birth of many startups aiming to exploit a gap in the market.
Some existing vendors including Datawatch, Informatics, Software AG and Splunk are ready for the IoT world.

 

Smart street lights start to make their way

Internet of ThingsWhile high prices have prevented municipal authorities from investing in “clever” street lights, that’s starting to change.
ABI Research said that the number of installed lights with networking abilities will grow from two million now to over 40 million by 2019, said analyst Andrew Zignani.
LED  lights give energy savings, an increase in lifespan and the ability to be networked, he said. Such networking will not only allow for better control of illumination but lamps will be able to report to a central location when there are defects.
Although networking is now mostly using power line communication (PLC), that dominant position will face competition from radio frequency (RF) and cellular networking.
ABI estimates that by 2020, RF systems will account for two thirds of street lights installed.
Some cities around the world are seeing potential for street lighting infrastructure based on the internet of things, said Zignani.  Street lights will be linked to other aspects of smart grids.

EMC warns of the perils of masses of small data

zxzzzzd1Guy Churchward, head of EMC’s $20-billion core technologies division, has warned that small data is going to cause even bigger headaches than the big stuff.

Taking to the Economic Times  Churchward said that data challenges for the Internet of Things or driverless cars were huge,

He said that millions of driverless cars, and billions of other internetconnected devices will not be Big Data. “What you have is not big data, it is actually `small data’ – because what it is, is billions and billions of small data objects.”

EMC expects IoT to create a sprawl of billions of autonomous devices, which will create security, storage and management nightmares in future.

Churchward warned that  “small data sprawl” will take the challenges of Big Data and make them 100x more difficult.

Security, storage, management and applications would be completely different in a world filled with billions of devices, each of which will have its own big data. None of the currently available tools and applications would work in such environments.

Part of EMC’s over $2.3-billion research and development budget is being used to address this `small data’ problem but the company thinks that it will take between three to five years to start bearing fruit.

 

AMD shuns the Internet of Things

1-AMD-s-New-Steamroller-Architecture-to-Bring-Significant-PerformanceWhile Intel is pinning its future on the Internet of Things (IoT), AMD appears to be spurning it as if it were a rabid dog.

Its senior vice president and general manager of the computing and graphics business group John Byrne thinks that it is much wiser to keep pushing into the PC market, which is still a $40-billion-a-year opportunity.

Talking to Venture Beat  he said that AMD has to execute on its upcoming Carrizo family of accelerated processing units (APUs), which will be focused on the mobile computing market. About 300 million PC processors and 90 million graphics chips are sold each year, and Byrne wants AMD to get its fair share of those sales.

Byrne thinks that setting up a chip making operation for the Internet of Things is just an invitation to lose money.

Byrne said while it concentrated on the IoT, Intel it was missing opportunities in the classic PC market.

“There’s still 300 million PCs, still 90 million graphics chips. If I look at Intel, Nvidia, and my revenue, that’s still a $40 billion market — even before you get to the IoT. If you look at the gross margin profile of that business, it’s still significantly more than AMD as a company’s average. There’s still significant market opportunities in the classic PC space,” Byrne said.

He said that AMD still had work to do in the PC chip market. It had to work on its x86 performance, ensuring that each product it bought to market is better x86. There needed to be improvements in graphics, notebooks needed to improve battery life.

Byrne said that it all meant that AMD could push into the commercial market a long more. He pointed out that AMD won the industry’s largest single tender in commercial 18 months ago in India and Elitebook with HP last year.

“Wait until you see the lineup of commercial platforms I have with Carrizo. It allows us to continue to attack that i3, attack that i5 consumer, and really get to penetrate the commercial market space. We’ll attack graphics. That’s going to be my strategy next, he said.

While he said that the Internet of Things is important there are two ways to make cash from it. Intel is concentrating on the silicon inside the wearable. However, that will cost under $10 and not make huge amounts of cash.

“You’re seeing that with Quark and some of the other investments our competitors are making. I’m not in business to lose money. Share and revenue is nice but so is profitability,” he said.

But all of those devices have to be connected and it is those higher end devices that AMD will be targeting.

Intel’s future is drones and women

tarotreadingAt the CES show at Las Vegas this week, Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich showed off a computer built into a jacket button and a wristband that transforms into a selfie-snapping flying camera drone.

It says a lot about where Intel sees the future of computing. Gone are the days of number crunching business computers, instead the world’s chip makers are developing gadgets which are better at photographing their own users.

Already tourist destinations are full of people carrying their phones on sticks so that they can take snaps of themselves at famous monuments without needing a friend. Now it seems that Intel sees a future for machines that can take pictures of bald heads at famous monuments while at the same time navigating through a sea of Japanese drones re-enacting a narcissistic battle of Midway on the Spanish Steps.

Krzanich used most of his keynote to talk up Intel’s efforts in computerised apparel and other sensor-packed gadgets as consumers get bored with their tablets and start selling their kidneys for the next shiny thing.

Curie, a new button-sized computer for smart clothes, is due out later in 2015 and includes Bluetooth radio as well as the latest from Intel’s Quark line of low-power chips. However Krzanich did sound a little like an East End market barrow boy when he talked about “rings, bags, bracelets, pendants, and yes, even the buttons on our jackets.” They are not dodgy, not dodgy.

Intel is working with Oakley to launch a smart gadget for athletes later this year, Krzanich said. The chipmaker in December announced it was developing smart glasses with Luxottica, which owns the Oakley brand.

Krazanich also said that he was spending $300 million to get more women and minorities in the technology and the video game industries. Note that money will be spent training women and minorities, there is no guarantee that Intel or any other technology company will hire them.

Intel has a poor record of accomplishment employing women and some minorities. While it is happy to hire Chinese and Indian workers, because they are nice and cheap, only a quarter of Intel’s US employees in 2013 were women and 12 percent of its workforce were Hispanic or African American.

Last year Intel made a huge mistake by backing the misogynistic GamerGate campaign to pull advertising from gaming news sites who dared to slam sexism in the gaming industry. In the end it changed its mind and resumed advertising.

 

 

Samsung aims at internet of things

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picThe CEO of Samsung has made a bid for his company to become an active player in the internet of things (IoT) by putting uo funding for developers.
In a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, BK Yoon said Samsung will provide $100 million in funding while pledging to keep access to devices open rather than proprietary.
He said all Samsung devices will be open and connect to other devices on the matrix, with 90 percent of Samsung devices have IoT inteconnectivity by 2017.
Soon said that the industry required an open system with collaboration across different industry sectors.
While analysts predict that by the end of the decade there will be 10s of billions of devices from lights to kitchen sinks with IP (internet protocol) abilities, problems not only include connectivity and open standards but also security.
Other vendors, including chip giant Intel want to jump on the IoT bandwagon and so far there is little sign of the whole caboodle agreeing on open standards.

 

Belkin goes big on the internet of things

Internet of ThingsComms company Belkin is using the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week to demonstrate a range of products that promise to make peoples’ homes more secure.
According to Cnet, the company will introduce four new sensors this year, all based on the firm’s WeMo technology.
WeMo devices require a plug in hub that currently comes with lighting starter kits to communicate with your home wi-fi and let you access the products from anywhere you can get an internet connection.
WeMo is based on the Zigbee language, which is also used by Philips with its Hue systems.
Cnet says that the devices it will introduce include a wireless motion sensor with a 30 foot range which won’t respond to false alarms from your pussy cat or dog because it also includes a heat sensor.
Belkin will also introduce an alarm sensor that responds to smoke or burglar alarms and triggers push notifications so you know something’s up.
It will also include a keyring sensor that can attach to a pet collar so you know whether your dog is comng or going.  The company will also launch a door and window sensor to let you know which apertures have been opened.

Intel joins the glasses crowd

Joe_90_(TV)Vuzix has told the world+dog that the small time chipmaker Intel has invested $24.8 million in the company to speed up the launch of its internet-connected specs.

Intel bought preferred stock that is convertible into common shares equivalent to 30 percent of Vuzix, Vuzix said in a press release.

New York-based Vuzix develops computerised, internet-connected glasses and other video eyewear aimed at consumers, businesses and entertainment.  Intel is dead keen to get its foot in the door of such market having been too late into the smartphones and tablets fad.

It is the second big deal to be announced in a month. In December, Italy’s Luxottica said it was joining forces with the US chipmaker to develop glasses that combine its top fashion brands with technology that could allow wearers to access information about their health or location.

Intel has also teamed up with watch retailer Fossil and fashion brand Opening Ceremony to develop wearable devices such as fashion bracelets with communications features and wireless charging.

It is all early days yet, but it seems that Intel is preparing the ground.

 

 

MEMS market galvanised by the internet of things

Internet of ThingsGrowth in the internet of things (IoT) means demand for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) has risen steeply this year.

The MEMS category of semiconductors includes accelerometers, pressure sensors, timing components and microphones.

MEMS are used in areas like asset tracking, smart grids, building and other sectors.  Market research company IHS said that revenues last year were $16 million but will be worth $120 million yearly by 2019.

But MEMS will also be widely used in datacentres and this means that this sector of the market will be worth $214 million in 2018.

By 2025, shipments of MEMS for industrial IoT equipment will amount to 7.3 billion units. Last year 1.8 billion units shipped.

Datacentres will want optical MEMS, used for wavelength selective switches and optical cross connects.