Intel and Chinese e-commerce giant jd.com have signed a deal with each other to create a new type of laboratory.
According to the Xinhua news agency, both companies will work on creating 3D product displays and “visual fitting rooms”, smart hardware, and servers for enterprises for promoting online shopping.
Xinhua said jd.com is one of the world’s top 10 internet companies and Intel will help it improve its existing e-commerce services as well as working on new applications related to ID authentication, security, and database monitoring.
Jd.com has something like 25 million registered users.
No financial details of the deal between the two corporations was released.
Intel has been trying to reposition itself in the last 18 months as more of a general purpose corporation, rather than just a manufacturer of X86 chips. It also wants a chunk of the lucrative pie known as the internet of things, and is still desperate to make its mark in the mobile and tablet markets.
This deal, then, is something of an oddity.
A report commissioned by Verizon suggests that rather than being science fiction, the Internet of Things (IoT) is already here and producing business results.
Verizon commissioned the Harvard Business Review to conduct a report and that suggested the IoT is already here in the shape of connectivity, cloud computing, and miniaturisation of sensors “making it possible” for over 10 billion devices to be networked.
Nevertheless, HBR’s Analytic Services surveyed 269 business leaders and says the number of deployments is still relatively small.
While estimates say that IoT could add 10s of trillions of dollars to GDP in the next 10 years, HBR says defining it goes way beyond wearable devices, smart meters and connected cars.
The survey, conducted last September on early IoT adopters, concludes those using it were doing so to improve customer services, increase revenues from services and products, better using assets in the field, and picking up additional data for analytics.
Applications include asset tracking, security, fleet management, field force management, energy data management and “condition based monitoring”.
There are challenges to adopting IoT that include pivacy and regulatory compliance. HBR said most legislation and industry regulations predates the use of IoT. Managing the sheer amount of data will also be a problem, and finding people with skill sets capable of using IoT data.
The report said in healthcare, Varian, a manufacturer of medical devices, says the IoT meant a 50 percent reduction to repair connected devices. Pirelli is using the IoT to manage data from sensors embedded in its Cyber Tyre range. And Ford’s Connected Car Dashboards programme collects and analyses data from cars to better understand driving patterns and behicle performance.
A wave of consolidation in the internet of things (IoT) market is assured in the next few years.
That’s according to financial company Hampleton Partners, which said in a report that vendors have spent over $9 billion in the marketplace in the last few years in a bid to put their stake in the ground.
And early players in that market include Google, Samsung, Verizon and others. Apple wants to make a play in the market too.
In the next year, Hammpleton thinks that other companies will make acquistions in the next year or so to get into a market estimated to be worth many billions by the end of the decade.
Those include Intel, TI, Texas Instruments and AT&T.
One of the problems is that when there are countless devices equipped with semiconductors and the ability to be connected to the internet, is that there are few standards and so far few attempts to create such standards.
Estimates vary about the number of devices connected by the end of the decade but it’s certain the number will be in tens of billions. Each device, however, will cost very little – money to be made will be in the way such things are interconnected and structured.
Beancounters at mighty chip behemoth Intel can stop playing with their worry beads as it looks as though servers based on ARM technology are failing to dent X86 server business.
A report in Taiwanese wire Digitimes said that ARM has made serious attempts to invade the server business but hasn’t succeeding in storming the Intel fortress.
And with Intel having an 80 percent share in the PC market, shareholders in the chip giant believe that despite its appalling performance in the mobile space, it will continue to make high margins from its server chip offerings.
AMD is waiting in the wings but doesn’t have a great deal of traction in the server business, the report claims.
Both ARM and Intel hope to make vast profits by being in the vanguard in offering products that will leverage the expected boom in the “internet of things”.
Intel and ARM are relying on cloud based apps to make everything work together. These things are only a tiny fraction of the internet of things, however, and it’s hard to see either company having much of a share in the expected bonanza.
The attempt by Intel to penetrate the tablet market has cost it dear in subsidies over the last two years.
But it appears that the chip giant hasn’t given up the ghost on such a plan and, according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, is likely to pour more cash into the venture.
Intel’s problem is that it has faced overwhelming competition on price from companies that use microprocessors from Mediatek and Qualcomm, based on designs from British chip designer ARM.
Even though Intel has several ARM licences, it declines to use those to compete and wants the market to realise the important part it plays in the mobile arena. Or, to put it differently, Intel is a proud company and doesn’t want to lose face.
The subsidies to vendors have been aimed at tablets with screen dimensions of 10 inches and below, but Digitimes now says it may well extend those subsidies to tablets 12 inches and below.
Intel cannot afford not to be in the tablet business because it wants to be a key player in the so called Internet of Things. Last week the chip giant said it was going to merge its mobile and comms businesses with its PC business, which will effectively disguise the hole in its profit and loss statements in the future.
Next year there will be 4.9 billion connected “things” – that is connected semiconductors with IP (internet protocol) connectivity.
But this is only the beginning, according to research from the Gartner Group. It said that there will be 25 billion such devices in 2020 and next year’s figure of 4.9 billion is up 30 percent from this year.
Jim Tully, a VP at Gartner, said: “The digital shift instigated by the nexus of forces such as cloud, mobile, social and information, and boosed by the internet of things (IoT) threatens many existing businesses. They have no choice but to pursue IoT, like they’ve done with the consumerisation of IT.”
Gartner estimates that the IoT will support $69.5 billion of service revenues in 2015 and a staggering $263 billion by 2020.
Tully estimates that the automotive industry will show the highest growth rate at 96 percent in 2015. This table shows how it believes things will pan out up to 2020.
There are security implications here. Gartner thinks that by the end of 2017, over 20 percent of organisations will have digital security services protecting devices and services in the internet of things.
A forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) is predicting that the market for internet of things (IoT) elements will be worth $3.04 trillion in 2020, up from $1.3 trillion now.
IDC includes elements including hardware, software, services, connectivity and security in its report, and defines the IoT as a network of networks of uniquely identifiable nodes that communicate without people using IP (internet protocol) connectivity.
While the US market has taken the lead in the IoT, it will be outstripped by Western Europe and Asia Pacific in revenues and installed base as the decade continues.
IDC believes no one vendor will dominate the market but growth will depend on the coexistence of different vendors, service providers and system integrators to work to broadly similar standards.
The number of individual nodes worldwide is likely to be around 30 billion devices by 2020 and startups are going to be important as the IoT develops.
A research paper from Gartner said that devices used for processing, sensing and communications will grow by 36.2 percent next year, speeding ahead of the overall semi market that will grow by 5.7 percent.
Processors will be the largest slice of the revenue cake, worth $7.58 billion in 2015.
Alfonso Velosa, a research analyst at Gartner, said: “The demand for billions of things will ripple throughout the entire value chain, from software and services to semiconductor devices. These things will drive huge demand for individual chips.” He said the growth would cover industries including consumer, industrial, medical, automotive and others.
He said LED lighting will grow in volume and that will lower costs and allow new services to be provided through connecting, networking and sensing the environment.
He predicts smart glasses and smartwatches will also see .
Gartner forecasts nearly 30 percent growth up to 2020 for semiconductor revenues related to the internet of things. “The truth is that inexpensive devices are one of the biggest enablers of the internet of things.”
Light bulbs using LED technology that know where they are and can be programmed are still in an early stage of development.
But that is about to change, said ABI Research – suggesting that while shipments were less than 2.5 million units in 2013, by 2020 the installed base is likely to be over 400 million.
LEDs using 802.15.4 protocols – that’s wi-fi – are likely to be the winners representing a three quarter share of the market. ZigBee Light Link will be the preferred way of connection.
Prices of LED bulbs are continuing to fall and the market is likely to be saturated pretty quickly because of their typically longer life.
There is quite a gaggle of players in the market already including Philips, GE, Osram, Belin, Insteaon, LG and Samsung.
Malik Saadi, director at ABI Research said that smart lighting will be fuelled by customer lifestyle patterns including automation and high energy efficiency.
Philips already sells light bulbs and lighting strips that can be programmed to turn on or off as people arrive at or leave their houses, and can be switched off and on remotely using the internet.
Governments around the world are waking up to the security implications as the internet of things is set to pervade the world and will spend an immense amount of money to improve cyber security.
The internet of things is a catch all term for a time when just about anything you care to imagine has semiconductors inside, able to communicate with just about everything else.
ABI Research said that it estimates that cybersecurity spending will hit $109 billion by the end of this decade, with governments in North America and Europe spending and spending again on security for network, for systems and for data.
The governments, said ABI, will concentrate on security for the financial, energy and defence sectors as they are the ones most targeted.
The energy sector is under particular threat, with attacks on industrial control systems.
However, there are sectors which are particularly vulnerable, including utility companies, said Michela Menting, practice director at ABI Research.
She said: “IT spending will dominate cyber security investment for critical infrastructure protection to the detriment of securing operational technologies in industrial settings.”
A report suggests that pretty soon now we’ll be friending our washing machines, heating, lights and cars and telling them what we’ve had for breakfast. If we didn’t already know.
Scientists from the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil suggest that interfaces of social networking sites are likely to change to allow us to interact with things connected to the internet.
The internet of things, say the authors, could hook up with weather feeds so that your heating turns on when snow is expected.
And as things get ever more connected, you might even find that your gadgets defriend you because you’re not really needed at all.
The scientists at Bahia say that we will soon find ourselves waking up to what they dub a “social web of things”. Think, for example, that in the future you can send a text message to your house to fiddle about with the heating. You will not be necessary in the future, and, says the team: “The archicture could be extended to remove the intermediate, us, from the equation and so give us domestic bliss with minimal intervention.”
The much touted internet of things will bring a world where just about everything has microcircuitry from lightbulbs to coffee machines.
But, according to a report from ABI Research, there are enormous security and other risks associated with its implementation.
Those include safety, consumer privacy and data protection, the firm said.
Further, this type of network has risks in all of its core layers and when manufacturers create devices they are cost conscious and may not implement the safeguards that are the ideal.
“Manufacturers are still trying to find their feet and justify investment in secure design, development, and product lifecycle,” according to Michela Menting, a director at ABI Research.
Nevertheless she cites some companies that are taking the lead in making the internet of things safe rather than sorry.
Those include Arrayent, Hewlett Packard, Microchp, NXP Semi, Sonatype and Wind River.
The rise of the internet of things, which is likely to mean billions of devices are connected to LTE has security fallibilities that need to be quickly addressed.
That’s according Dr Martin Nuss, chief technical officer of Vitesse Semi, speaking to an audience at 4G World.
Nuss said that small cells are an integral part of LTE, LTE-A deployments and Carrier Heterogenous Networks. Their accessibility makes them easy to hack, he said.
Even though LTE networks are far more secure than wi-fi hotspots, but small cell based stations using LTE and located at street level is a new security risk.
Small cell backhauls are also likely to happen over third party access provider networks that don’t have the same standards as wireless operators.
Nuss also warned of timing security. Small cell susceptibility t GPS jamming and spoofing is another problem.
By 2018, he said, small cells will be everywhere and so implementing them is a matter of careful network planning and awareness of the risks.
In just eight years time, ordinary family homes will be bursting with technology.
That’s a prediction market research firm Gartner is making for 2022. Its report said a home in affluent societies, at least, could have over 500 smart devices.
So what are these devices to be? It estimates a wide range of domestic equipment will become “smart”, inasmuch as they’ll include some level of sensing and intelligence and the ability to communicate wirelessly.
And such vacuum cleaners and washing machines won’t cost more to have “smartness”, with semiconductor economies of scale meaning that a chip won’t cost more than about one US dollar.
Your cooker will be smart, your TVs will be smart, your fitness equipment will be smart, your security will be smart, your toaster will be smart. Everything will be smart as the internet of things starts to cast its spell over our world.
But it won’t be all plain sailing, because ordinary people might not want all this “smartness”. Products which incorporate intelligence must be easy to use and not require a degree in geekiness. And if smartness can’t be relied upon and start failing – well your house might not be such a home.
Samsung has opened the kimono in its new Tizen based watch which has a curved 2-inch Super AMOLED display.
Although the Gear S smartwatch will not be much different from its predecessors, it will be the first Samsung smartwatch to offer 3G support. This means there will be no need for a Bluetooth connection to sync the wearable with a smartphone, though Bluetooth and WiFi support will still be there.
The Gear S has a dual-core 1GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM along with 4 GB of internal storage. It will also have GPS support and will serve for navigation purposes using Nokia’s HERE maps. Samsung says the wearable will have up to 2 days of battery life which it puts down to the use of Tizen.
It has the usual standard features like a heart rate sensor, a compass, an ambient light sensor will also be included. For the health-savy, all the S Health offerings will be there and Nike+ will be supported as well.
The device will go on sale this October and no word on the price yet.