Dutch giant Philips had already said it would split its existing business into two companies – automotive lighting and LED and its healthcare business.
But now it looks like it’s exiting its core business – lighting – completely.
The lighting company will be spun off and will be floated on the stock exchange, probably in 2016. Its lighting business generates revenues of around $2 billion and has 37,000 staff.
Philips originally started in the late 19th century in its core business – making electric lamps. It diversified greatly during the 20th century at one time even operating its own aircraft business. It also was for a while a player in the audio-visual business and in PCs.
A few years back it spun off its semiconductor business which is now trading as NXP and which is expected to merge with Freescale soon.
Lumileds, the name of the automotive and LED lighting business, will eventually be completely sold off, according to a report in Electronics Weekly.
After an ignominious end
to the much hyped Google Glasses, it appears the company hasn’t abandoned the whole effort.
According to a feature in the New York Times
, a jewellery designer and a former Apple product executive are working at Google to redesign the thing from scratch.
Ivy Ross apparently runs Google’s “smart eyewear division” while Tony Fadell who created Nest are going back to the Glass drawing board.
Fadell told the NY Times that early Glass experiments had “broken ground” and he and Ivy are learning the dismal lessons of the past by redesigning the things from scratch and not releasing product until it is ready.
Diane von Furstenberg wore a red pair of Google Glasses at a fashion show in 2012, while models on the catwalk wore different coloured ones.
She told the NY Times that Google Glass was the first time people talked about wearable technology.
Actually, as a matter of fact, it’s not. In the early 90s Dutch firm Philips talked about putting a computer in a tie while later that decade the CEO of IBM told an audience at the Comdex trade show that we’d soon be wearing shoes with computers inside them.
While there were shortages
of monitor panels last year that caused only 133.6 million units to ship, some vendors have done better than expected.
Those are vendors that bundle monitors with desktops, according to research outfit WitsView.
And Dell is one those that does just that. Replacements for Windows XP had a knock off effect that put Dell on top with a market share of 15.8 percent worldwide.
Another PC manufacturer, Lenovo, also had a boost from the enterprise market and had 9.7 percent market share.
The top 10 vendors are Dell, Philips, Samsung, HP, LGE, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Viewsonic and Benq,
Philips had a particularly good year in China.
Samsung, which was top vendor for four clear years, only managed to make it to number three with 11.9 percent market share.
HP had 10.7 percent commercial monitor market share, so it’s breathing down Samsung’s neck.
The internecine war between Google and Apple took a further twist when it emerged that the Cupertino company now holds the pole position on indoor location technology likely to be widely used in shops.
ABI Research said that “Apple has taken the bull by the horns” in the retail market with several firms vying to win the war. Technologies using LED from ByteLight, Qualcomm and Philips and magnetic field technology from companies like IndoorAtlas are going to change the way shops look.
Apple leads the way with its iBeacon, otherwise known as Bluetooth Smart or BLE. Other vendors can license this name for their own products.
Electronic shelf labels using protocols like NFC and BLE are set to increase and app companies are filling the gaps.
Patrick Connolly, a senior analyst at ABI said the world is likely to see the first deployments of light systems next year.
Connolly said: “The widespread availability of BLE beacons makes it very easy for retails to deploy a light system to test the water and measure shopper acceptance.”
He added that Zebra/Motorola, Ruckus and Aruba will combine wi-fi with BLE and other location technologies.
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.
Dutch firm Royal Philips has shown off what it says are the world’s first 3D printed “smart” luminaries.
The luminaries are part of its “Hue” range, and Philips said that a finger swipe on smartphone or tablet allows you to create any number of personal light effects from a palette of 16 million hues, shades of white and programmable scenes.
Philips lets you create table and pendant luminaries to order at www.meethue.com while you can also order them from London store Selfridges.
Philips also showed off a bright white LED bulb which you can control from your tablet or smartphone. The Hue “lux” retrofits into existing A19 luminaries.
Because your gizmo controls them you can turn your lights on and off from anywhere in the world you can get connected. Applications include linking the app to alert you to stormy weather, link to stock tickers, link to sportsfeed, or to your Facebook page.
Philips also showed off Convo Lights, which can notify deaf people when there are other audible signals they might miss.