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Campari America taps Thinfilm’s NFC mobile marketing solution to drive eCommerce

By Zenobia Hegde

Thin Film Electronics ASA, a provider in NFC (near field communication) mobile marketing and smart packaging solutions, announced Campari America as a new customer. Campari America is using Thinfilm’s NFC mobile marketing solution to enable consumers to purchase its spirits brands by tapping their smartphone to a ‘connected’ refrigerator magnet.

Once tapped, the magnets – which feature Thinfilm’s NFC SpeedTap tags and fully integrate with its CNECT cloud-based platform – take consumers to a product page on Drizly, the popular beer, wine, and spirits consumer-delivery platform. Consumers are then able to add the item to their cart and immediately check out, all in one cohesive mobile experience.

Click here to view the press release published by Campari America.

The Campari collaboration marks a strong start to 2018 for Thinfilm and builds on the momentum the Company established through the fourth quarter of last year.

Key announcements, transactions, and updates include the following:

Growing customer base – Thinfilm now has a total of over two dozen in-market customers covering a range of vertical markets, including wine & spirits, craft beer, beverages, OTC pharma, cosmetics, tobacco, consumer electronics, and specialty foods
Compelling case studies – Thinfilm has now published four case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of using NFC for mobile marketing; consumer tapping activity is on the rise and NFC has been shown to outperform conventional marketing channels like social platforms and display banners
CNECT platform enhancements – Version 2.0 of the software is targeted for release in Q2 and will feature functionality enhancements and a new user interface; as of year-end 2017, 441 companies had registered on the cloud-based portal
More conversion partners and standard NFC conversion options – Thinfilm continues to add to its list of qualified conversion partners around the globe; the Company now offers more than a dozen NFC tag conversion options, including converted labels, folded cartons, ElastiTags, conventional hang tags, drink coasters, bottle neck-collars, coupons, magnets, and direct mailers

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Thundersoft Introduces E-Cockpit Solutions with Embedded Vision and Speech AI

By IoT – Internet of Things

Thundersoft introduced an industry leading e-cockpit solution built on Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820A platform with BlackBerry’s QNX® Hypervisor 2.0 technology, which will be demonstrated at Qualcomm’s automotive booth at LVCC North Hall, Booth #5616 at the 2018 International CES in Las Vegas. The company will have an invitation-only showcase of the new e-cockpit, a new on-device […]

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Think horizontally to unlock the huge potential of connected devices, says oneM2M

By Zenobia Hegde

Smart wearables, connected cars and machines, consumer electronics and smart city deployments will only deliver true value to consumers if there is a horizontal linking of data, oneM2M’s Technical Plenary chair Dr. Omar Elloumi warned.

Speaking ahead of CES, where thousands of the latest Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets will be showcased, Elloumi highlighted how many devices are connected to a proprietary cloud that provides services based on the data of the wearable itself.

“As consumer demand for smart devices continues to surpass expectations, it is more vital than ever that device makers understand the importance of a horizontal standards-based approach when defining their strategies for the IoT,” he said.“Working in this manner will allow them to bring multiple devices from various industries on to the same platform, sharing data that will ultimately improve the end-user experience and security.”

The oneM2M standard provides a universal framework for IoT deployments, including those in the rapidly growing global connected car industry, giving a blueprint for a horizontal platform consisting of a common service layer to allow every component to communicate.

Two companies that have adopted oneM2M standards are Toyota and KDDI, which have set out their visions for the IoT by explaining how a horizontal cross-vertical linking of data can increase value for consumers.

“The oneM2M standard harmonises data models for vehicular applications, giving us the power to offer a cross-vertical and multi-vendor interoperability authentication of each application or device,” said Nick Yamasaki, senior expert, Industry Standards Department, Technical Planning Division at KDDI. “KDDI’s IoT vision for consumers on a global scale has oneM2M at its core, increasing benefits for manufacturers and consumers safely and securely.”

That view is shared by Dr. Ryokichi Onishi, Network Group leader at Toyota InfoTechnology Centre, which works on the oneM2M standard for the connected car platform.

Dr. Ryokichi Onishi

“The use of M2M technology for our customers has never been simple – it includes a wide range of functions and we can offer them effectively through oneM2M standards,” said Onishi. “Making different devices and servers universally interoperable through a standards-based approach greatly improves the value data sharing brings to end-users in a secure and controlled manner.”

Elloumi concluded: “Toyota’s and KDDI’s outlooks clearly illustrate how IoT services can bring additional benefits tocustomers in terms of convenience and safety, through carefully coordinated structures unified by the same standards. All of this is only possible once devices from different verticals and different vendors begin to communicate among each other, in a safe and secure way.”

The growing trend towards open standards in the automotive industry has also been illustrated in the recent work of the European Union’s AUTOPILOT Horizon 2020 project, which leverages the oneM2M standard to collect CCTV data and data produced by connected cars to help deliver a 360º awareness of potential hazards, increasing safety for all.

Deutsche Telekom and Orange also revealed their use of oneM2M last year when the companies announced their joint initiative on oneM2M-based cloud APIs for Smart Home and consumer IoT. Other companies using oneM2M include SK Telecom, LG Uplus, InterDigital and ZTE and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for its Universal IoT platform which will be used in Tata Communications’ IoT network to serve more than 2,000 communities.

For more information on oneM2M, please visit the website. Information about additional oneM2M deployments can be found here.

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Quantenna and Greenwave partner to deliver full duplex Wi-Fi extender for smart connected home coverage

By Zenobia Hegde

Greenwave Systems, Inc., a global provider in managed services and Quantenna Communications, Inc., an innovator in high-performance Wi-Fi solutions, have announced a new partnership to deliver a full duplex Wi-Fi extender for superior whole-home coverage.

Quantenna’s Wi-Fi technology combined with Greenwave’s award winning AXON Platform enhances the connected home offering for service providers and boosts users’ speeds to multiple devices simultaneously.

“Quantenna is very pleased to partner with Greenwave to bring superior whole-home Wi-Fi coverage at the highest possible speeds,” said Ambroise Popper, vice president of strategic marketing at Quantenna. “Quantenna’s superior 802.11ac Wave 2 repeater solution, combined with our industry leading gateways, solidifies our position as the undisputed leader in home Wi-Fi Networking.”

While low-end repeaters may offer decent coverage, they don’t always supply a fast, reliable connection. Thanks to small, powerful mesh nodes, the full duplex repeater is capable of expanding Wi-Fi coverage to every corner of the smart home for HD video streaming, fast downloads and other applications.

Greenwave’s AXON Platform utilises Quantenna’s intelligent Self Optimising Network (SONiQ) software to seamlessly manage multiple repeaters and gateways to achieve an optimum Wi-Fi connection. In addition, SONiQ provides superior multi-access point management with auto configurations and comprehensive steering features.

“Quantenna’s exceptional Wi-Fi technology, coupled with the interoperability of our AXON Platform, gives service providers a unique opportunity to enhance home network performance,” says Roger Gregory, vice president of product marketing at Greenwave Systems. “The AXON Platform extends networks seamlessly, enabling a consistent, quality experience for the automated home.”

Greenwave’s AXON Platform translates real-time communications from a variety of IoT devices and offers seamless connectivity that lets “things” and services talk to each other, regardless of protocol. The AXON Platform already powers millions of advanced networks through trusted service provider partners in telecom, cable and utilities, powering extended managed services for broadband, audio, video and energy management systems.

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A Week in IoT: How secure are your devices, and your elderly?

By Jeremy Cowan

Well, this week’s themes are BIG. Fundamental flaws in chip security are affecting all kinds of IoT devices, and big players like Intel and Apple are in the frame as they scramble to patch the problem. ‘Does the IoT have the device management tools needed to fix this?’ asks Jeremy Cowan. One analyst doubts it.

Meanwhile, planners are asking if cities will be smart enough to provide help where it’s needed most – for the elderly. (In their timefames, that’s you and me, by the way.) It’s not a coincidence that we’re seeing a growing focus on edge computing for smart cities – in some IoT sectors that may be the only way to manage all this data.

As you will have heard unless you just got in from Mars, Google‘s Project Zero security research team has released details of a serious security vulnerability. Indeed, some are calling it the most serious hardware bug of the modern era.

Samuel Hale: Access to normally off-limits data

Samuel Hale, analyst and IoT development expert at the US-based analyst firm MachNation tells IoT Now: “This vulnerability impacts literally all large cloud-services companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and others that offer multi-tenant services.”

So, he believes it’s no wonder that Intel’s stock tumbled following this announcement. Fixing this security problem is going to decrease enterprise application performance by approximately 10-15% worldwide. “This vulnerability is so serious,” says Hale, “that any application running on a system may be able to access normally off-limits data, such as passwords, security keys, or other sensitive information.”

He insists the implications for Internet of Things devices will be huge. “The majority of all IoT devices worldwide will need a software update very soon. Without great IoT device management, this is going to be extremely difficult to accomplish.”

Gavin Millard: Long-standing blunder in chip design.

Gavin Millard, technical director at Tenable adds: “The latest vulnerabilities blessed with catchy names and logos are deserving of the hype that will surely build. Spectre and Meltdown are both incredibly concerning from a privacy perspective, affecting the average home user and enterprises alike.

The long-standing blunder in chip design could enable an attacker to access confidential pieces of information being processed, for example grabbing a password as it’s typed, installing malware that could slurp up anything a user is working on, or browser data to enable it to hoover up credit card details and logins.” (Other vacuum cleaners are available. Ed.)

“For home users, MacOS has already been updated to address the flaw with Apple’s recent 10.13.2 patch release. For Windows, there were also fixes made available last night. Almost everybody is affected by these bugs, in ways researchers are only just discovering. It is of the utmost importance that updates are applied in a timely manner,” says Millard. “With a possible decrease in processing speed caused by addressing the flaws, organisations that rely on cloud platforms could be facing a significant financial impact from the increase in the number of workloads required to complete tasks.”

Creating a city for all

We’ll […]

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Digital transformation drives strong adoption of Hyper Converged Infrastructure in the UK, NetApp survey shows

By Zenobia Hegde

NetApp has announced the findings of its study to uncover the true scale of digital disruption. In a survey of 501 UK information technology decision makers from the full spectrum of the enterprise, NetApp found that 82% of businesses are in the midst of digital transformation.

Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) emerged as the answer for digital transformation acceleration. In all, 22% of respondents adopted the technology for scalability, and 20% for access to data.

Key findings:

Digital transformation is a top concern for big businesses – The level of concern is high among larger businesses, with 42% seeing digital transformation as a primary concern. Only 2% say digital transformation is a low priority.
HCI is already in use for the majority of businesses – To navigate increasingly data-driven enterprises, HCI is the solution of choice, with 80% of UK businesses already using it and 11% planning to in the next 12 months. Only 4% say they have no plans to adopt HCI.
Security is a key motivation for HCI adoption – Security is the leading motivation for HCI adoption (54%), with ease of use (44%) and cost savings (41%) following close behind. However, 49% state hardware costs as a primary concern when considering HCI adoption. With 78% of IT decision makers indicating that they are ready for HCI technology, the market is ripe for a next-gen HCI solution.

“We are in the middle of a massive shift from hardware to software environments,” said Tim Pitcher, vice president, NGDC, NetApp. “It is clear from NetApp’s research that businesses are informed and making the move to more software-defined infrastructures. Digital transformation is leaving no business untouched, and it is encouraging to see the openness to change, with the majority of UK businesses already using HCI.

NetApp’s next-gen HCI solution is set to plug the market gap with its data fabric integration and automation capabilities. It is not only smaller businesses that benefit from HCI’s automation features, but big businesses too – such features could go some way to alleviating their concerns around digital transformation.”

NetApp HCI is claimed to be the world’s first enterprise-scale hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) solution that offers enterprise-grade performance, flexibility and scale and automation. Running on SolidFire technology and delivered on a NetApp designed architecture, NetApp HCI enables enterprises, midsize businesses, and service providers to maximise their infrastructure by simplifying management and independently scaling both compute and storage resources.

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Softbank Ventures and others invest $2.78M in Korean IoT device security startup

Korean IoT security startup ‘Security Platform’ raised $2.78M. SoftBank Ventures Korea and Premiere Partners led the investment round.

The startup offers hardware-based device security solutions. One of the core solutions offered by Security Platform is ‘remote attestation’ of connected devices. The backend server remotely checks the connected devices for any breach or threats by hash values of each element calculated by the hardware.

The solution performs device authentication, anti-cloning, message signing, anti-forgery, secure updates with signed code. The startup also provides custom development services for integration of IoT devices. To help OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) implement ‘security by design’, the startup offers its SDK (software development kit) named Axio-Builder. The SDK consists of a development board with Secure SoC and SDK consisting of built-in security elements.

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The season of voice-based personal assistants

By Zenobia Hegde

One of the hottest gift ideas this holiday season are virtual assistants specifically those with a voice user interface (VUI).These handy devices are becoming increasingly common in our daily lives since Siri was first introduced in 2011. Around 700 million people are using AI personal assistants and the market is expected to grow to almost 2 billion by 2021. There are multiple solutions out there from Siri to Google Assistant to Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana. And Samsung has recently launched their Bixby assistant, while Facebook is expected to bring their own virtual assistant, simply called “M”, to commercialisation next year, says Christine Jorgensen, director product management at Qualcomm.

As a developer, it is important to understand how these devices work and how to take advantage of their capabilities. Internally they’re powered with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules like the Qualcomm QCA9377-3 and processors such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform. In this blog, we’re going to dive into how it all fits together.

Conversational and command-based interactions

A conversational interface is a user interface that mimics having a conversation with a human. Personal assistants come in two flavors: chatbots or text based interactions, and voice user interfaces (or voice activated assistants) like the commercial products indicated earlier. Voice activated assistants are typically command-based AI interactions – you ‘wake it up’ and tell it what to do.

Voice activated assistants are ideal for day-to-day tasks such as:

Fact finding: Internet searches to find information, time of day and weather queries.
Tasking: Setting alarms, sending messages, playing music & video, ordering things online, smart home coordination.
Information gathering: Call centers collecting user information, healthcare providing initial diagnosis.
Training: Learn a new language by conversing with an AI teacher.

Using a VUI bypasses the need for a keyboard, screen, and spellchecking which also makes it useful for hands-free communication as well as for accessibility needs.

The components

The hardware components for voice based assistants include speakers & microphone, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules, and standard computer architecture (CPU, RAM). Although there’s a lot of technology in the device, the real brains usually reside in the cloud.

The easiest way to start writing apps that take advantage of VUI is to use a library such as Dialogflow which has integrations for all of the major players. If you want to delve deeper into the brains you can learn more about Natural Language Processing and machine learning in general.

The process

To be effective with this technology as a developer and a designer, it is important to understand the process of the complete command interaction which is as follow:

The virtual assistant is “woken up” using a trigger word (“Ok Google”, “Hey Siri”) to ensure that it only starts acting upon your command.
Audio is recorded on the device, compressed, and streamed to the cloud over Wi-Fi. Noise reduction algorithms are often applied to the recorded audio so that the commands are more easily interpreted by the cloud processing.
The audio is turned into text commands using a proprietary voice-to-text platform. Analog sound waves are converted to digital data by sampling the analog signal at […]

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Autonomous driving car to create new growth opportunities in Japan towards 2025

By Zenobia Hegde

The autonomous driving (AD) market in Japan experienced strong growth in 2016 with the first AD-Level 2 commercialised vehicle in the passenger car market. The Japanese automotive market is now declining in terms of new vehicle sales due to depopulation, demotorisation, as well as an aging society, especially in urban areas. As an alternative business strategy, many Japanese OEMs are trying to find new revenue streams with disruptive technologies and connected services. AD is one of the high potential technologies that could bring business innovation beyond automotive industries.

Frost & Sullivan’s new analysis, “Strategic Analysis of Automated Car Market in Japan, 2016,” finds that the unit shipment of automated vehicles at AD-level 2 in Japan is likely to grow up to 540,000 at a compound annual growth rate of 51.6% by 2025.

This research assesses the Japanese automated car market dynamics and related government policy, regulations, as well as the roadmap toward 2025. It also provides an overview of major OEM roadmaps for automated car development as well as potential emerging market participants and new growth opportunities.

Program updating of JNCAP (Japan New Car Assessment Program) and the revision of related laws will lead to the penetration of automated cars in Japan in the short term.

“The current assessment of automated energy brake for vulnerable road users for JNCAP only covers daytime. However, in 2018, the coverage of the assessment is expected to be expanded from daytime to nighttime to be in line with the change in EuroNCAP. This change in JNCAP will lead many vehicles by Japanese OEMs to shift from ADAS systems to AD systems during the next decade,” said Sarasa Hayashi, Frost & Sullivan Mobility research analyst.

In addition, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be the trigger to grow the penetration of automated cars in Japan. The Japanese government recognises the Tokyo Olympics as the catalyst to boost AD systems beyond level 2 in Japan. Japanese OEMs have showcased AD technologies frequently, which increases consumers’ awareness for automated driving systems.

“New market participants, including AI or big data analytics companies, will take more important roles in the future development of automated vehicles,” said Sarasa Hayashi. “DeNA and SB Drive are key companies to watch as they disrupt the current ecosystem in the automotive industry in Japan through joint venture business and collaborative research related to automated driving technology.”

However, a lot of challenges, such as the lack of infrastructure for supporting AD, regulations for high AD-level cars, and standardisation for AD capabilities and HMI systems, need to be addressed to grow an automated car market in Japan.

“Automakers should partner with non-automotive industry participants beyond the conventional component suppliers in their group companies to commercialise advanced automated driving technologies,” said Sarasa Hayashi. “More crossed alliance across automotive OEMs, component suppliers, and tech companies will be a key for success in automated driving development.”

Strategic Analysis of Automated Car Market in Japan, 2016 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s Future of Mobility Growth Partnership Service program.

To view a sample of this research, please click here.

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Global Peripheral IV Catheters Market: Stimulated By Rise In Number Of Infections And Diseases

By variantmarketresearch

According to the latest report, published by Variant Market Research, Global Peripheral IV Catheters Market size is estimated to reach $6,027 Million by 2024 from $3,730 Million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2016 to 2024. The global peripheral IV catheters market is primarily driven by expanding healthcare infrastructure Global peripheral IV […]

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