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Sierra Wireless integrates SIM, security and GNSS into industry’s smallest, lowest power multi-mode LPWA modules

By Zenobia Hegde

Sierra Wireless, the provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the industry’s smallest, lowest power, multi-mode Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) cellular modules targeted at rapidly growing markets in asset tracking and connected industrial equipment, smart city, healthcare, agriculture and wearables.

AirPrime® HL78 modules, featuring Altair Semiconductor’s integrated ALT1250 chipset, deliver best-in-class power performance extending the life of battery operated devices by 5-10X compared to other available LTE-M/NB-IoT modules. This new level of power saving modes, with improved wake-up and sleep mode responsiveness, as well as ultra-low sleep mode power, make HL78 the module of choice for any power-constrained IoT application.

“With the HL78 modules, OEMs and system integrators have the most scalable, lowest power module platform to build their global IoT applications on,” said Dan Schieler, senior vice president and general manager, OEM Solutions, Sierra Wireless. “And to make it even simpler for our customers, we’ve integrated the SIM and cloud, as well as GNSS and security features, to drive down the size of LPWA connected devices while enhancing tamper resistance and security.”

In addition to low-power performance unique to the HL78 design, the modules integrate GNSS tracking capability, security and an embedded SIM in a new compact CF3® size (18mm x15mm) that is pin-to-pin compatible with other HL Series modules.

Customers have the flexibility to deploy the same device on global LTE-M (Cat-M1/eMTC) and NB-IoT (Cat-NB1) networks, with support for more than 20 LTE frequency bands in addition to optional 2G fallback. Built-in security, including HTTPS, secure socket, secure boot and free unlimited firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates from the AirVantage® device management IoT Platform, helps customers ensure HL78 deployments are future proof and secure.

“More than 690 million LTE-M and NB-IoT connected devices are expected by 2022, and the market needs a low-power, compact embedded module to connect their industrial, smart city, smart home and simpler static sensor applications,” said Dan Shey, managing director and vice president at ABI Research. “With the addition of the HL78 product line, Sierra Wireless has amassed a broad portfolio of low power devices to drive the billions of advanced IoT connections we expect in the next decade.”

LTE-M and NB-IoT LPWA networks deliver a new class of wireless technology specifically designed for low-power IoT applications [see infographic]. LPWA technologies combine lower cost, broader coverage and better battery life with globally available and secure cellular networks ready to connect hundreds of millions more things to the Internet.

“The ability to switch seamlessly between any commercially deployed LTE-M or NB-IoT frequency band gives HL78 customers the flexibility to choose which network they want to deploy their low bandwidth application on. And for those regions where LPWAN coverage is not as widely available, optional 2G fallback ensures their devices stay online,” said Ilan Reingold, vice president, Business Development and Marketing at Altair Semiconductor (A Sony Group Company). “Incorporating Altair’s advanced IoT chipset, HL78 devices will also enjoy an extended life of up to 15 years on a single battery.”

Availability

The AirPrime HL78 modules are fully compliant with the 3GPP Release […]

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Saving cities US$5 trillion with smart, sharing technologies

By Zenobia Hegde

The rate of global urbanisation is growing exponentially. But while living in cities offers both social and economic opportunities, the rising costs of living are threatening to increase social inequality, slow down economic growth, and increase levels of crime.

Smart cities, and the technologies that underpin them, are hailed as a significant solution to this problem, and are set to reduce costs for governments, citizens and enterprises alike. In fact, a recent report published by ABI Research, in partnership with Chordant and CA Technologies, reveals smart city and IoT technologies have the potential to save governments, enterprises and citizens globally over $5 trillion (€4.09 trillion) by 2022, says Jim Nolan, executive vice president, Chordant at InterDigital.

Specifically, it is new sharing and service economy paradigms, and the “Internet of Things” along with artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, that will play a leading role in driving these cost savings.

Cutting costs for governments

Governments can benefit tremendously from the implementation of IoT technology and sharing economy business models in energy, water utilities, transportation, and crime and vandalism.

Energy savings is perhaps the first, and most obvious cost benefit of IoT and smart city technology. Turning street lights into smart, connected systems with intelligent on/off cycles, for example, could yield a 30% cost saving for governments.

When it comes to water utilities, advanced leak detection systems can drive direct cost savings by removing the need for manual inspection, while opportunity cost savings can be made through water waste management and waste prevention systems. These cost savings, in turn, help to reduce end-user prices.

Transportation is a major cost centre in government budgets, but adding smart technology such as electronic toll collection (ETC) vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) technology, as well as intelligent traffic light systems, can optimise the use of existing road capacity.

In regard to government services such as waste collection, mobile resource management (MRM) technology can dispatch, manage and monitor field workers, while the deployment of smart garbage bins can enable real-time, remote fill-level monitoring, and therefore the timely dispatch of garbage collection trucks. This isn’t a fantasy, they’re already in use in Dubai. This enables waste collection fleets to run more efficiently and results in fewer trucks on the road. In fact, this form of smart waste collection has the potential to reach cost savings of 30%.

Finally, AI-based automation for surveillance cameras, along with data optimisation, can reduce the costs associated with monitoring and analysing video footage in support of crime reduction. AI technology can also be used to complement surveillance cameras with crowd sourced intelligence such as data captured from social sites, as well as smartphone footage from citizens.

By taking advantage of these different technologies, city governments in mega cities (a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of ten million people) globally could save up $58 billion (€47.40 billion) annually.

Affordable services for citizens

Smart city technologies are not only key for driving cost savings for governments – they play just as important a role in reducing costs for citizens. After housing, mobility presents the second largest item in family […]

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Bosch technology enables redundancy needed for automated driving

By Zenobia Hegde

Without redundancy, there is no automated driving. The promise of automated driving requires a mix of technological, societal and regulatory development and co-operation. The technology continues to advance thanks to sensors and software, but also thanks to redundancy. In order to realise fully-automated driving on the path to the accident-free future, redundancy in safety-critical systems such as braking and steering is an absolute.

Bosch is actively developing and bringing to market redundant braking solutions to support all levels of automation as defined by SAE. At the 2018 North American International Auto Show, the leading global supplier of technology and services will showcase its braking solutions, including redundant braking for automated driving.

“The importance of redundancy for the rollout of automated driving goes beyond just the technological function as it ultimately will build confidence in consumers as they understand these systems are designed with deep levels of complexity to handle a variety of situations,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Bosch in North America.

SAE level 3 (conditional automation) vehicles will begin to hit the market as soon as 2018. For these vehicles, a human driver is still necessary, but safety-critical functions may be completely shifted to the vehicle under certain traffic or environmental conditions.

Drivers must still remain present, but will need a certain amount of time to realise that an intervention is necessary. Redundant functions ensure that all safety-critical functions continue during this time span, even in the rare case of a failure in the system. For SAE levels 4 and 5, the redundancy becomes even more critical as the time span increases without the driver in the loop.

Bosch’s solution for a fail-degraded brake system (steering system and EE architecture) is the combination of its electromechanical brake booster iBooster and ESC (Electronic Stability Control), also known as ESP® (electronic stability program), systems. Both are independently capable of performing braking functions for the vehicle in the rare case of a single failure.

The technological breakthrough of redundant braking was achieved by modifying one system element; the vacuum brake booster is replaced by an intelligent electro-mechanical booster, the iBooster. A conventional brake system today comprises two actuators: a vacuum brake booster and ESC unit.

The redundant brake system is comprised of two actuators that are each able to decelerate the vehicle independent of the driver applying the brake pedal. Even if a failure occurs in the brake system, either actuator (iBooster or ESC) is able to avoid wheel lock-up by modulating the brake pressure, which maintains the ability to steer during deceleration.

Bosch’s redundant brake system for automated driving was named a finalist for the 2018 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contributions to Excellence) Award, which is acknowledged globally as a prestigious industry benchmark for automotive supplier innovation. Bosch was also honored with an eMove360° Award in the category of Automated Driving for the redundant braking technology.

Redundant steering is also a key technology for automated driving and Bosch is leading in this area. At NAIAS 2017, Bosch introduced its Electric Power Steering (EPS) system with fail-operational function. The system, which enables […]

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NCR and PTC join forces to create total premise service offer

By Zenobia Hegde

NCR Corporation, a global provider in omni-channel solutions, and PTC announced that they have joined forces to create a next generation service offering that spans a store’s entire operation. The new digital connected services enable retailers, financial institutions, and restaurant chains to optimise the total cost of ownership of their IT infrastructure, as well as their administrative spend. PTC and NCR will be showcasing the new offering at NRF 2018 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, January 14-16.

Enterprises have to converge physical and digital channels to provide the continuous engagement and experience that their customers expect. By outsourcing store IT asset management, combined with near real-time transparency and insights, NCR enables retailers, quick service restaurants, and financial institutions to drive consumer centric outcomes.

“Having an IoT centric platform that can scale with the complex needs of secured ubiquitous connectivity is key in driving digital connected experiences,” said Venkat Ramamurthy, general manager, Digital Connected Services Portfolio and Commercialisation, NCR Corporation.

“Adding PTC’s ThingWorx platform to the NCR portfolio strengthens the services lifecycle management capabilities to be more proactive and predictive in nature. This enables our customers near real-time insights to help minimise their IT spend and elevate their consumer experience.”

NCR has one of the world’s largest services data warehouses with the intelligence of servicing more than 2.5 million devices from over 300 vendors. By integrating PTC’s technology, NCR can now connect all active and passive devices across the front and back end of a store into its database and provide real time insights through advanced analytics to help optimise spend and improve decision making precision.

Darren Glenister

“We are excited to continue our relationship with NCR and to collaborate on the next generation of IoT offerings for the retail and hospitality industry,“ said Darren Glenister, vice president of innovation, retail, PTC. “With the IoT, retailers have the opportunity to shape the future of retail and optimise the consumer experience. We look forward to working with NCR to drive the convergence of physical and digital commerce.”

The selection of ThingWorx continues the true enterprise relationship between NCR and PTC. In addition to ThingWorx, NCR uses PTC’s Creo software to help with product design, modeling and simulation and PTC’s Servigistics solution to plan and deliver service parts.

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Continental, Ericsson, Nissan, NTT DOCOMO, OKI and Qualcomm Technologies join forces to host C-V2X trials in Japan in 2018

By Zenobia Hegde

Continental, Ericsson, Nissan, NTT DOCOMO, INC., OKI and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced plans to carry out their first Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) trials in Japan. The objective is to validate and demonstrate the benefits of C-V2X using direct communication technology defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in their Release 14 specifications. The trials are designed to show the enhanced range reliability and latency benefits of C-V2X direct communications operated in 5 GHz band.

Additionally, the C-V2X trials are designed to demonstrate the complementary benefits of network-based communications utilising LTE-Advanced (LTE-A). The trial results will help develop the ecosystem by providing inputs to the relevant stakeholders, including ITS-related organisations and government agencies, as we prepare for the connected car of the future and the industry’s evolutionary transition towards 5G New Radio (NR), the new global cellular standard being defined in 3GPP.

While complementing other Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) sensors, such as radar, lidar, and camera systems, C-V2X provides non-line-of-sight (NLOS) low latency awareness with longer range and cloud capabilities, and designed to extend a vehicle’s ability to see, hear and communicate further down the road, even at blind intersections.

C-V2X radio technology is state-of-the-art cellular technology and is being validated for global deployments, and leverages the upper layer protocols developed by the automotive industry over years of research to support new advanced end-to-end use cases. C-V2X direct communications provide enhanced range and reliability without relying on cellular network assistance or coverage.

Preparation work is well underway with the trial expected to begin in 2018 and the use cases are designed to focus on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communications, as well as Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) operations over cellular network-based wide area communications with cloud access.

For the field trials, Continental will utilise the Qualcomm C-V2X Reference Design, which features the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset with integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capability to build connected car systems and integrate the systems into Nissan vehicles. Nissan will perform V2X use case selection and develop test scenarios with key performance indicators (KPIs) for C-V2X technology validation.

OKI, one of the companies in ITS, will bring their expertise in roadside unit (RSU) infrastructure and applications to demonstrate V2I as a viable technology for advanced traffic applications by integrating the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset into their RSU.

Ericsson, as one of the companies in the technology and service for telecommunication, will join to the V2N use case discussion, considering a combination of direct communication and LTE-A network technologies. NTT DOCOMO will provide an LTE-A network and V2N applications to demonstrate the benefits of complementary use of network-based communications for a variety of advanced automotive informational safety use cases.

“Connecting vehicles is at the top of our agenda and with more than 20 years of competence in the development of telematics, over 30 million units shipped, and years of V2V safety product development culminating in available V2V communications offerings. We are ready to fully exploit the potential of cellular connectivity to provide advanced vehicle functionalities.”

“Along with Nissan, we […]

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Mobileye and NavInfo to bring REM localisation to China

By Zenobia Hegde

Mobileye, an Intel company, the global provider in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving technologies, and NavInfo, the autonomous driving solution providers in the China market with core businesses in HAD mapping and high accuracy positioning, announced they have agreed to a collaboration intended to build and distribute Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM®) product in China. Specifically, the partnership’s purpose is to use Mobileye’s REM technology to generate a RoadBook™ in China that is integrated and aligned with NavInfo’s mapping solutions.

Mobileye’s REM system is a cost-efficient solution to enable autonomous vehicles (AV) to localise themselves much more accurately than traditional approaches can support. Low bandwidth, anonymised data packets from vehicles equipped with front-facing cameras are used to crowd-source a RoadBook of drivable paths, including road/lane boundaries and the stationary landmarks used as reference points.

This is a critical sensory input to automated vehicles all the way from Level 2+ systems to Level 5. This innovative, low-cost solution to one of autonomous driving’s largest challenges (precision localisation/mapping) has garnered significant interest from OEMs and mapping companies worldwide, and through this arrangement will now be coming to China.

NavInfo’s skills and products are highly complementary to Mobileye in terms of productising and distributing REM in China. The RoadBook contains no navigational or geographic information, therefore it needs to be delivered as a layer within NavInfo’s map products. NavInfo software and other technology can also support alignment of the rapidly updating RoadBook inside NavInfo’s standard map and Highly Automated Driving (HAD) map. Distribution of this aligned product will enable future AV systems in China to gain the localisation capabilities needed for real automation.

“Mobileye has a history of pursuing partnerships with innovative companies which we believe results in faster-to-market products that support the pillars of safety and economic scalability,” said professor Amnon Shashua, CEO and CTO of Mobileye. “We are very pleased to announce our relationship with NavInfo as the latest example. NavInfo’s technology and market position make it a natural fit to assist in building RoadBook in China, and thereby accelerating the next steps of autonomous driving.”

“We are always excited about joining forces and uniting market leaders to fuel innovation and inspiration across the world,” said Patrick Cheng, CEO, NavInfo. “We truly believe with Mobileye’s vision and technology, together we can offer state-of-the-art solutions to connect our customers with best-in-class services and take the autonomous driving industry to the next level.”

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Businesses have just five weeks to enter The IoT Global Awards 2018

By IoT Now Magazine

London, UK. January 4th, 2018 – There’s still time to gain massive publicity for your Internet of Things (IoT) project, team or leader from a shortlisted entry in The IoT Global Awards 2018. The premier IoT Awards scheme worldwide is sponsored by IoTGlobalNetwork.com, organisers of the Awards, and Smart IoT, hosts of the UK’s leading Internet of Things event (www.smartiotlondon.com).

Smart IoT at London ExCeL

The closing date for entries is midnight (UK) on Thursday February 15th, 2018. A shortlist of entries will then be published extensively worldwide on Thursday February 22nd. Publicity will appear on www.IoT-Now.com , www.IoTGlobalNetwork.com, www.IoTNowTransport.com, www.VanillaPlus.com and www.smartiotlondon.com/ . There will also be publicity in IoT Now Magazine and through supporting media worldwide.

An unrivalled team of 12 VIP Judges, drawn from analyst firms, international academia, IoT industry associations, and IoT business experts, will then judge the Shortlisted Entries. The winners of the 2018 Awards will be announced at the event in London ExCeL on Wednesday March 21st, 2018.

If you have not yet entered the IoT Global Awards there is still time. Send us your Entries by Thursday February 15th, 2018. Find the IoT Categories that best suit your organisation at www.iotglobalawards.com/categories. Here there are also details of How To Enter. A single Entry costs just UK£49.00 and there are discounts of up to 25% for entries in more than one Category.

Jeremy Cowan WKM

Jeremy Cowan, Editorial Director & Publisher of WeKnow Media Ltd, organisers of the awards said: “With multiple entries costing as little as £37.00 each, and single entries just £49.00, a global publicity campaign for your IoT project has never been so affordable.”

John Davy

John Davy, Group Event Director, Smart IoT added: “These Awards are a celebration of everything that we admire most in the Internet of Things. So we are delighted to be highlighting these IoT success stories at Smart IoT London, the UK’s premier Internet of Things event.”

Winners will be named in 12 Categories – ranging from Automotive, Transport & Travel to Smart Cities, Government & Utilities. All Nominees and Shortlisted Entrants are warmly invited to attend the announcement, as are Exhibitors and Visitors at Smart IoT. The Winners in each category will be announced on the Exhibition Floor.

The Awards Ceremony will be held at 5.30pm (UK) on Wednesday March 21st, 2018 in London ExCeL, and the results posted Live on social media. The Awards Announcement will be free to attend for all visitors and exhibitors at Smart IoT London. Afterwards, all guests are invited to attend a Drinks Reception at 6.00pm at The Fox at Excel, where guests will be offered free drinks and refreshments.

www.iotglobalawards.com

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Cellular protocol provides Impetus to V2X, while delays in the US mandate could stall DSRC

By Zenobia Hegde

A NHTSA proposed mandate in the US to fit DSRC V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) wireless communication systems, that aim to increase road safety and improve traffic management, still has not been implemented and has an uncertain future under the Trump administration.

Meanwhile a cellular technology based alternative (C-V2X) has recently been developed, with its advocates claiming it offers the high performance necessary to support V2X safety-critical applications.

The Strategy Analytics report, “Mandate Delays will Favor C-V2X in ‘Protocol War’ Battle with DSRC for V2X Implementations”, analyses the latest developments and possible V2X market demand outcomes.

Click here for the report.

With only limited offerings in Japan and on the 2017 Cadillac CTS sedan in the US, DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communication) deployments are very low for a technology that was developed 20 years ago, that was standardized 7 years ago and has a recently proposed mandate planned for the US. The lack of “critical mass” of DSRC-enabled vehicles has, however, shifted attention towards the cellular communication protocol as a means of promoting V2X more rapidly.

Stumbling blocks for DSRC V2X include the requirement of a new widespread infrastructure to be built and the limited DSRC adoption in other automotive wireless applications, largely confined to ETC (Electronic Toll Collection). Conversely, C-V2X can leverage beacons already in place by the mobile industry and enables consumers immediate access to less safety-critical V2N (Vehicle-to-Network) and V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure) applications, sometimes in tandem with connected vehicle services through a smartphone app.

C-V2X also has the PC5 interface linking to the 5.9 GHz band to enable safety critical Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) applications without adding data cost to consumers. “This”, said Kevin Mak, senior analyst at the Automotive Practice of Strategy Analytics, “will enable a faster route to V2X than otherwise with DSRC.”

While the C-V2X ecosystem continues to expand, most recently with the release of the Qualcomm 9150 chipset platform, the report findings highlight significant ongoing contention between proponents of the two V2X solutions.

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Infineon supports NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus AI platform for Level 5 autonomy

By Zenobia Hegde

Infineon Technologies AG expanded its safe automated driving collaboration with NVIDIA, announcing that its AURIX ™ TC3xx series automotive microcontroller (MCU) will be used in the NVIDIA DRIVE™ Pegasus AI car computing platform. The supercomputer for autonomous vehicles meets the requirements of Level 5 autonomous driving as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

Infineon now supplies the safety microcontroller, safety power supply IC, and selected vehicle communication interface ICs for several NVIDIA DRIVE systems. The devices support increasing levels of autonomous driving capability, ranging from auto cruise functionality to auto chauffeur and full autonomy.

Development time reduced by up to 40%

The collaboration enables users of the platform to access AURIX capabilities through an AUTOSAR-compliant software stack. This potentially allows re-use of higher-level application code and can likely reduce development time by 20% to 40% compared to traditional platforms.

“Infineon has a 30+ year history of delivering the safety and reliability technology that is critical at all levels of autonomous driving. We make cars safer, smarter and greener,” said Ritesh Tyagi, head of the Silicon Valley Automotive Innovation Centre (SVAIC) at Infineon. “Collaboration between Infineon and NVIDIA through multiple generations of DRIVE car computers provides the automotive industry with a consistent platform for development and market deployment across all classes of driver-assist and fully autonomous systems.”

“NVIDIA’s DRIVE AI vehicle supercomputers deliver up to 100-times more computational horsepower than the most advanced cars on the road today,” said Gary Hicok, senior vice president of Hardware Development at NVIDIA. “Their multiple levels of redundancy and safety functionality demand a proven, widely deployed safety architecture, like that of the AURIX TC3xx series.”

Infineon microcontrollers power automated driving

The multicore microcontrollers help the platform meet the highest possible functional safety standard (ISO 26262 ASIL-D) for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and self-driving systems. The AURIX TC3xx series offers significant upgrades in performance compared to the previous generation to enable scalable and efficient platforms.

Gary Hicok

Key features of the AURIX microcontrollers are relevant to implementing both ADAS and Automated Driving (AD) functionality. That includes advanced support for ASIL-D applications assisted by more than 3,000 DMIPS of safety computational performance, self-test mechanisms in hardware for logic and memory, integrated monitoring, and redundant peripherals.

In addition, the latest generation of AURIX offers a greater level of integration, enhancements in high-speed connectivity interfaces, and advanced security capabilities.

The microcontroller handles a key layer of the safety supervision framework of the platform and performs monitoring functions for the SoC. In turn, AURIX plays an important role for DRIVE Pegasus to achieve system-level ASIL-D safety.

It also manages the power-up sequence and monitoring of warning signals for the self-driving platform. In addition, the AURIX microcontroller provides the main in-vehicle interfaces for multiple network communication channels to the system, such as CAN FD, Gigabit Ethernet, and FlexRay.

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AI and digital assistants to surge in 2018, IHS Markit says

By Zenobia Hegde

As they become more ubiquitous in homes and in various consumer electronics products, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital assistants are likely to be two of the major overarching themes at this week’s 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Accelerating growth in both of these markets underscores their surging role in the overall consumer electronics landscape. More than 5 billion consumer devices supporting digital assistants will be in use in 2018, with almost 3 billion more added by 2021, according to IHS Markit, a global provider of critical information, analytics and solutions.

Despite this growth, there are still some hurdles to overcome, before consumer adoption is widespread. “Amazon has a clear lead over rivals Google, Apple and Samsung, in terms of the numbers of skills and third-party apps and services supported by its Echo products, but more needs to be done by all platforms, to help users discover new skills and uses for the technology,” said Jack Kent, director, operators and mobile media, IHS Markit.

Jack Kent

“Major technology companies continue to make investments and acquire companies that increase AI expertise. Apple has been the most acquisitive to date, but Google has been the most active investor in third-party AI-centric companies.”

Following are more key points to bear in mind about AI and digital assistants, as leading technology companies converge on Las Vegas for next week’s conference:

Smart home security

Video surveillance will continue to be a critical component of the smart home in 2018, with video cameras and video doorbells representing nearly 20% of devices shipped into the smart home globally this year. As such, video surveillance will become even more intelligent, by pairing noise classifications, voice and facial recognition, and allowing consumers to filter what is most important in their daily lives. Moreover, there will be more all-in-one devices launched in 2018, which will combine smart speakers, video cameras and hubs connecting all devices in the home.

Blake Kozak

“As smart home players look to differentiate themselves and grow market share, smart home products will achieve more proprietary expansions through acquisition and in-house research and development,” said Blake Kozak, principal analyst, smart home and security, IHS Markit, “These deals will likely enhance the opportunities for AI and home automation. For example, although Amazon and Google will continue to ramp up partnerships, Amazon will direct its focus on developing equipment in-house, while Google will revamp relations with Nest.”

Smart speakers

Dinesh Kithany

With heavyweights Google and Amazon aggressively ramping up competition in the space, smart speakers have risen in prominence over the last year, as both standalone products and voice-based interfaces to the smart home. In fact, 39 million smart speakers are forecast to be shipped globally in 2018, up sharply from 27 million units shipped in 2017.

“The smart speaker surge is only just beginning,” said Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Markit. “2018 is the year competition in this market truly begins – and the year true mainstream adoption accelerates. We expect numerous third-party smart speakers built around one or more digital assistants, so consumers will have more choices, […]

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