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Smartrac showcases what the ‘Internet of Your Things’ has in store

By Zenobia Hegde

At Retail’s BIG Show in New York, Smartrac is not simply showing the way toward the ‘Internet of Your Things’. Together with its partners Blue Bite and Temera, the RFID and IoT pacesetter is also presenting innovative solutions and real-world examples of how brand owners and retailers can utilise it here and now.

Once products are digitised via embedded RFID technology and the digital IDs associated with the tags are securely married with the product data, the stage is set for the profitable utilisation of the newly created ‘Internet of Your Things’. On the occasion of NRF’s annual event in New York, January 14-16, 2018, Smartrac’s booth (#1675) is the showcase for several real-life applications.

Improving consumer experience

Digital content provision specialist Blue Bite is demonstrating solutions it has developed for many leading brands like Spyder and Dyne. These solutions leverage Smartrac’s NFC technology and provide enhanced product value and an improved consumer experience.

“We are excited to be featured as part of the Smartrac NRF showcase. In terms of a product’s full lifecycle from concept to production, and from a store into a user’s hands, our combined ability to provide a fully integrated, end-to-end solution is something truly unique in the marketplace”, says Mikhail Damiani, CEO and co-founder of Blue Bite.

Simplifying logistics and production processes

Luxury software applications specialist Temera is presenting an array of latest solutions tailored to the needs of the high fashion and luxury markets, for instance Interactive Fitting Room and Digital Warranty. Temera joined forces with Smartrac almost one year ago.

“It is our pleasure to join Smartrac at Retail’s BIG Show and to showcase our services and solutions that simplify our customers’ logistics and production processes, while providing anti-counterfeiting functionality and end-customer market analysis”, says Arcangelo D’Onofrio, CEO and founder of Temera.

Redefining product authentication

Besides its own Experiences customer loyalty and engagement solution, Smartrac is providing live demos of its comprehensive product authentication solution called Proofs. This solution leverages innovative NFC tags that provide a proof of authentication.

Amir Mobayen

Each time an NFC-enabled mobile device is tapped on these tags, one-time authentication tokens are generated and transmitted as a new, unique portion of a URL. Since that link cannot exist twice, it is for the very first time possible to identify copied links. To leverage that ability, Smartrac has created a Web Service that verifies the tokenised web link and hence empowers brand owners to react appropriately.

“During Retail’s BIG Show in New York, Smartrac and its partners are convincingly substantiating the claim that the ‘Internet of Your Things” not only exists, but that it also pays off for our customers. The possibilities for its utilisation are truly limitless, and we invite brand owners and retailers to visit our stand and to benefit greatly from gaining deep insights into our offerings”, says Amir Mobayen, chief revenue officer at Smartrac.

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Osram Lasers promote adoption of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles

By Zenobia Hegde

At this year’s North American International Auto Show’s AutoMobili-D 2018, Osram Opto Semiconductors is demonstrating how its high-power infrared pulse lasers are helping speed the adoption of autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

AutoMobili-D is a dedicated expo focused on the rapidly evolving global automotive and mobility landscapes. Attendees can experience Osram’s highly efficient 905 nm lasers in action in booth #AD14 at AutoMobili-D from January 14 to January 21.

Pulse laser diodes from Osram Opto Semiconductors have been featured in cars for more than 10 years for time-of-flight (TOF) measurements in adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems and automatic braking systems.

At AutoMobili-D, Osram will showcase its laser and LEDs in a number of innovative applications for autonomous vehicles and ADAS, including:

An industry-first long range infrared 4D camera concept from Vergence Automation uses 190 Osram infrared LEDs. 4D imaging, when applied to autonomous vehicle use, will be a boon to computer vision, machine learning, and deep learning.
The GazeT Driver Monitoring Global Shutter Image Sensor Demo System from ON Semiconductor uses Osram’s 940 nm infrared LEDs.

Rajeev Thakur

Osram lasers dedicated to LIDAR applications are based on the company’s extremely efficient, high-power infrared pulse laser with 905 nm wavelength. The laser’s short pulse length allows systems operating at high optical power levels to realise large detection ranges, while still being safe for the naked eye.

“Osram is pleased to be working with leading companies to enable widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles and ADAS, which will change the future of driving,” said Rajeev Thakur, regional marketing manager at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Joining forces with companies like Vergence Automation and ON Semiconductor is a testament to Osram’s leadership in the development and future of autonomous vehicles.”

“Osram is a great technology partner for developing our 4D camera that utilises a patented 4D pixel to perform 3D image creation,” said Jamie Retterath, chief product officer at Vergence. “The 4D pixel has the potential to displace TOF for all future 3D imaging applications.”

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Qualcomm and Ford collaborate on C-V2X global initiative to improve vehicle safety, traffic efficiency and support for autonomous driving

By Zenobia Hegde

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Ford Motor Company, are accelerating the development of connected cars with the extension of their long-standing relationship into the development of advanced connectivity systems for Ford vehicles and upcoming Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology testing. C-V2X is a highly advanced wireless connectivity technology for safety-conscious and automated driving solutions, which has the potential to help cities create more capable infrastructure as they look at how to connect vehicles to their surroundings, and to larger communications systems, facilitating the development and delivery of smart, connected transportation throughout the world. The technology is planned for further field validations beginning in 1H 2018.

Qualcomm Technologies’ first C-V2X commercial solution, the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset, is expected to be commercially available the second half of 2018.Depending on the results of those field validations, and a change to the current regulatory environment, this technology may be featured in vehicles in the near-future. Ford and Qualcomm Technologies are currently working together on the first announced U.S. C-V2X trials in San Diego, along with additional trials in Detroit, with both trials utilising the 9150 C-V2X solution.

As the automotive industry prepares for advancements towards 5G, Qualcomm Technologies and Ford plan to explore next-generation telematics platform concepts featuring C-V2X technology.

Using direct communication mode, C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription.

Importantly, these capabilities supported by some of the latest advancements in wireless technology based on today’s standards, such as 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 14 specifications and ITS standards, while also providing a strong path towards 5G. This means C-V2X-enabled vehicles are designed to remain compatible with future devices, services and infrastructure that connect via 5G technology.

Wireless communication is expected to play important role as autonomous vehicles are expected to be ubiquitous on city streets today and in the future. By facilitating communication between vehicles and a variety of other Smart City constituents, C-V2X technology complements Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors to help build a comprehensive picture of the world in which vehicles must navigate.

C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to provide information about the vehicle’s surroundings and identify objects that may be out of view, including accidents that are further down the road, or pedestrians that are obstructed by large trucks or buildings.

As a part of the ongoing relationship, the companies are working on automotive telematics platforms with integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modems to provide the fast, reliable and efficient connectivity needed for telematics applications, connected navigation and infotainment systems. As the automotive industry prepares for advancements towards 5G, Ford and Qualcomm Technologies plan to work on next-generation telematics concepts and solutions featuring C-V2X technology.

“Our goal is to provide the smartest and best connected, human-centered experiences for our customers around the world,” said Don Butler, Ford Motor Company. “Ford and Qualcomm Technologies believes that C-V2X holds great potential for the cars of the future. We’re excited […]

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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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LG Innotek offers the future of retail IoT solution

By IoT – Internet of Things

LG Innotek recently announced it will participate in ‘NRF Retail’s Big Show 2018′ (NRF 2018) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 14 to 16. NRF 2018 is the one of the biggest retail trade fairs and it receives participants from 500 distribution companies and about 95 countries around […]

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Samsung is Betting Big on the Internet of Things. What Does That Mean For You?

By Chris Morris

Samsung is going all in on the Internet of things, betting that connected appliances and faster Internet speeds will result in happier customers.

Executives for the electronics giant, speaking at the 2018 CES technology show in Las Vegas on Monday, reconfirmed a vow made two years ago that all of the company’s products will be IOT-compatible by 2020–adding that 90% already are as of today. And it plans to use its existing SmartThings app to ensure that those devices can all talk to each other–from the TV to the phone to the refrigerator to the washing machine.

Samsung promised that the initiative would debut in the spring.

What that means for users will depend on which Samsung appliances they own, of course. One example is people who buy a new Samsung TV will no longer have to worry about entering user names and passwords for services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify when they initially set up their TVs. That information will automatically entered into the TV by checking other systems in which the customer is logged in, making it a more seamless experience.

TV sets will also have personalized recommendations for movies and shows, based on a user’s overall viewing habits on all their devices. TVs will also include Bixby, Samsung’s voice-controlled digital assistant, and will be able to double as a central hub for smart products around the home, letting users do everything from see who is at the front door to adjust the thermostat.

The goal of the push, says Tom Baxter, president and CEO of Samsung’s North American division is to create an “eco-system of devices working together to produce unique experiences.”

As part of the initiative, Samsung will expand the number of smart refrigerator models it sells by introducing 14 new models that come with its integrated screen and newly expanded FamilyHub technology that lets owners stream music, leave notes to each other, and view the contents of the fridge in real time. Through Bixby, the FamilyHub will differentiate between users’ based on their voices and give custom information to them, such as their schedule for the day or commute times to school or work.

“IOT is still frustrating to a lot of people, but it doesn’t need to be,” said Yoon Lee, senior vice president at Samsung Electronics.

Samsung’s not stopping with its own products, either. The company is working closely with the Open Connectivity Forum, the world’s largest IOT standardization body, to have all SmartThings-compatible products work with the app. And the company said it has signed an agreement with a “leading European auto manufacturer” to extend this IOT integration to vehicles (letting, for instance, people check if they’re out of milk as they drive by the store).

Samsung has previously tried and failed to make its ecosystem more connected. To ensure this effort is more successful, Baxter said, the company has invested $14 billion in research and development over the past year.

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Avnet introduces IoTconnect software platform and smart connectivity solutions

By Zenobia Hegde

Avnet, a global technology distributor, announced its IoTConnect cloud-based software platform and a portfolio of smart, market-ready connectivity solutions built around the platform to help organisations jump-start development of IoT-enabled systems and services. Avnet will showcase the IoTConnect platform and a selection of innovative smart solutions at CES 2018, January 9-12 in Las Vegas, booth 2609, at Tech East, Westgate.

The highly scalable IoTConnect platform utilises Microsoft’s enterprise-grade Azure hybrid cloud computing service to enable the seamless distribution and analysis of data across cloud and on-premise systems. Azure’s powerful security and connectivity protocols give IoTConnect users the flexibility to develop and deploy apps and solutions using their choice of tools, applications and frameworks.

In collaboration with 14 leading suppliers across its comprehensive IoT partner ecosystem, Avnet has also developed a broad selection of smart, market-ready connectivity solutions that leverage the IoTConnect platform to tackle business challenges common to many industry verticals, including manufacturing, medical, environmental, construction, retail, food processing and smart city.

These digital solutions – Smart Factory, Smart Asset Monitoring, Smart Connected Worker, Smart Building, Smart Healthcare, Smart Retail, Smart Office, Smart Fleet Management and Smart Warehouse – can be deployed out of the box or tailored to meet segment-specific requirements. Avnet’s smart solutions combine advanced software capability with state-of-the-art silicon component technologies to transform real-time operational data into insightful information enabling more informed, strategic decision-making.

“Avnet recognises that concerns such as security risk, unexpected downtime, low efficiency and information latency frequently hinder organisations’ ability to capture the full potential of digitisation,” said Lou Lutostanski, Avnet vice president, Internet of Things. “IoTConnect, supported by Microsoft Azure, not only helps mitigate these risks, but enables enterprises to generate intelligence that will make their organisations more productive, secure and competitive in the digital age.”

“Built on Azure services, Avnet’s versatile IoTConnect platform and its new Smart Industry solutions include powerful analytics, cognitive services, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Rodney Clark, vice president, IoT, Microsoft. “With these repeatable Edge to Cloud solutions both partners and customers will be able to take full advantage of the digital transformation opportunities IoT represents.”

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BT and Symantec partner to provide best-in-class endpoint security protection

By Zenobia Hegde

BT, one of the providers of communications services and solutions, and Symantec, the cyber security company, announced the availability of new endpoint protection solution for BT’s business customers.

Symantec’s best-in-class endpoint security technologies have been added to BT’s broad portfolio of security products and services to help customers battle the rapidly changing threat landscape with a consolidated, intelligent security infrastructure.

With advanced technologies such as machine learning, memory exploit mitigation, file reputation analysis, and real-time behaviour monitoring, Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 provides real-time threat protection, even against unknown threats, so called ‘zero-day’ attacks and ransomware.

Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security, said: “The ongoing migration to the cloud and digital transformation further raises the importance of endpoint security. By adding Symantec endpoint protection to our already broad security portfolio, we are further extending our ability to help our customers stay secure in the face of growing cyber threat. It is an integral part of our shared commitment with Symantec to help organisations of all sizes stay secure as they build on their digital future.”

Mike Fey

Mike Fey, president and COO at Symantec said: “Enterprises are facing a perfect storm with a growing attack surface, intensifying regulatory scrutiny and an increasingly sophisticated cyber kill chain. Today’s attacks are multi-faceted, multi-staged and the endpoint is one of the most critical vulnerabilities.

Responding to this rapidly evolving threat landscape requires an integrated cyber defence strategy, with best-in-class systems that can work together, becoming greater than the sum of their parts. In continuing to grow the Symantec capabilities offered within BT’s security portfolio, BT’s business customers will be able to build and benefit from the most comprehensive security platform in the market.”

Symantec Endpoint Protection joins nine Symantec solutions available to BT’s customers. Customers can deploy and manage Symantec products from a unified management console.

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Largest SEMICON China Ever Targets Industry Growth

By IoT – Internet of Things

More than 70,000 players in the electronics manufacturing industry are expected to descend upon SEMICON China for technology and innovation insights to accelerate already strong industry growth. March 14-16, 2018, at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), SEMICON China 2018 will bring together top executives and technologists in six exhibition halls, the most ever […]

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Cargotec develops intelligent cargo handling with global IoT connectivity services from Orange Business Services

By Zenobia Hegde

Orange Business Services and Cargotec have signed a three-year, multimillion euro agreement for worldwide IoT connectivity that helps Cargotec keep goods moving efficiently and safely. Cargotec, with headquarters in Finland, is a provider of cargo and load handling solutions. Cargo traffic is one of the vital services that helps keep our global society up and running. Millions of items, from raw materials to consumer products, are transported locally and between countries around the clock.

Cargotec‘s business areas – Kalmar, Hiab and MacGregor – are players in their fields, and they have a unique position to optimise global cargo flows and create sustainable customer value. Kalmar offers cargo handling equipment and automated terminal solutions, software, and services that are used in ports, terminals, distribution centres and various industries.

Hiab provides on-road load handling solutions to customers operating in the land transport and delivery industries, while MacGregor offers solutions and services for marine cargo and offshore load handling.

Cargotec aims to become the global supplier in intelligent cargo handling. This requires connectivity during every stage of its customers’ lifecycles. The IoT connectivity solution from Orange will integrate intelligence into the machinery to provide better collaboration for daily operations, monitor and maintain equipment to enable the highest possible uptime and react remotely before problems arise. It will also help Cargotec develop insightful data-driven services.

The Orange IoT connectivity service provides tangible business benefits for Cargotec, enabling new digital services and delivering a much higher degree of operational efficiency, both internally and further down the value chain at the customer level.

These include: seamless IoT SIM card ordering, simple activation and tracking through a dedicated portal; one price per IoT SIM card regardless of location; and scalable connectivity reaching 220 countries and territories.

“A reliable IoT communications infrastructure, global presence, with local support everywhere in the world, and an attractive business model are vital for us to become the leader in intelligent cargo handling. We chose Orange Business Services for these reasons,” says Soili Mäkinen, CIO, Cargotec.

“Cargotec is determined to grow its business through strong customer focus and improved IoT services that are vital in its development. We are very happy to have been selected as their provider of choice and to help enable their ambitions to lead and transform the cargo handling business globally,” says Fabrice de Windt, senior vice president, Europe, Orange Business Services.

Orange already supports over 14 million connected devices through its Datavenue IoT and data analytics solution across a variety of sectors, including automotive and transport, smart cities, industry and manufacturing and daily life (smart home, healthcare and wearables).

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