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Ultra-low power Pervasive Displays e-paper screen added to pioneering IoT development board

By Zenobia Hedge

Pervasive Displays (PDi), a provider in e-paper displays, announces its ultra-low power displays have been incorporated into a pioneering Internet of Things (IoT) development board from Cypress Semiconductor Corp. that enables device designers to benefit from a human-readable screen requiring very low amounts of power.

Created for use in a variety of IoT applications, such as fitness and health wearables, smart home and smart metering, the Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit helps engineers take advantage of the benefits of displays in their designs, without significantly impacting the power budgets.

Adding a display to almost any device including portable health monitors, utility meters and other connected monitoring and control devices, means designers can improve the overall user experience and offer exciting new features.

E-paper displays use much less energy than a traditional TFT liquid crystal display (LCD), because they require no backlight and do not need to be refreshed constantly to maintain a visible image. The savings are striking: an always-on e-paper display, updated half-a-dozen times a day, can use as little as 0.001% of the energy of an LCD equivalent performing the same role. This means a device with an e-paper display can run for months or even years on a small battery.

E-paper displays also offer very wide viewing angles, and because they’re reflective, can be read in bright sunlight and by barcode scanners, unlike TFT LCDs.

Jim Davis, director of Marketing for the MCU Business Unit at Cypress, said: ““PSoC MCUs have always been differentiated by the rich design resources of their analog and digital software-defined peripherals. As a market leader in e-paper displays with a ready supply of high quality screens available off-the-shelf, Pervasive Displays was the ideal partner to implement the display on our PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit. This board gives our customers the best of both worlds: the processing performance combined with an ultra-low power architecture and the flexibility to design differentiated IoT applications.”

Scott Soong, CEO at Pervasive Displays, added: “Many people have already enjoyed the benefits of e-paper displays in their e-reader devices, notably their exceptionally low power use and reflective nature, which makes them easily readable even in very bright lighting. Displays used in IoT applications require similar properties, as they will often need to operate for very long periods on a small battery, and be easily readable in a variety of lighting conditions. A Pervasive Displays e-paper display is the ideal solution for anyone wanting to add a human-readable screen to a battery-powered, connected device.”

Designers wishing to purchase the Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit can obtain them from distributors including Mouser, Digi-Key, RS Components, Future, Arrow and Farnell.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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Ultra-low power Pervasive Displays e-paper screen added to pioneering IoT development board

By News Aggregator

By Zenobia Hedge

Pervasive Displays (PDi), a provider in e-paper displays, announces its ultra-low power displays have been incorporated into a pioneering Internet of Things (IoT) development board from Cypress Semiconductor Corp. that enables device designers to benefit from a human-readable screen requiring very low amounts of power.

Created for use in a variety of IoT applications, such as fitness and health wearables, smart home and smart metering, the Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit helps engineers take advantage of the benefits of displays in their designs, without significantly impacting the power budgets.

Adding a display to almost any device including portable health monitors, utility meters and other connected monitoring and control devices, means designers can improve the overall user experience and offer exciting new features.

E-paper displays use much less energy than a traditional TFT liquid crystal display (LCD), because they require no backlight and do not need to be refreshed constantly to maintain a visible image. The savings are striking: an always-on e-paper display, updated half-a-dozen times a day, can use as little as 0.001% of the energy of an LCD equivalent performing the same role. This means a device with an e-paper display can run for months or even years on a small battery.

E-paper displays also offer very wide viewing angles, and because they’re reflective, can be read in bright sunlight and by barcode scanners, unlike TFT LCDs.

Jim Davis, director of Marketing for the MCU Business Unit at Cypress, said: ““PSoC MCUs have always been differentiated by the rich design resources of their analog and digital software-defined peripherals. As a market leader in e-paper displays with a ready supply of high quality screens available off-the-shelf, Pervasive Displays was the ideal partner to implement the display on our PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit. This board gives our customers the best of both worlds: the processing performance combined with an ultra-low power architecture and the flexibility to design differentiated IoT applications.”

Scott Soong, CEO at Pervasive Displays, added: “Many people have already enjoyed the benefits of e-paper displays in their e-reader devices, notably their exceptionally low power use and reflective nature, which makes them easily readable even in very bright lighting. Displays used in IoT applications require similar properties, as they will often need to operate for very long periods on a small battery, and be easily readable in a variety of lighting conditions. A Pervasive Displays e-paper display is the ideal solution for anyone wanting to add a human-readable screen to a battery-powered, connected device.”

Designers wishing to purchase the Cypress PSoC® 6 BLE Pioneer Kit can obtain them from distributors including Mouser, Digi-Key, RS Components, Future, Arrow and Farnell.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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Seagate launches first drive for artificial intelligence enabled surveillance

By News Aggregator

By Zenobia Hedge

Seagate Technology plc announced its SkyHawk™ AI hard disk drive (HDD), the first drive created specifically for artificial intelligence (AI) enabled video surveillance solutions. Building on Seagate’s 10-year track record of delivering surveillance optimised storage performance, SkyHawk AI provides unprecedented bandwidth and processing power to manage always-on, data-intensive workloads, while simultaneously analysing and recording footage from multiple HD cameras.

Analytics on video surveillance hardware is growing exponentially, forecasted to increase from 27.6 million shipments in 2016 to 126 million shipments in 2021 (Cropley, 2017), as hardware manufacturers continue to include analytics sensors on network video recorders (NVRs). This will only increase as AI – particularly deep learning and machine learning applications, such as facial recognition and analysing irregularities in behavior – become increasingly prevalent. In parallel, the need for fast video analytics will continue to rise, increasing the workload burden on NVR storage.

“The use of AI technology in surveillance is steadily increasing – both in the edge and backend installations such as retail fronts and large city traffic management. Seagate has led the surveillance storage market since its early days, a decade ago, by delivering industry leading HDD products that have enabled more than 5X increase in exabytes during this time period,” said Sai Varanasi, vice president product line management at Seagate Technology.

“We are excited to introduce smart, purpose-built SkyHawk AI solutions that expand the design space for our customers and partners, allowing them to implement next-generation deep learning and video analytics applications.”

SkyHawk AI is ideal for intensive computational workloads that typically accompany AI work streams, as its high throughput and enhanced caching deliver low latency and excellent random read performance to quickly locate and deliver video images and footage analysis. This enables on-the-edge decision making, eliminating the latency of exchanging cloud-based data and processing.

Equipped with Seagate ImagePerfect™ AI firmware, the drive reliably records high quality, sharp video footage with no dropped frames, while simultaneously facilitating AI-enabled NVR analytics – ensuring that intelligence gathered through video surveillance footage is not lost.

“As smart cities, smart transportation, and other surveillance programs become more prevalent, the number of surveillance nodes has reached the hundreds of thousands. Due to the widespread use of high-definition monitoring, the amount of data required in security surveillance has dramatically increased. The efficient collection, analysis, and application of data is becoming ever more critical,” said Guo Xudong, deputy general manager of domestic sales & marketing, Hikvision.

“We are excited that Seagate will launch the industry’s first AI optimised surveillance drive which will enable us to efficiently manage data storage and processing challenges, including, but not limited to, our DeepinMind NVR series.”

Sai Varanasi

“Video analytics has been evolving over the past 10 years and is garnering a lot of attention these days due to the use of AI. Dahua Technology made an early start in AI applications and has since made several achievements in the industry, for example, the newly launched IVSS series,” said Yang Shengwei, products and solutions director, Domestic Sales Operation Centre […]

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Digi International acquires TempAlert

By News Aggregator

By Zenobia Hedge

Digi International, a global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) products and services, announced that it has acquired TempAlert, a provider of automated, real-time temperature monitoring and task management solutions for the healthcare, industrial and food-service industries. TempAlert will join the Digi Smart Solutions team. Digi purchased Boston-based TempAlert for $45 million(€38.03 million) in cash plus future earn out incentives.

With its origins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, TempAlert is now in use at more than 20,000 customer sites including Walmart, CVS Health, SpaceX, Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald‘s, and the U.S. Department of State.

With its fourth strategic acquisition in 24 months, Digi is a leader in the space with nearly 35,000 customer sites and a deep presence in the healthcare, transportation, industrial and foodservice markets. In aggregate, the Digi Smart Solutions team offers more than 25 years of condition-based monitoring experience gained through managing more than 6 billion sensor readings.

Digi Smart Solutions improves the integrity of product quality and safety while simultaneously lowering costs, achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction and improving brand reputation. Digi’s automated, real-time monitoring solutions combined with task management software also address the needs of customers with unique challenges that span operational and safety regulatory requirements.

Harry Schechter

The TempAlert solution will not only be supported and enhanced, but also leveraged within Digi’s existing products and services to expand its advanced portfolio of solutions. Digi is excited to welcome TempAlert CEO Harry Schechter and the TempAlert team as employees of Digi Smart Solutions. Schechter will play a leading role in the IoT strategy going forward. Schechter will report to COO Kevin Riley.

“The acquisition of TempAlert doubles our Smart Solutions team to over 100 professionals, allowing us to offer our customers unprecedented domain expertise and support,” said Ron Konezny, president and chief executive officer, Digi International. “This acquisition firmly establishes Digi as a leader in condition-based monitoring, such as temperature and vibration, task management solutions and analytics.”

“This is a perfect match of expertise and a shared vision of the market opportunity in front of us,” said Schechter. “The combination of Digi’s market presence and complementary technology in conjunction with the TempAlert customer base presents a fantastic opportunity for Digi Smart Solutions.”

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Digi International acquires TempAlert

By Zenobia Hedge

Digi International, a global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) products and services, announced that it has acquired TempAlert, a provider of automated, real-time temperature monitoring and task management solutions for the healthcare, industrial and food-service industries. TempAlert will join the Digi Smart Solutions team. Digi purchased Boston-based TempAlert for $45 million(€38.03 million) in cash plus future earn out incentives.

With its origins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, TempAlert is now in use at more than 20,000 customer sites including Walmart, CVS Health, SpaceX, Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald‘s, and the U.S. Department of State.

With its fourth strategic acquisition in 24 months, Digi is a leader in the space with nearly 35,000 customer sites and a deep presence in the healthcare, transportation, industrial and foodservice markets. In aggregate, the Digi Smart Solutions team offers more than 25 years of condition-based monitoring experience gained through managing more than 6 billion sensor readings.

Digi Smart Solutions improves the integrity of product quality and safety while simultaneously lowering costs, achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction and improving brand reputation. Digi’s automated, real-time monitoring solutions combined with task management software also address the needs of customers with unique challenges that span operational and safety regulatory requirements.

Harry Schechter

The TempAlert solution will not only be supported and enhanced, but also leveraged within Digi’s existing products and services to expand its advanced portfolio of solutions. Digi is excited to welcome TempAlert CEO Harry Schechter and the TempAlert team as employees of Digi Smart Solutions. Schechter will play a leading role in the IoT strategy going forward. Schechter will report to COO Kevin Riley.

“The acquisition of TempAlert doubles our Smart Solutions team to over 100 professionals, allowing us to offer our customers unprecedented domain expertise and support,” said Ron Konezny, president and chief executive officer, Digi International. “This acquisition firmly establishes Digi as a leader in condition-based monitoring, such as temperature and vibration, task management solutions and analytics.”

“This is a perfect match of expertise and a shared vision of the market opportunity in front of us,” said Schechter. “The combination of Digi’s market presence and complementary technology in conjunction with the TempAlert customer base presents a fantastic opportunity for Digi Smart Solutions.”

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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Teradata Climbs Up the Stack with ‘Analytics Platform’ Strategy

By News Aggregator

By Alex Woodie

Teradata is extending the types of data, algorithms, and frameworks it can store and run in its flagship MPP database as part of the new Teradata Analytics Platform unveiled at its annual user conference today. Shipping early next year, the new platform is being billed as the next iteration of the enterprise data warehouse, and a one-stop shop for all of its customers’ analytic needs.

For most of its history, Teradata has focused its efforts on building core underlying data storage and management functions into its massively parallel processing (MPP), column-oriented relational database. With that foundation in place, customers could then write their own analytic routines using SQL, run pre-generated SQL from business intelligence tools, or run packaged analytic applications from the likes of SAS and other vendors.

The company revealed a desire to go “up the stack” in 2011, when it spent $230 million to acquire Aster Data Systems. Aster had developed SQL- and MapReduce-based software that let customers analyze large amounts of semi-structured and unstructured data, such as Internet clickstreams and social media activity, for the purpose of generating product recommendations, detecting fraud, and reducing churn.

While Aster helped Teradata break into the burgeoning market for big data analytics, the Aster technology hasn’t been fully integrated with the company’s traditional EDW business. There were integration points, such as the QueryGrid functionality Teradata unveiled in 2014, and its foray into pushdown processing. But the two products largely lived separate lives.

That separation will be erased when Aster technology is fully ported to run within Teradata’s EDW. That’s part and parcel of the Teradata Analytics Platform plan, says Imad Birouty, Teradata’s director of product marketing.

The Teradata Analytics Platform is a superset of traditional EDW and emerging data science capabilities

“We’re actually moving Aster and Teradata together. This is step number one in…bringing those analytics over,” Birouty tells Datanami. “We’re taking those advanced analytic functions that were in Aster, and we’re porting them over to the Teradata database. So those will be embedded directly in the database.”

The plan calls for having the first batch of Aster functions — including path analysis, attribution, text analysis, sessionization, and time series analytics –available in version 16.20 of the Teradata database in the first half of 2018, Birouty says. A second batch of Aster functions, including graph functions and other capabilities, are slated for an update that ships in the second half of the year, he adds.

“[Aster] was multi genre. It did graph functions. It did machine learning. It did text analytics. It did a lot of things, and so we’re bringing all those over, little by little,” Birouty says. Eventually, all of Aster’s functions will be ported to run under the Teradata database, and Aster will cease to exist. “It’s going to take a couple of years to do that.”

About a year from now, the Teradata EDW will be updated to natively support other analytic frameworks, including things like Apache Spark, Tensorflow, Theano, and even Gluon, the new machine learning library recently unveiled by Microsoft and AWS. “We’re looking at a lot of the popular tools out there and whatever is the hottest thing, we’ll plug them in,” Birouty says.

These frameworks will be brought into Teradata by way of a “pluggable architecture” that the company is building into its Teradata Analytics Platform, according to Birouty. When it’s ready, the architecture will be transparent to the user and work entirely “under the covers,” he says. However, that system isn’t quite cooked. “We’re not there yet,” he adds.

Teradata is seeking to be just as open when it comes to languages like R and Python and tools like SAS, KNIME, RStudio, Jupyter, and Dataiku, the company says. The database warehouse already had support for JSON data types, and support for Avro and other data formats will be added.

Centralizing the data and the analytics in the Teradata EDW will bring several benefits to customers. For starters, it will minimize the time and expense of moving data over the network. It will also eliminate the need for the IT department to maintain additional systems.

Co-mingling different data sets and data types will also allow customers to experiment with new analytic techniques, Birouty says. “You can imagine you can do some pretty amazing things if you have all these analytics together,” he says. “You can analyze the data that’s in your warehouse and IoT data together.”

For example, a trucking company could use sensor data to track the movement of its trucks while also monitoring the content of the cargo or special business relationships. If the IoT data indicates a delivery to a particular customer is going to be late, while the EDW data shows that the cargo is sensitive or the customer relationship has a special attribute, the trucking outfit could take pains to expedite the delivery or alert the customer to the late delivery.

“This is pretty much unprecedented in the capabilities that it’s bringing together, all at the fingertips of the user,” Birouty says. “The users don’t have to worry about separate pools. All the analytic functions, the tools they have, the data types, are all supported within this Teradata Analytics Platform. You can operatize the insights and deploy them to all the users. Pretty powerful stuff.”

Rather than a dramatic course change, however, the unveiling of the Teradata Analytics Platform represents an extension of the company’s previous strategy, Birouty says. “We refer to the future of the data warehouse as the analytics platform,” he says. “So the Teradata Analytics Platform is a superset [of capabilities] — the next generation with more capabilities than just the data warehouse today.”

Teradata also announced IntelliSphere, a prepackaged set of tools often used in data science and data analysis work. “We put together a software package … that are all the products you need to put together your analytic ecosystem,” Birouty says. “All the software you need to ingest data, to mange it, to deploy apps within the environment, to access the data.”

The company made the announcements today at Partners, its annual user conference, which is taking place this week in Anaheim, California.

Related Items:

Teradata Makes Data Warehouse More Hadoop-ish

Teradata Puts Aster in Hadoop for IoT Analytics

Teradata Adds Graph Engine to the Data Discovery Mix with Aster 6

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Push Technology releases Diffusion 6.0

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Push Technology, the real-time delta data streaming and messaging provider, announced the release of Diffusion™ 6.0 – Push Technology’s patented, bi-directional, delta-data streaming and messaging platform which is available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in hybrid configurations.

Speed, resiliency, and ease of scalability are the fundamental requirements for Mobile and IoT application development. Challenges created by unreliable and congested networks stand in the way of meeting these requirements. Diffusion 6.0 is an out-of-the-box, Enterprise-grade, solution that easily integrates with new and existing application architectures – providing a flexible, reactive, and efficient data layer to solve the challenge of business application data management.

Sean Bowen, CEO of Push Technology, explains: “With our latest release we are delivering an Enterprise-grade, data streaming and messaging solution which is simple to deploy and provides customers with the flexibility to start small and add functionality as their requirements expand. Developers no longer need to spend time building real-time data management for their applications because everything they need is available in Diffusion 6.0.

We have also focused on enhancing and automating the scalability of Diffusion to fuel application growth. Many organisations attempt to address scalability using traditional techniques and solutions which weren’t purpose-built for mobile and IoT applications. These technologies can be cumbersome to integrate and do not reliably scale. We offer a single solution that does it all.”

The new Diffusion release includes two add-on modules plus enhanced features to further offload development team tasks with out-of-the-box functionality.

Sean Bowen

The Scale & Availability Pack and the Auto-Scale Pack are designed to allow application developers to select enhanced Diffusion functionality specific to their application use case(s) requirements, as they scale and grow. The Scale & Availability Pack offers functionality including clustering, fan-out, and persistence – focused on addressing the challenges of resilience, application Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and bandwidth constraints.

The Auto-Scale Pack integrates Kubernetes and Prometheus to facilitate fast, simple, application deployment which enables Diffusion applications to be conveniently “containerised,” and easily managed, monitored and scaled.

Diffusion’s new out-of-the-box functionality also simplifies and speeds the development process with:

Time series data. Time series are ordered series of events. Effective management of time series data is useful for tracking account history, managing inventory or logistics, and for collaborative applications, e.g. chat.
Persistence. Data persistence preserves the state of data when a server is closed and then restarted. It is particularly useful for maintenance, update, or an unplanned outage. Persistence eliminates the need for the server to reload the data model when it starts.
Typed request-response messaging. Diffusion now allows applications to send request messages or data to a client, a set of clients, or a message path and the recipient of the information can respond directly to the request. Diffusion takes care of data conversion, allowing applications to pass instances of the data type directly to and from the API. Importantly, this allows customers to co-ordinate messages sent with messages received enabling proper transactional interactions.
Support of new data types. Diffusion now supports int64, string, and double. This new support enables developers to efficiently build applications without the […]

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Push Technology releases Diffusion 6.0

By News Aggregator

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Push Technology, the real-time delta data streaming and messaging provider, announced the release of Diffusion™ 6.0 – Push Technology’s patented, bi-directional, delta-data streaming and messaging platform which is available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in hybrid configurations.

Speed, resiliency, and ease of scalability are the fundamental requirements for Mobile and IoT application development. Challenges created by unreliable and congested networks stand in the way of meeting these requirements. Diffusion 6.0 is an out-of-the-box, Enterprise-grade, solution that easily integrates with new and existing application architectures – providing a flexible, reactive, and efficient data layer to solve the challenge of business application data management.

Sean Bowen, CEO of Push Technology, explains: “With our latest release we are delivering an Enterprise-grade, data streaming and messaging solution which is simple to deploy and provides customers with the flexibility to start small and add functionality as their requirements expand. Developers no longer need to spend time building real-time data management for their applications because everything they need is available in Diffusion 6.0.

We have also focused on enhancing and automating the scalability of Diffusion to fuel application growth. Many organisations attempt to address scalability using traditional techniques and solutions which weren’t purpose-built for mobile and IoT applications. These technologies can be cumbersome to integrate and do not reliably scale. We offer a single solution that does it all.”

The new Diffusion release includes two add-on modules plus enhanced features to further offload development team tasks with out-of-the-box functionality.

Sean Bowen

The Scale & Availability Pack and the Auto-Scale Pack are designed to allow application developers to select enhanced Diffusion functionality specific to their application use case(s) requirements, as they scale and grow. The Scale & Availability Pack offers functionality including clustering, fan-out, and persistence – focused on addressing the challenges of resilience, application Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and bandwidth constraints.

The Auto-Scale Pack integrates Kubernetes and Prometheus to facilitate fast, simple, application deployment which enables Diffusion applications to be conveniently “containerised,” and easily managed, monitored and scaled.

Diffusion’s new out-of-the-box functionality also simplifies and speeds the development process with:

Time series data. Time series are ordered series of events. Effective management of time series data is useful for tracking account history, managing inventory or logistics, and for collaborative applications, e.g. chat.
Persistence. Data persistence preserves the state of data when a server is closed and then restarted. It is particularly useful for maintenance, update, or an unplanned outage. Persistence eliminates the need for the server to reload the data model when it starts.
Typed request-response messaging. Diffusion now allows applications to send request messages or data to a client, a set of clients, or a message path and the recipient of the information can respond directly to the request. Diffusion takes care of data conversion, allowing applications to pass instances of the data type directly to and from the API. Importantly, this allows customers to co-ordinate messages sent with messages received enabling proper transactional interactions.
Support of new data types. Diffusion now supports int64, string, and double. This new support enables developers to efficiently build applications without the […]

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Global smart home market worth US$6bn by end of 2017 and rising fast, says Futuresource Consulting

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Smart home devices are shaking off their novelty image and moving mainstream to become one of the fastest growing consumer electronics categories of 2017. That’s according to a new smart home report from Futuresource Consulting, which reveals that the devices will achieve a retail value of $6 billion (€5.11 billion) worldwide this year, with revenues expected to triple by 2021.

“The smart home has arrived and its impact is indisputable,” says Filipe Oliveira, a market analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Smart home devices help with daily tasks, improve security and generate savings in energy bills through heating and lighting control. With high profile brands like Samsung, Apple and Philips getting in on the action, consumers are becoming attuned to the benefits, excited by the possibilities and are beginning to flex their purchasing muscle.”

Alexa and the Google Assistant, embedded in a range of devices, are making inroads into smart home control, with Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana currently lagging behind in the smart home. However, the success of smart speakers and the intuitive nature of voice is not toppling the ever-present nature of smartphones, which are still the go-to interface for controlling smart home devices.

“Consumers carry their smartphones everywhere they go, even when moving from room to room around the home,” says Oliveira. “Smartphones currently have the edge on smart speakers, because these devices allow face recognition and gesture commands to play a role alongside voice commands. Voice may not be needed at all in many smart home situations; when the user is away from a microphone, when there is background noise or when multiple people are talking in the same room, for example.”

Watch this space for combined voice and sensor control embedded into your smart refrigerator, wall art, mirrors, set-top boxes and TVs, any of which could become the means by which users give commands to their smart home.

There are currently four main smart home categories, namely hubs and control devices, security and monitoring, climate control and lighting systems.

“Security and monitoring products are leading the smart home charge. With the highest penetration rates and the largest value and volume at retail, this category is one of the main drivers of growth,” says Oliveira.

“In terms of market development, we’re seeing a surge in lighting, which is picking up speed faster than all other categories in retail and through the custom installer channel. Although we expect a general decline in unit prices, the lighting category will reinvent itself, with the emergence of products that combine lighting with other functions such as speakers and cameras, adding both value and appeal to the category.”

An increasing consumer appetite for all things smart home is giving rise to a range of other smart home devices beyond the four main categories. This includes an assortment of devices from smart mirrors to smart fragrance diffusers, but also basic smart home items such as connected sockets.

At present, North America represents over 60% of global smart home shipments and will continue to take the lion’s share out to 2021 and beyond. In […]

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Global smart home market worth US$6bn by end of 2017 and rising fast, says Futuresource Consulting

By News Aggregator

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Smart home devices are shaking off their novelty image and moving mainstream to become one of the fastest growing consumer electronics categories of 2017. That’s according to a new smart home report from Futuresource Consulting, which reveals that the devices will achieve a retail value of $6 billion (€5.11 billion) worldwide this year, with revenues expected to triple by 2021.

“The smart home has arrived and its impact is indisputable,” says Filipe Oliveira, a market analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Smart home devices help with daily tasks, improve security and generate savings in energy bills through heating and lighting control. With high profile brands like Samsung, Apple and Philips getting in on the action, consumers are becoming attuned to the benefits, excited by the possibilities and are beginning to flex their purchasing muscle.”

Alexa and the Google Assistant, embedded in a range of devices, are making inroads into smart home control, with Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana currently lagging behind in the smart home. However, the success of smart speakers and the intuitive nature of voice is not toppling the ever-present nature of smartphones, which are still the go-to interface for controlling smart home devices.

“Consumers carry their smartphones everywhere they go, even when moving from room to room around the home,” says Oliveira. “Smartphones currently have the edge on smart speakers, because these devices allow face recognition and gesture commands to play a role alongside voice commands. Voice may not be needed at all in many smart home situations; when the user is away from a microphone, when there is background noise or when multiple people are talking in the same room, for example.”

Watch this space for combined voice and sensor control embedded into your smart refrigerator, wall art, mirrors, set-top boxes and TVs, any of which could become the means by which users give commands to their smart home.

There are currently four main smart home categories, namely hubs and control devices, security and monitoring, climate control and lighting systems.

“Security and monitoring products are leading the smart home charge. With the highest penetration rates and the largest value and volume at retail, this category is one of the main drivers of growth,” says Oliveira.

“In terms of market development, we’re seeing a surge in lighting, which is picking up speed faster than all other categories in retail and through the custom installer channel. Although we expect a general decline in unit prices, the lighting category will reinvent itself, with the emergence of products that combine lighting with other functions such as speakers and cameras, adding both value and appeal to the category.”

An increasing consumer appetite for all things smart home is giving rise to a range of other smart home devices beyond the four main categories. This includes an assortment of devices from smart mirrors to smart fragrance diffusers, but also basic smart home items such as connected sockets.

At present, North America represents over 60% of global smart home shipments and will continue to take the lion’s share out to 2021 and beyond. In […]

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