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With $282M acquisition, Silicon Labs doubles down on Internet of Things

Silicon Laboratories is doubling down on the “Internet of Things” market with its recent $282 million acquisition of California-based Sigma Designs.

Austin-based Silicon Labs has continued to notch higher sales growth thanks in part to its efforts to pivot toward high-growth areas such as Internet of Things products, electric vehicles and renewable energy.

The Internet of Things — or IoT — is a chip industry term for non-computing devices that are connected to the Internet.

Silicon Labs will be acquiring Sigma Design’s Z-Wave-related intellectual property and product portfolio, which it said expands its range of wireless communication solutions for smart homes.

Sigma Designs, based in Fremont, Calif., provides integrated system-on-chip solutions that are used to deliver multimedia entertainment throughout the home.

“The connected home represents one of the largest market opportunities in the IoT,” Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs, said in a written statement. “Today, there is no single dominant wireless technology for home automation. By adding Z-Wave technology to Silicon Labs’ connectivity portfolio, we will be better positioned to serve this fast-growing market.”

Silicon Labs will pay Sigma’s shareholders $7.05 per share in cash, which is a 26 percent premium over Sigma’s closing price of $5.60 per share on Dec. 6.

In addition to Z-Wave technology, Sigma Designs also provides solutions for Media Connectivity and Smart TV. Sigma Designs plans to divest or wind down its Smart TV business. 

In the event that certain closing conditions are not met, the parties have agreed that Sigma Designs would instead sell its Z-Wave business to Silicon Labs for $240 million, contingent upon approval by Sigma Designs’ stockholders.

Silicon Labs makes a variety of chips, sensors and software that can be used in a wide range of devices, from televisions to smart energy meters and data centers. Its major customers include Cisco, Fitbit, LG Electronics and Samsung.

Founded in 1996, Silicon Labs employs about 1,300 people and is headquartered in downtown Austin.

The company’s Internet of Things division continues to drive sales growth for the chipmaker. In the third quarter, that division reported revenue of $100 million, a 23 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago. Revenue from its IoT division now makes up 50 percent of its sales.

Silicon Labs and Sigma Designs expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2018.

2017 Roundup Of Internet Of Things Forecasts – Forbes


ThinkStockPhoto

The last twelve months of Internet of Things (IoT) forecasts and market estimates reflect enterprises’ higher expectations for scale, scope and Return on Investment (ROI) from their IoT initiatives. Business benefits and outcomes are what drives the majority of organizations to experiment with IoT and invest in large-scale initiatives. That expectation is driving a new research agenda across the many research firms mentioned in this roundup. The majority of enterprises adopting IoT today are using metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect operational improvements, customer experience, logistics, and supply chain gains. Key takeaways from the collection of IoT forecasts and market estimates include the following:


Statista, Size of the Internet of Things market worldwide in 2014 and 2020, by industry (in billion U.S. dollars).

  • The global IoT market will grow from $157B in 2016 to $457B by 2020, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 28.5%. According to GrowthEnabler MarketsandMarkets analysis, the global IoT market share will be dominated by three sub-sectors; Smart Cities (26%), Industrial IoT (24%) and Connected Health (20%). Followed by Smart Homes (14%), Connected Cars (7%), Smart Utilities (4%) and Wearables (3%). Source: GrowthEnabler, Market Pulse Report, Internet of Things (IoT), 19 pp., PDF, free, no opt-in.


: GrowthEnabler, Market Pulse Report, Internet of Things (IoT), 19 pp., PDF, free, no opt-in

  • Bain predicts B2B IoT segments will generate more than $300B annually by 2020, including about $85B in the industrial sector. Advisory firm Bain predicts the most competitive areas of IoT will be in the enterprise and industrial segments. Bain predicts consumer applications will generate $150B by 2020, with B2B applications being worth more than $300B. Globally, enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has fueled more than $80B in merger and acquisition (MA) investments by major vendors and more than $30B in venture capital, according to Bain’s estimates. Source: Bain Insights: Choosing The Right Platform For The Internet Of Things


Bain Insights: Choosing The Right Platform For The Internet Of Things

  • The global IoT market is growing at a 23% CAGR of 23% between 2014-2019, enabling smart solutions in major industries including agriculture, automotive and infrastructure. ― Key challenges to growth are the security and scalability of all-new connected devices and the adherence to open standards to facilitate large-scale monitoring of different systems. Source: Export opportunities of the Dutch ICT sector to Germany (25-04-17), PDF, 95 pp., no opt-in


Export opportunities of the Dutch ICT sector to Germany (25-04-17), PDF, 95 pp., no opt-in


PwC, Leveraging the Upcoming Disruptions from AI and IoT, 20 pp., PDF, free, no opt-in

  • Discrete Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, and Utilities will lead all industries in IoT spending by 2020, averaging $40B each. Improving the accuracy, speed, and scale of supply chains is an area many organizations are concentrating on with IoT. IoT has the potential to redefine quality management, compliance, traceability and Manufacturing Intelligence. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies are projected to spend $25B on IoT in 2020, up from $5B in 2015. The following graphic compares global spending by vertical between 2015 and 2020. Source: Statista, Spending on the Internet of Things worldwide by vertical in 2015 and 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars).


Statista, Spending on the Internet of Things worldwide by vertical in 2015 and 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars).


Verizon State of the Market: Internet of Things 2017 Making way for the enterprise.


: Pete Wassell (Augmate): AR Smart Glasses and the Industrial IoT

  • By 2020, 50% of IoT spending will be driven by discrete manufacturing, transportation, and logistics, and utilities BCG predicts that IoT will have the most transformative effect on industries that aren’t technology-based today. The most critical success factor all these use cases depend on secure, scalable and reliable end-to-end integration solutions that encompass on-premise, legacy and cloud systems, and platforms.Source: Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.


Boston Consulting Group, Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.

  • The hottest application areas for IoT in manufacturing include Industrial Asset Management, Inventory and Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Management. In high tech manufacturing, Smart Products, and Industrial Asset Management are the hottest application areas. The following Forrester heat Map for 2017 shows the fastest growing areas of IoT adoption by industry. Source: IoT Opportunities, Trends, and Momentum Robert E Stroud CGEIT CRISC.


IoT Opportunities, Trends, and Momentum Robert E Stroud CGEIT CRISC.

  • B2B spending on IoT technologies, apps and solutions will reach €250B ($296.8B) by 2020 according to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). IoT Analytics spending is predicted to generate €20B ($23.7B) by 2020. Between 2015 to 2020, BCG predicts revenue from all layers of the IoT technology stack will have attained at least a 20% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). B2B customers are the most focused on services, IoT analytics, and applications, making these two areas of the technology stack the fastest growing. By 2020, these two layers will have captured 60% of the growth from IoT. Source: Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.


Boston Consulting Group, Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.

  • Improving customer experiences (70%) and safety (56%) are the two areas enterprises are using data generated from IoT solutions most often today. Gaining cost efficiencies, improving organizational capabilities, and gaining supply chain visibility (all 53%) is the third most popular uses of data generated from IoT solutions today. 53% of enterprises expect data from IoT solutions to increase revenues in the next year. 53% expect data generated from their IoT solutions will assist in increasing revenues in the next year. 51% expect data from IoT solutions will open up new markets in the next year. 42% of enterprises are spending an average of $3.1M annually on IoT. Source: 70% Of Enterprises Invest In IoT To Improve Customer Experiences.


70% Of Enterprises Invest In IoT To Improve Customer Experiences.

  • McKinsey Global Institute estimates IoT could have an annual economic impact of $3.9T to $11.1T by 2025. Their forecast scenario includes diverse settings and use cases including factories, cities, retail environments, and the human body. Factories alone could contribute between $1.2T to $3.7T in IoT-driven value. Source: McKinsey Company, What’s New With The Internet of Things?


McKinsey Company, What’s New With The Internet of Things?


Statista, Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices installed base worldwide from 2015 to 2025 (in billions).


Statista, Number of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connections worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in billions).


Statista, Projected global Internet of Things enabled sensors market in 2022, by segment.

Sources:

10 Predictions For The Internet Of Things (IoT) In 2018

2017 Internet Of Things (IoT) Intelligence Update

Bain Insights, Three Ways Telcos Can Win On The Internet Of Things [Infographic]

Bain Insights: Choosing The Right Platform For The Internet Of Things

Big Data Analytics Is The Most Wanted Expertise By 75% Of IoT Providers

Cambridge Consultants, Review of latest developments in the Internet of Things, 7 March 2017, 143 pp., free, no opt-in.

Cognizant Trend Study: Digital Industrial Transformation with the Internet of Things: How can European companies benefit from IoT?

Rethinking Transistors for the Internet of Things

Minima Processor is based in Oulu, a small city located in central Finland, thousands of miles from the birthplace of the transistor, the fundamental building block of all electronics. The company has not raised heaps of venture capital, nor has it targeted markets like artificial intelligence, but it is the latest to acknowledge that transistors need a facelift.

The transistors packed into integrated circuits act like switches. They can be switched on so that current flows through them or switched off to stem the flow of current. The digital switch is flipped when the transistor’s supply voltage passes a certain threshold, and that input voltage is an important factor in the entire chip’s power consumption.

Minima and its competitors are targeting ways to lower the threshold voltage in any and every chip. It would a significant boon to Internet of Things applications like wireless sensors embedded in bridges or buried in farmland to consume so little power that they can last on a single battery for a decade and send data to the cloud wirelessly.

Minima is targeting near-threshold voltage transistors that switch below the normal threshold. But it is not stooping to the same level as rivals Eta Compute and Ambiq Micro, which enable lower subthreshold voltage operation. Even though near-threshold transistors eat more energy, Minima said that they sidestep the shortcomings of subthreshold silicon.

Instead of selling actual chips, the company peddles hardware and software solutions to other companies that want to tune chips for near-threshold voltages. Minima claims that it can optimize any chip’s operating voltage, giving the perfect balance of power and performance to chips powered by tiny sensors that turn light in an office building into energy or piezoelectric devices that do that same with movement.

The technology did not come out of nowhere. Over forty years ago, the first subthreshold voltage chips were sold for watches and pacemakers. Transistors were not the microscopic slivers of silicon carved into modern chips, so engineers could optimize them manually. The technique became obsolete as transistor density doubled every 18 months.

These chips could get a second life after Moore’s Law ends. At the recent International Electron Devices conference, Advanced Micro Devices’ chief executive Lisa Su said that the average chip consumes 7% more power year and that it now takes around 29 months to double the number of transistors that fit into a square inch of silicon.

“That is harder and more expensive now, and you might not get the power that you want, even though on the performance side you probably will,” said Lauri Koskinen, Minima’s co-founder and chief technology officer, in an August interview. “[We] are a classic case of not taking the straightforward route of advancing process nodes.”

Typically, near-threshold voltage chips switch with around 400 to 700 millivolts. On the other hand, subthreshold voltage designs operate between 200 and 400 millivolts, significantly lower than normal threshold voltages around 1,200 millivolts. Both lower power consumption, which is proportional to the square of the voltage.

Minima’s technology is called dynamic margining. The company inserts tiny bits of circuitry that monitor the voltage and timing of the transistors and order the chip to modify its power usage based on performance needs. This is also critical because transistors operating below the normal threshold voltage are sensitive to slight variations in input voltage.

These variations can be produced by the slightest manufacturing flaws, extreme temperature changes and other sources of noise, causing severe changes in the transistor’s output voltage. Minima’s timing and voltage monitors can detect these voltage palpitations and take transistors out of commission until they return to normal.

In addition to dynamic margining, the company sells middleware that acts like a car’s cruise control system on hilly highways. The dynamic voltage and frequency scaling technology presses the gas for intensive computing tasks and throttles down for simpler jobs, switching between bursts of performance and long stretches of inactivity.

Together, the two technologies can lower any existing processor’s power to microwatts, Minima said.

Other companies are targeting lower voltages. PsiKick claims that its subthreshold voltage wireless microcontrollers consume less than one percent of the power of competing devices. The company has raised $35 million in several rounds of funding since it was founded by chip architects David Wentzloff and Benton Calhoun in 2012.

Wentzloff and Calhoun, former wards of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s dean Anantha Chandrakasan, have tested a prototype chip in a wearable heart rate monitor that runs entirely on body heat. The company, based in Santa Clara, California, has yet to release its first product. It has swapped out its C.E.O. three times in the last two years.

Eta Compute is trying to compel chips to operate in the deep subthreshold voltage range. The company based in Westlake, California, claims to cut supply voltages down to 250 millivolts. Its delay insensitive asynchronous logic can be used to craft computer cores that act like neurons in the human brain, making them extremely efficient at artificial intelligence tasks. The company recently hired Intel’s chief scientist in charge of neuromorphic computing.

Eta Compute is staffed with some former employees of Ambiq Micro, whose $80 million of financing since 2010 and slate of corporate customers give it a leading position in the market for subthreshold voltage chips. Huawei uses Ambiq’s microcontrollers in its latest line of fitness trackers, which it claims last 21 days on a single battery charge.

Ambiq retails the lowest power microcontrollers, according to the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium. The company is on the second generation of its Apollo line of ARM Cortex-M4 chips, which can withstand variations that afflict subthreshold voltage circuits. It uses Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. for production.

It is still unclear whether companies are willing to tolerate the idiosyncrasies of subthreshold voltage chips. With such small voltages, the differences between 1s and 0s shrink significantly. The transistors, therefore, are more susceptible to temperature conditions and manufacturing defects, which can mess with output voltages and cause functional faults.

ARM, the founding father almost all smartphone chips, is in the process of concocting its own near-threshold voltage chips. But it has deployed a different strategy for subthreshold silicon, playing the role of investor and partner vis-à-vis Ambiq and Minima. Eta Compute has declined to state its relationship with ARM, which has plugged its novel architecture.

Mike Muller, ARM’s chief technology officer, however, has thrown cold water on subthreshold voltage chips. In 2013, he argued that computer chips with kilohertz of clock frequency can hardly do anything useful. He also warned against the risks of outsourcing manufacturing to foundries that cannot guarantee that subthreshold voltage transistors will work at such low voltages.

Minima’s technology has been used to tape out a cryptographic accelerator chip, but it did not disclose the customer’s name. In two years, the company has raised $8.4 million to expand its engineering and sales teams, giving it more financial firepower to compete with rivals fighting below normal threshold voltages to chart a new course in transistors.

“Companies in the semiconductor space always fight each other in the same way to lower their power,” said Paul Washkewicz, vice president of sales and marketing for Eta Compute. “We created a different way,” he said in a March interview with Electronic Design.

Internet of Things Prospers Globally, Investment Ramps Up

Internet of Things (IoT), which enables any physical electronic device with a valid IP-address to transfer data seamlessly over a wireless network, is the latest in the league of service and business models that have been gaining rapid market traction.  According to a recent report by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on IoT is slated to grow 14.6% year over year to $772.5 billion in 2018.

Moreover, the IoT space will witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% to reach nearly $1.1 trillion in 2021. The next-generation superfast wireless networks (4G LTE, LTE-A, upcoming 5G) will provide the primary impetus to the telecom industry. In this context, IoT has the potential to be the numero uno factor driving future growth in this space. Notably, IoT is a network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity that enable it to achieve greater value and service by exchanging data with other connected devices.

As per the IDC report, industries that are likely to make the largest IoT investments in 2018 are manufacturing ($189 billion), transportation ($85 billion) and utilities ($73 billion). Consumer IoT purchases, which was the fourth largest market segment in 2016, is poised to become the third largest by 2020, according to market researchers. Manufacturers’ investments will focus primarily on offerings that support manufacturing operations and product asset management, while two-thirds of transportation spending will be on freight monitoring.

At present, the deployment of innovative connectivity platforms to deliver seamless, fully integrated mobile communication with global networking is crucial to the success of wireless service providers. Massive growth of 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and LTE-A (Advanced) networks across the globe will lead to a smooth transition from 4G to the upcoming 5G network standard. Superfast 5G mobile networks will be of utmost importance for efficient management of exponential IoT growth.

U.S. telecom behemoths like Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ Free Report) and ATT Inc. (T Free Report) , U.S. national wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS Free Report) and UK-based global telecom operator Vodafone Group plc. (VOD Free Report) are better poised to benefit from the IoT boom. Except Vodafone, the other three stocks mentioned above currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Vodafone sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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The internet of things game puts the rulemakers and the rule takers in the pit

The internet of things game puts the rulemakers and the rule takers in the pit

25 Things to Know about Health Tourism in Zagreb and Croatia

 

 (Hvar in 1905, a winter resort – photo credit Secret Hvar) 

  1. Croatia is the birthplace of organised tourism in Europe, 150 years in 2018, based on health tourism.

Croatia may be one of the trendiest tourist destinations in the world right now, but it is a little-known fact that organised tourism in Europe began in Croatia. On the island of Hvar in fact. Today, Europe’s sunniest island is known as one of the 10 most beautiful islands in the world, with more UNESCO heritage than any other in the world, but back in 1868, Hvar was known in elite circles in Vienna and Budapest as the Austrian Madeira.

With its temperate climate, organised health tourism began way back in 1868 with the founding of the Hvar Health Society. While today the island is enjoyed by sun seekers, partygoers and culture addicts, back then it was the soothing climate of the island which was its main attraction.

It is an anniversary which will be celebrated in 2018 – 150 years of organised tourism in Europe, the latest string in Croatia’s impressive bow of tourism credentials. As the country enjoys yet another record season based on its sun and sea tourism, behind the scenes there is a quiet revolution going on, which is bringing the country back to its original tourism focus – health. 

  1. Its actual health tourism dates back even longer – 170 years.

Croatia’s health tourism may have been behind the oldest organised tourism in Europe, but it was offering health tourism even earlier – for more than 20 years in fact. Another of Croatia’s top Adriatic wellness destinations today is Opatija, whose opulent 19th-century buildings are testament to the town’s importance. It was one of these fine buildings where tourism in Opatija began. The construction of Villa Angiolina by Iginio Scarpa back in 1844, a fine building which still exists in splendid isolation in an Opatija park, opened the way for the rich and famous to recuperate in Opatija’s healthy climate and medical facilities.  

  1. Some of the world’s top sportsmen use Croatia as their clinic of choice.

Some of the world’s top sporting stars come to Croatia for treatment. St. Catherine’s Specialty Hospital in Zabok has a very impressive list of international starts among their satisfied patient list. The list includes both the Croatian national football and Croatian Olympic teams, and individual stars such as Garry Kasparov (former World Chess Champion), Marin Čilić (Winner of the US Open 2014), Aleksandr Viktorovich Khoroshilov (the first Russian male to win a World Cup race in Schladming, 2015) Gordan Giriček (NBA player: Memphis Grizzlies, Orlando Magic, Utal Jazz), Bojan Bogdanović (NBA player: Brooklyn Nets), Mario Mandžukić (Juventus), Luka Modrić (Real Madrid) and Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona). 

(Photo credit www.bevanda.hr)

  1. Today’s famous medical patients follow in a long line of tradition.

Croatia’s celebrity health tourists are nothing new, however, as The Daily Telegraph noted in a feature on Opatija a few years ago:

“By the time the railway from Vienna reached Opatija in 1873, it was becoming a sort of “Nice of the East”, with glorious fin de siecle architecture, villas, sanatoria, pavilions, gardens and stylish esplanades for its wealthy and distinguished visitors.

“This was Opatija’s golden age. Among its visitors were Archduke Ferdinand and his queen, Maria Anna; Russian Tsars and European royalty; celebrities and artists such as Puccini, Chekhov and Isadora Duncan. Opatija’s mild climate was said to have curative powers, and some visitors – such as Gustav Mahler – came to convalesce.

Isadora Duncan stayed in a villa overlooking one of Opatija’s several exotic gardens. Beneath her window, she noticed a palm tree. “I have never seen a palm tree growing so free. Every day I contemplated its leaves flickering in the morning breeze, and it taught me that gentle trembling of shoulders, arms, fingers . . .”

  1. Croatia has a long history of pharmaceutical research, dating back almost 100 years.

There is a long history of pharmaceutical research in Croatia, starting in 1921 when the first pharma company, then called Kastel, later Pliva was founded. In 1980 the original, proprietary antibiotic, azithromycin (in Croatia and most of Europe called Sumamed, in the US and Western Europe Pfizer licensed it and sold it as Zythromax) was developed, making Croatia a member of a very exclusive club of only 10 or so countries in the world where a new, original medication was created and brought to the market.

There have been important medical first in Croatia’s medical history, including the use of iodine tincture, used almost universally before the invention of complex antiseptics, which was first applied in surgery by an Istrian doctor by the name of Antonio Grossich. Viktor Finderle, the grandfather of a currently-working gynaecologist Aleks Finderle, was the first to invent the obstetric vacuum extractor! Professor Andrija Štampar was among the founders of the World Health Organization. (With thanks to Josip Sore)

  1. Medical research which continues today.

Currently physicians and scientists from St. Catherine’s hospital are continuing with several studies in order to investigate the potentials of adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction in regenerative and reconstructive medicine. The importance of the results collected by the Croatian scientists is best demonstrated by the fact that osteoarthritis is one of the most common health problems in the world, from which more than 400 million people suffer. And, it is predicted that by 2030, more than 700 million people will suffer from this disease. According to available data, about 25% to 30% of the population in Croatia suffers from OA, while the number of OA patients in the United States is over 50 million.

Right from the start, the Hospital has brought together eminent experts who are constantly and systematically involved in continuing medical education as a guarantee of providing superior healthcare service to our patients. Furthermore, the physicians of the St. Catherine Hospital are affiliated with all four medical schools in Croatia while the hospital itself is a teaching hospital of major universities and medical schools, and it is licensed to carry out research in bio-medicine. It is not only the Ministry of Science and Education that has recently announced how the St. Catherine Hospital became “Scientific Center of Excellence for the Personalized Medicine in the Republic of Croatia”, but St. Catherine is as well a part of Consortium that includes the top healthcare and scientific institutions in the country. European Commission did the same and several years ago awarded our hospital, along with other consortium members from Europe, USA, and Australia with the “Pain Omics” project, totalling of 5.9 M Euros.

  1. Meet the shining star of Croatia’s health tourism potential – St Catherine’s Specialty Hospital.

St. Catherine’s Specialty Hospital is a proud member of the prestigious group “The Leading Hospitals of The World”, while In June, 2015, The International Certification Association (ICERTIAS) announced that St. Catherine’s won the top-Quality medal (QUDAL – QUality meDAL) along with an award of St. Catherine’s being the best private hospital in the Republic of Croatia, which is all according to the customer’s/patient’s opinion and judgement. It is also worth mentioning how during the studies, the ICERTIAS was using CAWI – DEEPMA (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing – Deep Mind Awareness) methods in order to analyze and examine all the received data.

St. Catherine Specialty Hospital’s membership in the International ICERTIAS Customers’ Friend programme – “Because we care about our customers”, attests to the special care and attention that Specialty Hospital give to patients and their problems, as well their commitment towards developing long-term customer satisfaction from the very beginning – from the first phone call up to the final phase of treatment.

Nevertheless, the “Super-brands organization” based in the Great Britain (since 1995), has proclaimed St. Catherine in July 2016, as one of the strongest and the most successful brands in that year, thus, along with that, St. Catherine won “Croatia Superbrands 2016 Award” regarding its quality, reliability and distinction.

On November 6th, 2015., Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia announced that the St. Catherine Hospital become “Scientific Center of Excellence for the Personalized Medicine in the Republic of Croatia” as a part of Consortium that includes the top healthcare and scientific institutions in the country and such fields.

In April 2017, St. Catherine was awarded the “Best Hospital Award” for the strong position at the national market and in international sector ratings, successful implementation of modern management technologies, staff excellence and the efficient marketing strategy by the Europe Business Assembly, Oxford, UK.

In April 2017 St. Catherine hospital has won a major international medical tourism award for their efforts in attracting international patients to Croatia. St. Catherine Specialty Hospital was named “International specialist patient centre of the year” by medical travel publication the International Medical Travel Journal Medical Travel Awards 2017 at their annual awards ceremony, the IMTJ Medical Travel Awards 2017.

  1. Meet Zagreb, Lonely Planet’s Number 1 Destination, and the new rising star of medical tourism in Europe.

When medical excellent meets tourism excellence. Add in an extremely competitive price list for a range of services, and it is not hard to see how Croatia has huge potential as an outstanding health tourism destination. While much of its tourism is centred on the coast, including health facilities in regions such as Istria and Kvarner, the capital Zagreb is showing the most potential for offering outstanding service.

Until recently, Zagreb was hardly considered a significant tourist destination at all, but in recent years, the capital has undergone a tourism transformation, so much so that Lonely Planet named it the top destination in Europe for 2017. With more than a million tourists staying in the city each year, Advent in Zagreb – a recent event which has been voted the best Christmas market in Europe for the last two years – is symbolic of the city’s new tourism profile. A new 330-million euro airport terminal was opened this year, and a plethora of airlines are connected Croatia with the rest of Europe and beyond. In addition to Qatar Airways operating ten flights a week to the world via Doha, Emirates began operations from Dubai, while Air Transat is set to be joined by Air Canada in 2018 offering direct flights from Canada. Air Jin’s new direct service from Seoul is the latest intercontinental route to be announced, making Zagreb more accessible than ever from all parts of the globe.

Many of Croatia’s leading clinics are located in the capital and are able to accommodate patients in partnership with luxury hotels. Perhaps the best example of this is Bagatin Clinic, whose tenth-floor premises in the Double Tree Hilton Hotel is an ideal location for patients enjoying the comfort of this four-star hotel. The accessibility of Croatia’s coast also means that an Adriatic holiday can be an added bonus to the treatment, a holiday which is effectively free given the savings on offer with this excellent Croatian care.  

(Maja Bohac,  PhD, Head of Refractive Surgery Department at Svjetlost)

  1. Croatia is a film set for Oscar-winning movies such as Fiddler on the Roof, but also for Oscar-winning surgical excellence.

Croatia the film set. Famous today for Game of Thrones, Star Wars and Mamma Mia 2, Croatia has a rich filming history, which has included providing locations for Oscar-winning movies such as Fiddler on the Roof and Sophie’s Choice, but have you ever heard of the ophthalmology Oscars? In 2015, a team of four expert surgeons from Eye Clinic Svjetlost won “Best Live Surgery Award” for performing five complicated eye surgeries in only 60 minutes at the world’s largest video surgeon congress VideoCatarattaRefrattiva in Milan. The award is also known as an ophthalmology Oscar due to its prestige in this profession.

The quality of Eye Clinic Svjetlost has been recognized by several international awards obtained over the years. In 2016 in Cannes, the Clinic was awarded the prestigious “Best Regional Hospital” award for excellence in quality and management, while in Berlin Svjetlost was awarded the “Quality Choice Prize” intended for the best global companies.

  1. Bagatin Clinic is a global player for cosmetic surgery – just ask the International Medical Travel Journal.

Bagatin Clinic in Zagreb has been recognised by IMTJ as the “Best international cosmetic surgery clinic” – the IMTJ organisation celebrates the excellence of service providers’ achievements around the world awarded Bagatin Clinic for “Best International Cosmetic Surgery Clinic” in 2017. Every year the best of the best are awarded in 19 categories. Nominations came from all over the world, making the award for the best international clinic even bigger.

  1. Goran Visnjic (ER) may be Croatia’s most famous actor, but real Croatian doctors are doing groundbreaking stuff – meet Dinko Stimac.

The most famous ‘doctor’ of Croatian origin might be ER heartthrob Goran Visnjic, but real Croatian doctors are doing groundbreaking work, such as Dr. Dinko Stimac.

Dinko Stimac M.D., the head of the Neurosurgery Department at the Clinical Hospital Center in Rijeka (KBC) was the first neurosurgeon in the world to carry out a procedure of implanting a 3D-printed fully acrylic artificial vertebra! The implant was used to replace a metastasized 7th cervical vertebra of a 77-year-old patient who was suffering from a malignant disease. After that, he went on to perform other groundbreaking neurosurgical procedures, most notably the most complex surgery of his career so far, on a 70-year-old patient who presented with an extremely rare type of malformation of cerebral blood vessels. Dr. Štimac said that this was the first time he faced such a complex malformation in 21 years of surgical practice, but he and his team managed to remove it, and the patient has recovered as well as can be expected for a person his age. The surgery was observed online by medical students from Spain and Portugal. Read more.

  1. Croatian medical excellence is recognised by Gene Journal.

In a recent study published in Genes Journal the scientist from St. Catherine’s hospital showed that the use of adipose/fat tissue derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) containing mesenchymal stem cells (Ad-MSCs) in patients with knee Osteoarthritis (OA) (measured by dGEMRIC MRI) increased glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) content in hyaline cartilage, which is in line with significant pain reduction measurement by Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS) as well as with improved knee function and a quality of life. 

  1. Croatia is number 1 in the world for organ transplants (Eurotransplant).

Eurotransplant is a central database of organ donors and patients waiting for the transplantation of a donated organ, founded in 1967 (Croatia has joined in 2007). Out of its member countries (Austria, Germany, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary and Belgium), Croatia was able to become the most successful member and one of the most successful countries in the world. In Croatia, there are between 350 and 400 organ transplantations per year, which is a very high average. By a series of indicators, Croatia is statistically the best country, not only in Europe but also in the world. With 40 donors per million inhabitants, Croatia is the first in the world. The country is also at the first position in the world by the number of liver transplants, of which about 115 are performed each year, which means that Croatian patients have the highest availability of this type of transplantation, which is considered to be the most complex. By the number of liver transplantations, the Merkur Clinical Hospital in Zagreb is the largest centre in the Eurotransplant network. Read more.

The Chairman of Eurotransplant Bruno Meiser has spoken about the Croatian model: “It is complicated to copy the Croatian model because it requires a high level of solidarity in society, an excellent organisation, highly skilled and dedicated emergency services which are active throughout the year and, above all, dedicated doctors and national coordinators who live for this job.”  

  1. Specialty Hospital Medico in Rijeka – AACI.

The Specialty Hospital Medico in Rijeka is widely known for their motto ‘in one day, at one place’ – and they stay true to their word. Due to an incredible range of diagnostic services and medical treatments provided in a three-floor polyclinic in the centre of the city, Medico has a respectable reputation both locally and among patients visiting from abroad.

Medico was recently awarded the AACI certificate for clinical excellence, becoming the first health clinic in Croatia – both in the public and the private sector – to hold this prestigious title. AACI (American Accreditation Commision International) is one of the world’s most renowned organisations that provide clinical accreditation which stands as a guarantee of high-quality medical services, health care and patient safety in all certified institutions.

The importance of such an accreditation goes far beyond Medico’s reputation and profit. As the AACI certificate is a precondition for most foreign insurance companies to reimburse the medical expenses of patients who seek treatment outside of their home country, this international accreditation is a valuable incentive for Croatia’s health tourism development.

It is expected that medical tourism will become one of the leading reasons for travel in the coming years, and to make for a staggering 22% of world’s GDP by 2030. In a country that’s steadily becoming one of the leading destinations for health tourism, an international accreditation of this kind opens the door for an increase in visitors coming to Croatia with the sole goal of getting medical treatment. 

(Croatian medical excellence in California – Bagatin Clinic at WMTC in Los Angeles earlier this year)

  1. Pioneering medical tourism initiatives from Bagatin Clinic

Croatia is not (yet) on the world map for health tourism, something which is set to change. A key component of that change is promoting Croatia’s excellent medical story internationally, and nobody has done more in this regard than pioneering CEO Ognjen Bagatin, from the family clinic of the same name. Grasping the need to promote the story so as to attract more business which would allow revenues from more international clients to grow Croatia’s medical tourism sector more quickly, Bagatin has dragged others with him in the pursuit of telling Croatia’s health tourism story.

His polyclinic alone is punching above its weight on the international stage in terms of marketing budget, a strategy which is already bearing fruit, both for his clinic and the country’s health tourism as a whole. Bagatin Clinic was a gold sponsor at the recent World Medical Tourism Global Healthcare Congress in Los Angeles.

The Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Croatian Tourist Board, Zagreb Tourist Board and medical clusters (Zagreb and Kvarner) are all working on this important vision – branding and positioning Croatia as a leading Mediterranean destination for medical travellers.

  1. Digital and hi-tech dentistry – why Croatia for your dentistry?

 Dental tourism is developing fast in Croatia, as busloads of Italians come into the country each week to take advantage of the excellent dentistry and fabulous prices. Istria, Kvarner and Zagreb are the leading centres of excellence, with one clinic in Rijeka employing a staggering 120 dentists to cope with the demand.

One of the leading clinics is Bagatin Clinic, which also specialises in plastic surgery, dermatology and cosmetic treatments. The latest achievements and innovations in Bagatin Dental Center are related to the use of lasers in the treatments, digital x-rays, production of crowns and veneers in a few minutes within the Clinic, 360° rotating dental chairs that include massages and the software development that associates the patient with any medical practice in the world.

  1. First eye-laser technology and laser vision correction in the region performed in Zagreb.

Professor Nikica Gabric, founder and CEO of Svjetlost, brought eye laser technology in Croatia and the region and performed the first laser vision correction 20 years ago. So far, more than 60 thousand eyes have undergone laser vision correction in Eye Clinic Svjetlost. Nowadays, laser vision correction is performed by 10 surgeons with the state-of-the-art technology. Moreover, more than 2500 cataract surgeries are performed annually. When it comes to experience in the implantation of multifocal and intraocular lenses with an extended range of vision (more than 10000), Eye Clinic Svjetlost is among the leading European clinics. These so-called premium lenses are implanted both at cataract surgery and presbyopia correction in order to gain excellent postoperative near sight and far sight vision without using glasses. 

  1. The secret is already out – One-third of patients solving their eye problems in Svjetlost Eye Clinic are foreigners.

Over the past 20 years, the Svjetlost has treated over 350,000 patients. During this period, the Clinic has successfully performed over 125,000 operations in its four centres. Out of the total number of patients, one-third of them are foreigners. By professional approach, quality of service and professionalism of its surgeons the Clinic Svjetlost has been widely recognized all over the region. Interestingly, over the past few years, more than 15,000 patients from Slovenia have entrusted the Clinic and its doctors with the laser vision corrections. The quality of service is guaranteed by 40 high-quality ophthalmologists who approach each patient individually and are performing over 5000 operations annually.

  1. Meet Robot Ronna.

At the largest European fair of medical technologies this year – MEDICA 2017 – which was held in Düsseldorf, Germany, the Klimaoprema company from Samobor presented its neurosurgical robot Ronna. This is a joint project of Klimaoprema, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture of the University of Zagreb, and the Dubrava Clinical Hospital.

Klimaoprema has taken part in the fair for many years. This year’s presentation drew considerable interest from visitors and potential buyers. The company, in collaboration with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, has been developing its competencies in the field of robotisation of production and research, development and education projects.

“Connecting industrial and scientific resources contributes to the creation of innovative products that have a direct impact on reducing production costs, saving energy, reducing emissions of pollutants and bringing other societal benefits,” said Klimaoprema. The company from Samobor is globally recognised for its clean room and operating theatre technologies, which linked it to the Ronna project.

In Düsseldorf, Klimaoprema also presented a modern operating theatre with antibacterial walls and ceilings and other elements. Within the operating room, Ronna simulated a precise stereotactic neurosurgeon procedure. The delegation of the Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering was represented by Professor Bojan Jerbić and lecturers Marko Švaco and Josip Vidaković, while the Dubrava Clinical Hospital was represented by Darko Chudy and Domagoj Dlaka. 

  1. A strong wellness spa tradition, which continues all over the country today.

Croatia has a well-developed spa tradition, and there are several excellent spa towns all over the country. Spa tourism was disrupted during the regional conflict in the 1990s, when Croatia’s spa hotels were taken over by refugees and the internally displaced. New investments are restoring Croatia’s spa credentials, and nowhere is this better exemplified than in Krapinske Toplice, west of Zagreb. The town’s spa history dates back to 1772, and its waters have been named the sixth healthiest in all Europe. A new aquapark recently opened, as have two private hospitals in addition to the state one already in existence, and in 2009, Villa Magdalena, the first private luxury spa hotel, opened and has been trailblazing ever since. Named as the best hotel in continental Croatia for three years of its short existence, as well as the region’s best restaurant for three years as well, Villa Magdalena is showcasing the potential of Croatia’s luxury spa tourism. A recent purchase by a Chinese consortium will see the town’s outmoded main hotel upgraded to a four-star spa hotel with 200 rooms. Learn more about Villa Magdalena here.

  1. More excellence from St. Catherine’s – the meniscal transplant.

For the first time in the region, St. Catherine’s orthopaedic team has made a new medical alternative: the meniscal transplant, an hour-long, outpatient, arthroscopic procedure that uses donor tissue to replace damaged meniscus, which can dramatically slow the onset of arthritis. In addition to meniscal transplant, St. Catherine’s has also been successful in applying a new biological treatment: meniscus replacement with the synthetic implant. Furthermore, the St. Catherine’s team is in the process of the integration of pharmacogenetics testings into the clinical practice. Without any doubt, the personalised medicine, with its motto “Right therapy for the right patient at the right time”, is the medicine of the future, thus, an introduction of its concept into daily practice is becoming a priority. St. Catherine’s believes it is the hospital with the lowest percentage of infections (0.6%), compared to any other hospital in South-East Europe.

  1. Fantastic prices, but with start of the art equipment and the highest quality medical staff.

Health is not something one wants to take a chance on, and there is little point opting for cheap treatment if that treatment is of poor quality using outdated equipment. Here, too, Croatian health tourism delivers, with its clinics using equipment which is on a level of the finest clinics in the world. I asked three clinics to send me a few sentences on the quality of the equipment they use to illustrate the point:

Svjetlost Eye Clinic – For one of the most demanded and performed surgery in ophthalmic medical tourism, laser vision correction, Svjetlost eye clinic uses state-of-the-art machines. Combination of IFS Femtosecond laser for the flap creation (first step of the surgery) and Schwind Amaris excimer laser for cornea reshaping is considered as standard in world’s most recognized eye centres.

Cataract removal specialists have so far performed over 35,000 surgeries, with an individualized approach to every patient when it comes to the selection of lenses best fitting his or her expectations and lifestyle. Cataract surgery is performed without delay, using state-of-the-art technology and intraocular lenses produced by renowned global manufacturers (AMO, Zeiss, Alcon, BaushLomb).

Bagatin Clinic – Since part of their mission is to provide their clients with the highest standard of medical service using only top-notch world-renowned technology, Bagatin Clinic uses Romexis Smile Design system which ensures improved communication between the dental team and the clients. It enables clients to clearly express their wishes and expectations resulting in overall and long-term satisfaction on both sides. Another high – end service available in Bagatin Clinic is Planmeca CAD/CAM technology which enables quick and precise production of prosthetic replacements (crowns, veneers, bridges, inlay) offering clients to get new teeth or have new veneers fit in only one visit. In oral surgery they use Straumann dental implants which ensure the best results as they function just like natural teeth and completely replace missing teeth improving self-confidence and quality of life of their patients. As one of the new developments in digital dentistry they offer T-scan system analysis whose precise and actionable data provides the ability to diagnose and treat occlusion accurately and with confidence.

With customer safety being the most important factor during surgical procedures Bagatin Clinic has procured the most modern anaesthetic device which minimizes any possible risks during procedures.  During the preoperative consultation, their surgeons use one of the two high-quality Canfield Vectra XT 3D photo simulators that provide a realistic picture of the expected results for the patients. In addition to the new Vectra device, they have developed two new photo studios equipped with professional lighting, cameras, stands and backgrounds on both of their premises. Taking photos of their clients before and after the procedure, enables them to keep track of their improvement and compare the results. 

St. Catherine’s Specialty Hospital – St. Catherine’s hospital is very proud of their MRI instrument, state of the art product by Siemens, MAGNETOM Avanto, A Tim System, with a magnetic field of 1.5 T. MAGNETOM Avanto provides a whole new world in the excellent image quality with extremely fast acquisition speeds. The magnetic resonance imaging instrument in St. Catherine’s hospital is characterized by the unique combination of a powerful main magnet and leading gradient technology. Those features combined with the revolutionary technique of image acquisitions make it an invaluable tool for diagnostics – and our instrument is the first of its kind in Croatia! In addition to that instrument, we have two Siemens Acuson X300 ultrasound systems, equipped with Color Doppler technologies that allow us to monitor and show the passage of blood through the body in full colour (used for radiology needs, as well as rehabilitation), and a Philips Epiq 7 ultrasound system.

The operating theatres are equipped with the Carl Zeiss surgical microscope, and a digital Philips Veradius fluoroscope with a C-arm and a flat detector. This instrument is characterized by the high-resolution images and better contrast than in any other instrument and it is also one of its kind in Croatia.

St. Catherine’s Centre for Neurology is equipped with last generation instruments for EMG, EEG and evoked potentials testing, and Centre for gastroenterology has the modern endoscope by Fuji, as well as the state-of-the-art washer-disinfector by Getinge.

  1. The first private eye clinic in the region was opened in Croatia.

Eye Clinic Svjetlost was founded in 1998 as an ophthalmological polyclinic. In 2010, it became Special Hospital for Ophthalmology and was then given the status of Clinic for ophthalmology at the School of Medicine of the University of Rijeka, making it the first private eye hospital recognized for scientific performance and research in the South-East Europe. Moreover, postgraduate studies and specializations have been performed at the Clinic Svjetlost since then. Nowadays, the Clinic provides services in Zagreb and Split, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina the centre is located in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. The new centres are planned to be open in Serbia and Montenegro in 2018.

(Before and after a visit to Bagatin Clinic)

  1. So what are the potential savings?

Let’s begin with the most extreme example I have come across, quoting one VERY happy dental client from Bagatin Clinic, who travelled all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to Zagreb:

“The savings were US$90,000. It difficult to learn to smile showing my teeth. Working on it! A lifetime of not showing my teeth when I smiled is hard to overcome! I also thought about the fact that it was going to take up to a year to complete the dental work here in the USA. Getting it completed in 10 Days was fantastic. They were over-engineering the process here. I have also been told that the equipment, overhead and product costs 6-7 times more to purchase the exact same equipment/product from the same manufacturer in the States.”

Typical savings are in the region of 30-100% from Western prices, even from neighbouring countries such as Slovenia, whose citizens are regular visitors to Zagreb clinics, taking advantage of excellent care at a fraction of the cost just a few kilometres away.

One example to demonstrate the price differential this is cataract surgery. Mono-focal cataract surgery in the Netherlands costs 2500 euro for the classic treatment, but only 1200 at Croatia’s leading eye clinic, Svjetlost. In addition to mono-focal cataract treatment, Svjetlost also offers multi-focal lens treatment for 1800 euro, a much better proposition for the patient, and more than 30% of patients opt for the multi-focal option, compared to just 2% in the Netherlands. The reason? Mono-focal treatment is all that is covered by the state health insurance companies. Come to Croatia, and there exists not only better prices and a tourism experience but also the possibility of better care. The potential to team up with international state health insurance companies for mutual financial benefit is mouth-watering indeed.

  1. The best recommendation is a satisfied client – 3 cases studies, one each from Bagatin, Svjetlost and St. Catherine’s.

And to finish this overview of the potential of Croatia’s health tourism potential, I asked three of the country’s leading health tourism clinics to provide a case study.

St. Catherine’s Specialty Hospital

Hello! My name is Darko Retel. I live in Perth, Western Australia. I’ve found out online about this new method (an application of stem cells extracted from fat tissue) of treating the knee. I contacted St. Catharine’s hospital staff in Zabok in May of this year. I was scheduled immediately and operated on May 22nd. I felt improvement within two weeks after my surgery. Now, three months later, I can say that I walk normally and can walk for a longer period of time. The pain in my knee is minimal or almost non-existent. I ride a bike and swim 3 times a week. My surgery was performed by Dr. Hudetz, who also examined me post surgery before my return to Australia, and he was very pleased with my progress. Personally, I am very satisfied because now I don’t have to change my knee, and the feeling of being able to walk normally again is a massive success. I can only say this is “a dream come true”. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Hudetz. I’d also like to add that the hospital staff was at a high level of professionalism and service. The hospital itself is very modern and clean and the food is excellent. Once again, I would especially like to thank Ms. Ranogajec, nurse Tihana and all the others that I’ve met in St. Catherine’s.

Svjetlost Eye Clinic

Isabel and Jonathan Gutierrez (Switzerland)

After few years of thinking about laser vision correction we chose Zagreb for treatment due to our colleague’s recommendation. In September 2017, we had the Femto-Lasik method of laser vision correction performed in Svjetlost Eye Clinic in Zagreb. A very efficient, painless and fast treatment due to state-of-the art technology and professional staff. Unbelievable how a whole life can change after a few minutes. A completely new way of life! In compare, the price of the same procedure in Switzerland is 2,5 times higher. Also, we enjoyed our weekend in Zagreb!

Marcello Arnoldi and Monica Küchbacher – Bolzano, Italy

We have had positive experiences of medical tourism in Croatia since before. This is why we choseCroatia to solve our problems of age-related farsightedness. In just two days we completed the whole procedure of implantation the last generation of multifocal lenses. Thanks to Professor Gabric and his staff for professionalism and courtesy. Svjetlost is an excellent eye clinic that we are glad to recommend.

Bagatin Clinic

To learn more about the potential of Croatian health tourism, visit

St. Catherine’s Specialty Hospital

Svjetlost Eye Clinic

Bagatin Clinic

2017 Roundup Of Internet Of Things Forecasts


ThinkStockPhoto

The last twelve months of Internet of Things (IoT) forecasts and market estimates reflect enterprises’ higher expectations for scale, scope and Return on Investment (ROI) from their IoT initiatives. Business benefits and outcomes are what drives the majority of organizations to experiment with IoT and invest in large-scale initiatives. That expectation is driving a new research agenda across the many research firms mentioned in this roundup. The majority of enterprises adopting IoT today are using metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect operational improvements, customer experience, logistics, and supply chain gains. Key takeaways from the collection of IoT forecasts and market estimates include the following:


Statista, Size of the Internet of Things market worldwide in 2014 and 2020, by industry (in billion U.S. dollars).

  • The global IoT market will grow from $157B in 2016 to $457B by 2020, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 28.5%. According to GrowthEnabler MarketsandMarkets analysis, the global IoT market share will be dominated by three sub-sectors; Smart Cities (26%), Industrial IoT (24%) and Connected Health (20%). Followed by Smart Homes (14%), Connected Cars (7%), Smart Utilities (4%) and Wearables (3%). Source: GrowthEnabler, Market Pulse Report, Internet of Things (IoT), 19 pp., PDF, free, no opt-in.


: GrowthEnabler, Market Pulse Report, Internet of Things (IoT), 19 pp., PDF, free, no opt-in

  • Bain predicts B2B IoT segments will generate more than $300B annually by 2020, including about $85B in the industrial sector. Advisory firm Bain predicts the most competitive areas of IoT will be in the enterprise and industrial segments. Bain predicts consumer applications will generate $150B by 2020, with B2B applications being worth more than $300B. Globally, enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has fueled more than $80B in merger and acquisition (MA) investments by major vendors and more than $30B in venture capital, according to Bain’s estimates. Source: Bain Insights: Choosing The Right Platform For The Internet Of Things


Bain Insights: Choosing The Right Platform For The Internet Of Things

  • The global IoT market is growing at a 23% CAGR of 23% between 2014-2019, enabling smart solutions in major industries including agriculture, automotive and infrastructure. ― Key challenges to growth are the security and scalability of all-new connected devices and the adherence to open standards to facilitate large-scale monitoring of different systems. Source: Export opportunities of the Dutch ICT sector to Germany (25-04-17), PDF, 95 pp., no opt-in


Export opportunities of the Dutch ICT sector to Germany (25-04-17), PDF, 95 pp., no opt-in


PwC, Leveraging the Upcoming Disruptions from AI and IoT, 20 pp., PDF, free, no opt-in

  • Discrete Manufacturing, Transportation and Logistics, and Utilities will lead all industries in IoT spending by 2020, averaging $40B each. Improving the accuracy, speed, and scale of supply chains is an area many organizations are concentrating on with IoT. IoT has the potential to redefine quality management, compliance, traceability and Manufacturing Intelligence. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies are projected to spend $25B on IoT in 2020, up from $5B in 2015. The following graphic compares global spending by vertical between 2015 and 2020. Source: Statista, Spending on the Internet of Things worldwide by vertical in 2015 and 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars).


Statista, Spending on the Internet of Things worldwide by vertical in 2015 and 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars).


Verizon State of the Market: Internet of Things 2017 Making way for the enterprise.


: Pete Wassell (Augmate): AR Smart Glasses and the Industrial IoT

  • By 2020, 50% of IoT spending will be driven by discrete manufacturing, transportation, and logistics, and utilities BCG predicts that IoT will have the most transformative effect on industries that aren’t technology-based today. The most critical success factor all these use cases depend on secure, scalable and reliable end-to-end integration solutions that encompass on-premise, legacy and cloud systems, and platforms.Source: Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.


Boston Consulting Group, Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.

  • The hottest application areas for IoT in manufacturing include Industrial Asset Management, Inventory and Warehouse Management and Supply Chain Management. In high tech manufacturing, Smart Products, and Industrial Asset Management are the hottest application areas. The following Forrester heat Map for 2017 shows the fastest growing areas of IoT adoption by industry. Source: IoT Opportunities, Trends, and Momentum Robert E Stroud CGEIT CRISC.


IoT Opportunities, Trends, and Momentum Robert E Stroud CGEIT CRISC.

  • B2B spending on IoT technologies, apps and solutions will reach €250B ($296.8B) by 2020 according to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). IoT Analytics spending is predicted to generate €20B ($23.7B) by 2020. Between 2015 to 2020, BCG predicts revenue from all layers of the IoT technology stack will have attained at least a 20% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). B2B customers are the most focused on services, IoT analytics, and applications, making these two areas of the technology stack the fastest growing. By 2020, these two layers will have captured 60% of the growth from IoT. Source: Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.


Boston Consulting Group, Internet Of Things Market To Reach $267B By 2020.

  • Improving customer experiences (70%) and safety (56%) are the two areas enterprises are using data generated from IoT solutions most often today. Gaining cost efficiencies, improving organizational capabilities, and gaining supply chain visibility (all 53%) is the third most popular uses of data generated from IoT solutions today. 53% of enterprises expect data from IoT solutions to increase revenues in the next year. 53% expect data generated from their IoT solutions will assist in increasing revenues in the next year. 51% expect data from IoT solutions will open up new markets in the next year. 42% of enterprises are spending an average of $3.1M annually on IoT. Source: 70% Of Enterprises Invest In IoT To Improve Customer Experiences.


70% Of Enterprises Invest In IoT To Improve Customer Experiences.

  • McKinsey Global Institute estimates IoT could have an annual economic impact of $3.9T to $11.1T by 2025. Their forecast scenario includes diverse settings and use cases including factories, cities, retail environments, and the human body. Factories alone could contribute between $1.2T to $3.7T in IoT-driven value. Source: McKinsey Company, What’s New With The Internet of Things?


McKinsey Company, What’s New With The Internet of Things?


Statista, Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices installed base worldwide from 2015 to 2025 (in billions).


Statista, Number of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connections worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in billions).


Statista, Projected global Internet of Things enabled sensors market in 2022, by segment.

Sources:

10 Predictions For The Internet Of Things (IoT) In 2018

2017 Internet Of Things (IoT) Intelligence Update

Bain Insights, Three Ways Telcos Can Win On The Internet Of Things [Infographic]

Bain Insights: Choosing The Right Platform For The Internet Of Things

Big Data Analytics Is The Most Wanted Expertise By 75% Of IoT Providers

Cambridge Consultants, Review of latest developments in the Internet of Things, 7 March 2017, 143 pp., free, no opt-in.

Cognizant Trend Study: Digital Industrial Transformation with the Internet of Things: How can European companies benefit from IoT?

Apple iPhone X: The Mid-Term Review. Ten Things To Love Or Hate

David Phelan

Apple iPhone X. All-new.

I’ve been using the new Apple iPhone X since I first got my hands on it on October 23. I had some issues at first along with many positive responses, but it has been my only driver for seven weeks now.

Since supply of the expensive, king-of-the-hill, top-of-the-heap iPhone has now become much more readily accessible – and way faster than was initially thought – this seems like a good time to report on what I’ve found.

The Mid-Term is my occasional column, reviewing a product I’ve been testing consistently for a long time. It’s for a product which I’ve put through its paces for weeks or even months, so you can be sure the results are reliable, especially compared to some other reviews, written after just a day or so of use…

David Phelan

The lock screen of the iPhone X. Note the padlock icon which swings satisfyingly open when FaceID recognizes it’s you.

1 Face ID: Usage

Love

It’s so speedy, effective and reliable. I thought I’d regret losing the intimacy of Touch ID. I worried it wouldn’t work – as facial recognition on some other phones has been less than consistent – and that it wouldn’t feel as intimate or seamless. In fact, it’s more intimate. I realized this when I found myself raising an eyebrow, Roger Moore-style to try and catch it out. It worked perfectly but I suddenly thought, ‘Oh no, I just flirted with my iPhone. What’s next, asking Siri on a date?’ Some have said it’s not as fast as Touch ID but I haven’t found that.

And one of the very best features on the iPhone X is the way that Face ID keeps my notifications private until it recognizes that it’s me looking at the screen. That, and the way it dials down the ringtone volume when it sees I’m looking at it and so knows it has my attention, are brilliant details which make using the phone a wholly intimate experience.

Hate

It doesn’t recognize me if I’m brushing my teeth, say, because it needs to see my eyes, nose and mouth to be sure it’s me. And those occasional moments when it the little padlock shakes its head no when it doesn’t quite see me right, though pretty rare, are always dispiriting. Thought: am I getting too emotionally involved with my cellphone?

David Phelan

Face ID on the new Apple iPhone X.

2 Face ID: Security and Apple Pay

Love

Touch ID for Apple Pay is a highly satisfying way to use a contactless card reader. But it does mean you have to hold your iPhone so that your thumb is right down at the base of the handset which isn’t always the easiest to balance. Face ID sorts this because you can hold the phone more comfortably as you double-press the side button.

Hate

Not much to dislike here. I thought I wouldn’t care for the fact that I have to double-press a button to activate Apple Pay. More work, I thought, though I grant you, this is an issue you can file under first world problems.

But it turns out that on many occasions I was pre-arming the system anyway. And I have plenty of friends who have never used Apple Pay because they press on the Touch ID sensor rather than resting a finger on it, causing Siri to activate and have given up on using it. For them, and many others, this will be a much better system.

David Phelan

Apple iPhone X in silver.

3 Design

Love

The shiny edge to the iPhone X in the shape of the polished stainless steel antenna band looks spiffy and the glass back, which I’d come to like on the iPhone 8, looks its best here thanks to a warmer silver color than on the smaller phone.

Hate

The most divisive part of the X’s design is that notch at the top of the display. At first, it’s true, it jarred, but after the first week, I honestly failed to notice it apart from when I was viewing a movie, say. As more and more apps are optimized for the iPhone X screen, this distraction is becoming increasingly unimportant.

David Phelan

Part of the new iPhone X interface: no Home Button means a whole new way of operating the iPhone.

4 The gesture interface

Love

The new interface is enjoyable and, now I have shifted over to it, seems more intuitive than what came before. I especially like the fact that swiping down from the top of the screen to reach the Notification Center is made easier by that notch at the top. And I now understand why that screen doesn’t have a search bar on it – where it would sit is where the padlock icon appears to show if the iPhone X is locked or unlocked.

Hate

But it wasn’t an instant shift. I got used to swiping up to unlock instantly, but swiping up to return to the home screen was harder. And even now I occasionally go to swipe up to reach the Control Center instead of swiping down from the right ear. And, by the way, I would still like a search bar on the Notification Center screen.

David Phelan

Apple iPhone X with its big-display-on-a-small-phone combination.

5 The size and shape

Love

A screen bigger than the iPhone 8 Plus in a gadget scarcely bigger than the iPhone 8 is a phenomenal achievement and is something I’m still cooing about. It’s a brilliant fit in the hand in the way that the Plus phones sometimes seemed a stretch, but there’s no screen compromise as a result. Brilliant.

Hate

The trade-off is that the display is longer and narrower than I’m used to, so that’s taken a while to get used to. I’m there now, but at first I worried that documents would be too small to easily read. They’re not, not least because the screen resolution is so high that text is sharper even when smaller. Which leads me to…

David Phelan

The bright, vivid screen on the iPhone X.

6 The OLED screen

Love

The colors! The brightness! The detail! This is a phenomenal screen, and the best OLED display I’ve come across, helped along by that Apple specialty True Tone and other technologies like Night Shift, which add to color fidelity beautifully.

Hate

But it’s still true that if you turn the phone so you’re looking at it off-axis, the colors on screen tend more towards blue. Here True Tone probably emphasizes the color change all the more. Other OLED screens do this, it’s a characteristic of the technology, and it’s not a deal-breaker but it’s still pretty noticeable.

David Phelan

iPhone X and the rear camera.

7 The camera

Love

The joys of Portrait Lighting are better realized here than on other iPhones and the pleasures of having dual rear cameras on a smaller-in-the-hand iPhone cannot be overstated. I think the camera is the best yet on an iPhone, but it’s true that the snapper on the iPhone 8 Plus is very nearly as good.

Hate

No, there’s not much to dislike about the camera. It’s fast, effective and works better than most cameras out there.

David Phelan

Those adorable Animoji.

8 Animoji

Love

I love everything about Animoji. The range of characters, the way the dog’s ears and the chicken’s wattles wobble as you tip your head. The way you can do the Roger Moore eyebrow twists I use for unlocking to much greater effect here, and the fact that you can share them with non-iPhone X users. Just for the bragging rights.

Hate

Well, one thing maybe. What’s the plural, Animoji or Animojis? I prefer without the S but, oh, it’s so difficult to know. Oh, and Apple, can we have even more characters to choose from, please?

David Phelan

Apple iPhone X on the Belkin Boost Up 7.5W Wireless Charging Pad.

9 Wireless charging

Love

It’s so convenient. If I’m continually answering the phone or changing the track I’m playing or checking something else out on the phone, I love not having to unplug the iPhone each time. And now I can listen to music on wired headphones while charging.

Hate

Maybe it’s me, but I’ve been caught out by placing the phone badly on the charging pad, only to find in the morning that it’s not charged at all. I’m more careful now and to be fair this is a problem with the pad more than Apple, I dare say. Of course, you can still charge the iPhone X the regular way through the Lightning socket.

David Phelan

Apple iPhone X in silver with rear cameras in vertical arrangement.

10 Battery life

Love

It gets me through the day, no problem. And if I’ve been topping up via my charging pad, I have plenty of peace of mind that I’m not going to run out of juice, too. Win-win.

Hate

But I wish the battery percentage indicator was on the display all the time, still. I’m sure plenty of people don’t miss it, but I do. Sure, I can swipe down to see whether I’m on 64% or 52% charge, because it’s not always that evident from the battery icon, but I just like to know. Still if that’s my biggest gripe with the new phone, and it is, maybe it’s evidence that the iPhone X is a heck of a phone.

David Phelan

Apple’s iPhone X – note the white bar on the bottom of the display. Swipe right or left to access other open apps without returning to the home screen in between.

Mid-term Verdict

I’ve reviewed a lot of smartphones over the last decade and this is the standout. It is a gorgeous, slick, powerful phone that works brilliantly and at speed. Over the weeks I’ve had with it, it has been unfailingly efficient and increasingly delightful, matching reliable performance with knockout features and, of course, a dazzling, show-stopping design. Is it the best phone I’ve ever used? Well, there are plenty of others that come close, like the Samsung Note8, for instance, but the iPhone X unquestionably puts Apple decisively ahead, leaving its rivals behind by a country mile.

More on Forbes

Apple TV App Adds Extra Features, Live Sports, Improved Siri Support And Goes Global

Week In Wearables: watchOS 4.2 Lands, Apple Pay Cash, GymKit, Fitbit Ionic Apps

watchOS 4.2 Improves Apple Watch With One Great Benefit: How To Install And Should You Upgrade?

Apple And (RED) Celebrate Record Year Of Giving And Reveal Limited-Edition App Bundles

Apple’s Holiday Ad Stars iPhone X, AirPods, Dancers, But It’s The Back Story That’ll Really Move You

 

Bangladesh should embrace Internet of Things: experts

Bangladesh should embrace the “Internet of Things” as it can help the country efficiently maintain key infrastructure, manage traffic properly and boost economic growth, according to experts.

IoT can immediately improve traffic management of cities, increase crop production, and maintain important infrastructure, they told a seminar at the Digital World on Friday.

For example, running air-conditioners at over 25 degree Celsius alone can save $67,644 a day in Bangladesh and IoT can ensure that.

“The whole world is moving towards this new technical innovation and if we fail to embrace it we will miss our next development scope,” said Khursheed Khan, managing partner at California-based Sagacious Solutions Inc, at the seminar titled “Fourth Industrial Revolution and Opportunities of Internet of Things”.

Khan said big data analytics, IoT and sensors can give a huge boost to the environment and agriculture, transportation and logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and utilities.

IoT is all about connecting objects to the network and enabling them to collect and share data. Machines, buildings, cars and many more things can be embedded with software and sensors that let them collect and exchange data.

It means people can control temperature of a room using an app or turn on the lights remotely. At city scale, IoT can generate real-time information with sensors in the road monitoring the flow of traffic and a public app showing available parking spots.

Faruk Ahmed Jewel, an expert from the Prime Minister’s Office, said using IoT can help cut city congestion by at least 40 percent.

“So, the government is seriously considering adopting it.  Different government agencies have a huge amount of information and we need to use the information to find solutions,” he said.

DataSoft Systems Bangladesh Ltd, a local IT firm, is working in many countries on IoT. It is helping the Democratic Republic of the Congo run one of its longest bridges.

M Manjur Mahmud, chief operating officer of DataSoft, said, “We have been able to convince Japan how IoT can help cut electricity bills. Using this promise we are now installing IoT in 10,000 flats in Japan.”

M Helal Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the management information systems at Dhaka University, said IoT can help boost the country’s overall growth.

“Billions of devices are connected with each other which are giving us a huge amount of information. We can create new knowledge by analysing the data and it can change our lifestyle,” said Ahmed.

Mahboob Zaman, a former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, said adopting new technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality is needed to grow further.

Bangladesh should embrace Internet of Things: experts

Bangladesh should embrace the “Internet of Things” as it can help the country efficiently maintain key infrastructure, manage traffic properly and boost economic growth, according to experts.

IoT can immediately improve traffic management of cities, increase crop production, and maintain important infrastructure, they told a seminar at the Digital World on Friday.

For example, running air-conditioners at over 25 degree Celsius alone can save $67,644 a day in Bangladesh and IoT can ensure that.

“The whole world is moving towards this new technical innovation and if we fail to embrace it we will miss our next development scope,” said Khursheed Khan, managing partner at California-based Sagacious Solutions Inc, at the seminar titled “Fourth Industrial Revolution and Opportunities of Internet of Things”.

Khan said big data analytics, IoT and sensors can give a huge boost to the environment and agriculture, transportation and logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and utilities.

IoT is all about connecting objects to the network and enabling them to collect and share data. Machines, buildings, cars and many more things can be embedded with software and sensors that let them collect and exchange data.

It means people can control temperature of a room using an app or turn on the lights remotely. At city scale, IoT can generate real-time information with sensors in the road monitoring the flow of traffic and a public app showing available parking spots.

Faruk Ahmed Jewel, an expert from the Prime Minister’s Office, said using IoT can help cut city congestion by at least 40 percent.

“So, the government is seriously considering adopting it.  Different government agencies have a huge amount of information and we need to use the information to find solutions,” he said.

DataSoft Systems Bangladesh Ltd, a local IT firm, is working in many countries on IoT. It is helping the Democratic Republic of the Congo run one of its longest bridges.

M Manjur Mahmud, chief operating officer of DataSoft, said, “We have been able to convince Japan how IoT can help cut electricity bills. Using this promise we are now installing IoT in 10,000 flats in Japan.”

M Helal Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the management information systems at Dhaka University, said IoT can help boost the country’s overall growth.

“Billions of devices are connected with each other which are giving us a huge amount of information. We can create new knowledge by analysing the data and it can change our lifestyle,” said Ahmed.

Mahboob Zaman, a former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, said adopting new technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality is needed to grow further.

This silent GIF is making the internet hear things – The AV Club

e1e1b_s3hkkvlnosi2ylnk8dpz This silent GIF is making the internet hear things - The AV Club
Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The internet has come together, calling a temporary ceasefire over the many differences that keeps it apart, to investigate a mystery that unites us all: a GIF whose looping animation causes many viewers’ minds to fill in a sound where none exists.

The GIF, a delightful little loop by HappyToast of some power lines passing the time by playing jump rope while no humans are watching, was brought to Twitter’s attention by Lisa DeBruine. Fascinated by this strange phenomenon, DeBruine’s tweet blew up. You could almost call the effect it’s had on people—god forgive us—electric.

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There are obvious flaws in trying to get impartial data after presenting the GIF with the expectation that people will be able to hear it, but DeBruine still ran a poll trying to establish how many it effects (and what sort of noise their brains conjure up in response to the clip).

Nobody has locked down a definite explanation for why this specific GIF causes the reaction it does, but DeBruine has looked around for theories and found a compelling possibility.

The thread, which continues with plenty of speculation on the phenomenon, is worth poking through for anyone interested in trying to find other plausible scientific rationale. The rest of us, maybe less inclined to spend the time getting to the bottom of this, can just enjoy an endless loop of joyful power lines, thumping the ground with or without hearing an accompanying T. rex boom on each impact.

Selling your Windows 10 PC? Don’t forget to do all of these things

If you’re planning on selling your old Windows 10 PC because you’re getting a sweet new rig, you’ll want to make sure you clean your old device – and we don’t mean with a moist towelette. There’s a few steps you’ll need to take to ensure you’re not giving some stranger on eBay your personal information when you hand over your old device.

First, think about your data

Chances are you’ve saved pictures, videos, and documents on your harddrive. When you wipe your computer you’ll lose all of it. Make sure you’re backing up anything you don’t want to lose. You can either use an external hard drive or cloud storage.

Make sure you check any folders you’ve created and migrate those files manually. Once this is done you can use the Windows backup feature for the rest.

  • go to Settings
  • click on All Settings
  • click on Updates and Security
  • click on Backup

Once you’ve finished backing up your files you can disconnect your external hardrive.

Check your software

If you’ve got third party software installed, especially the kind you run in compatibility mode, make sure you don’t need to unregister your computer in that program’s UI before you wipe the hard drive.

Some older games and applications could require repurchasing if you lose the computer they are installed on before you de-register that device.

Apps and software purchased/installed through the Windows Store shouldn’t pose any concern, but always check with the software manufacturer if you’re concerned – especially if you can’t test things out on the new PC before you get rid of the old one.

Perform the reset

If you’ve gotten everything you need from your old PC, it’s time to perform a full reset. The good news is: this is easy. But the bad news is that it’s not really a clean sweep.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about this process: it’s a “consumer” level cleaning process. That means it’s good enough to make sure that you’re average person isn’t going to be able to access your deleted files.

But if an expert or hacker really wanted to recover all those deleted files they’d probably be able to. Which is why you should consult an expert and consider specialty software before you get rid of your old gear if this is a concern for you.

If you’re not worried that someone is going to spend a lot of time and energy trying to dig out your computer’s secrets, then proceed with these steps:

  • go to Settings
  • click on All Settings
  • click on Update and Security
  • click on Recovery
  • click on Get Started underneath Reset this PC
  • click on Delete Everything
  • follow the on-screen instructions

Once this is complete proceed to the final steps (on a different device):

  • go to account.microsoft.com/devices
  • select Remove
  • follow the instructions to remove your old device from your account

Once you’ve taken care of these steps you should have a reasonable assurance that your data has been deleted (again, with the above caveat that this isn’t a professional wipe). Your computer is ready for its new owner.

Read next:

Facebook offers free music and sound effects for video makers

The Best Internet of Things Stocks of 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) — which includes wearables, connected cameras, smart appliances, and other gadgets — should rapidly expand over the next few years. Global IoT spending could rise from $800 billion this year to nearly $1.4 trillion by 2021, according to research firm IDC.

In response to those bullish forecasts, some companies overstate their exposure to the IoT market or offer flimsy and speculative business models — making it tough to split the winners from the losers.

Image source: Getty Images.

So today, I’ll examine three winning IoT-related companies that outperformed the market this year: Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), and Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY).

Sierra Wireless

Sierra produces 2G, 3G, and 4G embedded modules and gateways, which are used in M2M (machine-to-machine) communications. It controls roughly a third of the global market for M2M embedded modules, according to ABI Research, making it a “pure play” leader in the IoT market.

Sierra has repeatedly expanded its portfolio through acquisitions, which include smaller wireless companies like AnyData, Maingate, Mobiquithings, GenX Mobile, Numerex, and GlobalTop Technology’s GNSS (global navigation satellite system) unit.

It’s posted four straight quarters of double-digit annual sales growth, thanks to robust demand from its automotive, energy, networking, payment, and mobile industries customers.

Wall Street expects Sierra’s revenue and earnings to respectively rise 11% and 49% this year. Sierra’s stock already rallied 35% this year, but the stock still trades at a reasonable 19 times next year’s earnings.

Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments manufactures analog and embedded chips for the automotive, industrial, wireless infrastructure, consumer electronics, and enterprise systems markets. Its analog chips are used to collect and process data from a wide variety of devices across the IoT market.

The production of these chips is less capital-intensive than the production of higher-powered application processors, and TI has also been shifting its production from 200mm to 300mm wafers over the past few years, which reduced its average production costs by about 40%.

TI has reported three straight quarters of double-digit annual sales growth, thanks to its strength in the automotive and industrial markets. Analysts expect its revenue and earnings to respectively rise 12% and 31% this year.

Those strong growth figures — combined with TI’s strategy of returning all of its free cash flow to shareholders via buybacks and dividends — helped the stock rally 33% this year. The stock trades at 21 times next year’s earnings, and pays a forward yield of 2.6%.

Cypress Semiconductor

Cypress sells analog and memory chips for the automotive, industrial, home automation, medical devices, and consumer electronics markets. However, it’s made the IoT market a top priority with its acquisitions of embedded chipmaker Spansion in 2015 and Broadcom‘s IoT business last year.

Cypress has a lot of irons in the fire. A few of its hot markets include chips for crash avoidance and infotainment systems in connected cars, wireless chips for the Nintendo Switch, and USB-C controllers for newer mobile devices.

Cypress’ quarterly revenue growth has been slowing down due to tough annual comparisons, but analysts still expect 20% sales growth and 76% earnings growth this year. Cypress has rallied 30% this year, but it still trades at just 13 times forward earnings. It also pays a decent 2.8% forward yield, making it a surprisingly undervalued income play on the IoT market.

The road ahead

Long-term forecasts for the IoT market vary greatly, but most analysts believe that it will reach tens of billions of connected devices within the next few years. Therefore, it would be wise for investors to add a few IoT stocks to their long-term portfolios.

Sierra, TI, and Cypress all represent strong plays in this sector. However, investors who want to spread out their bets across the industry can also check out the Global X Internet of Things ETF (NASDAQ:SNSR), which rallied 25% this year on the strength of the IoT market.

This silent GIF is making the internet hear things

5b445_s3hkkvlnosi2ylnk8dpz This silent GIF is making the internet hear things
Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The internet has come together, calling a temporary ceasefire over the many differences that keeps it apart, to investigate a mystery that unites us all: a GIF whose looping animation causes many viewers’ minds to fill in a sound where none exists.

The GIF, a delightful little loop by HappyToast of some power lines passing the time by playing jump rope while no humans are watching, was brought to Twitter’s attention by Lisa DeBruine. Fascinated by this strange phenomenon, DeBruine’s tweet blew up. You could almost call the effect it’s had on people—god forgive us—electric.

Advertisement

There are obvious flaws in trying to get impartial data after presenting the GIF with the expectation that people will be able to hear it, but DeBruine still ran a poll trying to establish how many it effects (and what sort of noise their brains conjure up in response to the clip).

Nobody has locked down a definite explanation for why this specific GIF causes the reaction it does, but DeBruine has looked around for theories and found a compelling possibility.

The thread, which continues with plenty of speculation on the phenomenon, is worth poking through for anyone interested in trying to find other plausible scientific rationale. The rest of us, maybe less inclined to spend the time getting to the bottom of this, can just enjoy an endless loop of joyful power lines, thumping the ground with or without hearing an accompanying T. rex boom on each impact.

The Internet of Non-Electronic Things

The bill of materials for even the simplest IoT project is likely to include some kind of microcontroller with some kind of wireless module. But could the BOM for a useful IoT thing someday list only a single item? Quite possibly, if these electronics-less 3D-printed IoT devices are any indication.

While you may think that the silicon-free devices described in a paper (PDF link) by University of Washington students [Vikram Iyer] and [Justin Chan] stand no chance of getting online, they’ve actually built an array of useful IoT things, including an Amazon Dash-like button. The key to their system is backscatter, which modulates incident RF waves to encode data for a receiver. Some of the backscatter systems we’ve featured include a soil sensor network using commercial FM broadcasts and hybrid printable sensors using LoRa as the carrier. But both of these require at least some electronics, and consequently some kind of power. [Chan] and [Iyer] used conductive filament to print antennas that can be mechanically switched by rotating gears. Data can be encoded by the speed of the alternating reflection and absorption of the incident WiFi signals, or cams can encode data for buttons and similar widgets.

It’s a surprisingly simple system, and although the devices shown might need some mechanical tune-ups, the proof of concept has a lot of potential. Flowmeters, level sensors, alarm systems — what kind of sensors would you print? Sound off below.

Thanks to [Qes] for the tip.

 

13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

The Windows 10 operating system installed on your notebook, desktop or tablet is the most cloud-connected, user-friendly version of Windows yet. And, depending on who you ask, you may want to use this breakdown to disable every feature that makes this user-friendly operating system work.

Windows 10 isn’t horrible, but it does do a lot of new things. Many of its best features are double-edged swords. In exchange for doing something cool or useful, the operating system needs to collect data about you. That information can be as unimportant as how long it takes to open your apps and games. It can also include things that you don’t realize the operating system knows, like every keystroke you make or every location you’ve visited with your PC.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Read: Is Windows 10 Safe?

And there are plenty of things to disable in Windows 10 even if you are comfortable with it collecting details about you. The operating system has built-in support for tracked ads and many of its most important features encourage you to visit Bing or buy Windows 10 apps from the Microsoft Store. Apps can run in the background and you’d never know. Updates, which take time to install and significantly change how the operating system works, are installed automatically.

Read: 52 Windows 10 Tips Tricks You Need to Master Your PC

If you want to take advantage of everything in Windows 10, leave these features on and keep enjoying it the way you always have. However, if you want a lean, clean Windows 10 operating system that isn’t collecting information about you or showing you advertisements, disable these 13 things in Windows 10.

Disable Windows 10 Getting to Know You Features

Collectively known as Getting to Know You, there are options in Windows 10 that track every word you type and every time you speak to the personal assistant built into Windows. These features analyze your calendar, your contacts and your handwriting too.

To be fair, Windows 10 doesn’t use any of this information for nefarious purposes. It needs to know what you type so that it can improve its dictionary and offer you better auto-correct. The more Windows 10 can analyze your voice, the better Cortana can understand the questions you ask and the orders you give.

To turn this features off, open the Settings app on your computer from the Start area. Just click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Now tap or click on the Settings cog.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Click or tap on the Privacy icon at the bottom of your screen.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Click on Speech, Inking and Typing in the menu on the right side of your screen.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Now, click on the Turn Off Speech Services and Typing Suggestions button.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Go to Microsoft’s Online Privacy Dashboard to examine and delete at all the data Windows 10 and Microsoft’s online services have collected about you.

Disable Automatic Updates in Windows 10

Windows has always let users decide which updates they install, but Microsoft took that option away for Windows 10. Chances are if your computer is connected to the internet, Windows 10 is downloading and installing updates on its own.

Use Gotta Be Mobile’s How to Stop Forced Windows 10 Updates breakdown to learn how to stop these upgrades. There are different solutions and workarounds, none of which rely on Microsoft ever adding a switch for Windows 10 updates back to the operating system.

Disable Start Menu Ads in Windows 10

You may not realize this, but your Start Menu – the area you launch all of your apps and games from – shows you ads for apps and services unless you tell it not to.

To stop these ads, open the Settings app.

Click on Personalization in the first row of options.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Click on Start from the menu on the right side of your screen.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Flip the switch labeled Occasionally show suggestions in Start off. Windows 10 will stop showing you apps and services for you to download in Start.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

You aren’t done yet. The Microsoft Store, Windows 10’s built-in app for buying books, movies and apps, also advertises on the Start Menu. To end this, go to the Start Menu and right-click on the Microsoft Store app. It’s the Live Tile with a shopping bag icon.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Now move your cursor to More.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Click on Turn Live Tile Off.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable Cortana in Windows 10

Every company that makes an operating system has its own personal assistant. Cortana collects a lot of information about you to work correctly. If you find her convenient to use, leave her on. If you prefer another personal assistant or just don’t want your information tracked, turn her off and delete all the information she has already.

Read: All the Amazing Things You Can Do with Microsoft Cortana

Go the Settings app.

Click on Cortana in the bottom row of options.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Click on Permissions History in the menu on the left.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Now click Manage the information Cortana can access from this device.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Ensure that all these switches are off.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Go back to the previous screen by clicking on the back button in the top-left corner of your screen.

Click on the Manage the information Cortana can access from other services link.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable every service in the pop-up window.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Finally, click the Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud link.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Scroll down to the bottom of the pop-up window and click on Clear All.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable Windows 10 Tracked Ads

If you’ve downloaded any free apps from the Windows Store, they probably have ads in them. Strictly speaking, there’s nothing wrong with ads, however, Windows 10 uses tracking to make these ads more interesting to you. Here’s how to turn Windows 10 tracked ads off.

Open the Settings app.

Click on the Privacy icon in the bottom row of settings.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Flip the first switch on your screen in the Change Privacy Options area off. This will change your account’s advertising ID.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable Windows 10 Location Tracking and Location History

Windows 10 Location Tracking and Location History isn’t all bad. Apps and services use your PC’s location to offer you the best deals and the right weather. If you don’t plan on using apps that rely on this information from the Windows Store, turn off location tracking.

Go to the Settings app.

Click or tap on Privacy in the bottom row of options.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Click on Location. It’s the second menu item on the left side of your screen.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Use the list of apps at the bottom of your screen to block individual apps from using your location. If you’d rather stop every app from using your location information, flip the Location Service switch at the center of your screen off. While you’re here, also click on the Clear button to delete all your location information from your PC.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable These Features for Better Performance and Battery Life

Not everything that you should disable in Windows 10 is a privacy concern. Some features are just annoying. Others can drain battery life and involve activities that you don’t often do. Disable these features to improve your device’s performance and experience.

Disable Game Bar

There’s a built-in recorder in Windows 10 that will take video footage directly from a game and let you post it to Xbox Live. If you’re not going to use it, turn the feature off.

Open the Settings app.

Click on the Gaming option in the second row of settings.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Flip the Record game clips, screenshots and broadcast using Game bar switch off. This disables Game Bar on your entire PC. Click on Game DVR in the menu on the left side of your screen.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Make sure that the Record in the background while I’m playing a game switch is off.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable Windows 10 Theme Syncing

If you have more than one PC, disable Windows 10 theme syncing. First, it’s unreliable. Second, because it’s unreliable, it sometimes syncs the wrong theme to every PC you have.

Open the Settings app.

Click on Accounts. 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Select Sync Your Settings from the menu on the left side of your screen.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Now, make sure that the Theme switch underneath Individual Sync Settings is off. While you’re here, you can also have Windows 10 stop syncing your passwords, browsing history and other things.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable Windows 10 Wi-Fi Services

Almost everyone connects to the internet through Wi-Fi. Microsoft knows that and that’s why Windows 10 will let you buy wireless internet access when there’s no free connection available to you. Problem is, it uses your location information to do this.

To turn this off, open the Settings app.

Click on Network and Internet in the top row of settings.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Click on Wi-Fi in the menu on the right side of your screen.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Now make sure that the switch labeled Find paid plans for suggested open hotspots near me is turned off.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Disable Windows 10 Notifications

Every app you install from the Microsoft Store wants permission to run in the background. This is so they can keep themselves updated without you opening it first. For example, your news app will update you with the latest headlines a few times a day unless you turn it off. These notifications aren’t just annoying. They can also waste your data.

Go the Settings app.

Click on System in the first row of settings.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Select Notifications Actions.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Now scroll down to get a list of every app or program that works behind the scenes to send you notifications. This list allows you to disable some app notifications and leave others on. If you’d like to disable all notifications. Flip the Get notifications from apps and other senders switch off.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Read: 56 Best Windows 10 Apps in 2017

Disable the Windows 10 Lock Screen

The Windows 10 locks screen is redundant and annoying, especially if you only have one user account on your PC and log in with a password. Use Gotta Be Mobile’s How to Turn Off the Windows 10 Lock Screen tutorial to skip this area when you wake your PC from sleep.

Disable Windows 10 Adaptive Brightness

If your PC has an ambient light sensor, Windows 10 will monitor the light of any room you are in, then adjust your display settings to compensate for that light. So, if your room is dark, it darkens your display, for example. How to Turn Off Adaptive Brightness in Windows 10 walks you through disabling this feature.

Disable Background Apps in Windows 10

Finally, the best change you can make to your Windows PC if you aren’t going to use apps from the Microsoft Store is to stop the Microsoft Store apps you can’t uninstall from running in the background.

Open the Settings app.

Click on the Privacy icon.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Look for Background apps in the list of options on the left side of the Settings app. It’s the seventeenth option from the top of the list, so it may take you some time to locate it.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

You can use the list along the bottom of your screen to revoke permission of some apps. The switch at the top of this area turns of background access to all Windows Store apps.

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 – $429.99

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

One of Dell’s cheapest Windows laptops ever, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is for classic laptop lovers. Its 15-inch screen will never leave you wanting to connect an external display and it has plenty of ports and an all-too-rare DVD drive.

You get to choose whether you want the lowest possible price or a more well-balanced machine that costs a little more. The $299 model has 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive and an Intel Celeron Processor. Exchanging those for a more performance friendly Intel Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage for photos, videos documents and videos brings the price to $429. The $499.99 model has an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM.

Every Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has an SD card reader, headset jack, USB 2.0 port, lock slot, Ethernet port USB 3.0 port and a HDMI port. At 8 hours between charges, they should all last through a day of classes or casual browsing at your favorite coffee shop.

Buy the Dell Inspiron 3000 from Dell for $299.99

 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now 13 Things You Need to Disable in Windows 10 Right Now

Lantronix Recognized by CRN as A Top 50 Internet of Things Innovator

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 07, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lantronix, Inc. (NASDAQ:LTRX), a global provider of secure data access and management solutions for the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), today announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Lantronix to its 2017 Internet of Things 50 list, which recognizes companies whose innovative offerings are helping connect objects, computing devices, infrastructure, data storage and data analytics that will transform our everyday lives. 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4afccfe5-829e-4ba2-81fe-c3622722e7a5

Over the past 18 months, Lantronix accelerated its IoT strategy with the launch of:

  • SGX 5150, an IoT device gateway designed specifically to accelerate secure, wireless IoT deployments of unconnected serial, USB or Ethernet devices.
  • MACH10™ Global Device Manager, the industry’s first multi-dimensional industrial IoT global device management SaaS solution.
  • The xPico® 200 series of advanced wireless embedded IoT gateways. Measuring less than the size of a postage stamp, the compact xPico 200 embedded IoT gateways deliver robust Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, enterprise-grade security, and integrated manageability features that are ideal for industrial IoT applications.

Over the past year, the company also expanded its distribution partnerships with Digi-Key Electronics, Ingram Micro, and TechData, and launched a new IoT partner program. In September, the company joined the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) as a technology partner to expand its presence in this important industrial IoT channel.

“Lantronix is committed to being at the forefront in developing industry-leading technologies that help companies around the world to Connect Smart and Do More. Today, our innovative solutions are sold through a growing network of leading distributors and thousands of VARs worldwide,” said Shahram Mehraban, vice president of marketing for Lantronix. “We are pleased and honored by CRN’s decision to recognize our expanded efforts to deliver more comprehensive and innovative solutions for the Industrial  Internet of Things marketplace.”

“The vendors on this year’s Internet of Things 50 list are brilliantly exploiting the deep creative potential of the IoT landscape and uncovering its most promising business opportunities, demonstrating what is possible and inspiring others to innovate,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “These 50 companies are at the vanguard of the IoT revolution, developing technologies that are set to transform the way we live and work.”

The Internet of Things 50 list will be featured in the December issue of CRN and on CRN.com at crn.com/iot50.

About Lantronix 
Lantronix, Inc. is a global provider of secure data access and management solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) assets. Our mission is to be the leading supplier of IoT solutions that enable companies to dramatically simplify the creation, deployment, and management of IoT projects while providing secure access to data for applications and people.

With more than two decades of experience in creating robust machine to machine (M2M) technologies, Lantronix is an innovator in enabling our customers to build new business models and realize the possibilities of the Internet of Things. Our connectivity solutions are deployed inside millions of machines serving a wide range of industries, including industrial, medical, security, transportation, retail, financial, environmental and government.

Lantronix is headquartered in Irvine, California. For more information, visit www.lantronix.com.

Learn more at the Lantronix blog, www.lantronix.com/blog, featuring industry discussion and updates. To follow Lantronix on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/Lantronix. View our video library on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/LantronixInc or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/lantronix.

About the Channel Company
The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelco.com

Lantronix Media and Analyst Contact: 
E.E. Wang
Director, Corporate Marketing and Investor Relations
media@lantronix.com
investors@lantronix.com
949-614-5879

The Channel Company Media Contact:
Melanie Turpin
The Channel Company
(508) 416-1195
mturpin@thechannelco.com

© 2017 Lantronix, Inc. All rights reserved. Lantronix and xPico are registered trademarks of Lantronix Inc. MACH10 is a trademark of Lantronix Inc. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.

Fleet details 100 nanosat constellation for Internet of Things connectivity

WASHINGTON — The space industry has at least 10 startups all wanting to use cubesats or other small satellites to help keep all manner of interoperable devices connected to a rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

Among them is Fleet, an Adelaide, Australia-based company formed in 2015 that counts the French space agency CNES as one of its partners. Fleet raised roughly $3.8 million in a Series A funding round at the beginning of this year, providing capital to build two of a desired 100 nanosatellites for connecting industrial IoT devices.

Flavia Tata Nardini, Fleet co-founder and CEO, estimates the total constellation cost will range between $150 million and $200 million — roughly the price of building a single geostationary telecommunications satellite — with launch costs being the biggest variable.

“If you look at the old players, how many sensors they connected in the past 20 years, the number is so small compared to the IoT promise of 75 billion industrial IoT devices in the next five years or more,” she told SpaceNews. “We tried to create a solution that could actually connect a big deployment.”

The low cost of cubesats is enabling many startups to get hardware into orbit for just a few million dollars, substantially below the cost of larger spacecraft, but the path to success remains steep.

Pacôme Révillon, chief executive of Paris-based research firm Euroconsult, says these new companies “will certainly represent strong competition with a larger number of options for clients including for large scale deployment of sensors at a low cost,” but cautions “they will also face some challenges.”

“For example, premium segments can require a certain level of reliability, or sufficient refreshment of the information, etc.,” Révillon told SpaceNews by email. “As well, being deployed on a large scale by industrial players or leasing players in heavy machinery can require long trials.”

NSR senior analyst Alan Crisp is similarly circumspect.

“An estimated [greater than] 80 percent of the satellite [machine-to-machine] market in the medium term will be high [service-level agreement], low latency type demand,” he said via email. “High [service-level agreements] are one one of the key benefits of utilising satellite over terrestrial for M2M/IoT, so most other kinds of demand will lean towards terrestrial connectivity.” 

350bb_rsz_flavia_tata_nardini_2-169x253 Fleet details 100 nanosat constellation for Internet of Things connectivity
Flavia Tata Nardini, co-founder and CEO of Fleet. Credit: Fleet

Tata Nardini is confident that her company will be able to secure an early foothold providing services that are not latency sensitive, then build up to more challenging services as its satellite constellation grows. Fleet will differentiate itself, she said, by focusing less on large assets such as trucks and planes, and more on creating a “digital nervous system around the world to allow small package, big deployment and low cost.” 

“This is our plan to enable exponential growth,” she said.

That plan includes developing user terminals on the ground and the radios inside the satellites to create an IoT infrastructure that does not exist today, she said.

“Nowadays we live in a world where you want the hardware to be connected to an app, like you use a FitBit. This is what Fleet is trying to do — bring the terminals that historically have been quite complex to buy and to use to a level of usability that is simple to implement and connect through a user interface. All this tech is what we develop and what we will sell,” she said.

Fleet + CNES

Tata Nardini, already has experience with smallsat hardware, having worked as a nanosatellite propulsion expert at the European Space Agency before moving to Australia. In 2014, she co-founded Delta-V, an accelerator for Australian space startups, and today is also part of a group of experts involved in Australia’s establishment of a national space agency.

CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall called the the French space agency’s collaboration with Fleet “the perfect example” of how CNES can work with entrepreneurial NewSpace players.

“Fleet is a leader in the Australian NewSpace scene, building on the small satellite revolution to provide the world with innovative connectivity solutions,” Le Gall said in a Sept. 25 statement, adding that novel space-based connectivity “is also something we are looking into closely.”

“Joining forces with Fleet has therefore emerged as a natural development,“ he said. 

CNES will track Fleet’s first two cubesats after they launch early next year. The agreement leaves room for further collaboration beyond the first two spacecraft.

Building the Fleet

Fleet’s first two satellites will measure 3Us (10cm by 10cm by 10cm), to be followed by larger 12U cubesats for the full constellation. Those larger satellites, Tata Nardini said, will have room for more payload and bigger batteries, enabling a longer spacecraft life. Compared to typically short-lived cubesats, Fleet expects its spacecraft to last 15 years. The first satellites will likely need quicker replacements, however, to keep pace with the evolution of IoT, she said. 

“Growing the constellation is a matter for latency. It’s how many times you see the satellite. The beauty of industrial IoT and nanosatellites is that with two LEO satellites, you can serve several geographies. You are global from day one, and you can start providing real services,” she said. 

Fleet plans to subcontract for spacecraft buses, and leverage commercial ground station services after building one dedicated antenna in Australia.

Fleet’s constellation will orbit 580 kilometers above Earth. The first two satellites are launching as secondary payloads via rideshare, she said, though Fleet wants to use dedicated launchers to get new satellites in space every few months when full deployment occurs.  

By the end of 2019, Fleet hopes to launch another six to 10 satellites, Tata Nardini said, contingent on a successful Series B capital raise. She declined to say what spectrum the constellation will use other than that it will be at a low frequency.

Tata Nardini said Fleet is open to partnering with established operators — a development seen between Iridium and Magnitude Space as well as Thuraya and ELSE — but is more interested in working with dedicated IoT operators and cloud providers.

BlackBerry calls for stricter internet of things security standards

Government and industry-led standards are needed to secure internet of things (IoT) devices that are increasingly being used as vectors for cyber attacks, according to BlackBerry’s chief security officer, Alex Manea.

Speaking to Computer Weekly in Singapore, Manea said such standards should detail specific security requirements, such as mandating that every IoT device supports software updates.

“A lot of people are building devices with software that connects to the internet,” said Manea. “Those devices become targets for hackers as soon as they’re connected, and without security updates, you won’t be able to patch their vulnerabilities.”

Noting that the Mirai botnet – which disrupted internet services and infected home routers around the world in a 2016 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack – comprises IoT devices that cannot be patched, Manea said security standards would prevent similar attacks from occurring in future.

While standards may set baseline security requirements for IoT devices, Manea acknowledged that it would not be possible to implement the same standards across a broad range of hardware devices.

“The fundamental concepts of authentication and data encryption should apply to all internet-connected devices, but at the same time, there will be standards that make sense for some IoT devices and not others,” he said.

For example, Manea said cars would require higher security standards because of fundamental safety risks. “Somebody who hacks a sensor may not necessarily pose a safety risk, though a hack on my car could take over the controls and steering wheel.”

The automotive industry is already putting in place security standards, and understands the relationship between safety and cyber security, Manea said, noting that BlackBerry was working with car makers to secure connected vehicles.

BlackBerry’s focus on the automotive sector as part of its move towards becoming more of a software and security supplier comes naturally, because its crown jewel, the QNX operating system for embedded devices, is widely used by car makers.

“The automotive industry is the most mature among all IoT verticals, and it’s one that will provide the most value in the short term,” said Manea. “It’s also where we’re getting a lot of demand from customers.”

Asked if BlackBerry planned to expand its reach into other IoT verticals, Manea said the company would look at the broader transportation industry, such as aerospace and trucking. “We’re also looking at healthcare, where there are direct safety concerns when a healthcare device gets hacked.”

According to Gartner, global spending on IoT security is expected to reach $547m in 2018, mostly on securing connected cars, heavy trucks, commercial aircraft and construction equipment.

“The market for IoT security products is currently small, but it is growing as both consumers and businesses start using connected devices in ever greater numbers,” said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner.

However, the technology research firm noted that although 25% of cyber attacks on enterprises would involve the internet of things by 2020, IoT security spending would account for less than 10% of IT security budgets.

Consequently, IT security suppliers will need to provide usable internet of things security features because of limited budgets and the decentralised approach to early IoT adoption, Gartner said.

AspenTech Acquires Industrial Internet of Things Cloud-based Software and Edge Connectivity Assets of RtTech …

BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aspen
Technology, Inc.
(NASDAQ: AZPN), the asset optimization software
company, announced it has acquired the Cipher Industrial Internet of
Things (IIoT) cloud-native software and edge connectivity assets of
RtTech Software Inc. of New Brunswick, Canada.

The acquisition strengthens AspenTech’s asset optimization strategy by
providing sophisticated cloud and edge processing technology that
captures and aggregates critical data from assets throughout the plant
and across the enterprise. This holistic view of every plant’s connected
assets will extend the modeling and machine learning abilities of
aspenONE® software to continually deliver accurate and
actionable insights that optimize asset, plant and enterprise
performance throughout the entire lifecycle.

RtTech’s Cipher software delivers on the IIoT promise of affordable,
high performance connectivity for old, new, local and remote assets,
without having to rip out and replace existing IT/OT (information
technology/operational technology) infrastructures or business systems.

With Cipher, customers can eliminate the challenge of having to build
and maintain their own IIoT infrastructure to connect their assets to
the enterprise. Using the latest IIoT technology, Cipher works with
almost any commercially available edge device. It supports a wide range
of industry-standard communication and security protocols, enabling
thousands of remote and local assets and devices (wired or wireless) to
be connected to Cipher’s cloud-based data store for advanced analytics
and asset optimization across the enterprise.

Cipher is a cloud-native application with multitenant capabilities
leveraging a modern architecture design, based on Microsoft’s Azure
Internet of Things platform. Key current components include:

  • Cipher Portal: Used on-premise and in the
    Cloud to create a rich, aggregated data store of asset information for
    advanced analytics and asset optimization.
  • Cipher Connect: Used “at the edge” to
    collect, cleanse and analyze data from sensors and other data sources.
    Cipher Connect supports a wide range of communication protocols
    including MQTT, OPC UA, OPC DA, Modbus, BACnet, Ethernet IP, Allen
    Bradley and MT Connect for connecting almost any asset or device. Data
    collected by Cipher Connect can be written to a Cipher Portal
    on-premise or in a public or private cloud for advanced analysis and
    asset optimization. Data can also be written to enterprise systems
    such as historians, APM, EAM (enterprise asset management) and ERP
    (enterprise resource planning) for use in business analysis and
    applications.

In addition, the founder of RtTech, Keith Flynn, along with other key
technology and sales contributors will join AspenTech. These employees
will bring significant expertise in areas of edge and cloud computing,
as well as in the waste water, manufacturing and pulp paper
industries, complementing AspenTech’s strategy to expand in
asset-intensive environments outside of the process industries.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Supporting Quotes

Antonio Pietri, President CEO, AspenTech
“The
acquisition of RtTech Software technology delivers another essential
piece in support of our asset optimization strategy. RtTech provides
best-in-class cloud-based software and IIoT connectivity, delivering
capabilities that allow for data cleansing and local analytics at the
edge. Combining RtTech’s capabilities with AspenTech APM software will
offer our customers comprehensive solutions for Industrial IoT,
Analytics and Machine Learning, with both on-premise and cloud-based
deployment options.”

Keith Flynn, Founder, President and CEO, RtTech Software Inc.
“We
look forward to being a key part of AspenTech’s Asset Optimization
strategy, leveraging our best-in-class Industrial IoT and cloud-based
technologies. AspenTech will also provide us with the go-to-market
capabilities to bring Cipher to a broader range of customers.”

Supporting Resources

About AspenTech
AspenTech is a leading software supplier for
optimizing asset performance. Our products thrive in complex, industrial
environments where it is critical to optimize the asset design,
operation and maintenance lifecycle. AspenTech uniquely combines decades
of process modeling expertise with big data machine-learning. Our
purpose-built software platform automates knowledge work and builds
sustainable competitive advantage by delivering high returns over the
entire asset lifecycle. As a result, companies in capital-intensive
industries can maximize uptime and push the limits of performance,
running their assets faster, safer, longer and greener. Visit AspenTech.com
to find out more.

© 2017 Aspen Technology, Inc. AspenTech, aspenONE, the Aspen leaf logo,
Aspen Basic Engineering, Aspen Fidelis Reliability, Aspen Mtell, Aspen
Unified PIMS and OPTIMIZE are trademarks of Aspen Technology, Inc. All
rights reserved. All other trademarks are property of their respective
owners.




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