Carmakers are tapping smartphone technology to spruce up low-cost city cars and try to get an edge in a market that has grown to account for almost 10 percent of new car sales in austerity-scarred Europe.
The Opel Adam Rocks, the new Peugeot 108, the Citroen C1 and the Toyota Aygo will be among the compact city cars on display at the Geneva motor show this month - all available with large multimedia screens that can display music libraries or navigation maps stored on a smartphone.
Illinois utility ComEd has announced plans to speed up its deployment of smart meters in the state, claiming its revised timetable will lead to considerable cost savings for customers.
The utility – the largest in Illinois – appears to have come under pressure from local authorities to complete its installation of more than four million smart meters by 2018, instead of the current deadline of 2021.
Smart-meter developer Itron says it has been chosen by France’s GrDF to provide 3.7 million smart gas meters in what represents one of the world’s largest deployments by a gas utility.
The meters will be rolled out as part of GrDF’s (Paris, France) smart gas meter project, through which it is aiming to reduce costs and improve the service it provides to customers. GrDF also believes the smart-meter deployment will create new jobs within the sector.
Rising electricity costs and increasing demand on the grid are forcing large commercial businesses in South Africa to look at the introduction of new energy-efficiency initiatives and technologies, according to research from Frost & Sullivan.
The market-research company says South African companies are becoming increasingly aware that reducing energy usage will lower operating expenditure, improve profit margins and enhance their brand image.
The benefits of smart grids still need to be communicated to industry and consumers in the UK, even though there is clearly an appetite for energy-sector change, according to a new report by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).
According to the study, various key issues have yet to be tackled in preparing for the “smart” revolution, including low levels of public understanding, misuse of data and concerns that energy suppliers will be able to remotely control home appliances.
Nordic countries are a hotspot for M2M growth, with the number of “connected things” in the region already surpassing its total population, according to new research from TeliaSonera and Arthur D. Little.
The study predicts that by 2017 there will be 2.6 connected things per person, with solutions for connecting buildings, vehicles, people and consumer gadgets all driving growth.
Japanese firms Briscola and Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) have teamed up to develop cloud-based M2M services, revealing that solar-power company Asahi Denshi has become their first customer.
Under the strategic alliance, Briscola (Tokyo, Japan) will contribute its expertise in developing sensor-driven cloud platforms, with IIJ (Tokyo, Japan) providing the necessary infrastructure to support M2M services.
Briscola and IIJ say they have already built a “proof-of-concept” environment for a solar-monitoring system on behalf of Asahi Denshi.
Spain’s Telefonica has announced a partnership with LG, Samsung and Sony Mobile to support the development of emerging smart wearables technology.
Under the agreement, announced at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) aims to integrate its services with smart wearables being developed by the three device makers.
Telefonica notes that it remains open to agreements with other market players, including manufacturers and content providers, aimed at ensuring devices are commercially successful.
M2M platform provider Jasper Wireless has launched a global SIM for M2M and IoT devices, allowing enterprises to manage and update mobile operator profiles and policies remotely.
The company said the SIM – announced at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow – would be integrated with its platform services and meet demand for more efficient and cost-effective M2M device activation.
Telenor Connexion aims to strengthen its M2M offering through a deal with software-defined networking player Asavie Technologies that will allow it to speed up the deployment of M2M services.
With Asavie’s (Dublin, Ireland) M2M Connect technology, Telenor Connexion (Stockholm, Sweden) believes it will be able to activate more complicated M2M deployments in hours – even where bi-directional routing or firewalling are required.