Experts in the field of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications know that billions of intelligent devices connected on networks represent enormous opportunity, but also enormous risk. Many of these experts will gather in the M2M Zone at the CeBIT 2012 trade show in Hannover, Germany to discuss digital security for embedded devices, which will be the major theme for 350,000 attendees to the world's largest ICT event.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) on Wednesday launched a new smart grid committee to advance standardization of the Modular Communications Interface (MCI) specification. The new standard will help manufacturers, utilities, service providers and consumers as it leads to more smart grid-ready products, says CEA.
The GSMA, in partnership with Machina Research (London, England), last week announced that the growth of connected devices is booming in Asia Pacific, with the region expected to be the largest market by 2020 with over 11 billion total connected devices, and within that, almost 5.6 billion mobile connected devices, accounting for a 47% market share and far outstripping Europe (19.1%) and North America (9.4%).
GE Energy (Fairfield, Conn., U.S.A.) recently announced they were working to provide smart-grid-as-a-service to community-owned utility systems that traditionally did not invest in smart grid systems due to steep up-front costs.
The advanced water metering market, estimated at about 5.5 million global shipments in 2010, and anticipated to be roughly 10 million shipments annually in 2016, continues to increase its product share, particularly in North America, says a report by IMS Research (Wellingborough, England).
Many M2M analysts forecast that the markets for connected medical devices may not grow as quickly as deployments in areas like automotive telematics and smart grid, but the brain trust at Wi-Fi device manufacturer Lantronix (Irvine, Calif., USA) does not agree. The company has seen embedded systems for medical devices grow to 10% of its $50 million (US) top-line sales, and expects the overall market for such medical connectivity to continue to increase.
U.S. regulators are investigating the safety of batteries used to power electric vehicles after a General Motors Co. (Detroit, Mich., U.S.A.) Chevrolet Volt caught fire following a routine crash test.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Friday that it has asked other manufacturers who make electric cars or who plan to do so for information on how they handle lithium-ion batteries. The request also includes recommendations for minimizing fire risk.
In the future, remotely monitoring health conditions may not longer require a bulky connected device, but “Smart Skin.” MC10 Inc (Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A.), a company developing next-generation electronic systems, is working with the University of Illinois to develop smart skin, and epidermal electronic system containing transistors, sensors, receivers and transmitters that can be bent, stretched and wrinkled just like real skin.
Wyless (London, England) and Wireless Maingate (Stockholm, Sweden), two M2M MVNO's, announced a strategic partnership that will provide both companies will access to the others networks.
Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) last Monday announced that it has signed a strategic partnership with Quantenna Communications (Fremont, Calif., U.S.A.), a provider of Wi-Fi networking for home entertainment, including connected devices. Through the partnership, Telefonica looks to make a strategic equity investment in Quantenna, which will give it access to the latest Quantenna technology for the deployment of high performance video services to the home.
Telefonica will invest roughly $3 million in Quantenna, which brings the total investment up to $90 million to date, says Quantenna.