Sagemcom smartens up with Froschl takeover

French technology group Sagemcom has acquired Germany smart-metering company Froschl for an undisclosed sum.

Sagemcom (Rueil-Malmaison, France), which sells terminals in the digital TV, energy and document-management sectors, claims the takeover will help it realize an ambition of becoming a major international player in the smart-meter market.

Froschl specializes in developing data-management software that will round out Sagemcom’s portfolio, according to the French company, and help it to win new business.

Vodafone and Gemalto to collaborate on global NFC rollout

Vodafone has signed a multi-year global contract with Gemalto, under which the Dutch M2M company will help the telecoms operator to launch so-called ‘wave and pay’ contactless transactions via mobile phones.

Best known for its digital security products, Gemalto (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) will provide Vodafone (Newbury, UK) with its Trusted Service Management (TSM) platform, which manages mobile-payment security encryption between financial institutions and mobile operators, as well as its UpTeq NFC card product.

Paypal cutting jobs as part of major reorganization

Reuters

PayPal is cutting about 325 jobs as part of a major reorganization by its new president, David Marcus, designed to regain an innovative edge and head off rising competition.

PayPal, the online payment pioneer owned by eBay Inc (San Jose, USA), said on Monday the full-time jobs would be eliminated as it combines nine product-development groups into one. The company is also cutting about 120 contractors.

EBay will take a $15 million pretax restructuring charge in the fourth quarter related to the job reductions.

Cellular M2M module shipments to hit 104 million in 2013

Shipments of cellular M2M modules are forecast to rise from 76 million in 2012 to 104 million next year, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The market-research company says the usage of M2M in areas like smart metering and passenger vehicle crash protection is being driven by new legislation, including the European Energy Efficiency Directive and eCall.

Ultimately, it reckons regulatory changes will boost the number of modules in operation from millions to billions by 2020.

M2M enterprise: the importance of APIs

Layer 7 Technologies

This year has marked the start of the mobile and big-data age in enterprise IT. A related but distinct trend has also been the emergence of “machine-to-machine” (M2M) communication, which depends on wireless technology and real-time analytics. M2M is revolutionizing technology across a range of industries, from smart meters in energy and utilities (the “smart grid”) to connected vehicles in automotive and logistics, heart monitors in healthcare, RFID‐tagged inventory in retail and manufacturing, and digital signage in media and communications.

Water demand likely to exceed supply by 2030: Oracle

Nearly 40% of executives from water utilities think it is “highly likely” that demand will exceed supply by 2030, underscoring the need for better management through innovations like network sensors and smart meters, according to a new study from software giant Oracle and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Some 45% of the 244 executives surveyed for the report reckoned that wasteful consumer behavior is the main barrier to meeting future demand, with about a third of respondents rating worries over climate change and low tariffs as other significant barriers.

Deutsche Telekom promotes M2M on the farm

M2M technology is finding some novel applications. A new service available from Deutsche Telekom’s M2M Marketplace is designed to provide automatic notifications to livestock farmers when calving begins or when a cow is in heat and ready for insemination.

The system works by means of M2M data-collection devices, equipped with Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) SIM cards, installed in stables or the field. Sensors measure the cow’s vital data and then relay it to the data collection device, which, in turn, sends a text-message notification to the farmer.

Siemens launches 'surgical' demand response system for utilities

Siemens Smart Grid has introduced an updated version of its demand response system, claiming it allows utilities to manage demand response programs more effectively than via traditional processes.

The so-called Demand Response Management System (DRMS) Version 2.0 is supposedly one of the first technologies that can ‘surgically’ target demand reductions through substation, feeder, zip code or geographical location. This means that utilities can reduce power loads at critical sections of their distribution network.

Nissan to install electronic "steer-by-wire" in Infiniti cars

Reuters

Japan's Nissan Motor Co plans to equip some of its luxury cars with a system to control steering electronically, rather than mechanically, the first time so-called "steer-by-wire" technology will be used in mass-produced vehicles.

The new technology will be introduced in some models of the Infiniti brand within a year, Nissan (Yokohama, Japan) said at a briefing, paving the way for cars that could one day be steered by joysticks and be programmed to avoid crashes automatically.

Isis finally launches mobile payment service in two cities

Reuters

Isis, a venture of three of the top U.S. mobile providers, said on Monday it has kicked off its much-delayed mobile payments service in two U.S. cities and promised that as many as 20 phone models would support the service by year end.

Isis, formed by Verizon Wireless (New York, USA), AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA) and T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA), is a mobile wallet service that allows consumers to make payments by waving their phone at a check-out terminal, instead of using a plastic card.

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