IEEE launches smart-cities initiative

Standards body IEEE has launched a new smart-cities initiative aimed at providing strategic and practical advice to municipalities hoping to address population- and resource-related challenges through the use of M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

The group says it will consider applications for advice from municipalities and has set up a dedicated team of IEEE (Piscataway, NJ, USA) experts to provide education and training.

Panasonic develops new wireless tech for sensor networks

Japan’s Panasonic claims to have developed a new wireless communications technology specifically intended for M2M sensor networks.

According to the company, the technology can detect multiple wireless standards that differ from one country to another or between applications.

By sharing software and reducing the amount of signal processing, the new technology integrates multiple communication modes, says Panasonic (Osaka, Japan) – meaning engineers can design and develop modules that are small but will operate for extended periods of time.

Sunrise unveils low-power radio core for IoT sensors

Sunrise Micro Devices has unveiled a new radio core product aimed specifically at meeting the growing demand for Internet of Things (IoT) sensors across a variety of industry sectors.

The CORDIO BT4 radio core is described as the company’s first radio core offering from Sunrise’s (Deerfield Beach, FL, USA) CORDIO family of sub-volt wireless products.

It incorporates Bluetooth technology and is said to be highly energy efficient, making it suitable for sensors that are expected to operate for years without human intervention.

Cisco plans network of clouds for Internet of Everything

Equipment giant Cisco has unveiled plans to develop a network of clouds that will be “architected” specifically for the Internet of Everything.

Calling the network of clouds Intercloud, Cisco (San Jose, CA, USA) says it will invest $1 billion in building the expanded cloud business over the next two years and that it expects partners to stump up additional investments for the scheme.

Asia-Pac smart-home sector to get regulatory, R&D boost: Frost & Sullivan

Platform integration across various industries is set to hasten the arrival of smart-home technology in the Asia Pacific, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan.

The market-research company says that a number of major appliance manufacturers are now investing heavily in R&D to reduce energy consumption, and that continuous innovations in high energy-consuming home appliances will propel the smart-home industry forwards.

Telit, NImbeLink partner to speed up M2M systems design

M2M hardware players Telit and NimbeLink say they have formed a partnership to speed up the design of specialized systems for M2M applications.

Under the Skywire brand, NimbeLink (Plymouth, MN, USA) has launched a series of embedded modems that use Telit’s (London, UK) xE910 family of modules, allowing designers to incorporate cellular connectivity into their products.

The first Skywire module comes with an embedded 2G CDMA 1xRTT product that is described by the companies as the smallest embedded cellular modem on the market.

Facebook to buy virtual reality goggles maker for $2 billion

Reuters

Facebook Inc will acquire two-year-old Oculus VR Inc, a maker of virtual-reality glasses for gaming, for $2 billion, buying its way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena with its first-ever hardware deal.

The acquisition, which comes hot on the heels of its $19 billion deal for messaging service WhatsApp, marks a big bet by Facebook (Menlo Park, CA, USA) to anticipate the next shift in an evolving technology industry, at a time when consumers are increasingly abandoning their PCs for smartphones.

Ray-Ban maker Luxottica to bring Google Glass to wider market

Reuters

Google has teamed up with Ray-Ban maker Luxottica in a bid to turn its Internet-connected Glass spectacles into a widely-available, stylish consumer product.

In a statement late on Monday, Luxottica (Milan, Italy), the world's biggest eyewear maker, said it had agreed to design, develop and distribute Glass eyewear, which so far has only been available as an expensive prototype in the United States.

SpeedCast opens new Singapore facility in global expansion

Satellite player SpeedCast says it has opened a new maritime facility in Singapore as part of its global expansion.

The new facility is to focus on the delivery of services and support for the maritime market and will augment the company’s extensive network in the region, said SpeedCast in a statement.

SpeedCast provides a variety of services to maritime customers, including a VSAT service branded SeaCast that will support broadband connections on ships and also facilitate the use of remote M2M sensing.

Orange Cameroon to launch connected health service

Mobile operator Orange Cameroon is set to launch what it describes as a “preventive medical service” in collaboration with the country’s Ministry for Health.

The operator – a subsidiary of France’s telecoms incumbent Orange (Paris) – says the My Healthline service has been developed by its Orange Healthcare division and will provide remote medical advice in real time.

It is due to be released in April, and the operator plans to expand it to other sub-Saharan markets in Africa in future.