Google tests prototype of diabetes-tracking 'smart' contact lens

Reuters

Google Inc said that it is testing a new method for diabetics to monitor their blood-sugar levels by wearing a contact lens equipped with tiny chips and an antenna.

Google said a prototype of its "smart contact lens" can generate a reading of a tear's glucose level every second, potentially replacing the need for people with diabetes to prick their fingers and test drops of blood throughout the day.

CES 2014: "Connected everything" gets funding, manpower, attention

Travel conditions were terrible across much of the US, but that didn’t dampen enthusiasm for all things connected at the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. There were too many home automation vendors on the show floor to count, and suppliers of M2M infrastructure and services were also out in force to tout the benefits of connectivity, with major new initiatives/investments announced by Cisco, Intel, Wipro and Bosch, among others.

Google gains entry to home and prized team with $3.2 billion Nest deal

Reuters

Google Inc took its biggest step to go deeper into consumers' homes, announcing a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker Nest Labs Inc, scooping up a promising line of products and a prized design team led by the "godfather" of the iPod.

Nest (Palo Alto, CA, USA) will continue to operate as its own distinct brand after the all-cash deal closes, Google (Mountain View, CA, USA) said on Monday.

The deal is the second largest in Google's history after the $12.5 billion acquisition of mobile phone maker Motorola in 2012.

Aeris claims to offer one-stop global M2M solution

M2M operator Aeris Communications is claiming to be the first M2M service provider that can offer an end-to-end solution for any geography using any wireless technology.

In a statement, the company says it has now expanded its coverage to more than 190 countries through deals with mobile operators that have a presence in those territories.

Wearable tech makers to ship 10 million units in 2014: Deloitte

Makers of wearable technologies are expected to sell 10 million units of smart glasses, fitness bands and watches globally in 2014, and generate about $3 billion in revenues, according to Deloitte.

The advisory company says a number of trends will spur the take-up of wearable technologies, including the ageing of many countries’ populations, widening cellular connectivity and the introduction of telemedicine.

M2M players to "find their focus" in 2014: Machina Research

M2M players will become more specialized in 2014, focusing on a particular part of the value chain instead of trying to be all things to potential customers.

That is one of the headline predictions about the M2M market this year by Machina Research, which says M2M companies will stop spreading themselves so thinly in 2014 just as smaller mobile network operators begin to assert their position in the M2M market.

TomTom says fleet-management business grew by 38% in 2013

Dutch navigation company TomTom has revealed that its fleet-management business grew by 38% in 2013 to serve a total of 330,000 connected vehicles.

Fleet-management services are now used by some 27,000 customers in more than 60 countries worldwide, according to the technology player.

“This year-on-year growth reflects our ongoing success in bringing to market products that offer significant value to companies operating vehicle fleets,” said Thomas Schmidt, the managing director of TomTom Business Solutions, which is responsible for the range of fleet-management services.

iGen Networks to license M2M tech from GPS Holdings

Cloud services player iGen Networks has signed a licensing deal with GPS Holdings it says will allow it to provide a broad range of M2M solutions in the global fleet-management sector.

GPS Holdings (Boca Raton, FL, USA) currently supports more than 50,000 commercial trucking and automotive assets, according to iGen (Alexandria, VA, USA), which says the agreement will allow it to enter new vertical markets without having to spend years on developing the requisite software.

Welldoc raises $20 million in funding for BlueStar rollout

Mobile prescription therapy specialist Welldoc says it has raised $20 million in strategic financing that will help support the rollout of BlueStar, a product that allows diabetes patients to self-manage their treatment.

The funding comes from institutional investors Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Windham Venture Partners and broadens the company’s capitalization beyond its initial group of angel investors.

Welldoc (Baltimore, MD) says that for a limited time it will also explore the possibility of adding co-investors that would contribute “strategic value”.

Wearable gadgets not ready for prime time, tech watchers say

Reuters

Despite the hoopla, wearable gadgets like wristwatches for checking your text messages or eyeglasses that capture video are unlikely to make a splash with consumers anytime soon, given the clumsy designs, high prices and technological constraints of many of the current offerings.

That is the conclusion drawn by many industry executives and analysts who trolled the vast exhibition halls of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.