Samsung debuts wearables and latest Galaxy smartphone

Reuters

Samsung Electronics unveiled a new smartwatch and fitness band along with the latest version of its Galaxy smartphone on Monday, demonstrating how the battleground for innovation is shifting from the hand to the wrist.

The world's biggest smartphone maker set a trend less than six months ago for wearable devices that link to mobile handsets with its Galaxy Gear watch, which has seen rivals like Sony (Tokyo, Japan) and Huawei (Shenzhen, China) follow in its wake.

Sales of connected health devices growing strongly in Europe: GfK

Sales of mobile connected health devices – such as blood pressure monitors and personal weighing scales – are taking off in Europe, according to new data from GfK.

The market-research company said sales of mobile-connected blood pressure monitors in Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands were 42% higher last year than in 2012.

Meanwhile, sales of connected personal weighing scales were up by 88%.

Telecom firms mine for gold in big data despite privacy concerns

Reuters

Last year's revelations over the U.S. tapping of phone and internet data gave telecoms firms pause for thought over whether they should sell their "big data" for gain, but the commercial potential could prove irresistible.

Although figures are scarce, analysts think selling data on mobile users' locations, movements, and web browsing habits may grow into a multi billion-dollar market for the business.

China outspending US on smart-grid technology: BNEF

China is now outspending the US on the installation of smart-grid technology, investing as much as $4.3 billion in 2013, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Much of China’s spending last year went on the rollout of some 62 million smart meters, bringing the total number it has deployed to just less than 250 million.

Deutsche Telekom kicks off smart-city pilot in Pisa

German telecoms incumbent Deutsche Telekom has launched a pilot smart-city project in the Italian city of Pisa that includes the provision of smart-parking and intelligent lighting services.

The operator expects the technology to help reduce carbon emissions and energy expenses.

It says drivers hunting for parking spaces are responsible for as much as 30% of traffic in big cities, and that more efficient management of street lighting could reduce electricity costs by up to 70% and maintenance costs by as much as 10%.

Lebanon trials smart-metering technology from Itron

Lebanese authorities are trying out smart-metering technology from Itron as part of efforts to improve the country’s energy distribution network.

State electricity utility Electricite du Liban and distribution service provider KVA anticipate deploying more than 1.2 million smart meters across Lebanon – in what would be the largest smart-metering deployment in the Middle East so far – should a pilot prove successful.

OpenADR, WI-SUN Alliances partner to support interoperability

The OpenADR Alliance and the WI-SUN Alliance have announced a partnership designed to speed up the rollout of energy-efficient program offerings.

The two standards bodies say they will work together on enabling interoperability between smart utility networks and utility demand response systems based on the OpenADR specification.

Silicon Labs launches SoC for smart energy, home automation

Semiconductor maker Silicon Labs has launched a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) family to meet the needs of more advanced smart energy and home automation products.

The company’s ARM-based EM358X SoC family provides additional flash and RAM memory options, while also offering USB connectivity and a local-storage bootloader aimed at helping developers to reduce bill of material costs and system complexity.

Silicon Labs (Austin, TX, USA) also said the SoC family was ideal as a mesh networking platform for “feature-rich, next-generation ZigBee applications.

HCC Embedded launches new smart-meter file system

Middleware supplier HCC Embedded has launched a new smart-meter file system (SMFS) designed to reduce power consumption and lower costs.

The company says its technology cuts down on expenses because it allows the on-board capacitor to be as small as possible, and that its file-system features can result in savings of many “cents” for each meter.

That could lead to significant savings in high volume manufacture, says HCC Embedded.

AT&T and IBM join forces on M2M

AT&T and IBM have come together with the aim of developing new products and services for the fast-growing M2M market.

The operator and IT services player are to combine their capabilities in the areas of analytics, cloud computing and security to “gain more insights” on the data that is being generated by machines across a variety of industries.

This push into the area of big data is to focus initially on creating new solutions for city governments and midsize utilities, say the companies.

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