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Jul 24
Gartner: the business consumer requires a digital...

Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com) says that IT leaders have a significant opportunity to contribute to the business by creating a more flexible work environment that accommodates the needs of the business consumer.

Starting with the rise of PCs and the Internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the "business consumer" — an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle," says Matthew Cain, research vice president at the research group.

"Individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work," he adds. "Business consumers often make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles to increase efficiency."

Given the complexity of work environments and the geographic distribution of expertise across organizations, a critical competitive advantage will accrue...

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Jul 23
Cable operators seize the OTT initiative

Cable and over-the-top (OTT) providers are striking an unusual friendship, one that leads to profitability for both sides once some large challenges are hurdled, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider (www.heavyreading.com/cable), a subscription research service from Heavy Reading.

"Cable & OTT: New Opportunities for Convergence" explores the market drivers, opportunities for convergence and the challenges ahead. It includes profiles of 10 cable software suppliers that offer solutions that support cable's TV Everywhere and multi-screen initiatives, which also can lend support for cable-OTT integration.

"As OTT video streaming services and devices began to attract consumers, they appeared like barbarians at the gate, ready to disrupt traditional media and topple the longstanding empires of cable and other television establishments," notes Craig Leddy...

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Jul 22
IK Multimedia releases VocaLive 2 for iOS

IK Multimedia has released version 2 of its VocaLive app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It adds a flexible new multitrack studio with digital audio workstation features.

Now singers, songwriters and musicians can benefit from advanced editing features like timeline audio editing, waveform visualization, touch-and-drag looping and more. VocaLive can be used with the IK Multimedia iRig line of microphones and mic interfaces, VocaLive provides an all-in-one solution - with superb sound quality, recording flexibility and ease-of-use - for the professional singer on the go.

The newest feature in VocaLive 2 is its Studio section. Designed to complement VocaLive's Recorder section, it allows for a full degree of editing and composing flexibility with recorded tracks. Musicians can see and manipulate their audio tracks (up to four on an iPhone and eight on an iPad) as waveforms on a timeline grid, just like on a computer digital audio workstation.

Clips can be...

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Jul 22
Study: channels are irrelevant to consumers

SDL has released the final report of the “Five Truths for Future Marketers” series titled “Channels are Irrelevant,” that features results from SDL’s global survey of more than 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36). The data reveals that today’s consumers no longer care about where they are or what device they are on when interacting with a brand, as 58% of millennials polled said they expect to engage with a company whenever they choose and via whichever channel they elect.

The data highlights the critical need for brands to stop focusing on channels and instead apply what they know about their consumers to elevate the overall experience in the buying journey. Millennials are the "always on" and connected generation, demanding consistent and seamless interaction with brands wherever they are and from any device they choose. According to the data, millennials touch their smartphones 43 times per day, and 30% admit they touch more than four devices over the course of 24 hours....

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Jul 21
Shipments of 300Mbps smartphone modems to exceed 700...

Shipments of second-generation LTE basebands, commonly called Cat4, enabling mobile users to enjoy up to 150 Mbps bandwidth, barely exceeded 42 million in 2013, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

However, key chipset suppliers are stretching their muscles for next-generation basebands that will enable speeds of up to 300 Mbps, namely Cat6 chips. New findings from the research group indicate that cumulative shipments of Cat6 chips targeting smartphones are expected to exceed 700 million by the end of 2019.

"Although a number of chipset suppliers have announced their Cat6 basebands, mobile operators are not yet launching commercial networks that will allow users to enjoy mobile broadband speeds exceeding 150Mbps. An exception to this is SK Telecom which recently launched an LTE-Advanced service, offering speeds up to 225 Mbps," says Malik Saadi, practice director at ABI Research.

...

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Jul 18
CHGT: new 3D printing innovations open up opportunities

As forward-thinking technology company Changing Technologies, Inc. (http://tinyurl.com/mcdmvoe) has examined new ways to commercialize the latest innovations, a recent news report suggests that 3D printing is set to become a game-changer in the multi-billion dollar headphone market.

While figurines, household items and even food are examples of smaller-scale items created by 3D printers for the consumer end user, ABC News reported last week that a New York-based company is now mass producing custom-fit earphones using advanced mobile and 3D-printing technologies. Simply using a phone app and a photo, the earphones are custom-made, have a price-floor under $200 and can be delivered in two days.

NDP Group consumer electronics experts project earphone/headphone sales to exceed $2 billion in 2014. Apple Inc. recently purchased consumer electronics company Beats Electronics producers of Beats by...

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Jul 17
In-vehicle ads to impact automotive infotainment market

Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) says in-vehicle advertising will affect the North American auto infotainment market.

There is an influx of connected vehicles in the United States. The success of mobile advertisements delivered through handheld devices is due, in large part, to social media, and the transition to the next largest audience (automotive) is promising, according to Research and Markets. The research group's study found:

° While mobile advertising has seen lucrative growth, Frost & Sullivan expects the industry to continue to grow, making in-vehicle advertising more attractive.

° Streaming services in vehicles do not have the same traction as mobile offerings, so in vehicle ads will almost make up for high-development costs to the service provider.

° Location-based services will be the leading method for ad delivery, but first marketers...

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Jul 16
Cloud app development, management platforms to flourish

The nascent enterprise mobility space will see tremendous growth in new cloud based solutions as enterprises seek to mobilize quickly and easily, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

No longer focused on mobile device management solutions, companies are seeking mobile application platforms deployed on-premise or in the cloud for the development and management of enterprise applications, the research group adds. The shift towards applications is based on necessity and scalability as enterprises are forced to deal with a growing number of devices and device platforms accessing enterprise content and systems.

"Mobile applications allow for greater flexibility when mobilizing content and employees," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Jason McNicol. "However, the cost in terms of time and resources is fairly expensive to generate a single app for multiple platforms like iOS,...

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Jul 15
WiFi double digit growth to continue with next wave of...

Qualcomm-Atheros' recently announced portfolio of 802.11n/ac MU-MIMO "Wave 2" chips represents the next evolution of Wi-Fi to higher data rates and capacity, helping stimulate demand for Wi-Fi routers and Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices, according to Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com)

The research group predicts that 802.11n/ac with MU-MIMO will help propel the Wi-Fi market to 3 billion systems shipped in 2018, at the same time pushing the market for external RF power amplifiers for Wi-Fi up by more than 50% from 2013 sales, to the benefit of Skyworks, RFMD, TriQuint and other suppliers.

Based on a detailed analysis of Wi-Fi adoption and radio component architectures in 24 types of Wi-Fi systems, the report includes historical shipment estimates and specifications for the latest Wi-Fi radio SoCs and power amplifiers.

"The Wi-Fi SoC suppliers have worked hard...

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Jul 11
Worldwide IT spending on pace to grow 2.1% this year

Worldwide IT spending is on pace to total $3.7 trillion in 2014, a 2.1% increase from last year; however, this grow rate is down from earlier projections of 3.2% growth, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com). The slower outlook for 2014 is attributed to a reduction in growth expectations for devices, data center systems and to some extent IT services, according to the research group.

"Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short term IT spending outlook," says Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "However, 2015 through 2018 will see a return to ‘normal’ spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and...

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Jul 08
Wireless LANs to represent 18% of enterprise...

Canalys (www.canalys.com) has announced its forecast for enterprise networking investment, which shows the ongoing shift in budgets from wired to wireless.

The total worldwide end-user value of router, switch and wireless LAN shipments is forecast to grow from US$29.9 billion in 2013 to $33.7 billion in 2018, according to the research group. Wireless LANs will remain the fastest growing segment, accounting for 18% of total value by the end of this period, up from 14%.

"Wireless LAN investment continues to be driven by enterprises moving more of their campus and branch office networking budgets from fixed to wireless to support increasingly mobile-centric user device access at the LAN edge," says Canalys Principal Analyst Matthew Ball.

The transition to 11ac continued to accelerate during the first quarter of 2014, following the start of customer adoption in Q3 2013. Just over 10% of access point...

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Jul 07
Consumers want more flexibility when shopping online

Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services, according to comScore (www.comscore.com), a company that "measures the digital world." Consumers also want websites and stores to work better together. For now, they also prefer to evaluate and purchase products from their desktops rather than their mobile devices, and when it comes to shipping and returns “free” is a driving factor to complete the sale.

Earlier this year, comScore asked 5,800 consumers about their online shopping experiences. Respondents said they want more options in searching for items, checking out, enhanced security and alternate delivery locations. While smartphones play a big role in the online experience, user interfaces have some catching up to do to win over consumers.

Online shoppers who use multiple devices said they would prefer to shop on a desktop computer over mobile because larger and...

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Jul 03
The Northern Spy: gone phishing

By Rick Sutcliffe

This month's column will be short but not entirely sweet. Following much ado about something in the two columns filed here from WWDC, the Spy has less to say this month, but that is not to suggest it has been a slow time.

WWDC

Upon reflection, the Spy remains convinced that the Swift programming language is a major step forward in developer tools. The language has a slight air of being unfinished, as a few spots (the role of modules, for instance) need a little work. However, he believes developers will be using it and its descendants for a long, long time. Of the other announcements for developers, the Home and Health Kits probably represent the greatest opportunities for making new products, and expanding the Apple ecosystem. These will be very big. You heard it here first.

Hacked

Far too much of the Spy's time afterwards was taken up by fixing vandalism. Under another hat he...

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Jul 03
Annual digital payments to reach $4.7 trillion by 2019

A new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) finds that the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach US$4.7 trillion by 2019, up from just over $2.5 trillion this year.



The report says that the largest net increase in spend would occur through remote physical goods purchases. However, while there was organic growth in the overall transaction levels due to increased purchasing on tablets and mobile, a significant proportion of tablet usage represented migration from desktop activity, according to Juniper Research. Combined transactions on mobile handsets and tablets will exceed those on desktops and laptops for the first time this year.



The report also notes that there's accelerating migration from physical format (DVD, CD) to digital (stream, download) across all core content sectors. These included a marked trend...

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Jul 02
Newlyweds, new parents most likely victims of identity...

LifeLock (http://www.lifelock.com), provider of proactive identity theft protection services for consumers and fraud and risk solutions for enterprises. has announced newly commissioned research conducted by Forrester Consulting about consumer attitudes, behaviors, and exposures related to identity theft.

The February 2014 survey revealed that individuals who experience life milestones related to "new beginnings," including getting married, becoming new parents, buying a home or entering the dating scene, are more likely than the average population to become victims of identity theft.

"Life milestones in this day and age are often accompanied by significant sharing of personal data. Whether you’re getting married or buying a new home, you’re filling out many different forms both digitally and on paper – and you may have very little control over where your highly personal information goes," says...

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Jul 01
Enterprise mobility solutions to shift from device to...

Mobile application management (MAM) is seeing increased adoption levels as enterprises seek solutions more flexible than traditional mobile device management (MDM)., according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Currently, MDM solutions comprise over 60% of enterprise mobility management solution users; however, by the end of 2019, MDM share will drop to a bit more than 30% and MAM will command the lion’s share at over 60%. Thanks to large growth in the Asia-Pacific region, MAM will supplant MDM as the preferred enterprise choice, notes the research group.

"MDM is a tool being reserved more for corporate-liable devices, while MAM is a mobility solution for the masses, or employee-owned devices associated with BYOD," says ABI Research Senior Analyst Jason McNicol. "For employees to embrace enterprise mobility initiatives and more importantly policies, more flexible yet secure solutions are...

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Jun 30
New materials, better processes spur touch sensor...

Both glass-based and film-based sensors are evolving to improve performance, while at the same time becoming thinner and lighter, and increasing optical quality, according to new data from NPD DisplaySearch (www.displaysearch.com).

The research group forecasts that the total touch sensor area yield of projective capacitive, in-cell, on-cell, and resistive sensors, will reach 23.3 million square meters in 2015, up from 18 million square meters in 2014. Capacity for sensors for film substrates will be higher than for glass substrate, due to expected area growth of each type of film structure.

"Metal mesh, sliver nanowires, and other new materials will be used in the production of larger displays with better sheet resistance at affordable prices, and these new materials might be used for curved or flexible-touch sensors soon," says Shoko Oi, deputy director of touch panel and emerging display...

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Jun 27
Third generation of LBS to capitalize on location...

The LBS [location based services] market continues to grow strongly and with the arrival of always-on ubiquitous location, ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) believes that the market is ready to truly support location based advertising efforts.

In Western Markets, a third generation of location based services is now underway. It has forecast retail/shopping, ambient intelligence, hyperlocal social and personal asset tracking/BLE beacon applications to emerge as the next wave of important location based services over the next five years, with ABI Research forecasting a four-fold increase in revenues by 2019. In emerging regions the value of location is not lost with strong local deals/offers markets already emerging.

"In Asia, ABI Research sees LBS downloads breaking 4 Billion in 2019. In China, major Internet companies can see the necessity of location and are acquiring/integrating as they move to...

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Jun 26
Worldwide monitor market undergoes a slight decline

Worldwide PC monitor shipments totaled nearly 33.7 million units in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), a year-over-year decline of -0.4%, according to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group. IDC expects worldwide shipments to continue on their current trajectory, slipping to 106 million units for the full year 2018.

"Despite the overall decline, the shipment totals were stronger than the forecast of 31 million units," says Phuong Hang, program director, Worldwide Trackers at IDC. "Geographically, Japan and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) regions delivered the largest gains during the first quarter while Dell and HP both experienced solid shipment growth."

LED backlight technology adoption continues to increase with a new high of 92% market share in 1Q14. This represents a year-over-year increase of 16.4%. Screen size of 21.x-inches wide has held the largest worldwide share for the last six quarters, with 20.5% share...

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Jun 25
The Internet of Things to drive changes in the auto...

For the automotive industry the emergence of the IoT ("Internet of Things") constitutes a disruptive and transformative environment characterized by value chain and business model upheaval and a "collaborate or die" ecosystem friction reality prompting it to redefine and reinvent itself in order to capitalize on the huge opportunities in the new IoT economy, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

The absorption of the automotive industry in the wider IoT is driven by new connected car use cases such as EVs as a mobile grid and vehicles used as delivery locations, says the research group.

"As this IoT revolution unfolds, automotive innovation and value creation will be shifting to the boundaries with other verticals such as home automation, smart grids, smart cities, healthcare and retail,” says ABI Research vice president and practice director Dominique Bonte.

Vehicle-to-...

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Jun 24
Mobile game revenue will near $29 billion by 2016

A new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) says that 2016 total revenues from mobile games will reach US$28.9 billion, a growth of over 38% on the 2014 figure of $20.9 billion.

The report found that with the domination of casual gamers playing free-to-play games, developers’ approach has shifted from bulk acquisition of unique players. Under the new strategy, which brings mobile analytics to the fore, developers are increasing lifetime value through analyzing, (re)engaging and monetizing users, allowing for higher overall returns on investment.

The Juniper report finds that tablet users will spend more on in-game purchases and generate more revenues per device than smartphone users. The research group argues that in turn, the enhanced performance and graphical capabilities of tablet games is resulting in accelerated migration from traditional portable gaming...

| Read more »
Jun 23
Enterprises drive demand for more seamless mobile...

As the smartphone and tablet markets continue to explode, and bring your own device (BYOD) becomes more prevalent within the enterprise, mobile print subsystems are being integrated within mobile operating systems (OS). According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), mobile OSs are increasingly geared toward the enterprise and this focus is driving demand for more robust print capabilities.

"Integration of print subsystem in mobile OS architecture vastly simplifies the print workflow and print experience for users," says Dinesh Srirangpatna, research manager, IDC. "The print landscape is experiencing dramatic change and the tighter integration of mobile print capabilities is a positive sign for the entire print industry."

The mobile print subsystem offers users a uniform print experience across the mobile OS platform and will ultimately drive print volume. For example, all Android users (post KitKat) will...

| Read more »
Jun 20
Mobile apps to have significant impact on information...

With digital business blurring the line between the physical and the digital worlds, consumer-centric mobile apps are playing an important role, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com)

The research group predicts that, by 2015, most mobile apps will sync, collect and analyze deep data about users and their social graphs, but most IT leaders are failing to consider the deep impact that mobile apps have on their information infrastructure. Gartner also predicts that, by 2017, wearable devices will drive 50% of total app interactions. This includes desktop-based app interactions and mobile apps, with mobile apps making up the majority of these interactions. 

"IT leaders should ensure they have infrastructure in place that takes into account data collected, not only via mobile apps, but also from apps running on wearable devices," says Roxane Edjlali, research director at Gartner. 

To date, most...

| Read more »
Jun 19
Competition, new apps, innovation to drive smart home...

Smart home automation controllers in the form of control panels, gateways and bridges are at the center of the smart home ecosystem delivering automation in single point and whole home solutions. Smart home automation controller shipments will witness strong growth driven by ongoing mass market interest, lower cost and an expanding supplier base, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Home broadband service providers such as Comcast and AT&T seeking to expand beyond access and entertainment services are adding home automation connectivity and features to their gateways and routers. CPE suppliers are also getting into the game to replace slimmer margins from their traditional broadband access equipment sales. Cisco, Netgear, Belkin, Technicolor have been quick to deliver smart home automation solutions for service providers. Pushing both groups are new entrants such as smartThings, Revolv, and...

| Read more »
Jun 18
Organizations must prepare for security implications...

Increasing adoption of a more mobile, social, data-driven and consumer-like workplace is causing the breakdown of traditional security models and strategies, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).


The research group predicts that by 2018, 25% of large organizations will have an explicit strategy to make their corporate computing environments similar to a consumer computing experience. Security organizations and leaders that fail to alter strategies to accommodate a more consumerized workforce will be sidelined by engaged organizations.

"Significant changes that impact an organization's approach to security are underway," says Tom Scholtz, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Employee digital literacy has led to a growing consumerization movement within most enterprises, with employees using a wide variety of consumer-oriented apps for business purposes. Other workplace trends — such as out-tasking,...

| Read more »
 
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