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Feb 05
ADT, McAfee study shows tie between physical, digital...

McAfee (www.mcafee.com) has released the results of a survey that takes a look at the important parallels between personal and online security. When asked, 39% of respondents said they use technological devices to control their home security systems and 34% use smartphones to do so.

Alongside our appetite for such advanced technologies, so grows our need for protection of the digital devices that control them. Data from this survey suggests that our digital and physical lives are now fully intersected, according to McAfee.

Commissioned by The Futures Company, the joint survey of over 1,000 consumers shows that more than 51% of respondents reported having their personal security compromised through both physical and online breaches. When asked to define "personal security," about 77% of survey participants consider it to intertwine both physical and online security, providing further insight that our digital...

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Feb 03
The Northern Spy: the desktop/laptop market is past...

By Rick Sutcliffe

The Spy and wife own and she drives a 1991 Buick Regal that in today's terms is generally regarded as hopelessly obsolete driving technology. It has no informative car computer display, not GPS, no telephone, no heated seats, TV in the back seating area or anti-lock /skid braking system, and the climate control system is primitive and manual.

Even the 2002 Buick Regal he drives has some of that, though it too is regarded as ancient by some people. Yet both continue to do the job for which they were purchased--transporting among home, Church, town, and children/grandchildren--and, contrary to some, the end use is far more important than the means. So, in what practical sense is either mere means of transport obsolete, except from an advertising bumph point of view, where the goal is to persuade us, against a known lack of need, that we want to buy the latest replacement?

Likewise, hundreds of millions resist computer upgrades...

| Read more »
Jan 31
Smartphone apps driving telematics in taxis, private...

Although an increasing number of taxis are equipped with embedded telematics units, this is being overshadowed by the rapid rise in popularity of smartphone-based taxi apps, which enable passengers to order a taxi via an app, with the driver similarly receiving pick-up requests directly via smartphone.

Most capital cities nowadays boast a number of smartphone-based taxi-apps. Some of the better known ones include Allocab, Hailo Cab, Uber Taxi, Easy Taxi, Kabbee, mytaxi, GetTaxi, Taxi.eu, Didi-Dache, Huaidi-Dache, MiniCabster, Chauffer-Prive.com, and Yongche. However, not all the apps are the same, although the majority operate on a peer-to-peer basis by-passing traditional taxi companies.

"Some such as Hailo work with the independent taxi drivers, but by-pass the taxi companies," says Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com). "Others such as Uber compete...

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Jan 30
By 2017, mobile users will provide personalized data...

By 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, generating revenue of more than $77 billion and making apps one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe, according to Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com). As a result, the research group predicts that mobile users will provide personalized data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day.

"Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers. From entertainment content to productivity services, from quantified-self to home automation, there is an app for practically anything a connected consumer may want to achieve," says Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. "This connection to consumer services means users are constantly funneling data through mobile apps. As users continue to adopt and interact with apps, it is their data — what they say, what they do, where they...

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Jan 29
Survey: most smartphone users share their location...

Life360, a location and communication app for families, has shared findings from a recent omnibus survey that show a growing acceptance and use of location sharing apps. The survey, conducted by VeraQuest among a group of more of 1,169 teens and adults who own a smartphone, examined habits and feelings about sharing one's location through an app.

More than 60% of smartphone users report that they use at least one location sharing app on their smartphone, and 36% say they use two or more. Forty-one percent of adults say they are more willing to share their location today versus five years ago.

Both teens and adults overwhelmingly cite safety as the primary reason they are willing to share their location through an app. Yet that feeling of safety is tied to sharing one's location with family members more so than friends. 87% of teens and 73% of adults say they feel safer knowing that their family is aware of their location through an app while only 39% of teens and 42%...

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Jan 28
Two-thirds of U.S. broadband households interested in...

New research from Park Associates (http://www.parksassociates.com) reveals that approximately 66% of all U.S. broadband households find a smart home bundled package appealing, which could include a variety of home safety, security, and management offerings. Home management is the most appealing bundle, including safety alerts, remote home monitoring, and remote management of the home's thermostat.

"Consumers, while interested in smart home services, are averse to long-term contracts, but there are other, alternate options for building revenues," says Tom Kerber, director, r, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "To avoid monthly monitoring fees, consumers are willing to let their service provider adjust their thermostat during peak hours. There is also interest in in-app purchases and advertising, which could be a source of incremental revenue for product manufacturers and...

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Jan 27
ABI Research: SIM card shipments drop 200 million in...

New data from ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com) found that 2013 market shipments fell 193 million units to 4.94 billion — a drop of 3.8%.

A number of separate issues combined to affect the market last year, varying from region to region, according to the research group. While some countries were boosted by the ongoing upgrade and addition of 4G LTE and NFC-capable SIM cards, shipment of such high-end SIMs at a global level were below previous expectations for 2013. However, by far the most significant factor was the overall decline in Asia.

Asia and the ramping penetration of mobile telephony has been the primary growth engine for SIMs over the past five years. In 2013 there were several factors that combined to reverse this process overall. At the end of 2012 India became the latest country to require presentation of ID and registration of the purchase of pre-paid SIMs.

This...

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Jan 24
Hardware security for the mobile market to hit billion...

Hardware security for mobile devices is fast becoming a priority market as maturing applications for mobile finance or government-level use increasingly demand security at the core, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

Trust hardware and secure boot for trusted executions environments are necessary elements for such industries, says the research group. Without this security assurance, applications for mobile commerce, mobile money or wallet will have some difficulty getting off the ground and finding adoption by the big card payment providers.

There are a number of obstacles barring the way to the full dynamic emergence of a hardware security market. Not least of which is the fragmented mobile device landscape, with as many players on the silicon IP side as in OEM [original equipment manufacturing], led by ARM, Trustonic, and Samsung. This particular mobile movement is also...

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Jan 24
Survey reveals high cost of equipment failure

The costs and challenges associated with electronic asset failures are significant. To better understand these issues, Innovolt, a provider of intelligent electronics protection and asset management technology, sponsored a survey of executives from several industries that are particularly dependent upon the reliability, performance, and lifespan of sensitive electronic equipment. 

The study, conducted by Gatepoint Research, sheds new light on the challenges that businesses face with an emphasis on the problems caused by power quality fluctuations and the true costs related to equipment issues requiring service calls. A sample of the key findings includes:

° Almost a fifth of respondents report that 25%t of their assets require service each month while 4 out of 10 must service 16 percent or more of their assets each month.

° That adds up. 73% of companies with more than 1,000 electronic assets deployed report that each service call costs at least US$150.

... | Read more »
Jan 23
NPD: 3D gesture-sensing technologies poised for double...

Nearly 330 million smart devices with gesture-sensing will be shipped in 2015, a nearly 70% increase over the 2014 forecast and a doubling of shipments in 2013. According to the new data from NPD DisplaySearch (http://www.displaysearch.com) smart devices are expected to drive gesture-sensing market growth in 2015, as the adoption of 3D depth sensing becomes more accurate and affordable, not only on smartphones and tablets, but also on smart TVs, all-in-one computers, and other large-screen devices.

"While touch screens have been successfully adopted as a key user interface for smartphones, mobile PCs, and other mobile devices, larger smart devices are not touch-screen suitable,” said Calvin Hsieh, research director at NPD DisplaySearch. "Gesture sensing is the next critical user interface trend, designed to improve the usefulness of, and user experience on, smart TVs and other large smart devices...

| Read more »
Jan 22
Gartner: less than 0.01% of consumer mobile devices...

Consumers are increasingly turning to recommendation engines, friends, social networking or advertising to discover mobile applications rather than sorting through the thousands of mobile apps available. As a consequence, Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com) predicts that through 2018, less than 0.01 percent of consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers.

"The vast number of mobile apps may imply that mobile is a new revenue stream that will bring riches to many," said Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "However, our analysis shows that most mobile applications are not generating profits and that many mobile apps are not designed to generate revenue, but rather are used to build brand recognition and product awareness or are just for fun. Application designers who do not recognize this may find profits elusive."

He described the...

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Jan 21
Mobile Wallet usage to increase to over 40% of...

Research from Parks Associates (http://www.parksassociates.com) finds over 40 million U.S. consumers, or 20% of all smartphone users, used at least one mobile proximity or mobile e-commerce wallet in 2013, and usage will increase to nearly 113 million, or 43% of all smartphone users, by 2017.

"After years in development, the mobile wallet market is making progress towards viability," says Jennifer Kent, senior analyst at Parks Associates. "Mobile wallet apps exist at the intersection of marketing and payment, and because of this unique position, they are valuable and insightful tools for merchants and advertisers."

Previously, market watchers used the success or failure of NFC as a barometer for the potential of the mobile wallet market, but barcode-based apps, not NFC, dominate current in-person use, she added. However, with the rise of barcode, cloud, and Bluetooth-based wallets, the...

| Read more »
Jan 20
Spending on in-app advertising grows to almost $17...

In-app mobile ad spending will reach US$16.9 billion by 2018, up from $3.5 billion last year, a new report from Juniper Research (http://www.juniperresearch.com) finds.

According to the report, growth will be driven by several key factors including improved targeting capabilities, as well as a trend for more effective interactive rich media ads to be deployed in preference to traditional static display advertising. Juniper Research says that while smartphones currently account for approximately 70% of in app ad spending, the growth in tablet users and usage would propel greater medium-term spend.

The research group says that tablet in-app ad spending would be further fueled by the fact that CPMs (cost per 1,000 impressions) are significantly higher than those for smartphones, particularly for rich media ads, which also have higher CPMs than static display ads. By 2018, the tablet/...

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Jan 17
Parks Associates: Nearly 50% of U.S. broadband...

New research from Parks Associates (http://www.parksassociates.com) finds that subscribers of OTT (over-the-top) services spend more per month renting and buying video downloads than the average household.

This contributes to the success of Amazon's business model of integrating transactional services with its Amazon Prime subscription service, says the research group. Two-thirds of Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers use Amazon transactional service.

"Amazon Prime subscribers report their expenditure on rented and purchased downloads is increasing," says John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. "Netflix subscribers are more likely to say expenditure in all other categories has decreased-a fact that may reflect Netflix's reliance on a single revenue model. Redbox Instant subscribers, conversely, are more likely to say expenditure is increasing in all categories...

| Read more »
Jan 16
Gartner: worldwide IT spending to reach $3.8 trillion...

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total US$3.8 trillion in 2014, a 3.1%increase from 2013 spending of $3.7 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com). In 2013, the market experienced flat growth, growing 0.4% year over year, according to the research group.

Spending on devices (including personal computers, ultramobiles, mobile phones and tablets) contracted 1.2% in 2013, but it will grow 4.3% in 2014, Gartner predicts. Company analysts said convergence of the personal computer, ultramobiles (including tablets) and mobile phone segments, as well as erosion of margins, will take place as differentiation will soon be based primarily on price instead of devices' orientation to specific tasks. 

Enterprise software spending growth continues to be the strongest throughout the forecast period. The 2014 annual growth rate is expected to grow 6.8%. Customer...

| Read more »
Jan 15
Forrester: top five global eCommerce predictions for...

The past year saw a surge in eCommerce revenues worldwide and, according to a new Forrester Research (http://www.forrester.com) report.

Over the next year, Forrester expects eCommerce revenues to grow as more brands plan out their global road maps and start to execute on their international eCommerce strategies. Shoppers' online buying habits will continue to evolve, presenting new opportunities. In the new report, Forrester discusses the arrival and importance of several eCommerce and identifies eight trends that will gain momentum in the Age of the customer in 2014. The research group says here are the top five trends to watch out for:

° Mobile traffic and sales will continue to climb. In 2014, the percentage of traffic and total online orders placed via mobile devices are set to increase in virtually every market worldwide, and Forrester expects that a growing number of brands will launch new...

| Read more »
Jan 14
Strategy Analytics: TV's not dying; it's...

Contrary to some recent melodramatic predictions, the television industry isn't dying but is undergoing a process of rapid change, according to a recent report from Strategy Analytics.

The research group says that the global installed base of TV-addressable screens is in fact in the middle of a second wave of rapid expansion. The first wave peaked in 2007 and was driven by consumer PC adoption.

The current wave peaked in 2012 and is being driven by mobile devices. Together with traditional TVs these "new TV" devices increased the global installed base of TV addressable devices to 5.1 billion at the end of 2013. By 2017 a further two billion TV devices will have been added to the global population.

"TV's impending death has been overstated by some commentators," says David Watkins, director, Connected Home Devices (CHD). "The reality is that, while the television industry is changing and will look different in the future, it is very much alive. TV screens are...

| Read more »
Jan 13
Americans concerned about the privacy of text messages...

With the news that the National Security Agency tracks the locations of nearly 5 billion cellphones every day overseas, including those belonging to Americans abroad, now more than ever, people are worried about the privacy of their text messages and mobile phone calls.

A new survey from CoverMe, a private messaging app, and SodaHead, the web’s largest opinion-based community, reveals that Americans are very concerned about the security on their phones, the government’s reach and other people reading their text messages—and that level of concern varies according to gender, age, and whether respondents considered themselves ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’..
 
The survey reveals that:
 
° Americans are very concerned about the privacy of their mobile communications. Sixty-five percent of respondents are not confident that their mobile phone comes with adequate security and privacy technology. Thirty-three percent of respondents believe that the government...

| Read more »
Jan 10
High-speed wireless devices to surge in shipments

The global market for high-speed wireless-enabled devices is set for explosive growth within the next five years as more consumer electronics products  take advantage of rapid wireless transfer capabilities, according to a new report from IHS Inc. (http://www.isuppli.com).

Annual shipments of high-speed wireless-enabled devices such as smartphones, televisions and mobile PCs are expected to reach 503 million devices by 2018, up more than tenfold from 49 million units anticipated in 2013, says the research group. Growth during the next three years will be tremendous, ranging from 60% to 120%, with expansion during the last two years of the forecast window moderating somewhat to still-high increases of up to 30%, as shown in the attached figure.

A high-speed wireless-enabled device, as defined by IHS, is one that includes at least one of the following technologies: WirelessHD, WHDI, 802.11ad (WiGig) or...

| Read more »
Jan 09
Gartner: companies should deploy technologies to...

Companies that address accessibility needs in their IT product development are better positioned to leverage those same assistive technologies to mass market solutions, according to Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com).

The research group says that people with disabilities (PWD) are an underserved market segment with one billion people worldwide. They and their immediate friends and family have an annual disposable income of more than IS$8 trillion.

"People with disabilities make up 15% of the world 's population and some of the assistive technology marketed to people with disabilities can also be sold to the other 85% of the population that is 'situationally disabled' by their environmental conditions, at work and at play," says Andrew Johnson, managing vice president at Gartner. "Every day situational disabilities include listening to a conference call in a noisy airport, or using a mobile phone...

| Read more »
Jan 08
Internet of Things installed base to grow to 26...

The Internet of Things (IoT), which excludes PCs, tablets and smartphones, will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020 representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009, according to Gartner, Inc. (http://www.gartner.com).


The research group said that IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding US$300 billion, mostly in services, in 2020. It will result in $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add through sales into diverse end markets. 

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. 

"The growth in IoT will far exceed that of other connected devices. By 2020, the number of smartphones tablets and PCs in use will reach about 7.3 billion units," said Peter Middleton, research director at Gartner. "In...

| Read more »
Jan 07
Bluetooth Smart sets the stage for 67% growth in...

Wearable technology, the trend encapsulating everything from fitness trackers to Bluetooth Smart enabled running shoes, is seeing phenomenal growth and high consumer demand. Everyday items such as watches, bracelets, gloves and even hats, are being updated with Bluetooth wireless technology, allowing them to capture data and send it back to an application on a smartphone or tablet.

Bluetooth Smart is fast becoming the de facto connectivity solution for wearable technology, spurred by growth in wearable sports and fitness trackers, which make up 96%of shipped wearable devices in 2013. ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com) projects 32 million Bluetooth enabled sports and fitness devices will ship this year alone.

Bluetooth Smart is the intelligent, power-friendly version of Bluetooth wireless technology that is making wearables practical for the mass market. While the power-efficiency of...

| Read more »
Jan 06
Wearable medical devices market to reach US$5.8...

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research (http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com) the global market for wearable medical devices was valued at US$2 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach a value of $5.8 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 16.4% from 2013 to 2019.

Wearable medical devices defined in the strictest sense are devices with sensors attached to the body that detect and monitor changes in body signatures of various areas and organs. The research group says the meek wrist watch that was used to monitor only heart rate in the last decade has today been transformed into a powerful gadget that can today store vast quantities of data on patient information such as SPO2, heart rate, temperature, blood pressure and water content in the body among several other intelligent diagnostic parameters....

| Read more »
Jan 03
ABI Research: portable speakers powering the digital...

Digital speakers represent an important accessory that enables consumers to extend their smartphone or tablet from a personal to a shared experience. This class of speakers, with its smaller size and high quality sound, has enabled the change from electronics as the center of a room to electronics which complement modern design.

The digital speaker market, which includes portable speakers, speakers with dock, sound bars, and network audio systems, is expected to grow from over 47 million units in 2013 to nearly 61 million by 2018, with portable speakers representing over half of the market by the end of the forecast window, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com)

"iOS-centric digital speaker products, like speakers with docks, lead the market, but a turning point came when Apple switched from the 30 pin connector to its new Lightning connector, compelling customers to place...

| Read more »
Jan 02
The Northern Spy: Prognostications for 2014

By Rick Sutcliffe

A year of consolidation looms in parts of the high-tech landscape. For instance, television manufacturers will continue to exit this unprofitable sector and find other ways to (try to) make money.

Sony in particular remains problematic. The Spy recently purchased a Sony 1040 receiver as both reviews and specs seemed promising. After all, very few receivers at any price have all of AirPlay, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and BlueTooth, and many no longer offer phono inputs. Sony's model has them all at a reasonable price point.

However, finding stock has been a problem, and this seems more than just an end-of-model-year issue. Yes, after years of being behind the feature curve, Sony surpassed the others in receiver featuritis last year, but was the company too late with too little? And, can they turn their TV business around? Is it worth trying? Time will tell, but there's not much good news coming out of Sony these days, and it has to be...

| Read more »
 
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