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Mar 05
Streaming music service providers eyeing the auto...

In recent years, streaming music services have shown that there is a market for personalized radio and on-demand subscription based services, listening via PCs and laptops and particularly via smartphones. Now these companies are turning their attention to the car and are seeking ways to offer their services to motorists, moving into territory the traditional radio stations have held sacred for decades.

"FM broadcasting still dominates in-car listening today, but it is likely that this will gradually diminish in favor of streamed radio and music services as an increasing number of cars become connected," says Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com). "This trend is already happening in some markets such as the United States. "It is now clear that digital radio via DAB/DAB+ and HD Radio is unlikely to ever become as widespread as FM on a global or even regional basis...

| Read more »
Mar 04
U.S. smartphone, tablet in-app advertising to exceed $...

Approximately 60% of smartphone and tablet users watch 1-5 hours of TV/video on these mobile platforms each week, which will help drive in-app advertising revenues on these platforms to over US$5.6 billion by 2017, according to the Parks Associates research group (http://www.parksassociates.com).

"While industry stakeholders have access to vast amounts of user data, cross-platform audience measurement remains complex, varied, and undefined," Senior Research Analyst Heather Way says."There is no scalable, cross-platform audience metric standard in place to determine how traditional and online video complements or overlaps one another from a usage and advertising perspective. A true cross-platform video measurement approach is essential to quantify unduplicated reach across broadcast and cable TV, the Internet, and mobile apps and web properties. Industry demand will only grow stronger as more...

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Mar 03
The Northern Spy: a look at being 'insanely...

By Rick Sutcliffe
Being insanely proprietary can be both a strength and/or a weakness. On the negative side of the ledger, HP, Xerox, and IBM, by not being more particular about their in-house inventions and IP, all lost opportunities to dominate the personal computing market.

Oh, yes, IBM did for a while, but because the software was controlled by Microsoft, and wasn't exclusive, clones eventually turned their boxes into commodities, and they exited the market rather than compete on a consumer level — much to the Spy's surprise and chagrin, for he believes it was and remains a mistake. It wasn't a bad as Canadian Pacific exiting the telecommunications business in favour of Rogers, but of the same nature — abandoning participation in technological future megabucks for a handful of present-day dollars.

Yes, and one can scarcely count the number of technology companies that fell by the wayside due to complacency, failure of vision, lack of...

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Mar 03
NFC playing catch-up to QR codes, SMS

ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com) has forecast that over 34 billion tickets will be delivered to mobile devices over the next five years. The combined number takes into consideration the multiple technologies used to present a mobile ticket at time of authentication, including QR codes, NFC, SMS, mobile wallets, Bluetooth Smart, and dedicated apps.

In terms of the tickets delivered over the 2014 to 2019 time frame, QR codes are forecast to make up 48% of all tickets delivered, NFC with 30% and SMS and others making up the remaining 22%, according to the research group. Although NFC is the technology forecast to have the fastest growth with a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] in excess of 100% over the same time frame, it is QR codes which are forecast to account for the majority of mobile tickets delivered having had a substantial head start in the market.

QR mobile ticketing has...

| Read more »
Feb 28
Android captures 61% of global smart watch shipment...

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com), global smart watch shipments reached a record two million units in 2013. Android captured 61% share of all smart watches shipped worldwide and it is commanding an early lead over rivals, according to the research group.

"Global smart watch shipments reached a record 1.9 million units in 2013," Matt Wilkins, director at Strategy Analytics, says. "It is very early days, of course, but the smart watch market is starting to take shape. We estimate less than 1% of all smartphones shipped worldwide were bundled with smart watches in 2013, so there remains huge scope for smart watch growth in the future."

Woody Oh, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, adds: "Android currently has several challengers in the smart watch space, like Firefox and Pebble OS, but none of them are a major threat at this...

| Read more »
Feb 27
IDC: growth streak ends for China smartphone market

After nine consecutive quarters of explosive growth, which propelled China into the top smartphone market in the world, the China smartphone market experience its first slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2013 (2013 Q4), according to IDC (http://www.idc.com).

According to the the research group, the market shipped 90.8 million units compared to 94.8 million in 2013 Q3, declining by 4.3% quarter on quarter. Several factors drove this stumble. For one, China Mobile’s 4G TD-LTE network went live on December 18, translating into supplies of 4G handsets not able to reach the market fully until 2014 Q1. The increasing popularity of phablets and channel inventory also played a role, whereby operators cut phone subsidies on phones with smaller screens, triggering distribution channels looking to clear out those stocks.

"The world has increasingly looked to China as the powerhouse to propel the world’s smartphone...

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Feb 26
ABI Research: In-building wireless market to reach $8....

ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) expects the market for in-building wireless equipment and deployments to grow to over US$8 billion in 2019, up from a forecast $4.4 billion for 2014 representing a 14% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

North America will continue to be the region with maximum DAS spend with sports venues and transportation continuing to be the verticals which attract the most DAS investment while shopping malls, healthcare and hotels/resorts finish a close second place, according to the research group. Together these verticals in North America account for about two-thirds of DAS spending. North America is followed by Asia-Pacific and then Europe (in that order) for market size.

"While the Asia-Pacific region today accounts for less than a quarter of the total market, we expect it to grow to more than 25% by 2019 at a CAGR of more than 20%," says Nick Marshall, principal analyst at...

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Feb 25
Over 17 million wearable bands are forecast to ship in...

Basic and smart wearable band shipments grew dramatically in the second half of 2013, according to Canalys (http://www.canalys.com).

Fitbit became the new leader of the wearable band market, following the launch of its affordable Flex and Force bands in May and October 2013 respectively. It dominated the market for basic bands, with over 50% market share in the second half of the year. At the same time, Samsung accounted for the majority of smart band shipments according to Canalys market estimates.

"Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear with a major marketing push that gained significant consumer interest. Shipments of the device took Samsung to the top of the smart band category, though disappointing sell-through will necessitate more promotional activity in coming months," says Chris Jones, vice president and principal analyst at Canalys. "Basic band vendors have greater wearable expertise and have...

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Feb 21
Over 800 million smartphones will use indoor location...

iBeacons are fast becoming the foot soldiers of indoor location in retail, bringing awareness and adoption, but it is just one of over 10 indoor location technologies competing in this $5 billion space. A host of new, higher-accuracy, "infrastructure-free" technologies are forecast to change the face of and use case for indoor location in the future," according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

"We see huge growth for infrastructure-based technologies like Wi-Fi and iBeacons, with BLE deployments forecast to break 20,000 by 2015, largely focused on retail. But the arrival of high-accuracy handset-based technologies like sensor fusion, LED, magnetic field and a host of others, will also enable a whole new set of consumer applications and services around ambient intelligence, social networking, corporate/enterprise, fitness/health, mobile advertising, and gaming," says senior analyst...

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Feb 20
More than 20 million connected cars to ship with...

While traditional safety telematics services such as eCall, bCall, stolen vehicle tracking, and diagnostics aimed at the physical protection of vehicles, drivers and passengers are becoming main stream, awareness is growing about the threat of cyber-attacks and their impact on the physical integrity of persons, especially with Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication and autonomous vehicles, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

This is prompting car OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and Tier1 suppliers to source security technology, with more than 20 million connected cars forecasted to ship with software-based security by 2020, says the research group.

"So far connected car security has been mainly based on hardware protection and separation with infotainment and vehicle-centric safety systems shielded from each other. However, the shift towards cost-effective software-based security based...

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Feb 19
Mobile video growth will continue to outpace viewing...

Despite continued growth of online video viewing on connected CE devices and excitement from new platforms like Google’s Chromecast and new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, annual increases in mobile online viewing (tablets and smartphones) are higher than any other category, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

Worldwide mobile views already constitute over 20% of the total (in 2013) and this share will continue to grow – more than doubling during the five year forecast window. Pay TV services will continue to serve as the primary video entertainment solution for many consumers, but overall time spent watching online video is expected to pass 21 hours per month by 2019, up from 12.7 hours in 2013 (worldwide average among online video viewers).

Computers, however, will remain relevant as many expect these devices to continue serving as the primary viewing device during the...

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Feb 18
1.7 billion contactless tickets set to ship in 2018

ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com) has forecast that a combination of memory and microcontroller smart cards alongside disposable ticketing solutions will reach shipments totaling 1.7 billion units in 2018.

The primary drivers include the increasing move to national standards and the enablement of NFC and open-loop payments. This trend is a consistent feature across all continents with particular progress within the UK, U.S., Australia, Germany, Turkey, and the BRIC countries forming a growth engine for future contactless ticketing adoption.

ABI Research says growth is particularly strong in China, India, and Brazil where accelerating contactless ticketing programs within flagship cities can be found. In 2013 these three countries accounted for 21% of all smart contactless ticketing cards shipped worldwide. As these projects evolve the research group expects to see further expansion...

| Read more »
Feb 17
50% of the African population to be covered by LTE...

By the end of 2018, half the African population will be covered by LTE networks, as LTE base station deployment swells at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 40% over the next five years, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

However, LTE network population coverage will be far from homogenous across the region, with a few countries such as Angola and Namibia nearing the halfway point already while wealthier nations like Botswana and Gabon have yet to deploy the advanced technology, says the research group.

"Part of the underlying reason for this digital divide is the different types of initiatives driving LTE roll-out," says Ying Kang Tan, research associate, ABI Research. "We expect wholesale or shared networks such as the joint venture between the Rwandan government and Korea Telecom and the public-private partnership proposed by the Kenyan government to spur LTE...

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Feb 14
In-vehicle wearable penetration into cars to exceed 90...

In-vehicle wearable integration is the latest trend in automotive with announcements following each other in quick succession: Harman’s ADAS Google Glass integration, Hyundai’s Blue Link Glassware application, Mercedes’ Pebble smart watch Digital DriveStyle application, BMW’s i3 EV Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch integration, Nissan’s Nismo concept smart watch displaying biometric and vehicle diagnostics and performance data, and INRIX’s real-time traffic Google Glass demo app. Logically following in the wake of in-vehicle smartphone integration, wearable form-factors will interface — directly or via phones — with more than 90% of vehicles shipping globally in 2019, according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com).

"With in-car infotainment becoming a key customer proposition, the automotive industry is designing user interfaces both offering a rich and convenient experience and guaranteeing...

| Read more »
Feb 13
Majority of adults share intimate details via...

McAfee has released the findings from their 2014 Love, Relationships & Technology survey. For a second year in a row, the company examined how more than 1,500 consumers are sharing and storing intimate data on their mobile devices, especially with current or former significant others. The study highlights how sharing personal content such as suggestive texts, naked photos, suggestive video and passcodes on these devices can potentially lead to cyber-stalking and the exposure of private content leaking online.

While 98% of respondents use their mobile device to take photos, 54% send or receive intimate content including video, photos, emails and messages. Of those surveyed, 69% are securing their smartphone with a password or passcode, a 30 percentage point increase from last year’s result. However, 46% of U.S. adults still share their passwords with another individual (down from 54%), while 42% use the same password across multiple devices, increasing the likelihood that...

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Feb 12
Gartner: 30% of organizations will use biometric...

The consumerization of IT and business bring your own device (BYOD) programs have resulted in potential security problems for IT leaders, according to Gartner Inc. (http://www.gartner.com).

User expectations of a clean and simple mobile user experience often outweigh security concerns, and the same valuable data guarded by complex passwords and security measures on personal computers [PCs] can be left vulnerable on mobile devices. Gartner predicts that, by 2016, 30% of organizations will use biometric authentication on mobile devices, up from five percent today.

"Mobile users staunchly resist authentication methods that were tolerable on PCs and are still needed to bolster secure access on mobile devices," says Ant Allan, research vice president at Gartner. "Security leaders must manage users' expectations and take into account the user experience without comprising security."

While most...

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Feb 11
ABI Research: GPS fitness market overshadowed by smart...

Despite major GPS fitness device original equipment manufacturers (OEMS) announcing new fitness products at CES 2014, it looks like an increasingly difficult battle between smart devices and wearables, according to ABI Research.

Garmin launched its Vivofit fitness band and Vivoki/Vivahub corporate wellness solution. Magallen is one of the few companies in the GPS device OEM space that continues to show flashes of innovation, opening up its Echo watch platform to a range of third party smartphone application developers. At the high-end of the GPS fitness watch market, Polar has launched a new multi-sport watch, which features a barometric pressure sensor, support for new features such as a cycling power pedal, and an interesting price point of US$450-500. TomTom has launched an iOS application that links its current GPS watch range to an iPhone via Bluetooth.
In ABI Research’s quarterly GPS/GNSS Device tracker (...

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Feb 10
2013 Smart TV shipments grew 55%

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global Smart TV shipments grew 55% year-over-year to reach 76 million units in 2013, accounting for 33% of total Flat Panel TV (FPTV) during the year.

Strategy Analytics' Smart TV Forecast report (www.strategyanalytics.com) found that Western Europe was the leading market for Smart TV in terms of penetration of shipments with close to 45% of FPTVs shipped in the region last year being Smart TVs. Looking to the future, the company predicts that global Smart TVs will account for 44% of FPTV shipments in 2014 and 73% by 2017 by which time it says virtually all mid to high-end TV sets will include some form of IP connectivity.

"Smart TVs are steadily moving mainstream and are integrating into a multi-platform offering alongside smartphones, tablets and PCs. Manufacturers will do well to focus their efforts on enabling better...

| Read more »
Feb 07
Gartner: use of 3D printing will ignite debate on...

The technology of 3D "bioprinting" (the medical application of 3D printing to produce living tissue and organs) is advancing so quickly that it will spark a major ethical debate on its use by 2016, according to Gartner Inc. (http://www.gartner.com).

At the same time, 3D printing of non-living medical devices such as prosthetic limbs, combined with a burgeoning population and insufficient levels of healthcare in emerging markets, is likely to cause an explosion in demand for the technology by 2015.

"3D bioprinting facilities with the ability to print human organs and tissue will advance far faster than general understanding and acceptance of the ramifications of this technology," says Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner.

Already in August 2013, the Hangzhou Dianzi University in China announced it had invented the biomaterial 3D printer Regenovo, which printed a small working kidney...

| Read more »
Feb 06
Aging data center asset base poses biggest challenge...

The latest research from the Intelligence division of DatacenterDynamics identifies that the U.S. has one of the highest average facility ages in the world and as a result is fighting an ongoing battle to keep its armada of older facilities fit for purpose in today’s fast-changing, technology-driven data center world.

American metropolitan areas with mature data center markets, including New York and the Tri-State, are finding that increasing proportions of budget are being spent on upgrading existing facilities, ensuring they continue to meet business drivers and are keeping up with the dynamic nature of IT requirements. In addition, the research identifies that almost a quarter of all data center footprint in the U.S. is now outsourced. This represents a significant ongoing shift in the marketplace and one which is expected to continue.
 
These issues will be on the agenda at DatacenterDynamics Converged New York on March 11 where industry experts, thought...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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...

| Read more »
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%...

| Read more »
 
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