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Aug 04
Brain-to-machine interface market to top US$200...

With the early success of consumer wearables targeting health and fitness and recent advancements in neuroscience research technology, several manufacturers are preparing to launch Brain-to-Machine Interface (BMI) products in advance of the end-of-year holiday buying season.

According to a new market intelligence study by ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), revenues from both medical-grade and consumer BMI products will approach US$10 million in 2015. Unlike the scenes in science fiction books and film, BMI is not able to read one’s thoughts nor can it be used to program someone to perform nefarious acts. However, tapping into brain activity as a means of understanding human behavior, or controlling an external activity are now possible.

"Hardcore gamers will be the first consumers to buy brain-to-machine interfaces," says ABI Research Director Jeff Orr. "Combining augmented reality, eye-tracking,...

| Read more »
Aug 03
The Northern Spy: more on Modula-2 R10

By Rick Sutcliffe

In these last three months the Spy has introduced the fully modern dialect of an existing notation he and Telecom engineer Benjamin Kowarsch have developed to address serious software engineering issues of safety, security, reliability, and extensibility. This month he shows how to leverage Blueprints to enforce the rigour involved in planning code before executing it.

Modula-2 R10 allows the programmer to develop Abstract Data Type (ADT) libraries that include binding to language features such as operations (+ - * and /), various reserved words such as FOR, and syntax such as the accessor [] commonly used in programming notations for random access to array elements.

Each such library must conform to a blueprint In the definition module for each of the separate types and IO libraries that contained bindings, the syntax [Proto..] appears immediately after the name of the module, for instance:

DEFINITION MODULE CARD128...

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Jul 31
Established entertainment brands are being outshone by...

New data from the June Application Strategies’ Monthly iPhone Entertainment App Tracker (http://bit.ly/1HLdbbk) – covering 150 individual countries – indicates that established entertainment brands are being outshone by less well known applications potentially creating new media powerhouses across the globe.

Of the top 10 most popular free and grossing apps – based on number of appearances globally in June – only Netflix and Vine make the list as established global brands. This is partially due to the confusion about what the entertainment category actually is. The category includes streaming apps – such as Netflix and HBO Now but also content creation apps such as Action FX and personalization apps such as Wallpapers for iOS8.

For entertainment companies – such as HBO, Cinemax and Starz – seeking a global audience the ability to break through the noise of the category could be challenging and may...

| Read more »
Jul 30
Public cloud computing to reach nearly $70 billion...

Cloud, as one of the substantial transformative forces, is impacting all areas of IT supply, composition, and consumption and provides the basis for many of the big data, mobile, and social solutions. In fact, the IDC (www.idc.com) research group predicts the number of new cloud-based solutions will triple in the next four to five years. 

Industry-specific applications will be a driving force as businesses look for solutions that can be easily configured to their unique business and vertical requirements, says IDC. With the huge increase in the number and diversity of services available in the market, organizations across the industries will shift steadily toward cloud-first strategies to enable digital transformation.

The IDC study provides a vertical forecast by 20 industries for the United States and worldwide for 3 public cloud computing technologies — software as a service, platform as a service, and...

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Jul 29
Hardware-based encryption market revenue to reach $36....

There are a variety of ways to secure data, either on the perimeter or within the local area network (LAN), but the most fundamental method in a defense-in-depth model is hardware encryption. ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) expects the global hardware encryption market revenue to reach US$36.4 billion by end of 2015.

The advantage of hardware-based solutions is that they bypass many of the typical drawbacks of software-based solutions like performance degradation or vulnerability to attacks aimed at the encryption key stored in memory. Because encryption is available at drive-level, this solution is not dependent on any software or operating system used, and usually cannot be turned off by users.

Examples of storage products that use hardware based encryption include hard drives, self-encrypting drives and USB flash drives. Players like IronKey (by Imation), WinMagic, Vormetric, SanDisk, Seagate...

| Read more »
Jul 28
Smartphones, tablets are changing how users print, scan

Driven by an explosion of smartphones and tablets, the landscape for printing, scanning, and document management is in the midst of profound and significant change.

According to new global research covering six countries across three major regions from International Data Corporation (IDC), the mobile opportunity for document solutions continues to grow as organizations adopt mobile devices at a fevered pace. Large and medium companies are leading the charge, accounting for 54% of smartphone and/or tablet users, notes the research group. Additionally, six vertical markets stand out as having a statistically higher percentage of smartphone and tablet users: Information Technology, Wholesale Trade, Banking, Life Sciences, Resource Industries, and Securities.

"The business value for smartphone/tablet printing is enormously clear, and yet support for this is shockingly lacking in 2015. This is a huge missed productivity opportunity for both businesses and print providers...

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Jul 24
Gartner: worldwide semiconductor capital spending to...

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to grow 2.5 percent in 2015, to US$66.1 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). This is down from the 4.1% growth predicted in the previous quarter's forecast.

"Since the previous quarter's forecast, continued weakness in the euro and yen have created major weaknesses in the overall equipment market picture," says Bob Johnson, research vice president at Gartner. "With over half of all equipment being produced by either Japanese or European suppliers, the weakness in their currencies has been the primary factor in our reducing our overall outlook for 2015. Longer term, we expect modest growth throughout the semiconductor cycle, with just a pause in the equipment market growth expected in 2016, as DRAM goes through a typical cyclical downturn."

Foundries will continue to outspend the logic integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) in 2015, says...

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Jul 23
Mobile entertainment continues to be for quick...

Consumers are motivated to play video games because they relieve boredom, provide a challenge, create a more social atmosphere and help to escape reality. A recent study by Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanaltyics.com) has found that mobile gaming continues to primarily be for quick entertainment in downtime; in an average week, more time is spent playing mobile games outside of the home.
 
The Media and Services UX (MSX) group at Strategy Analytics investigated mobile gaming behaviors and identified four motivators that are making the mobile gaming experience more compelling. These include daily incentives for accessing and playing the game, game incentives for viewing advertisements, daily timeouts for game play and frequent game updates.

"Daily incentives for accessing and playing a game give users a progressive series of incentives," says Christopher Dodge, report author and...

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Jul 22
ABI Research: LTE-Unlicensed angst roils Wi-Fi markets

Operating in the unlicensed 5GHz band, LTE-U’s coexistence with Wi-Fi has become a primary concern for the Wi-Fi industry which anticipates disruption on both the technical and business levels, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

Unlike Wi-Fi, LTE-U, as a propriety solution does not sense the channel activity before transmitting. Instead, it applies a form of time sharing using periodic time slots, according to the research group. Such scheduled transmission of LTE-U not only adds interference and increases collisions for Wi-Fi’s opportunistic transmission, but also defies the concept of fair sharing as it seizes complete control over the channel and Wi-Fi’s transmission window.

LTE-U provides clear advantages for mobile operators. It uses the free unlicensed spectrum to expand network capacity and does so without having to integrate another network, like Wi-Fi, within the cellular core...

| Read more »
Jul 21
Hardware-based 4K content protection a growing concern

High resolution premium video, including 4K and UHD content, is a fast-growing market and therefore content protection services must follow suit with adaptability and preparedness for the expanding space, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com).

"UHD TV penetration is expected to reach 61% in North America by 2020, which is higher than expected," says Eric Abbruzzese, analyst with the research group. "Along with TVs, browser and application based streaming services will continue to roll out 4K content at a quickening rate, creating an expanding marketplace filled with premium content from studios that demand strong content protection.”

Guidelines for proper 4K content protection rely on deep hardware-level integration of security measures in combination with software security, creating an end-to-end secure system from publishing to consumption. This involves dedicated space on a SoC; Hardware...

| Read more »
Jul 20
Mobile app gaming companies poised for record second...

According to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com), mobile gaming apps continue to show strength globally with smaller second quarter (Q2) declines in the US and UK than last year.

However, emerging categories such as Travel and Health & Fitness need to find revenue through alternative business models, says the research group. Mobile gaming continued to experience seasonal Q2 declines but in the U.S. specifically those declines still placed gaming at a higher percentage of top grossing apps than in the year ago quarter.

While the gaming category continues to decline as a percentage of the top free and paid apps its strength is clearly being driven by in-app purchasing of virtual goods – a revenue model that gaming companies have exploited and others have failed to truly benefit from. Strategy Analytics says the following combination of factors will see mobile gaming grow in...

| Read more »
Jul 17
OTT video service credential sharing will cost the...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds that OTT [over-the-top] video service credential sharing will cost the industry US$500 million in direct revenues worldwide in 2015. The report shows 6% of U.S. broadband households use an OTT video service that is paid by a person living outside of the household.

"Live-streaming usage has garnered media attention recently, but credential sharing is also a popular form of piracy in the connected world, one that has received varying responses from service providers and content owners," says Glenn Hower, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Credential sharing has a measurable impact on video services, particularly in the OTT video service area, where young subscribers are active. The impact on OTT video revenues is especially troublesome as OTT providers are investing large sums of money to boost their original content offerings."

...

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Jul 16
Wearable medical devices market to be worth $5.8...

In its latest report, Transparency Market Research (www.transparencymarketresearch.com) states that the global wearable medical devices market was worth US$2 billion in 2012, and is estimated to be worth $5.8 billion by 2019. The research group's study also indicates that the global wearable medical devices market will register a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 16.4% during the forecast period of 2013 to 2019.

Geographically, the wearable medical devices market has been dominated by North America, leading the overall market in 2012 with a global industry share of 44%. Asia-Pacific, on the other hand, is anticipated to be the fastest-growing regional market for wearable medical devices, presenting a more than 18% CAGR from 2013 to 2019.

Emerging economies such as India and China have been witnessing an increase in medical investments and an improvement in...

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Jul 15
Over 40% of thermostats sold in 2015 will be smart...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds smart thermostats taking a larger portion of the market this year, accounting for over 40% of the nearly 10 million thermostats sold in the U.S. The research group estimates smart thermostats will account for over 50% of the total market by 2017.

"Smart thermostats already account for more than one-half of the smart home devices in U.S. broadband households," says Tom Kerber, director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "Many utilities have promoted smart thermostats as part of their home energy management initiatives; however, the retail channel accounts for the most units sold last year, nearly 45% of the total market, so opening utility programs to include the variety of different types and brands of devices is an important consideration."

Retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Best Buy are working to...

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Jul 15
Worldwide semiconductor sales predicted to reach $348...

Worldwide semiconductor revenue is forecast to reach $348 billion in 2015, a 2.2% increase from 2014, but down from the previous quarter's forecast of 4.0 percent growth, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

"The outlook for the major applications that drive the semiconductor market, including PCs, smartphones, and tablets, have all been revised downward. This, combined with the impact of the strong dollar on demand in key markets, has resulted in a lower semiconductor forecast for 2015," says Jon Erensen, research director at Gartner. "The typical second-quarter bounce did not materialize this year, and as a result, the semiconductor industry is more back-end loaded and dependent on a strong third-quarter rebound, driven by Windows 10 and the ramp-up to the holiday season."

From an application point of view, smartphones and solid-state drives (SSDs) will continue to drive semiconductor market...

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Jul 14
Mobile is key to fulfilling the promise of Internet...

The Internet Society today released its 2015 Global Internet Report (http://tinyurl.com/oq8zx9c) , the organization’s second annual report on the global state of the Internet. Focused on the impact of the mobile Internet, this year’s report shows that mobile has fundamentally transformed Internet access and use, and holds the key to fulfilling the promise of Internet connectivity for the next billion people.

People are increasingly accessing the Internet through mobile devices. Today there are more than 3 billion people online and the mobile Internet offers hundreds of millions around the world their primary, if not only, means of accessing the Internet. In addition to providing access, benefits of the mobile Internet arise from using all the features embedded into smart devices, which are typically accessed via convenient apps.

"We applaud this global shift in the Internet dynamic, with...

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Jul 13
Worldwide devices shipments to grow 1.5% this year

Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2015, a 1.5% increase from 2014 and down from the previous quarter's forecast of 2.8% growth, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). 

End-user spending on devices will total $606 billion in 2015 and will show, for the first time since 2010, a 5.7% decline in current U.S. dollars, according to the research group.

"Our forecast for unit shipment growth for all devices in 2015 has dropped by 1.3 percentage points from last quarter's estimate," says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "This was partly due to a continued slowdown in PC purchases in Western Europe, Russia and Japan in particular, largely due to price increases resulting from local currency devaluation against the dollar." 
The only market that continues to show growth is the mobile phone market...

| Read more »
Jul 10
Cloud IT infrastructure spending to grow 26% year-over...

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), total cloud IT infrastructure spending (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) will grow by 26.4% in 2015 and will reach US$33.4 billion, accounting for a third of all IT infrastructure spending, up from 28.1% in 2014.

Private cloud IT infrastructure spending will grow by 16.8% year over year to $11.7 billion, while public cloud IT infrastructure spending will grow by 32.2% in 2015 to $21.7 billion, says the research group. In comparison, spending on non-cloud IT infrastructure will remain flat at $67 billion.

IDC expects that spending on cloud IT infrastructure will grow across all regions and all technologies. In most regions, growth in public cloud IT infrastructure spending will exceed growth in spending on private cloud IT infrastructure as public cloud service providers will continue to invest in expansion of their datacenters and service offerings.

For the five-year forecast period, IDC expects that...

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Jul 09
IDC: tablets drive business transformation in...

According to a IDC research group (www.idc.com) study n tablets in enterprises, a large and increasing share of tablets deployed across U.K., French, and German companies are the only devices that employees are equipped with to perform their business activities.

"The majority of tablet users in enterprises currently have at least another device to perform their business activities," says Marta Fiorentini, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Personal Computing. Additional devices are usually desktop or portable PCs, smartphones, workstations, or, depending on the employee's role, specialized handheld or point of sale (POS) devices. "However, a large share of tablets is already used by employees as their only work tool, either replacing traditional client devices or for functions previously not supported by any computing device. As digitalization transforms business processes and tablets are optimized for business functions...

| Read more »
Jul 08
Over 10% of U.S. households have a smart home product

In a survey of smart home use cases, the Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) research group found that over 40% of U.S. broadband households are interested in the ability to receive medical alerts via a smartphone or other connected platform. And about 10% have some type of smart home product, service, or both.

"By 2019 the number of U.S. homes with a smart home controller will exceed 26 million," says Harry Wang, director, Mobile and Health Products Research, Parks Associates. "The smart home industry is looking for new growth opportunities, and the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell has provided stability to the healthcare industry, making it an attractive market for smart home players. The smart home could enable new value propositions in home-based health and wellness solutions and independent living products and services."

He notes that the Supreme Court ruling, which...

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Jul 07
Gartner: worldwide IT spending to decline 5.5% in 2015

Worldwide IT spending is on pace to total US$3.5 trillion in 2015, a 5.5%decline from 2014, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

Analysts at the research group attribute the decline to the rising U.S. dollar. In constant-currency terms, the market is projected to grow 2.5%. In Gartner's previous forecast in April, it had forecast IT spending to decline 1.3% in U.S. dollars and grow 3.1% in constant currency. 

"We want to stress that this is not a market crash. Such are the illusions that large swings in the value of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies can create," says John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "However, there are secondary effects to the rising U.S. dollar. Vendors do have to raise prices to protect costs and margins of their products, and enterprises and consumers will have to make new purchase decisions in light of the new prices." 

... | Read more »
Jul 06
Pay TV penetration to exceed 50% in next two years

The worldwide pay-TV market surpassed more than 900 million subscribers in 1Q 2015, representing 48% penetration—the market is likely to grow steadily over the next 5 years, mainly boosted by emerging markets, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). Half of the world’s households will have access to pay-TV service by 2017, representing 1 billion subscribers, notes the research group.

As pay-TV service providers experience increasing competition from alternative platforms such as OTT [over-the-top], ARPU [average revenue per user] continues to decline across the various platforms in many markets. Many of the operators have added OTT, multiscreen services, and on demand services in order to compete with OTT service providers. These services have contributed additional revenue to pay-TV operators as well as maintaining customer loyalty.

Competition is higher in more mature markets such as North...

| Read more »
Jul 02
The Northern Spy: more on the new language Modula-2 R10

By Rick Sutcliffe

Over the last two months the Spy introduced the motivation for he and Telecom engineer Benjamin Kowarsch developing a new language, or more precisely, a fully modern dialect of an existing notation--to address serious software engineering issues of safety, security, reliability, and extensibility--then offered something a little more than a "Hello World" as an initial example. In this piece, he briefly describes the baked-in building blocks of Modula-2 R10, that is the reserved symbols, words and reserved identifiers.

Modula-2 has always been smaller than but at least as expressive as any other mainstream general purpose language (including that thousand ton gorilla of notations known as Ada). Throughout the R10 design process, every proposed addition was scrutinized for necessity (use cases required) and potential for bloat. To mitigate the latter, in most cases, every addition required a deletion, so that the...

| Read more »
Jul 02
IDC: tablets drive business transformation in...
Jul 02
Worldwide wearables market forecast to grow 173.3% in...

The wearables market maintained its upward trajectory in the first quarter of 2015 as new vendors, including Apple, prepared to enter the market.

A new forecast from International Data Corporation (www.idc.com) estimates that 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, up a strong 173.3% from the 26.4 million units shipped in 2014. Shipment volumes are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.6% over the five-year forecast period, reaching 155.7 million units shipped in 2019, according to the research group.

"The demand for basic wearables, those that do not run third party apps, has been absolutely astounding," says Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, IDC. "Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and IDC expects this momentum will continue throughout 2015."

"We expect smart wearables,...

| Read more »
 
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