The Week In Review: IoT

Google previews Android Things for developers; ARM Cordio radio IP is qualified for Bluetooth 5; forecast for IoT-enabled managed services.

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Tools
Google this week updated its Internet of Things platform, releasing a Developer Preview for Android Things, enabling application developers to create IoT devices running on the mobile Android operating system. “We incorporated the feedback from Project Brillo to include familiar tools such as Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform,” Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT at Google, wrote in a blog post. Intel’s Edison, NXP Semiconductors’ Pico, and Raspberry Pi 3 are all now available with Android Things. Google also updated its Weave platform to make connecting to the cloud easier for IoT devices and to interact with services, such as Google Assistant.

ARM said its Cordio radio intellectual property has been qualified for the Bluetooth 5 standards. “In 2017, we will see an increase in the number of devices with the new Bluetooth 5 standard, including key features such as range extension, delivering robust and reliable connections that make home, building, and outdoor IoT use cases a reality,” Paul Williamson of ARM wrote in a blog post. The company has a webinar available on incorporating Bluetooth 5, ZigBee, and Thread into system-on-a-chip designs.

M&A
TDK is reportedly in talks to acquire InvenSense, offering $12 a share for the designer of microelectromechanical system sensors, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Those sources indicate a deal may be reached before the end of the month and the calendar year. InvenSense announced in October that it had hired a financial advisor.

Market Research
Navigant Research forecasts the market for utilities using IoT technology for managed services will be worth $500 million a year by 2020, with an estimated 70,000 customers in pilot-scale utility IoT engagements across the U.S. “IoT can help utilities transition into new ongoing advisory and managed services relationships to gain better insight into customer loads and improve customer satisfaction,” Casey Talon, principal research analyst with Navigant Research, said in a statement. “This new approach to customer engagement will direct behavior modification, load control, and conservation in concert to maximize reliability and resiliency of the grid.” Navigant’s IoT Enabled Managed Services report is available here.

Security
The October 21 cyberattacks on Dyn brought to light how easily many IoT devices can be compromised, Steve Zurier writes in this analysis. “There’s no question that everyone in the chain – manufacturers, retailers and consumers – have to do a better job securing connected devices,” says Craig Spiezle, executive director of the Online Trust Alliance.

Products
At this month’s International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, imec and Holst Centre described a solid-state, multi-ion sensor for determining chloride and pH levels in fluids. “We are providing groundbreaking sensing and analytics solutions for the IoT,” John Baekelmans, managing director of imec in the Netherlands, said in a statement. “This new multi-ion sensor is one in a series that Holst Centre is currently developing with its partners to form the senses of the IoT. For each sensor, the aim is to leapfrog the current performance of the state-of-the-art sensors in a mass-producible, wireless, energy-optimized and miniaturized package.”

CEVA has collaborated with Himax Imaging and emza Visual Sense to develop the WiseEye intelligent always-on visual sensor. The IoT device will be showcased at CES, which will be held January 5-8 in Las Vegas. “At CEVA, low-power intelligent vision processing is a key component of our strategy to enable a smarter, connected world, and we’re excited to work with emza and Himax to introduce a unique and revolutionary solution for always-on intelligent visual sensing,” Ilan Yona, vice president and general manager of the Vision Business Unit at CEVA, said in a statement. “A purpose-built solution such as the WiseEye IoT will help to truly realize the potential of machine vision in IoT by delivering the performance and battery life at a price point that supports mass deployment.”

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