The Week In Review: IoT

Verizon and Qualcomm team for IoT tech; startup sends robotic sailboats over the seven seas; Sony offers virtual assistant in IoT line.


After reading a blog post touting the Internet of Things for home security, Jon Hedren wrote this post detailing how IoT-based home systems can be easily compromised and could fail in multiple ways. “The IoT ‘dream’ as sold by the industry is pretty cool, but it’s still just a dream. For now, these devices remain generally shoddy, insecure, and easily breakable—and must be treated that way, especially when the stakes are high,” he writes.

Verizon Communications and Qualcomm Technologies agreed on integrating Verizon’s ThingSpace Internet of Things platform with Qualcomm’s MDM9206 Category M (Cat M1) Long-Term Evolution modem. The companies will use the carrier’s 4G LTE network as the gateway for deploying and managing IoT applications, beginning in early 2017. Separately, Verizon announced that it will provide a Cat M1 offering to Neptune Technology Group for water metering, employing the MDM9206 LTE modem. Verizon also announced it is working with ITK to offer data analytics on sustainable farming practices for three companies in the wine business: Delicato Family Vineyards, Scheid Vineyards, and Renteria Vineyard Management.

Saildrone, a venture-funded startup working out of the former Alameda Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay Area, is sending robotic sailboats out across the seven seas to gather data. The satellite-controlled, sensor-laden sailboats can operate in the Bering Sea and other treacherous waters without putting sailors in harm’s way. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy Schmidt, got the maker of autonomous sailboats off the ground with $2.5 million in grants, while Capricorn Venture Partners, Lux Capital, and Social Capital recently invested $14 million in Saildrone, which is led by Richard Jenkins, chief executive and co-founder of the company. The Pacific Marine Environmental Lab of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also helped to fund the company.

The Microsoft IoT Grove Kit aims to help developers and makers with IoT projects. Its GrovePi+ cape is compatible with Raspberry Pi development boards running the Windows 10 IoT core for rapid projects. The kit is available for pre-orders.

Sony demonstrated the wireless Xperia Ear virtual voice assistant as part of its Internet of Things product portfolio. The gadget will work with the company’s Xperia smartphones, including the new Xperia X Compact and Xperia XZ models. Xperia Ear will be sold to consumers beginning in November.

Sequans Communications is touting the Monarch, its new LTE Category M1/NB1 chip for the Internet of Things. Sequans CEO Georges Karam said in a statement, “In designing Monarch, we worked from day one to make sure it would be fully optimized in both cost and power consumption to fully unleash the LTE for IoT market potential. I am very excited to say that Monarch is operating as designed and we expect to have it ready for network deployments in Q4.” ABI Research forecasts cellular machine-to-machine module shipments between this year and 2021 will hit 1.1 billion units, with half of those units shipped in 2021 being LTE modules.

Multi-Tech Systems this week unveiled a 4G LTE Cat 1 version of its SocketModem Cell platform, which will ship in November and will work on the networks of AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, along with Canadian network operators.

CalAmp said its LMU-2600 and LMU-4200 products with 4G LTE Cat 1 cellular technology will be available in the fourth quarter for connected vehicle, enterprise trucking, fleet management, insurance telematics, and mobile workforce management IoT applications.

Synopsys is hosting the ARC Processor Summit, a free one-day conference, on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Santa Clara Marriott. Topics for the event include designing for Internet of Things security, automotive safety, embedded vision and other applications. Linley Gwennap of The Linley Group will give the morning keynote presentation. The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by 90 minutes of networking and demonstrations. Register here.

Zebra Technologies will participate in the first Health Slam 2016 IoT for Healthcare virtual conference, scheduled for Dec. 2, 2016.

Smartvue reports it received the IoT Emerging Company of the Year Award for the Consumer Market at this week’s CTIA conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. “We are extremely excited to recognize those companies who excel among their peers and truly showcase the best in mobile and IoT,” Compass Intelligence CEO Stephanie Atkinson said in a statement.

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