Tag Archives: Gartner

Top 10 IoT technologies for the next two years

Gartner has revealed a list of the top technologies that will unlock the Internet of Things’ full potential in 2017 and 2018.

Fresh on the heels of CES and Mobile World Congress shows, Gartner has compiled a list of the top 10 Internet of Things technologies that should be on every company’s radar over the next two years. Among the key takeaways include security, device management and low-power, short-range networks. According to the firm, this handful of principles will have a broad impact on organizations, affecting everything from business strategy and risk management to a wide range of technical areas such as architecture and network design.


So without further ado, Gartner’s top 10 IoT technologies for 2017 and 2018 are:

IoT Security

The IoT introduces a wide range of new security risks and challenges to the IoT devices themselves, their platforms and operating systems, their communications, and even the systems to which they’re connected. Security will be required to protect IoT devices and platforms from both information attacks and physical tampering, to encrypt their communications, and to address new challenges such as impersonating ‘things’ or denial-of-sleep attacks that drain batteries. IoT security will be complicated by the fact that many ‘things’ use simple processors and operating systems that may not support sophisticated security approaches.

IoT Analytics

IoT business models will exploit the information collected by ‘things’ in many ways, whether that’s understanding customer behavior, delivering services, or improving products. However, IoT demands new analytic approaches. These tools and algorithms are necessary now, but as data volumes increase through 2021, the needs of the IoT may diverge further from traditional analytics.

IoT Device (Thing) Management

Long-lived nontrivial ‘things’  will require management and monitoring. This includes device monitoring, firmware and software updates, diagnostics, crash analysis and reporting, physical management, and security management. The IoT also brings new problems of scale to the management task. Tools must be capable of managing and monitoring thousands and perhaps even millions of devices.

Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks

Selecting a wireless network for an IoT device involves balancing many conflicting requirements, such as range, battery life, bandwidth, density, endpoint cost and operational cost. Low-power, short-range networks will dominate wireless IoT connectivity through 2025, far outnumbering connections using wide-area IoT networks. However, commercial and technical trade-offs mean that many solutions will coexist, with no single dominant winner and clusters emerging around certain technologies, applications and vendor ecosystems.

Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks

Traditional cellular networks don’t deliver a good combination of technical features and operational cost for those IoT applications that need wide-area coverage combined with relatively low bandwidth, good battery life, low hardware and operating cost, and high connection density. The long-term goal of a wide-area IoT network is to deliver data rates from hundreds of bits per second (bps) to tens of kilobits per second (kbps) with nationwide coverage, a battery life of up to 10 years, an endpoint hardware cost of around $5, and support for hundreds of thousands of devices connected to a base station or its equivalent. The first low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) were based on proprietary technologies, but in the long term emerging standards such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) will likely dominate this space.

IoT Processors

The processors and architectures used by IoT devices define many of their capabilities, such as whether they are capable of strong security and encryption, power consumption, whether they are sophisticated enough to support an operating system, updatable firmware, and embedded device management agents. As with all hardware design, there are complex trade-offs between features, hardware cost, software cost, software upgradability and so on. As a result, understanding the implications of processor choices will demand deep technical skills.

IoT Operating Systems

Traditional operating systems such as Windows and iOS were not designed for IoT applications. They consume too much power, need fast processors, and in some cases, lack features such as guaranteed real-time response. They also have too large a memory footprint for small devices and may not support the chips that IoT developers use. Consequently, a wide range of IoT-specific operating systems has been developed to suit many different hardware footprints and feature needs.

Event Stream Processing

Some IoT applications will generate extremely high data rates that must be analyzed in real time. Systems creating tens of thousands of events per second are common, and millions of events per second can occur in some telecom and telemetry situations. To address such requirements, distributed stream computing platforms (DSCPs) have emerged. They typically use parallel architectures to process very high-rate data streams to perform tasks such as real-time analytics and pattern identification.

IoT Platforms

IoT platforms bundle many of the infrastructure components of an IoT system into a single product. The services provided by such platforms fall into three main categories:

  • Low-level device control and operations such as communications, device monitoring and management, security, and firmware updates
  • IoT data acquisition, transformation and management
  • IoT application development, including event-driven logic, application programming, visualization, analytics and adapters to connect to enterprise systems

IoT Standards and Ecosystems

Although ecosystems and standards aren’t precisely technologies, most eventually materialize as APIs. Standards and their associated APIs will be essential because IoT devices will need to interoperate and communicate, and many IoT business models will rely on sharing data between multiple devices and organizations.

Many IoT ecosystems will emerge, and commercial and technical battles between these ecosystems will dominate areas such as the smart home, the smart city and healthcare. Organizations creating products may have to develop variants to support multiple standards or ecosystems and be prepared to update products during their life span as the standards evolve and new standards and related APIs emerge.

Interested in reading more? You can find a more detailed version of Gartner’s analysis here.

There will be 6.4 billion connected devices by next year

By 2016, 5.5 million things will become connected to the Internet each day.

Just in case you needed any more validation that the Internet of Things has arrived, get ready for several billion smart objects in our world by as early as next year. According to Gartner, the number of devices connected to the Internet is actually expected to exceed 6.4 BILLION come the end of 2016. This mind-blowing figure represents a 30% increase from 2015, and is projected to continuing rising to 20.8 billion by 2020.


To put this number into perspective, 5.5 million new “things” will become connected every day. As a result, the growing IoT will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22% from 2015. Beyond that, Gartner anticipates most of that money will be spent on what it calls the “professional category” — services in which businesses contract with external providers in order to design, install and operate intelligent systems. At the same time, both “connectivity services” and “consumer services” are also expected to grow at an exceptionally fast pace.

“IoT services are the real driver of value in IoT, and increasing attention is being focused on new services by end-user organisations and vendors,” Gartner VP Jim Tully explains.

Aside from connected cars, Gartner believes that consumer applications will account for the greatest number of smart gadgets, while enterprise will account for the largest spending. The analyst firm estimates that four billion connected things will be in use in the consumer sector next year, and will hit 13.5 billion over the next five years.

In terms of hardware spending, consumer applications will amount to $546 billion in 2016, while the use of connected things in the enterprise will drive $868 billion in 2016.


When examining the enterprise computing segment, Gartner says it considers two classes of connected things. The first class consists of generic or cross-industry devices that are used in multiple industries, such as smart light bulbs, HVAC and building management systems that are mainly deployed for purposes of cost savings. Meanwhile, the second class includes vertical-specific machines that are found in particular industries, like specializes equipment used in hospital operating theaters and tracking devices in container ships.

“Connected things for specialised use are currently the largest category, however, this is quickly changing with the increased use of generic devices. By 2020, cross-industry devices will dominate the number of connected things used in the enterprise,” Tully adds.

IoT, digital mesh and smart machines among Gartner’s top tech trends

A look at the 10 technology trends that Gartner believes will be strategic for organizations in 2016.

During its annual Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner reveals the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for organizations to implement in the coming months. This year, you’ll once again notice some rather familiar names on the recently-revealed list, along with a few newcomers that are expected to have an impact on the enterprise in 2016. According to the research firm, these notable trends include the Internet of Things (of course!), the Information of Everything, 3D printing and digital mesh.


Let’s take a closer look…

The Device Mesh

The device mesh refers to an expanding set of endpoints people use to access applications and information or interact with people, social communities, governments and businesses. Think of it as the glue between the countless mobile, wearable, consumer, home, automotive and environmental devices that make up the IoT.

Ambient User Experience

The device mesh creates the foundation for a new continuous and ambient user experience. Immersive environments delivering augmented and virtual reality hold significant potential but are only one aspect of this experience, which seamlessly flows across a shifting set of devices and interaction channels blending physical, virtual and electronic environment as the user moves from one place to another.

3D Printing Materials

Advances in the next-gen technology have already paved the way for 3D printers to spit out a range of materials, including everything from carbon fiber and glass to conductive ink and electronics. These innovations are driving user demand, as the practical applications for such equipment begins to expand into more sectors. According to Gartner, the extensive lineup of 3D-printable materials will drive a CAGR of 64.1% for enterprise 3D printer shipments through 2019.

Information of Everything

More devices, more information. Everything in the digital mesh produces, uses and transmits information. And this goes well beyond just textual, audio and video, but encompasses sensory and contextual as well. The so-called “Information of Everything” will address this influx with strategies and technologies that link data from all these different sources. As the research firm puts it, information has always existed everywhere but has often been isolated, incomplete, unavailable or unintelligible; now, the advent of semantic tools and other emerging techniques will finally give proper meaning to it all.

Advanced Machine Learning

In advanced machine learning, deep neural nets (DNNs) move beyond classic computing and information management to create systems that can autonomously learn to perceive the world — all on their own. The explosion of data sources and complexity of information makes manual classification and analysis infeasible and uneconomic. DNNs automate these tasks and make it possible to address key challenges related to the information of everything trend. This area is rapidly evolving, and organizations must assess how they can apply these technologies to gain the competitive edge.

Autonomous Agents and Things

Machine learning gives rise to a spectrum of smart machine implementations, which includes robots, autonomous vehicles and virtual personal assistants, that act in an autonomous (or at least semi-autonomous) manner. While advances in physical smart machines such as robots receive some mainstream attention, the software-based smart machines have a more near-term and broader impact. In fact, VPAs like Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri are becoming smarter and are precursors to autonomous agents. The emerging notion of assistance feeds into the ambient user experience in which an autonomous agent becomes the main user interface. Instead of interacting with menus, forms and buttons on a smartphone, the user speaks to an app, which is really an intelligent agent.

Adaptive Security Architecture

The complexities of digital business and the algorithmic economy combined with an emerging “hacker industry” significantly increase the threat surface for an organization. Relying on perimeter defense and rule-based security is inadequate, especially as organizations exploit more cloud-based services and open APIs for customers and partners to integrate with their systems. Gartner points out that IT leaders must focus on detecting and responding to threats, along with more traditional blocking and other measures to prevent attacks. Application self-protection, as well as user and entity behavior analytics, will help fulfill the adaptive security architecture.

Advanced System Architecture

The digital mesh and smart machines require intense computing architecture demands to make them viable for organizations. Providing this required boost are high-powered and ultraefficient neuromorphic architectures. Fueled by field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) as an underlining technology for neuromorphic architectures, there are significant gains to this architecture, such as being able to run at speeds of greater than a teraflop with high-energy efficiency.

Mesh App and Service Architecture

Monolithic, linear application designs are giving way to a more loosely coupled integrative approach: the apps and services architecture. Bringing mobile and IoT elements into the app and service architecture creates a comprehensive model to address back-end cloud scalability and front-end device mesh experiences. Looking ahead, application teams must devise new modern architectures to deliver agile and flexible cloud-based applications with dynamic user experiences that span the digital mesh.

IoT Platforms

The Internet of Things will play an integral role in the digital mesh and ambient user experience, and the emerging and dynamic world of  IoT platforms is what makes them possible.

You can check out each of Gartner’s 10 predictions in-depth here.

Autonomous vehicles and IoT are the most-hyped technologies of 2015

Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle reveals intelligent robots and smart home products are now closer to mainstream. 

Another year, another Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. New to the report in 2015 is the emergence of technologies that support what the firm defines as “digital humanism” — the notion that people are the central focus in the manifestation of digital businesses and digital workplaces.


“The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is the broadest aggregate Gartner Hype Cycle, featuring technologies that are the focus of attention because of particularly high levels of interest, and those that Gartner believes have the potential for significant impact,” said Betsy Burton, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “This year, we encourage CIOs and other IT leaders to dedicate time and energy focused on innovation, rather than just incremental business advancement, while also gaining inspiration by scanning beyond the bounds of their industry.”

Major changes in the 2015 Hype Cycle include the placement of autonomous vehicles, which have shifted from pre-peak to peak. While autonomous vehicles are still embryonic, this movement represents a significant advancement, with all major automotive companies putting autonomous vehicles on their near-term roadmaps. Similarly, the growing momentum (from post-trigger to pre-peak) of the smart home has introduced entirely new solutions and platforms enabled by new technology providers and existing manufacturers.

One of the newcomers to this year’s list is smart dust. Categorized in the “innovation trigger” section, smart dust refers to a collection of tiny dust-like sensors or devices which can be used to detect factors like light or sound.

Gartner has defined a set of six “business era models” that enterprises can aspire to in the future. However, since the Hype Cycle is purposely focused on more emerging technologies, it mostly supports the last three of these stages. These include: digital marketing (stage 4), digital business (stage 5) and autonomous (stage 6).

The digital marketing stage sees the emergence of the Nexus of Forces (mobile, social, cloud and information). Enterprises in this stage focus on new and more sophisticated ways to reach consumers, who are more willing to participate in marketing efforts to gain greater social connection, or product and service value. According to the analysts, enterprises that are seeking to achieve this should consider gesture control, hybrid cloud computing, Internet of Things, machine learning, people-literate technology, and speech-to-speech translation.

Moreover, digital business is the first “post-nexus stage” on the roadmap and focuses on the convergence of people, business and things, with the IoT and the concept of blurring the physical and virtual worlds playing prominent roles. Physical assets become digitalized and become equal actors in the business value chain alongside already-digital entities, such as systems and apps.

Gartner notes that enterprises seeking to go past the Nexus of Forces technologies to become a digital business should look to 3D bioprinting, human augmentation, affective computing, augmented reality, bioacoustics sensing, biochips, brain-computer interface, citizen data science, connected home, cryptocurrencies, digital dexterity, digital security, enterprise 3D printing, intelligent robots, smart advisors, gesture control, micro data centers, quantum computing, software-defined security, virtual reality, and wearables.

Lastly, autonomous represents the final “post-nexus stage.” This stage is defined by an enterprise’s ability to leverage technologies that provide human-like or human-replacing capabilities, such as using autonomous vehicles to move people or products and employing cognitive systems to recommend a potential structure for an answer to an email, write texts or answer customer questions. Enterprises seeking to reach this stage to gain competitiveness should consider self-driving cars, smart dust, virtual personal assistants, and volumetric and holographic displays.

“Although we have categorized each of the technologies on the Hype Cycle into one of the digital business stages, enterprises should not limit themselves to these technology groupings,” added Burton. “Many early adopters have embraced quite advanced technologies, for example, autonomous vehicles or smart advisors, while they continue to improve nexus-related areas, such as mobile apps.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out Gartner’s entire report here.

[Image: Gartner]

Report: Smart lighting has the potential to reduce energy costs by 90%

The global smart lighting market is projected to grow from 46 million installed systems in 2015 to 2.54 billion in 2020.

It would only take a quick browse of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, or a walk down an aisle at your nearest Home Depot to sense the bright future of smart lighting, driven by Internet of Things architectures. According to a new report from Gartner, the intelligent lighting installed base is expected to grow from 46 million units in 2015 to 2.54 billion units in 2020.


The research firm defines smart lighting as a “lighting system that is connected to a network and can be both monitored and controlled from a centralized system or via the cloud.” In 2014, anywhere from 300 to 500 million square feet of commercial space worldwide could be considered to have smart lighting. It would appear that quite a bit has changed over the last 12 months, as this space is expected to double by year’s end based on the rapid growth in the market.

“Smart solid-state lighting in office buildings and industrial installations has the potential to reduce energy costs by 90 percent; however, achieving these costs takes more than just installing light-emitting diode (LED) lighting,” explains Dean Freeman, Gartner research vice president. “To successfully achieve the lowest electricity cost, in addition to achieving safety and security and enhancing the office environment, lighting product managers at technology and service providers will need to implement five key strategic phases of smart lighting: (1) LED lighting, (2) sensors and controls, (3) connectivity, (4) analytics and (5) intelligence.”

Implementing all five phases will ensure the highest level of success in reducing lighting costs and accelerating the adoption of smart lighting solutions. With these solutions, smart lighting providers will be able to leverage the impact of sensor data and analytics on the IoT.

“Smart solid-state lighting (SSL) costs are now at a point at which it is compelling to implement just the lighting. Energy savings of up to 50 percent have been well-documented in many installations, and they are difficult to resist when replacing incandescent or high-intensity discharge systems in a warehouse. In a fluorescent installation, energy cost savings of up to 25 percent can be achieved, along with considerable savings in lighting maintenance,” Freeman adds.

However, most new lighting installations require some form of sensor controls, which drive some automation of the system. Connecting the controls and the lighting via a network enables the lighting to be operated through a centralized dashboard, which begins to give the building owner the ability to analyze lighting patterns and further improve lighting costs. Most installations are stopping at this stage. If the lighting provider permits the building owner to stop at Phase 3, the value of implementing analytics and learning is lost.

If the lighting provider is able to persuade the building owner to move to Phase 4 with the dashboard in the cloud, building managers can potentially operate multiple lighting operations from a central point, comparing energy use over time and between buildings. If analytics are added to the system, product managers can demonstrate lighting usage compared with occupancy and, consequently, can recommend to their clients lighting programs that can reduce costs based on building utilization, yet enhance the security and ambience for occupants.

In many cases, a smart lighting implementation will end at Phase 4, whereby either a human or a computer will look at the data being generated by the sensors and controls and identify anomalies in the energy pattern. The ultimate in smart lighting would be a result of the analytic system looking at the data and creating some predictive models that would enable the lighting system to learn and become even more intelligent. Additionally, setting up lighting as a service (LaaS) would enable the lighting provider to maintain the system and keep it up to date, while minimizing the cash outlay for the smart lighting system. Gartner expects that as smart lighting continues to emerge, LaaS providers will begin to emerge.

The study goes on to note that regional growth of smart lighting is varied, while implementation of a true smart lighting system is driven mostly by government regulations around energy savings and bulb recycling laws. In North America and Europe, new lighting installations are driving smart lighting with remote efficient management of the fixtures and the bulbs. While SSL alone might accommodate most of the government regulations, the requirements of daylight harvesting and occupancy sensing drive the need for considerable controls in most lighting systems. Once sensors and controls are involved, then networked systems are the next step and are becoming commonplace for most new installations.

Report: Smart cities will use 1.1 billion connected things in 2015

Smart homes to lead with 294 million smart objects in use this year.

Powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), the smart city of tomorrow will feature intelligent buildings, roads and public transport systems that are connected to each other and its inhabitants through sensors. This real-time information exchange will save people time, reduce environmental impact, lessen traffic and even create value for businesses along the way. Though still relatively new here in the United States, the advent of smart cities has already started taking shape across the world.


Smart homes and commercial buildings will represent 45% of all connected objects in 2015 and 81% by the end of 2020, according to a new report from Gartner. The study also estimates that 1.1 billion Internet-enabled items will be used by smart cities in 2015 with that number to rise to 9.7 billion over the next five years.

The majority of IoT spending for smart cities will come from the private sector, explained Gartner Research VP Bettina Tratz-Ryan. This will surely be some great news for technology companies and service providers that stand to benefit most in terms of revenue.

According to the report, there are a wide-range of IoT deployments for on-street and off-street parking guidance, road traffic guidance and traffic flow metering as well. A quick win within transport is the reduction of traffic congestion. California and the UK have already begun implementing radio receivers or sensors that are embedded on a section of highway to diagnose traffic conditions in real time. Another successful use of IoT in the city is smart parking. The city of Los Angeles, for instance, has been deploying new parking meters, parking space vehicle sensors, real-time parking guidance and a full parking management system to influence demand during peak times.

Beyond that, residential citizens will lead the way by increasingly investing in smart home solutions, with the amount of connected things used in smart homes currently at 294 million and projected to hit 1 billion units by 2017. These include smart LED lighting, healthcare monitoring, smart locks and various sensors for such things as motion detection or carbon monoxide. Smart LED lighting will record the highest growth of IoT consumer applications, from 6 million units in 2015 to 570 million units by 2020. As the study reveals, light will migrate from being an illumination source to a communications carrier incorporating safety, health, pollution and personalized services.


We expect that by 2020, many IoT TSPs will have grown their hardware revenues through services and software by more than 50 percent,” Tratz-Ryan concluded. The researcher goes on to say that smart home security and safety will represent the second-largest service market by revenue in 2017, and that come 2020, the smart healthcare and fitness market will have grown to nearly $38 billion.

Interested in reading more? You can find the entire Gartner report here. Meanwhile, discover how Atmel is powering the IoT by focusing on edge nodes, a category that includes everything from smart home appliances to infrastructures for smart cities.

Report: 40% of business leaders expect the IoT to affect their organization in 3 years

 The IoT will have a significant or transformational impact on businesses over the next three years.

Nearly in 4 in 10 organizations expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to transform their business or offer significant new revenue and cost-savings opportunities over the next three years, according to a new study by Gartner. More so, the research firm found approximately 60% of enterprises believe the IoT will offer cost-saving opportunities in the long term.


The survey, which was carried out in October 2014 among a Gartner-managed panel, was composed of 463 IT and business leaders who had knowledge of their organization’s IoT strategy. However, the research did find that many of their companies have not yet established clear business or technical leadership for their IoT efforts.

“The survey confirmed that the IoT is very immature, and many organizations have only just started experimenting with it,” explained Gartner Vice President Nick Jones. “Only a small minority have deployed solutions in a production environment. However, the falling costs of networking and processing mean that there are few economic inhibitors to adding sensing and communications to products costing as little as a few tens of dollars. The real challenge of the IoT is less in making products ‘smart’ and more in understanding the business opportunities enabled by smart products and new ecosystems.”

A useful indicator of the degree to which organizations are prepared for the IoT is whether they’ve identified technical and business leadership for their IoT efforts. The study found that less than one-quarter of respondents have established clear business leadership for the IoT, either in the form of a single organizational unit owning the issue or multiple business units taking ownership of separate IoT efforts.

“While a single leader for the IoT is not essential, leadership and vision are important, even in the form of several leaders from different business units,” said Steve Kleynhans, Gartner Research Vice President.


Furthermore, just over one-third (35%) of respondents who expect the IoT to have a significant or transformational impact are often working for organizations have some form of established leadership in place. Many survey respondents felt that the senior levels of their organizations don’t yet have a good understanding of its potential impact; yet, it’s important to note that attitudes toward the IoT vary widely by industry. For example, board of directors’ understanding of the IoT was rated as particularly weak in government, education, banking and insurance, whereas the communications and services industries scored above-average ratings for senior executive understanding of the IoT.

Security and privacy are, unsurprisingly, top issues and industries dealing with intangibles were more concerned with security and privacy than those dealing with tangibles because many operate in very security-aware areas such as banking,” Jones added.

Last year, Gartner projected over 20% of enterprises will have digital security services for business initiatives using IoT devices by 2017. The firm also forecasted that the IoT will be comprised of 26 billion devices, generating over $300 billion in incremental revenue in the next five years. Not to mention, 50% of all IoT solutions will originate from startups less than three years old.

Nonetheless, Gartner did admit that experts will soon begin to emerge within enterprises. “We expect that over the next three years, more organizations will establish clear leadership, and more will recognize the value of some form of an IoT center of excellence because of the need to master a wide range of new technologies and skills,” Kleynhans concluded.

Interested in learning more? You can find the entire study from Gartner here. Meanwhile, you can discover the latest in the Internet of Things here.

Report: 1 in 5 cars will be connected by 2020

The increased consumption and creation of digital content within cars will lead to sophisticated information and entertainment systems.

If you buy a car within the next five years, it’s likely that it will be Internet-enabled. That’s the prediction Gartner has shared, anyway. The market research firm has released its latest report that expects there to be approximately 250 million connected cars on the road by 2020, paving the way for new in-vehicle services and automated driving capabilities. In other words, one in five vehicle will boast some sort of wireless network connection.


During the next five years, the proportion of new vehicles equipped with this capability will increase dramatically, making connected cars an integral element of the rapidly-growing Internet of Things (IoT) — an area Gartner forecasts will entail 4.9 billion connected things in use this year and will reach 25 billion by 2020.

“The connected car is already a reality, and in-vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands, to high-volume midmarket models,” explained James F. Hines, Gartner Research Director. “The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays and human-machine interface technologies. At the same time, new concepts of mobility and vehicle usage will lead to new business models and expansion of alternatives to car ownership, especially in urban environments.”


The proliferation of vehicle connectivity will have implications across the major functional areas of telematics, automated driving, infotainment and mobility services. Driving the adoption of connected car technology is the expansion of high-bandwidth wireless network infrastructure, rising expectations for access to mobile content and better service from smartphones and tablets. While many of the major automakers have rolled out connected cars in a number of limited models, in-vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury and premium brands to high-volume mid-market versions. Take for instance, General Motors, Hyundai and Chrysler, who have each partnered with telecoms AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, respectively.

By 2018, two automakers will have announced plans to become technology companies and expand their connected-vehicle value experiences to other industries and devices, Gartner said in a report last year. And over the next five years, at least one auto company will achieve 10% of its total revenues from connected mobility and service offerings.

“The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays and human-machine interface technologies,” Hines stated.

As the amount of information being fed into in-car head unit or telematics systems grows, vehicles will be able to capture and share not only internal systems status and location data, but also changes in surroundings in real-time, Computer World writes. Ultimately, your car will become just another part of your mobile data plan.


“To facilitate that kind of shift, connected-vehicle leaders in automotive organizations need to partner with existing ecosystems like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay that can simplify access to and integration of general mobile applications into the vehicle,” Gartner Analyst Thilo Koslowski shared in last year’s report.

The Gartner report follows recent revelations from IBM, who in the company’s Automotive 2025 study found that a majority of executives believe cars will become more personalized for drivers over the next 10 years, but autonomous vehicles and self-driving cars will not yet be ubiquitous. In fact, IBM anticipates that by 2025, vehicles will be intelligent enough to configure themselves to a driver and other occupants. In other words, cars will be able to learn, heal, drive and socialize with others on the road, and their surrounding environment through vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

Without question, the demand for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is on the rise as well. According to ABI Research analysts, the market is expected to grow from $11.1 billion last year to $91.9 billion by 2020, hitting the $200 billion mark by 2024. Fueling that growth is the expansion of the technology from high-end luxury vehicles to more affordable cars and mini automobiles. One of the most popular systems on high-end vehicles, adaptive cruise control (ACC), will continue to gain popularity across all vehicle segments, with shipments experiencing a CAGR of 69% between 2014 and 2020.


Report: 18% of organizations own 10 or more 3D printers

60% of organizations claim high start-up costs are a main factor in the delay of implementing 3D printing strategies, a new survey from Gartner has revealed. However, the study also found that early adopters of the technology are finding clear benefits in multiple areas.


Earlier this year, Gartner conducted a worldwide survey to determine how organizations are using or at least planning to use 3D printing devices — many of which are based on AVR XMEGAmegaAVR and Atmel | SMART ATSAM3X8E microcontrollers, including the incredibly-popular MakerBot and RepRap.

“3D printing has broad appeal to a wide range of businesses and early adopter consumers, and while the technology is already in use across a wide range of manufacturing verticals from medical to aerospace, costs remain the primary concern for buyers,” explained Pete Basiliere, Gartner Research Director. “3D printer vendors must work closely with their clients to identify potential applications of the technology that may have been overlooked, and improve the cost-benefit ratios of their products. Organizations that wish to experiment with the technology without incurring start-up costs should consider partnering with a local 3D printing service bureau.”

Some key takeaways included:

  • While prototyping, product innovation and development are the main uses, 3D printing is also being implemented extensively in manufacturing applications.
  • By 2018, nearly half of consumer, heavy industry and life sciences manufacturers will use 3D printing to produce parts for the items they consume, sell or service.
  •  53% of respondents indicated that managers of R&D engineering or manufacturing are the primary influencer driving any 3D printing strategy.
  • A vast majority of those surveyed felt “overwhelmingly” that using a 3D printer as part of their supply chain generally reduces the cost of existing processes, especially research and product development costs.
  • The mean cost reduction for finished goods is between 4.1% and 4.3%.
  • 37% of respondents ranked the quality of the finished piece as the primary factor in selecting a 3D printer, while 28% cite price is the most important
  • 9% of respondents felt that production speed, the range of materials the printer could use, or size of parts it could create were the most important things to consider when deciding on a printer.
  • 37% of organizations had just one 3D printer within their company, while 18% own 10 or more.
  • The average number of printers per organization was 5.4.

“Clearly there is much room for future growth in this market, but vendors need to work on tools and marketing that show how the technology can be applied and drive competitive advantage. 3D printing vendors that take the time to articulate the value of their product in terms that align with their clients’ needs will be well-positioned to capitalize on any future growth,” Basiliere concludes.

Those interested in reading the entire press release and accessing the report can head to Gartner’s official page here.

Report: 30% of smart wearables will be inconspicuous by 2017

As previously reported on Bits & Pieces, we can expect to see wearable technology become less invasive over the next couple of years. Aside from an emergence in smart clothing and e-textiles, a new study from Gartner has revealed that the wearables market will continue to expand and evolve with 30% of the devices to become completely unobtrusive to the eye by 2017.


“Already, there are some interesting developments at the prototype stage that could pave the way for consumer wearables to blend seamlessly into their surroundings,” explained Annette Zimmermann, Gartner Research Director. “Smart contact lenses are one type in development. Another interesting wearable that is emerging is smart jewelry. There are around a dozen crowdfunded projects competing right now in this area, with sensors built into jewelry for communication alerts and emergency alarms. Obtrusive wearables already on the market, like smart glasses, are likely to develop new designs that disguise their technological components completely.”

Gartner went on to share several other predictions around the consumer devices market, including:

  • By 2018, more than 25 million head-mounted displays (HMDs) will have been sold as immersive devices and virtual worlds will have transitioned from the fringe to the mainstream.
  • Interest in HMD devices — which power virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and other smart glass apps — will continue to rise. So much so that, by 2018, the technology behind them will be found throughout both consumer and business scenarios.
  • More stylish, consumer-grade video eyeglasses will result in explosive growth for HMDs — driving device adoption when paired with VR and AR content.
  • By 2016, biometric sensors will be featured in 40% of smartphones shipped to end users.
  • Fingerprint scanning will be the primary biometric feature introduced by most vendors, given its intuitive and unobtrusive usage.
  • Other biometrics, ranging from facial and iris to voice and palm vein authentication, will also surface yet will remain relatively niche.
  • Through 2017, one-third of consumers in emerging markets will have never owned a Windows device.
  • In mature markets, PC penetration is still relatively high with more than 90% of consumers currently using a Windows PC.
  • The rise in smartphones and their subsequent drop in price will lead some users to purchase their first smartphone for under $50.

Interested in learning more? You can read the entire press release and access the report here.