Tag Archives: M2M

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.

Diving into a more practical Internet of Things

Let’s skip the Gartner hype cycle discussion about the ever-evolving Internet of Things, shall we? It’s a given: IoT is huge, everyone’s hair is on fire — some will be disillusioned, some will win big, time will sort it out. But, if you’re waiting for the “one thing to rule them all,” you’ll surely be a bystander to a new wave of innovation and opportunities. You have to dive in before all the winners and losers are culled.


Because IoT is such a massive domain, this series is an attempt to boil it down into something practical, even desktop scope.


To start, we’ll introduce and discuss a relatively simple model and way to think about the IoT in order to help keep your technical bearings in a rapidly changing landscape.

In subsequent parts of this series, I’ll explore some of the leading IoT protocols, and in keeping with a “practical IoT” theme, we’ll do some desktop IoT with some easy-to-use development boards from Atmel along with a selection of open-source tools or libraries.

I’ll put heavy emphasis on IoT security as it is an often overlooked, yet critical, element of implementing a successful IoT stack. The goal is to create a basic IoT stack that works well together, but more importantly, provides a hands-on lab to try out various aspects of the connected world as it evolves.

Use Case

As a system architect, you need to get a sensor solution up and running which won’t fall on its face at the first inkling of success. You need to worry about such things as embedded size constraints, scaling strategies, third party integration, connectivity, economics, implementation skill sets, power, and even future-proofing.

You’ll want your system to grow and evolve while the IoT is trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up.

It sounds a lot like you are doing M2M, so how is IoT going to help?

What’s the difference between IoT and M2M?

“Always design a thing by considering it in the next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” – Eliel Saarinen

If you developed a sensor network before the IoT acronym came along, you’d be forgiven for thinking IoT is just lipstick on M2M. M2M is often associated with point solutions or a fleet of the same kind of thing — a system of Wi-Fi thermostats, a flow sensor network in an oil-refinery, a vehicle location system, home automation, all the heart monitoring telemetry in a hospital. For some in the industry, M2M means anything with a cellular modem on a particular carrier’s network.

Long story short, the key takeaway is that M2M is almost synonymous with isolated systems of sensors and islands of telemetry data. In contrast, the IoT is trying to marry disparate systems into an expansive system view to enable new applications — that’s not only the big idea, it’s the one key difference between M2M and IoT.

“If you consider M2M in the next larger context, you get the IoT.” – Landon Cox

I guess we can say that IoT really stands for “I want it all.” In order to achieve that, major new facets such as first class security, big data, cloud scale, ubiquitous presence, human interactions — all wrapped up in business objective parlance — come to bear.

IoT is a catch-all technology bucket and it’s probably always going to be that way, so let’s make the best of it and make headway amidst all the ambiguity and hype. Here’s how…

One practical way to think about it is: The Internet of Things is the arch connecting M2M vertical pillars (technology stacks). This view allows the IoT to leverage all of the good work that has gone into M2M, incorporate existing legacy M2M systems, yet leave it loosely coupled and abstract enough to describe various business problems (not one size fits all).


In the example above, IoT is marrying health sensor data from three very different sources and contexts, all of which are using different company’s products within siloed M2M ecosystems. Bringing this together provides a better overall picture of a client’s health than individual silos can. IoT technologies, such as cloud scale and security, gain tremendous importance in an application like this, beyond the significance within the silo’s scale.

This view also helps keep IoT from being tied to a specific M2M technology stack. The implication? For IoT to add value not already in M2M, it must provide a fabric that either bridges M2M systems, through analytics or data networking, or fulfill a business mission not addressed by an individual M2M stack.

IoT Caveats

IoT is dangerously close to the SOA vortex (Service Oriented Architecture) and is something we need to be mindful of avoiding. As SOA expert Anne Thomas Manes pointed out in SOA is Dead; Long Live Services, “Perhaps that’s the challenge: The acronym got in the way. People forgot what SOA stands for. They were too wrapped up in silly technology debates (e.g., “what’s the best ESB?” or “WS-* vs. REST”), and they missed the important stuff: architecture and services.”

My summary? Despite some good technology and ideas that came out of SOA, technology that the IoT builds upon, SOA died of its own weight.  We should keep the cause of death of SOA in mind when working on IoT so it doesn’t become a likewise casualty.

I would like to see IoT architecture evolve along the lines of the OSI network reference model and not SOA (except for the important stuff). That means that IoT should be a simple, common concept used by system architects to design, map, and compare different implementations.

Ethernet and Token Ring, for example, are two very different network technologies, but both map to the OSI reference model. OSI gives us a common way to talk about nearly any network technology. We need the same idea for IoT to make it practical.

From that perspective, we could talk about many different Internet of Things stacks in the same manner we talk about Ethernet, Wi-Fi, TCP/IP, or UDP. Various technologies fit into a common network model (OSI) and are combined in various ways to achieve something useful (i.e. the web).  Same with the IoT: Think of it as a model, like OSI. Specific IoT implementations map to various parts of an IoT reference model like specific networks technologies map to OSI.

So, this is the basic philosophy behind what I would call “practical IoT:”

1. Don’t let the acronym get in the way.

2. Use the right tool for the right job (IoT stack flexibility, not one-size-fits-all, no IoT wars).

3) Ensure IoT is more technology-oriented, like the OSI reference model; less marketing oriented and less like SOA.

4) It has to be more than, and distinctly different from, M2M.

Now where?

I realize this was a really high level view of Practical IoT. Stay tuned for upcoming Desktop IoT tutorials and hands-on demonstrations as we’ll delve deep and get practical with the Internet of Things. In the meantime, imagine, expand and evolve your connected ideas with Atmel’s latest (free) white paper.


Report: 150 million cars will be connected to the Internet by 2020

Finally, it looks like Disney won’t be the only place you’ll find “talking cars.” In fact, vehicles will be among the billions of “things” Internet-enabled by 2020, a Computerworld article has revealed.


In just five years, nearly 150 million vehicles will be connected via Wi-Fi, while 60% to 75% of them will be capable of consuming, creating and sharing web-based data. This enhanced connectivity will allow carmakers to modify their existing business model from simply hardware to tech innovators that draw income from mobile apps. In order to do that, Computerworld notes that vehicle manufacturers will need to join forces with tech heavyweights like Google, Apple and Samsung.

“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 explained in a recent report.

According to a new study by Allied Market Research, the global connected cars market is forecasted to surpass $141 billion over the same five year period, growing at a CAGR of 32.7% between 2014 and 2020. With North America garnering a significant portion of the market share, the  availability of faster communication networks, enhanced driver experiences, advanced connectivity solutions and a user friendly interface will all help drive (no pun intended) the industry.

Throughout the next couple of years, we can expect to see a majority of in-vehicle infotainment systems capable of smartphone integration. Indeed, Gartner predicts that 58% of U.S. and 53% of German vehicle owners want tech firms, not car companies, to take the in-vehicle technology steering wheel.


“By 2018, two automakers will have announced plans to become technology companies and expand their connected-vehicle value experiences to other industries and devices. And by 2020, at least one auto company will achieve 10% of its total revenues from connected mobility and service offerings.”

As the amount of information being fed into in-car head units and telematics systems continues to grow, Gartner believes that tomorrow’s vehicles will need to be able to capture, handle and share not only internal systems status and location data, but changes in its surroundings all in real-time.

“Ultimately, your car will become just another part of your mobile data plan.”

The latest study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that the American government is also looking forward to mandate the use of M2M connectivity solutions into the vehicles. In the years to come, Asia-Pacific could potentially become a prominent automobile market for connected cars.


By 2020, Allied Market Research says both integrated and embedded solutions will be amongst the most popular connectivity offerings in the connected car market, and combined, will account for 80% of the entire industry.

“The increasing importance of human-machine interface (HMI) and cloud-supported user experiences in cars will shift the industry’s R&D focus to new technology and content innovations such as gesture and mood sensing, consumer behavior analysis, and vehicle- and customer-centric services,” Computerworld writes.

Voice-activated apps, in-vehicle cameras and heads-up displays (HUDs) will be key to achieving the safe use of mobile technology in both cars and trucks alike. In the future, apps will be tailored to in-vehicle services, such as scheduling service appointments, driver-related content such as real-time navigation updates, and streaming music and video services — and even the ability to shop online or find and then pay for parking online.

Back at Electronica 2014, Atmel Senior Vice President Rob Valiton explored the ways in which the Internet of Things will affect the auto market, citing OnStar as just one way the IoT has already entered our cars.

“3,000 messages [being sent] per second represents a lot of challenges to the industry, and we here at Atmel plan on solving them.”


IPSO Alliance focuses on how to use IoT open standards

According to its latest press release, the Internet Protocol for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance has broadened its Internet of Things (IoT) standards vision to include education on the proper use of IP protocols to create end-to-end solutions for the IoT. This change was adopted to advance the promotion of open standards using current and emerging IP technologies within the IoT community.

(Source: Waag Society)

(Source: Waag Society)

“Since its creation in 2008, the IPSO Alliance has been one of the most active groups in the IoT space,” explained Pete St. Pierre, President of IPSO. “As more standards organizations attempt to lay claim to the IoT, it was important to re-define our vision to ensure we are meeting the needs of our membership and, more importantly, the design community at large. We look forward to promoting how to use IP by engaging leaders from IPSO member companies to act as advocates and thought leaders on IoT open standards.”

IPSO Alliance members will speak about IoT open standards at a number of upcoming shows, including Designers of Things (September) and ARM TechCon (October), both events in which Atmel will also be participating. In addition, IPSO will be present at next month’s CEDIA Expo and Super Mobility Week, while also supporting the White House Smart America Challenge “local editions” in Detroit and Austin and the recently announced NIST Global Cities Challenge.

IPSO will publish two documents outlining open standards for interoperability between objects. The first defines a simple and extensible set of smart objects that can be used to build communication between devices used in smart energy, home automation and multiple other functions. The second outlines a conceptually simple architecture that can be used to build interoperable machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT applications.

“The ultimate goal for the Alliance is to define how to use the existing set of open standards, specifically IP, to build successful IoT products,” continued Mr. St. Pierre. “This definition will further illustrate that this can be done without creating new and complicated protocols in the future.”

What will smartphones look like in 2020?

Thanks to Moore’s Law, electronic devices are increasingly packed with more power and functionality, improving our life qualities with more convenience, productivity, and entertainment. Just to put things in perspective, Steve Cichon of Trending Buffalo shows that an iPhone (assuming an iPhone 5S at the beginning of 2014, when his blog was written) can replace $3,054.82 worth of electronics sold in Radio Shack in 1991, according to a flyer post in The Buffalo News.


“It’s nothing new, but it’s a great example of the technology of only two decades ago now replaced by the 3.95 ounce bundle of plastic, glass, and processors in our pockets,” says Steve Cichon.

As cool as we think our smartphones are today, I dare to say that two decades later by 2035, when people compare their personal electronics (assuming they don’t use the term “smartphones” anymore!) against the current smartphone features, they would be amazed by how big, heavy and slow these electronics are today. If you still don’t get what I mean, take a look at this 1991 Sony Walkman Commercial, and try to recall how cool the Walkman was in 1991.

While I certainly do not have the crystal ball that tells me what kind of personal electronic devices people will be using by 2035, I would like to make a few guesses of what smartphones would look like in just 5 years, say 2020.

User Interface

I believe touchscreen [with touchscreen controllers] will still be the main user interface for smartphones by 2020. While Generation Z are called “digital natives,” I think kids who are born after Generation Z would be “touch natives.” Toddlers and young children playing with iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad today will attempt to touch all display interfaces as their way of interacting with electronics in the coming years. I also believe smartphone interfaces would expand beyond just touch, and there are two possible expansions within five years: gesture controls and voice commands.

Gesture control refers to hand or facial interactions with the smartphone.  Samsung’s Galaxy S4 (with Air View) and Amazon’s Fire Phone (with 4 corner cameras) made interesting attempts for enabling hand and facial gesture recognition, but unfortunately, these features were not very successfully adopted by consumers because they were hard to learn, limited by hardware capabilities, and unreliable or inconsistent to use. But smartphone OEMs will continue improve their designs, and smartphones will eventually be capable of reliably recognize our intentions by tracking our hand or eyeball motions, or facial expressions.

Voice command is widely popular today, but will become a lot more useful in five years. Think of Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana, as cloud computing becomes more artificial intelligent with more data and computational power, they will become more dependable for average consumers to adapt. I hope that by 2020, my daily commutes with Apple’s Siri will no longer be worse than talking to my 2-year old son — Siri will help me change FM radio channels or launch a Podcast via Carplay in my dashboard. I will also be able to ask Google Now to order a pizza for me (topped with bacon, pepperoni and sausage, of course) without directly talking to the pizza-shop guy. Google Now will tell me when the pizza might arrive (based on the traffic congestion conditions), and open the door for me through my Nest, which as a Bluetooth connection to my front door’s electronic lock.


Needless to say, smartphones will be further integrated come the year 2020. Smartphone integration will follow a much similar path as the PC’s integration, except it will take place A LOT faster. Integration doesn’t always mean electronic components will disappear; rather, it can also mean that more hardware performance is integrated into the device. Today’s leading smartphones are packed with a Quad- or Octa-core Application Processor, running between 1.3 to 2.5GHz. By 2020, I’m guessing that smartphone CPUs will be 8 to 16-cores, running between 2.5-4.0 GHz range, (they probably will eat today’s Intel Core i7, designed for high-performance PCs, for lunch.)with 8-10GB RAM and 500-750 GB of storage.

I also believe smartphones will integrate more hardware components for better “context-awareness.” Today’s leading smartphones are easily packed with 10 sensors — gyro, ambient light, accelerometer, barometer, hall sensor, finger scanner, heart rate monitor, among a number of others. I think more microphones (today’s camera usually has at least two microphones) and cameras (again, at least two today) will be packed into the devices to enable improved awareness — 4, 6 or even 8 microphones and cameras are quite possible by 2020. For instance, having multiple microphones enables listening from different positions inside the phone and at different frequencies (i.e. not only voice commands); in addition, it will allow the smartphone to determine its location, its surroundings (whether inside or out) how far it is away from the voice command and even how to improve noise cancellation. Also, having multiple cameras will allow the device to better track facial expressions (Amazon’s Fire Phone is a good example), to capture better 3D and panorama images, or to refocus photos by post-processing (hTC One M8 is a good example).

Further, component-level integration will continue to happen. With increasing applications processor power, the A/P will be able to take over many digital processing from discrete components inside the phone, although I think Sensor Hub will continue to drive low-power, context-awareness tasks while the A/P sleeps.

Display Technology

Do you envision 4K displays (i.e.3840 x 2160) on your smartphone? Today, Apple’s “Retina Display” in the iPhone 5S offers a 326 pixel-per-inch, and many new smartphone displays exceed that pixel density. Smartphone displays are increasing in sizes, moving from 3.2″ and 4″ just a few years ago to 4.7″, 5.2″, 5.5″ and even 6.4”. As the screen sizes increase, as will the display resolution, while keeping the high PPI density.

I think both LCD and AMOLED displays will continue to exist in 2020, as both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages for smartphone applications. From a consumer perspective, I would expect both types of displays to improve on resolution, color accuracy (for example, Xiaomi’s latest Mi4 display has a color gamut covering 84% of the NTSC range, and that’s even better than Apple’s iPhone 5S display), power consumption and thinner assembly allowing for slimmer industrial design.

As smartphones with 2K displays be introduced by the end of 2014, it isn’t unreasonable to say that 4K displays would be used in smartphones, perhaps by or even before 2020.  However, everything has a cost, and the extra pixels that our human eye cannot resolve will consume power from the graphic engine. Would you prefer to trade off some pixel densities with longer battery life? Personally, I think we do not need a 4K smartphone screen. (And yet, I may laugh at myself saying this when we look back five years from now.)

Battery Technology

The thirst for more power is always there. With increased processing capabilities, context-awareness and better display technologies, we can only assume that future smartphones will require more power than what they are carrying today. Today’s top-tier smartphones can package a battery around 3000 mAh. That’s plenty of juice for a day, but consumers always crave for longer battery life or more powerful smartphones with longer video streaming time. Luckily, research on new battery technologies have been increased, thanks to the explosion of portable electronics. I believe there are two types of technologies that will be available and improve our smartphone experiences by 2020:

Battery with higher density: Forbes recently reported that a group of researchers at Stanford University designed a new solution to increase the capacity of existing battery technology by 400%. This is just one of the promising researches we’ve seen in recent years that could one day be deployed for mass production in just a few years. For the same size of battery that lasts for a day of use in 2014, we can expect that smartphones will last for a week without charging by 2020. On the other hand, smartphone OEMs can also select to use a smaller size battery in the smartphone, and in exchange, use the extra room inside the smartphone to integrate other components and features.

Battery with rapid charging capabilities: A gadget-lover’s dream is to get a full-charge of their smartphones within 5 minutes of charging. Today, UNU’s Ultrapak battery pack can deliver a full charge to devices after just 15 minutes of charging itself up. This isn’t to say the technology is ready for smartphone integration, due to various reasons; however, we’re seeing smartphones adopting rapid charging technologies today (such as Oppo’s Find 7) and we should expect that smartphones will have a much shorter charge time thanks to various rapid-charging standards, such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0. Several smartphone models have adopted this standard, including Xiaomi’s Mi3, Mi4, Samsung Galaxy S5 and hTC One M8.

Smartphone Camera

Last but certainly not least, I think smartphone cameras will certainly undergo many improvements by 2020. In fact, the smartphone camera performance is one of the features driving smartphone sales. A safe and simple prediction is that camera’s pixel density would continue to increase as CMOS sensor technology advances. Today, Microsoft’s Lumia 1020 has 41 megapixels, yet I don’t see an average consumer needing that many pixels even by 2020. Personally, I would be very happy with a camera that offers 15-20 megapixel — good photographers understand that pixel isn’t the only determining factor for a good camera, as it is only one of the key aspects.

I am not expecting the camera in a smartphone is capable of optical zooming. Instead, I’d much rather have a smartphone that’s light and portable. In fact, today’s smartphone cameras are pretty good by themselves, but there are always improvements can be made. I think the iPhone 5S cameras can be better with image stabilization, the Galaxy S4 camera can be better with faster start-up and better low-light sensitivity, and the hTC One M8 camera can be designed better with more pixels and improved dynamic contrasting.

Here is a my wishlist for a smartphone camera that I would carry around in 2020, and it’s perhaps not the “2020 Edition of Lumia 1020” camera:

  • 20 megapixel with Image Stabilization, perhaps a wide, f/1.0 aperture
  • HDR, Panorama view
  • Excellent white balance and color accuracy
  • Excellent low-light sensitivity
  • Full manual control
  • Extremely short start-up latency, and fast and accurate auto-focus
  • 4K video recording @ 120fps (with simultaneous image recording)

I may not be a fortune teller, but there you go… that’s my prediction for what a smartphone will look like in the year 2020. Would you be interested in spending your hard-earned dough in 2020 for a smartphone with the above spec? Everyone has an opinion on what the future entails, and my idea of a smartphone five years from now are as good as those of the readers of this blog. I think we would all agree that the advancements in technology will continue to improve the quality of lives. As smartphones become more personal and depend ended upon, we’ll all reap the benefits from the smartphone evolution.


Report: Smart cities to quadruple by the year 2025

The number of global smart cities is expected to grow from 21 in 2013 to an estimated 88 in 2025, according to a new report from IHS Technology. These smart cities will possess energy efficient infrastructures as well as keep a maintained focus on security and streamlined transportation efforts.


Lisa Arrowsmith, IHS Associate Director, defines a smart city as a city that has deployed “the integration of information, communications and technology (ICT) solutions across three or more different functional areas of a city.” She further adds that these implementations could be in the realms of mobile and transport, energy and sustainability, physical infrastructure, governance, and safety and security.

Among the 21 cities IHS currently categorizes as smart are five in the U.S. – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and New York. According to the study, “Asia-Pacific will account for 32 smart cities of the total in nine years’ time, Europe will have 31, and the Americas will contribute 25.”


“London, for example, is retrofitting both residential and commercial buildings to lessen carbon dioxide emissions,” the study notes. “The city is also adopting charging infrastructure to support the introduction of 100,000 electric vehicles.” In Santander, Spain, it adds, “soil-humidity sensors detect when land requires irrigating for more sustainable water use.”

The IHS report titled, “Smart Cities: Business Models, Technologies and Existing Projects,” also finds that the current $1 billion worldwide annual investment in smart cities will grow to over $12 billion by the year 2025. The report continues on to demonstrate the need for smart cities as a response to increasingly congested and polluted cities.

With a global population that is becoming overly urbanized, certain resources are becoming scarce in these densely populated areas. Smart cities and tech based city organization can focus on these limited resources and assure they are managed in a way that provides the best solutions for inhabitants.

While today’s smart cities may not be the most cost-friendly option when reorganizing an urban area, Arrowsmith lauds the possibilities that smart planning could provide. She notes the collaboration of public and private sectors could unquestionably boost a local economy. Incorporating technology applications into city planning could in turn create jobs or even foster a high tech culture within the municipality.


The glowing example of a global smart city is Santander, Spain. After obtaining an EU grant, the aging port town organized a team to install over 12,000 sensors within city limits. BusinessWeek’s Carol Matlack writes that the sensors track everything from surfing conditions to traffic congestion. The city has even placed sensors deep in the ground of their parks to measure soil humidity and can then properly determine sprinkler usage. In all, Santander is a prime example of how technology and communication can work in unison to better organize the smart city of the future.

With the example Santander has provided as well as what plans for cities across the globe have in store, it’s certainly not far-fetched to believe in the projections provided by the IHS report. You can read the IHS document in its entirety here.

Report: Drivers ready for connected cars

According to a new report from mobile operator Telefónica, consumer awareness of connected car products and services around the globe is growing.

In its annual study of buying behavior and attitudes, the telco found that 70% of drivers were either interested in using, or already were using, connected car services, while 80% of consumers expected that they would ultimately be have the access to the same connected experience in their vehicle as they would in their home via a mobile device.


“Through looking at the connected car from a driver’s perspective, it’s clear that the demand for connected services in cars is unquestionable. Even though we’re just moving off of the starting line, people are ready for it and know what they want. But challenges to widespread roll-out remain,” explained Pavan Mathew, Global Head of Connected Car at Telefónica.

In fact, around half of consumers now consider connected features, such as built-in connectivity and the ability to plug-in a smartphone, a key part of their next car purchase. Other features, including increased safety, early warning systems and smarter navigation, are cited as the most popular with nearly three-quarters (73%) of drivers listing safety and diagnostics components as the most important.

“I also think vehicle-to-vehicle communication is going to grow very quickly in the next five years. The beauty of that technology is that the communication protocol can be used for a host of other services beyond vehicle communication, so it benefits the wider infrastructure too,” said Kia Motors CTO Henry Bzeih.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Usage-based insurance models are also very popular, with 54% of UK drivers choosing it one of the connected car features they would be most interested in.
  • On average 35% of drivers expect not to own their own car by 2034, and instead predict they will be using alternative options such as car sharing services.
  • The dashboard is the favored way for accessing connected services, particularly for safety, navigation and vehicle diagnostics, with more than 60% of respondents across all markets preferring to access features in this way.
  • Drivers in various countries will prefer to pay for connected services in different ways. Most Spanish drivers would prefer a one-off payment (49%) while those in America, Germany and the UK would favour basic connectivity with the option to choose additional services. Brazilians are split between the latter and a full-on PAYG model, suggesting a degree of flexibility not seen in other countries.


GM Director of Product Strategy and Infotainment Greg Ross explained, “For us it comes down to the things that make the car a better vehicle. When we talk to customers about connectivity they say well it’s a car and so what I need it to do are the things I bought a car for. They want it to be safer, more intelligent and more economical. Connectivity is a chance for OEMs to look at how we can help to reduce costs for customers and make cost of ownership lower by giving advice on how to drive more fuel efficiently, or helping you find the lowest cost source of fuel or the most efficient route.”

Additionally, another report from Infonetics Research has revealed that in the connected car market is expected to rise to nearly $8 billion in 2015 and reach $16.9 billion come 2018. This an increase from 2013, where the market valued at close to $6 billion. The firm states that some service providers are seeing as much as 90% of their M2M revenue generated from the connected car segment. According to the study, North America is the foundation of the global connected car business, accounting for 37% of global service revenue in 2013; Europe and Asia will be fast-growing regions. With sizeable auto markets and large land areas, countries like the U.S. and China are ideal for connected vehicle services.


As previously discussed in Bits & Piecesautomotive electronics are currently centered around people (infotainment and communications) and the machine itself (to run the car and provide safety and convenience). However, a third element is emerging; namely, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications.

You can read the entire “Connected Car Industry Report“ here.

BI Intelligence details IoT enterprise apps

Writing for Business Insider, Emily Adler notes that the Internet of Things (IoT) — a world comprised of ordinary objects connected to the web and accessible from mobile devices — will soon emerge as a huge market, “dwarfing all other consumer electronics categories.”

Just how large are we talking? BI Intelligence reveals that 1.9 billion once-inert everyday and enterprise devices are already connected to the Internet — from parking meters to home thermostats — while that number is expected to rise to 9 billion come 2018. “That’s roughly equal to the number of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, wearable computers, and PCs combined,” Adler emphasized.  


“There are already clear signs that the biggest tech companies — and even smaller players — are trying to get out front of the race to dominate the IoT. Google has acquired Nest. Apple has unveiled its HomeKit platform. Even Staples and Honeywell — not typically companies thought of as tech leaders — are putting out new IoT-related products.”

It doesn’t stop there either, thanks in part to the budding Maker Movement. According to Gartner’s Jim Tully, by 2018, 50% of the Internet of Things solutions will be provided by startups which are less than 3 years old — this a clear result of DIY culture continuing to spur innovation throughout both the B2B and consumer space.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, BI Intelligence recently listed the 6 primary attributes that’ll help make “things” a part of the rapidly evolving IoT set to connect over 30 billion devices over the next six years.

As uptake among consumers and businesses ticks up, BI Intelligence has unveiled in one of its latest reports that the IoT market “will drive trillions in economic value as it permeates consumer and business life. Soon, it will be perfectly normal to have a refrigerator that talks to you and a garage door you open with your smartphone.”

According to Reza Kazerounian, Senior VP and GM of the Microcontroller Business Unit at Atmel, the IoT is a combination of multiple market segments, tens of thousands of OEMs and hundreds of thousands of products. “It is seen by many as the next wave of dramatic market growth for semiconductors. If you look at the different estimates made by market analysts, the IoT market will be worth trillions of dollars to a variety of industries from the consumer to financial, industrial, white goods and other market segments,” he told EEWeb in February.

Adler notes just some of the most important enterprise applications that are already being developed today:

  • Connected advertising and marketing: Cisco believes that this category (think Internet-connected billboards) will be one of the top three IoT categories, along with smart factories and telecommuting support systems.
  • Intelligent traffic management systems: Machina Research, in a paper prepared for the GSMA, sees $100 billion in revenue by 2020 for applications such as toll-taking and congestion penalties. A related revenue source will be smart parking-space management, expected to drive $30 billion in revenue.
  • Waste management systems: In Cincinnati, residential waste volume fell 17% and recycling volume grew by 49% through use of a “pay as you throw” program that used IoT technology to monitor those who exceed waste limits.
  • Smart electricity grids that adjust rates for peak energy usage:These will represent savings of $200 billion to $500 billion per year by 2025, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
  • Smart water systems and meters: The cities of Doha, São Paulo, and Beijing have reduced leaks by 40 to 50% by putting sensors on pumps and other water infrastructure.
  • Industrial uses: This includes Internet-managed assembly lines, connected factories, and warehouses, etc.

Earlier this month, Atmel teamed up with fellow industry leaders Broadcom, Dell, Intel, Samsung and Wind River to drive seamless device-to-device connectivity. The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) aims to define IoT requirements to ensure the interoperability of these billions upon billions of devices projected to come online by 2020.

“Atmel is excited about our participation in OIC to establish an open source framework that goes beyond the digital home and supports services for multiple verticals including consumer, industrial and automotive markets,” explained Kaivan Karimi, Vice President and General Manager of Wireless MCUs at Atmel.

In order to help deliver the platform for a growing demand of intelligent, connected devices, Atmel recently announced the launch of Atmel® | SMART™, the new brand of ARM®-based microcontrollers and has expanded its SMART portfolio with new SmartConnect SAM W23 modules, enabling Wi-Fi connectivity and the best of high performance and low power technology for IoT applications.


Interested in learning more about the IoT? You can access the entire BI Intelligence report here or read through our extensive Bits & Pieces IoT article archive.

China is leading the IoT pack

Analysts at GSMA confirm that China is the global leader in the adoption of M2M technology – with over 50 million connections or more than one quarter of the total M2M market in 2013.

 Indeed, close collaboration between the country’s leading mobile operators China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, state-owned enterprises and the government has enabled the market to grow dramatically in a relatively short period of time, laying the foundations for further expansion and the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

“China is a rapidly developing country that is investing in communications technologies that will make its cities smarter and provide a better quality of life for its citizens,” explained GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair.

“Proactive government support has benefited China and its mobile operators, whereas in many global markets, regulatory uncertainty has held back the deployment of M2M solutions. The addressable market and the opportunity for further growth is immense, especially when one considers the sheer number of ‘things’ such as cars or domestic appliances that could potentially be connected by mobile.”

According to Sinclair, Asia is currently the largest regional M2M market, accounting for 40 per cent of the world’s 189 million M2M connections at the end of 2013. To be sure, Asia added 55 million M2M net connections between 2010 and 2013 and China was the primary driver of growth in the region, adding nearly 39 million M2M connections during the period.

Demand from the energy and transportation industries has driven much of this early growth, while M2M solutions are also gaining traction in the automotive, smart city, healthcare, education and retail sectors.

It should also be noted that China’s leading mobile operators have developed sophisticated 
M2M service propositions that go beyond the provision of basic connectivity. These typically combine a generic horizontal platform, designed to work across all industry sectors with dedicated vertical platforms for specific application areas, such as automotive or healthcare.

Interested in learning more about the IoT? You can check out Atmel’s recent IoT SoMa panel on the subject here, Patrick Sullivan’s EELive! 2014 presentation and our extensive Bits & Pieces IoT article archive here.

IoT hits college campuses

Writing for EdTech Magazine, Tommy Peterson reports that students attending the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts will soon be able to use their smartphones to check whether washers are free in their dormitory laundry room.

As Ellen Keohane, the director of IT services at Holy Cross confrms, the campus is one of many where apps based on the Internet of Things (IoT) — are moving beyond their established role in facilities management and into classrooms, laboratories and student life.

“It’s interesting to think about the convergence of several trends, particularly the cloud and mobile app ­development, which are related,” Keohane explains. “We have an increasing variety of mobile devices with access to cloud-based information services. The possibilities seem endless.”

Eric Matson, associate professor and director of the Robotic Innovation, Commercialization and Education Research Center at Purdue University in West Lafayette, expressed similar sentiments.

Indeed, students already access the IoT through their smartphones, says Matson, and they expect their available network of connections to grow. Although the IoT promises to make enterprises more efficient, Matson emphasizes that bandwidth, security issues and the adoption of ­standards for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication must be ­addressed as the space grows.

“If we want to set high-level policy and let machines make lower-level decisions, we need to understand the machines, the network and the ­implications of the policies we make.”

Meanwhile, Sanjay Sarma, professor of mechanical engineering and ­director of digital learning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says he believes security will improve as the IoT expands.

“It’s not as though the world is secure now. As more devices are connected, we’re going to be forced to recognize our vulnerabilities,” he adds.

The full text of “IoT Goes to College” by Tommy Peterson can be read on EdTech Magazine here.

Interested in learning more about the IoT? You can check out Atmel’s recent IoT SoMa panel on the subject here, Patrick Sullivan’s EELive! 2014 presentation here and our extensive Bits & Pieces IoT article archive here.