Ada College hosts IoT hackathon as ThingWorx becomes part of curriculum

Digital is increasingly woven into everything we do; from the products we interact with on a daily basis to the services we use. This means organisations need a workforce with technical skills to support our rapidly-growing digital economy. However, according to Tech City UK – the government-backed body focused on accelerating the growth of digital […]

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Hitachi’s new IoT play and Nest becomes a security company

Nest Detect is one of the new product announcements from Nest.

On this week’s Internet of Things Podcast, hosts Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel discuss the big news from Nest. August also updated its line of locks and promised a better doorbell. Meanwhile, rumors of an Amazon Alexa security system or even glasses emerged. And Google leaked some news. They also talk about smart grid M&A and Comcast buying Stringify, a company that links together myriad devices and lets you create scenes. Kevin also shares his thoughts on the Apple Watch with LTE and they answer a reader question about garage doors.

In the interview segment, Stacey interviews Rob Tiffany of Hitachi about the company’s new industrial IoT play. Rob is the CTO and Global Product Manager of Lumada IoT. Why is Hitachi embracing IoT? Learn on this week’s IoT podcast.

Either play below or get on iTunes or your Android device.

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Volansys becomes latest firm to join ZigBee Alliance

VOLANSYS has announced it has joined the ZigBee Alliance to expand its position within the latter’s ecosystem.

VOLANSYS allows OEMs and device manufacturers to employ connected products based on ZigBee technology using its latest solutions like HomeBridge, Modular IoT Gateway, Modular Edge Network Platform. The membership with the ZigBee Alliance enables VOLANSYS to provide the latest ZigBee – and dotdot-powered IoT gateway as well as smart products that offer meaningful IoT interoperability to its customers at an accelerated development cycle.

The alliance is an open, non-profit association driving development of innovative, reliable and easy-to-use ZigBee standards, and has attracted 400+ innovative and well-known organisations from around the globe. The alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as a leading wireless mesh network, and sensing and control standard for use in consumer, commercial and industrial areas.

VOLANSYS is just the latest firm to have joined the initiative. Chinese connected lighting and smart home provider LEEDARSON joined ZigBee at the promoter level as well as accepting a seat on its board of directors back in November.

Kellen Yang, sales director from LEEDARSON, said at the time: “This is a crucial time as the relevant wireless standards emerge as vital to proliferation of the IoT market, and organisations behind them like the ZigBee Alliance wisely move to consolidate in a strategic direction for the good of the IoT experience and end users.”

Alongside LEEDARSON, Huawei also joined the alliance in August, while other members include Itron, Comcast Cable, Philips, Schneider Electric, and more.

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Apple becomes leading wearables vendor as Tim Cook says business is ‘Fortune 500’ size

Global shipments of wearable devices hit 22 million units in the first quarter of 2017 with Apple overtaking Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor, according to Strategy Analytics.

In the company’s latest report, Strategy Analytics states that the global wearables shipments figure saw an increase of 21% on an annual basis from 18.2 million in Q1 2016, owing to a stronger demand for new smartwatch models in North America, Western Europe and Asia.

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Apple shipped 3.5 million wearables worldwide in Q1 2017, rising 59% annually from 2.2 million units in Q1 2016. Apple captured 16% global market share and overtook Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor.

“The new Apple Watch Series 2 is selling relatively well in the US, UK and elsewhere, due to enhanced styling, intensive marketing and a good retail presence. Xiaomi shipped 3.4 million wearables for 15% market share worldwide in Q1 2017. Demand for its popular Mi Band fitness range was broadly flat across its core markets of Asia.”

To date, Apple has never publicly revealed the exact sales figures for the Apple Watch, like it does for its iPhone and iPad. But at a recently held quarterly earnings call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that the company’s wearable business, which includes the Watch, Beats headphones and the new Airpods, is now “the size of a Fortune 500 company.” According to data from BI Intelligence, the Apple Watch units have more than doubled in six of its top 10 markets.

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Siemens’ Mentor becomes Microsoft Azure certified for the Internet of Things

Siemens-owned Mentor, which aims to provide the embedded systems industry’s broadest portfolio of solutions for the industrial market, has joined Microsoft Azure Certified for Internet of Things (IoT) to help customers get IoT solutions functioning quickly with hardware and software that has been pre-tested and verified to work with Microsoft Azure IoT services.

Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT allows businesses to reach customers where they are, working with an ecosystem of devices and platforms, allowing for faster time to production.

Scot Morrison, general manager, platform business unit, Mentor Embedded Systems Division, said: “Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT validates Mentor’s ability to jumpstart customers’ IoT projects with pre-tested device and operating system combinations, and the ability to meet requirements with Linux, Nucleus RTOS, or complex combinations of runtime environments. Leveraging Mentor’s 20-plus years’ experience in embedded systems, our customers can benefit from a commercial-grade integration of Microsoft Azure with their embedded IoT projects, and have assurance for compatibility now and in the future.”

Barb Edson, general manager for data platform and Internet of Things at Microsoft, said: “Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT extends our promise to bring IoT to business scale, starting with interoperable solutions from leading technology companies around the world. With trusted offerings and verified partners, Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT accelerates the deployment of IoT even further.”

By choosing a partner from the Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT program, customers can save time and effort on project specs and RFP processes by knowing in advance what devices and offerings will work with the Azure IoT Suite.

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