Anaren spins off IoT Group to Liebl’s new Atmosphere IoT Corp amid $775m sale to TTM Technologies

Anaren, Inc. of East Syracuse, NY has divested some key assets and agreements from its IoT Group to a team led by former Anaren executive, Jeff Liebl. The assets have been spun off to Anaren’s IoT Group management team, which recently formed Atmosphere IoT Corp. Jeremy Cowan reports.

The divestiture is being made as part of the previously announced sale of US-based Anaren, Inc. to TTM Technologies (TTMI.O) for US$ 775 million. IoT Now understands that the IoT deal closed on January 2, but terms were not disclosed. (Also see: Anaren appoints Jeff Liebl as IoT group president.)

Former Anaren IoT Group president Jeff Liebl and senior engineer Kieron Gillespie now serve as president & CEO, and CTO, respectively of Atmosphere IoT Corp (www.atmosphereiot.com). “We are very excited about the market opportunity right in front of us,” says Liebl. “With our proven cloud software platform and core development team intact, we can devote our efforts to serving the mass market of global developers and OEMs seeking to create the next generation of wireless-enabled, cloud-connected products and solutions.”

Jeff Liebl has executive-level experience in cloud software, wireless and predictive analytics companies. Prior to serving as president, IoT Group for Anaren, Inc., he was the chief marketing officer at Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII). Earlier, he held leadership roles in sales, marketing and general management at eBureau, Ubiquity Software, Jetstream Communications, and 3Com Corporation. Jeff Liebl holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

Talking exclusively to IoT Now, Liebl said: “As an independent company, we’ll be focused on building out our web-based IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to support all the leading IoT building blocks out there (sensors, MCUs, IDEs, mobile app platforms, cloud platforms, etc.) in order to meet the rapid IoT product development needs of the ‘mass market’ of IoT developers and OEMs. We want to make building a complete sensor-to-cloud solution as easy as one could dream it to be.”

Kieron Gillespie, co-founder and CTO of Atmosphere IoT Corp.

Atmosphere IoT’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Kieron Gillespie has a background in IoT cloud solutions, creating development tools and software. His prior experiences include developing software with Assured Information Security, and research and development while senior software systems engineer for Anaren Inc.’s IoT Group. Gillespie graduated from Clarkson University with Honours with degrees in Physics, Computer Science, and Mathematics.

Previously a part of Anaren, Inc., Atmosphere IoT claims to offer the fastest and simplest way to create, deploy, and manage complete device-to-cloud solutions. Unveiled in January 2015, its cloud platform has been used by thousands of developers and original equipment makers (OEMs) to build and deploy wireless-enabled connected product solutions.

The Atmosphere IoT team has now been joined by Richard LaBorde as director of Business Development.

Larry Sala, president and CEO of Anaren says, “This is an excellent outcome for everyone, including our IoT-related customers. We wish the IoT Group team the very best as they take the Atmosphere software platform to the next level.”

Best known as a radar components maker Anaren Inc is being […]

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Zurich Insurance Group acquires Bright Box to strengthen capabilities in connected cars

Zurich Insurance Group acquires Bright Box to strengthen capabilities in connected cars

Zurich Insurance Group acquires Bright Box to strengthen capabilities in connected cars

Acquisition will create unique value proposition for automotive Industry.

Bright Box HK Limited (Bright Box) announced that it has been acquired by Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich).

Bright Box was founded in 2012, has operations in Europe and conducts business globally. It provides a turn-key connected car platform that links drivers to their vehicles, and the vehicles to networks of car dealers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Bright Box already has business relationships with leading global OEMs and hundreds of dealerships worldwide, providing the entire stack of connected car technology like cloud IT platform, mobile and web apps, telematics hardware, as well as the connectivity between them.

Zurich’s strategy is focused on providing simple and innovative propositions through products and services centered on customer needs. Bright Box will contribute to further expanding Zurich’s focus on mobility through tailored services, enhanced by digital interactions with car drivers and closer collaboration with car dealers and OEMs.

Giovanni Giuliani, Group Chief Strategy, Innovation and Business Development Officer, said:

“We are excited by the potential that Bright Box brings to further strengthen our offerings to car drivers and the companies that support their needs. By enhancing our capabilities in data insights and analysis, we will be able to provide our customers more tailored and convenient solutions, which is in line with our strategy.”

“It is a great honor and tremendous opportunity for us to be part of Zurich with its strong international brand and ability to lead the way in the fast-changing environment of automotive insurance,” says Ken Belotsky, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Bright Box.

Bright Box will continue to operate as a separate business entity and all co-founders of the company, including Ivan Mishanin (CEO), Alex Dimchenko (CSO) and Ken Belotsky (Executive Chairman), will continue to manage its operations leveraging capabilities provided by the new shareholder.

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French company Thales Group to buy Gemalto for $5.4B

Thales Group, French aerospace brand delivering software and services announced that it will acquire Gemalto, a company offering identity verification software. The all-cash deal is valued at $ 5.4B (€4.8B) based on 51 euros ($ 60) a share for Gemalto.

Gemalto has a strong footprint in the IoT market where it offers solutions for connectivity, security, monetization, M2M and consumer electronics. The company has customers across a wide range of industries including enterprises, industrial OEMs, consumer OEM, mobile network operators and cloud service providers.

IoT Security

Digital security has become an important market as the number of devices and customer- and partner-touchpoints increases. After the merger of Gemalto into Thales, the new division will focus on security software, biometrics, multifactor authentication and issuing secure electronic and physical ID cards. “We share the same values and Gemalto will be able to pursue its strategy, accelerate its development and deliver its digital security vision, as part of Thales,” said Gemalto chief executive Philippe Vallee.

The acquisition was finalized at a crucial stage as Gemalto received other offers too. Atos, another French firm also showed interest in acquiring Gemalto for €46/share (with an unsolicited $ 5.1 billion offer. The acquisition is expected to complete by the second half of 2018, with the only caveat being that should Gemalto receive an acquisition offer 9% higher than that of Thales Group’s $ 5.4B, the deal will stand terminated.


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Huawei sets up Connected Factory group to push 5G in manufacturing

Huawei sets up Connected Factory group to push 5G in manufacturing

Huawei special interest group will research potential for next-generation connectivity applications on the factory floor. 

Telecoms equipment giant Huawei, alongside several industry partners, has set up a Wireless Connected Factory Special Interest Group (SIG) to conduct research and promote applications of 5G communication technologies in industrial IoT (IIoT).

The members of the group include ABB, Efort, Bosch, Beckhoff, Hikrobot, Geely, KUKA, and Shenyang Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences. The first SIG group meeting has been held, with guidance provided by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).

According to Huawei, flexible manufacturing based on smart machines will help redefine future production lines, with next-generation machines featuring plug-and-play technology. These are growing increasingly flexible in terms of their range of functions and can be adjusted to suit different types of production.

Such machines need dynamic, high-performance communications networks, the company says, and wireless technologies can help to reduce network construction and maintenance costs, while also boosting the productivity and safety of workers.

Read more: IIoT adoption increases, but projects still early-stage, says Bsquare

5G’s potential in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry holds significant potential for IoT applications. According to analysis conducted by Huawei Wireless X Labs, connections in this sector worldwide will reach 12.5 billion by 2020, with factory networks accounting for $ 50 billion of the potential market.

At the start of 2017, X Labs targeted wireless robotics as one of its main focuses in its research into wireless use cases. Since then, X Labs and its partners have decided upon the Wireless Connected Factory SIG’s four research priorities: cloud-based programmable logic controllers (PLC); wireless industrial cameras; wireless controlled automated guided vehicles (AGV); and industrial wearables.

“Huawei hopes that SIGs such as those set up by X Labs can discover and inspire many more 5G use cases and promote 5G technologies’ application in future smart manufacturing,” said Ying Weimin, president of Huawei Wireless R&D. “Such efforts will contribute to the rise of connected factories. Huawei will work diligently alongside its partners to stimulate further growth and innovation.”

Read more: Huawei IoT strategy fuses platform, connections, ecosystem

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Action Environmental Group kits out fleet with connected camera tech

Action Environmental Group kits out fleet with connected camera tech

Garbage trucks belonging to Action Environmental Group are to be equipped with camera technology that improves the safety of drivers.  

It’s a great example of a pilot project proving so successful that the technology is subsequently rolled out on a much wider scale.

In 2016, Action Environmental Group, a commercial waste collection company based in New York City, began trialling connected camera technology from 3rd Eye, a provider of safety equipment for commercial vehicles, in just one of its business divisions.

The goal was to see the impact on driver safety and risky behaviour – and thanks to the results the company has seen, Action Environmental has unveiled plans to equip its entire fleet of 300 trucks with the technology by the end of the year.

Improving driver safety

3rd Eye’s technology records both the driver and road, making drivers aware of what’s happening inside as well as outside their vehicle. The combined camera/radar offering is part of the company’s wider Enhance Vehicle Behavioral Analytics product, which provides access to information captured by 3rd Eye cameras, collision avoidance radar, body sensors and chassis data.

The camera/radar hardware itself is an important aspect of the system, but there’s also a reliance on big data. A specialist at team at 3rd Eye analyses video footage to generate insight into potential problems or issues.

That information, according 3rd Eye, can help companies develop effective training schemes and regulations on safe driving. It can assist with service verification and route optimisation and enable customers to conduct post-crash fault analysis within the system. That’s important, because it can help them to tackle false or fraudulent claims of damage – a commonplace occurrence in the transportation industry.

Read more: LeasePlan and TomTom partner on connected fleet management

Big results

Ken Levine, director of safety at Action Environmental Group, said that, despite using the system for only a year, the company is pleased with the results. The cameras serve two main purposes, he explained: “to provide day-to-day training and analysis; and to learn from individual instances.” 

“In the first three months of deployment,” he continued, “I have personally seen a 30 to 50 percent reduction in risky behavior. And in some cases, we have even seen the system play a serious role in workers’ compensation claim investigations.”

But the biggest benefits are the most important: driver safety is up and employee injuries are down.

Read more: Golden State Foods (GSF) delivers transformation with IBM Watson IoT

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