Rise of ‘smart wearables’ helps bolster overall market in Q3, says IDC

The total shipment volume of wearables globally saw a 7.3% year over year in Q3/2017 amounting to 26.3 million units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, while the overall wearable market is witnessing a consistent growth trend, a specific growth trend is noticed in the smart wearables (devices that have the ability to run third party applications) market but it is missing from the market associated with basic wearables (devices that cannot run third party applications).

For the quarter, the first place is jointly occupied by Fitbit and Xiaomi, followed by Apple, Huawei and Garmin. Fitbit and Xiaomi’s shipment volumes stood at 3.6 million, followed by Apple with 2.7 million, Huawei 1.6 million and Garmin 1.3 million. In terms of market share, Fitbit and Xiaomi led with 13.7%, Apple 10.3%, Huawei 6%, and Garmin 4.9%.

Ramon T. Llamas, research manager for IDC’s wearables team, said: "Basic wearables – with devices coming from Fitbit, Xiaomi, and Huawei – helped establish the wearables market. But as tastes and demands have changed towards multi-purpose devices – like smartwatches from Apple, Fossil, and Samsung – vendors find themselves at a crossroads to adjust accordingly to capture growth opportunity and mindshare."

According to Canalys figures from last month, Apple has managed to reoccupy the lead position in the wearable band market due to the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3. A Canalys analyst said that in Q3/2017, the iPhone maker shipped 800,000 cellular-enabled Apple Watch units. The analyst Jason Low commented: “Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers’ doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers.”

In the meantime, the US wearables market will face a major threat from its Chinese counterpart as it will be overtaken by China’s market this year, according to eMarketer. As reported by The Drum, it has been projected by that 21% or 144.3 million residents of China will wear devices similar to the Apple Watch compared to 20.4% of US residents.

iottechnews.com: Latest from the homepage

LPWA: Challenger operators could benefit from using a different technology to that of the market leader

Mobile operators have a significant opportunity to offer LPWA solutions, but competition will be intense. The leaders have decided which technology to support – for example, AT&T has opted for LTE-M, Orange uses LoRa and LTE-M and Vodafone has gone for NB-IoT.Many other operators, especially smaller ones, have yet to make a firm commitment, but some challenger operators are planning to deploy different technologies to the market leaders. This article, based on our detailed report on approaches to LPWA, examines the options they face and the factors that will affect their decisions.

For the traditional mass-market smartphone opportunity, the technology upgrade path, through flavours of 2G, 3G and 4G, was clear. IoT is a new market and the old rules do not always apply. There are clear benefits for operators willing to take a risk on an alternative strategy from the leaders. This article examines the options they face and the factors that will affect their decisions, says Michele Mackenzie, principal analyst and Tom Rebbeck, research director, Enterprise & IoT at Analysys Mason.

Operators have three main approaches to LPWA technology choice

Mobile operators have three main options to consider when choosing an LPWA technology. They are as follows.

Follow the leader: The challenger operator chooses the same technology as the market leader. For example, if the leading operator is launching LTE-M then the challenger would do the same.
Choose an alternative to the leader: The challenger operator chooses a different technology to that of the market leader. For example, if the leader chooses LTE-M then the challenger will deploy NB-IoT.
Wait and see: The challenger operator waits for a winning technology to emerge before committing.

With LPWA, challenger operators have an opportunity to differentiate. Figure 1 illustrates some of the technology choices that leading and challenger operators have made. There is currently no clear trend on the approach that challenger operators are taking; some follow the leader, others do not.

Figure 1: Selected operator/markets LPWA technology choices

Some of the advantages for challenger operators to deploy a different LPWA technology are as follows.

The alternative technology will be better suited to particular use cases. It is uncertain how large the differences between NB-IoT and LTE-M will be in terms of price and performance, but if NB-IoT does have clear price advantages or longer battery life than LTE-M, it will be more attractive for some applications such as metering. This could benefit T-Mobile USA. Moreover, challenger operators could benefit enormously if their chosen technology is used for a mass-market proposition. For example, if LTE-M is used by a future Apple Watch, KPN would be in a strong position in the Dutch market compared with its competitors, T-Mobile and Vodafone, which are focused on NB-IoT.
An alternative technology could open up the enterprise market. Most challenger operators have a limited presence in the enterprise market. An alternative technology with clearly differentiated performance could help open new enterprise opportunities.
It should reduce competition based purely on price. If all three/four operators offer the same network technology and coverage, strong price competition will be inevitable. Different technology […]

The post LPWA: Challenger operators could benefit from using a different technology to that of the market leader appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Blogs – IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business

Change is coming to ‘stagnant’ wearables market as heart rate sensors claim accurate monitoring

Today’s continuous monitoring tech is shifting the consumer mindset away from a reactive monitoring approach to a proactive one. And this is having a dramatic effect on the market for wearable technologies, as Jeremy Cowan reports. 

Instead of waiting for annual visits to the  doctor to get results for blood pressure and other vital signs, consumers want real-time information about their health status. So says Sui Shieh who is vice president, Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at one wearables manufacturer, Maxim Integrated.

This shift is causing an increased demand for accurate, small, and low-power wearable devices, said to be an important enabler for this new way of thinking. As continuous monitoring and preventive healthcare become more common, both technology providers and health practitioners must embrace and accommodate these new demands to be successful, he believes.

“Global healthcare costs are high and growing,” says Sui, “with spend now running at 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) – in the US it’s $ 9 trillion. The consumer mindset is moving from reeactive to proactive, with prevention and early detection (of illness) by fitness apps, and chronic disease monitoring” with healthcare devices. But, as he goes on to say, fitness apps generally give little information; that’s why the market has been stagnant for two years.

“The market is there,” he says, “with six million users in 2016 rising to 50 million in 2021, according to analysts, Berg Insight. Our customers are now looking for clinical-grade performance (with US Food & Drug Administration certification), the longest battery life, a small size, and high accuracy.”

Sui Shieh: Wearables market is shifting towards prevention and early detection of illness

Maxim believes that it’s now able to meet these requirements. Through compact, low power solutions, it has a new range of devices that enable accurate monitoring of vital signs to monitor wellness/fitness and prevent health problems before they even begin.

Maxim’s portfolio of sensors for wearable health and fitness applications allows consumers to accurately monitor a variety of key vital signs while being mindful of low power (for longer battery life) and small size (for convenience and comfort). The MAX86140 and MAX86141 can be used to measure PPG signals on the wrist, finger, and ear to detect heart rate, heart rate variability, and pulse oximetry.

The MAX30001 measures ECG and BioZ on the chest and wrist to detect heart rate, respiration, and arrhythmias. Compared to competitive solutions, the MAX86140 and MAX86141 is claimed to require less than half the power and is approximately one third smaller, while the MAX30001 requires approximately half the power in almost half the size. By collecting beat to beat data about the heart, these solutions collect accurate data so users can recognize important symptoms when they first begin. In addition, the MAX30001 meets IEC60601-2-47, clinical ECG standards.

“The convergence of clinical grade diagnostics in form factors small enough to integrate into all sorts of smart, everyday clothing is impressive,” said Adrian Straka, director of Hardware and Manufacturing, SKIIN. “The ultra-small MAX30001 enables SKIIN’s bio-sensing underwear to monitor and track health […]

The post Change is coming to ‘stagnant’ wearables market as heart rate sensors claim accurate monitoring appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

Blogs – IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business

The precision agriculture market to reach € 4.2 billion worldwide in 2021

The precision agriculture market to reach € 4.2 billion worldwide in 2021

The precision agriculture market to reach € 4.2 billion worldwide in 2021

According to a new research report from the M2M/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the global market for precision agriculture solutions is forecasted to grow from € 2.2 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6 percent to reach about € 4.2 billion in 2021.

A set of technologies are applied in precision farming practices, which are aimed at managing variations in the field to maximise yield, raise productivity and reduce consumption of agricultural inputs. While solutions such as auto-guidance and machine monitoring and control via on-board displays today are mainstream technologies in the agricultural industry, telematics and Variable Rate Technology (VRT) are still in the early stages of adoption. Interoperability between hardware and software solutions remains a challenge, although standardisation initiatives led by organisations such as Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation and AgGateway make progress.

Most major agricultural equipment manufacturers have today initiatives related to precision agriculture although strategies vary markedly. Leading vendors of precision agriculture solutions include the world’s largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment Deere & Company, followed by the US-based precision technology vendors Trimble, Topcon Positioning Systems, Raven Industries and Ag Leader Technology. Hexagon further holds a strong position in the positioning segment through its subsidiary NovAtel. Major providers that specialise in data-oriented applications and agronomic services are the Monsanto subsidiary The Climate Corporation, Canada-based Farmers Edge and the newly formed DowDuPont with its Encirca services. A group of companies have furthermore emerged as leaders on the nascent market for in-field sensor systems. These include Davis Instruments, Pessl Instruments with its METOS brand, Semios, Hortau, AquaSpy and CropX.

Fredrik Stålbrand, IoT Analyst, Berg Insight, said:

“The traditional industry boundaries within the agricultural sector are slowly beginning to blur as agricultural equipment and precision farming solutions are becoming parts of broader systems.”

chart: installed base of active wireless devices in agricultural production (World 2016-2021)Partnerships and consolidation among agricultural equipment manufacturers and precision technology companies marked the theme of the last decade, but alliances are now expanding in scope among OEMs, input producers, software companies and agronomic services providers. “The market is today evolving into a thicket of interlocking relationships that create complex competitive dynamics. Investments in APIs along with open IT architectures will be key to support the level of flexibility needed in the digital ecosystem that is emerging within the agricultural industry”, concluded Mr. Stålbrand.

The post The precision agriculture market to reach € 4.2 billion worldwide in 2021 appeared first on IoT Business News.

IoT Business News

Adoption of IoT platforms to lead key trends dominating Asia Pacific technology market in 2018

Hitachi Vantara has highlighted 10 key trends that will dominate the Asia Pacific technology market in 2018 – with adoption of IoT platforms in pole position.

Hitachi Vantara’s CTO Hubert Yoshida and Asia Pacific CTO Russell Skingsley have worked together to predict the key trends. Some of the key trends highlighted by the Hitachi subsidiary are:

Adoption of IoT platforms by the IT sector to facilitate the application of IoT solutions 

IoT solutions are really fast in turning out to be a strategic imperative in almost all industries and market sectors in addition to delivering insight to support digital transformation. Enterprises are expected to look for an IoT platform that offers an open, flexible architecture which eases integration with complimentary technologies.

Growth of analytics and artificial intelligence

It has been predicted that 2018 will witness real growth in analytics and AI as enterprises start realising the real returns on investments. Skingsley commented: “AI became mainstream with consumer products like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri, and Hitachi believes that it is the collaboration of AI and humans that will bring real benefits to society.”

Blockchain to take centre stage

For two possible reasons it is believed that blockchain will take the centre stage in 2018. First, the use of cryptocurrencies and second an increase use of blockchain by the financial sector for several day-to-day processes such as customer documentation and regulatory filings.

Smart storage of data

Although there is advancement in digital transformation among enterprises, the issue arises when they are not able to access their data as it is stored in “isolated islands” making it costly to extract and use. Object storage has become “smart” with the help of software which helps in searching and reading content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyse it for cleansing, formatting and indexing.

iottechnews.com: Latest from the homepage