Smart Luggage, Managing Platforms and Connected Cars – the role of telcos in M2M

With more than 18 billion connected devices and total revenues increasing from $200 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2022 (Machina Research, 2012), Machine-to-Machine communication, the automated exchange of information between mechanical or electronic devices without human interaction, is clearly becoming more important.

With this in mind, it is important to understand how telecoms are involved in providing the necessary connectivity for M2M-based solutions and what challenges they are dealing with.

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How the “Internet of Things” evolution will influence Smart Grid developments

The idea of energy grids overlaid by information and communication technology (ICT) connecting a grid’s components has been around for decades. Automated grid monitoring (e.g., by SCADA systems) was already introduced in the 1960’s and automated meter reading became possible in the 1970’s with the introduction of advanced metering infrastructure, which enabled the rollout of today’s smart meters. The smart grid development have since yielded a multitude of isolated “smart grid islands” around the globe, often times driven by specific problems that grid operators face in their control area – be it electrical energy theft in Italy or optimizing charging patterns of electric vehicle in China.

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Why the Urban Shift is really happening: A Closer Look at Tech in the City

future cityWith Google’s new office in the Mission, Twitter’s headquarters in the Central Market district and Pinterest now operating out of SoMa’s warehouse quarter, it is evident that the Great Inversion is in full effect in San Francisco. The term, the Great Inversion, coined by author Alan Ehrenhalt, refers to cities and suburbs that have traded places over the last 30 to 40 years. This trend is considered the foundation for a further movement known as the Urban Shift in venture capital investment.  Historically, VC financing was highest in the rural suburbs such as Silicon Valley and Boston’s Route 128. Today, global cities like NYC, Boston, Cambridge (in the United States), London, Berlin and of course, San Francisco are actually receiving the bulk of the investment.

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Big Data Solutions for Small and Medium Sized Businesses


iStock_000020434651Small90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years
. So far, it’s mostly only large enterprises who can afford to hire teams of data scientists that have confronted the overwhelming task of analyzing the large volumes of data. However, more and more small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly trying to employ Big Data solutions to boost sales, increase efficiency and improve reporting quality, which can lead to better management decisions.
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Why the Connected Car will Happen: Now

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The “connected car” has been a hot topic often featured in today’s press. It seems that every week a new story emerges featuring an automotive OEM, an operator’s latest initiative or a software industry player announcement. It is clear that many companies see growth and innovation opportunities in this field. But industry veterans might ask themselves if all of this activity represents yet more hype.

The automotive industry has already experienced a number of telematic cycles, however, the expected return on investment from the connected car has so far not materialized. The lack of adoption to date has meant that the industry, especially automotive OEMs, are still divided about the future potential for the connected car. In recent years, market and technological circumstances have substantially improved to receive the rise of the connected car.

We believe it is inevitable that the connected car will come to the mass market – and soon – first through a paired smartphone, then by embedded systems (on-board connectivity units or OBUs) which directly connect to the Internet.  Below are some of our thoughts behind the current evolution. Continue reading

The future of Bitcoin as a currency

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A lot has changed since the world’s first peer-to-peer crypto currency was introduced in 2010 by its mysterious founding father Satoshi Nakamoto. Once derided by many as playground of nerds, news of substantial investment and immense return rates raised the interest of the wider public. One example is the Winklevoss Twins who reportedly invested around $11M in Bitcoin in April 2013. In the following seven months the value of this investment almost tripled. In addition, renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz also believes in the future of this virtual currency. It remains, however, very unclear still if Bitcoin will prevail and reach a critical mass to become an everyday means of payment and truly act like a currency. To do so, Bitcoin has yet to overcome several obstacles.

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Should Individual Corporate Incubators Give Way To Industry Incubators?

smart-solutionsWith startups and innovation the hot trends in the corporate world at the moment, it is no wonder that numerous corporations are opening incubators to capture startup and innovation momentum. The increasing need to innovate in today’s globalized business environment is encouraging corporations across all industry sectors to innovate. One of the most talked about and discussed methods has been incorporating incubators into corporations.

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Social Messaging Apps as the first step into the new paradigm of mobile-first business

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In the past few days and weeks there has been a lot of buzz around social messaging applications. Most recently, Facebook purchased the messaging company whatsapp for a staggering $16 Billion – the biggest venture-backed exit to date . In a very short time span before that, a handful of players announced big moves such as the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, who agreed to buy Viber for $900 million, or the Japanese messaging application LINE who is expected to file for a $10 billion IPO and even the rejection of Google’s reported $3 Billion acquisition offer by Snapchat. Bigger players such as Facebook and Twitter also jumped on the messaging bandwagon and introduced significantly improved versions of their instant messaging products with the hope of  gaining  traction in this emerging space. At the same time, the mobile analytics company Flurry released a report indicating that the fastest growing app category on smartphones were social messaging applications, which usage grew by an astonishing 204% in 2013 alone.  A closer look at all this activity begs the questions: why are messaging applications so popular? Are they worth all of the buzz and money flooding into them? How do they make money? Who is winning in that space? To answer these questions, we decided to take a closer look at the messaging space, including its competitors, market dynamics, business models and the potential future.

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Looking back at CES 2014 – New trends and developments after the show

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After attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Detecon issued a report of the major trends and developments to its clients. The report highlighted the major developments in wearable technology, connected home, connected car and robotics. Only one month after CES, each of these categories has seen significant developments and public events.

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Why Big Data is a Decisive Factor to Win the M-Payment War

M-Payments

While it’s still early days for the adoption of mobile payments globally, some markets are making progress toward attaining the right mix of technical capabilities and consumer acceptance. The M-payment opportunity offers significant business potential making it attractive to many players. Banks, Internet Giants, Retailers and Telcos are starting to compete for a piece of this pie.

Big Data will become the definitive weapon to win this battle. Big Data Analysis will be able to uncover and even predict new consumer behaviors which will open important monetization opportunities. In fact, the best known and most widespread players such as Square, GoPago, PayPal, and Google Wallet  have already acted on gathering and analyzing their data sets. However, their success will be a function of how fast they increase their amount of data collected. In this case, the speed in which large pieces of information are acquired will be a critical factor in the mobile payments market.