VDC Research Blog

The Greatest Benefit of Arynga Acquisition by Intel’s Wind River

by Steve Hoffenberg | 04/08/2016

Intel’s Wind River subsidiary announced on April 4 that it had acquired Arynga, a provider of software management solutions for secure wireless over-the-air (OTA) updating of software and firmware in the automotive market. See the press release here. (On April 5, Intel also announced the acquisition of Yogitech, which offers functional safety features and IP for semiconductors used in automotive and other safety-critical markets, although we won’t delve into Yogitech in this blog post.) Interestingly, the initial seed funding for Arynga was $250K in 2012 from Qualcomm Labs, the incubation subsidiary of Intel’s chip rival Qualcomm. Read more

Q4 2015 Rugged Mobile Hardware Market Overview

by Cameron Roche | 04/04/2016

In Q4, the total rugged mobile hardware market, sized as all rugged notebooks, tablets, vehicle mounted devices, and handhelds, grossed just over $1.0 billion in revenue shipments and had over 1.1 million units ship. Looking at year-end data, the market grossed over $4 billion and shipped over 4.1 million units worldwide. The Q4 rugged market saw a year-over-year (YoY) revenue slide of 13.3% compared with its position in Q4 2014. Read more

An Evolving Hardware Market Incites Acquisition Activity

by Matthew Hopkins | 04/04/2016

As computer and mobile hardware approach commoditization, hardware vendors must find ways to remain profitable in the face of declining margins and sales. For some companies, this means a complete exit from hardware spaces, as with IBM and its x86 server or Thinkpad PC business. Most vendors, however, are reluctant to make such drastic moves while their hardware businesses continue to bring in considerable amounts of revenue, despite limited or declining growth. Desperate to evolve but reluctant to transform, many companies heed the advice of former HP executive Marten Mickos: “become a solution provider where hardware is an important part, but still just a part.” Read more

Market for Smartphone Barcode Scanner Accessories Keeps Getting More Interesting

by Shahroze Husain | 03/31/2016

Advances in mobile technologies and improved built-in cameras have propelled the adoption of consumer-grade smartphones in the enterprise space. Software-based camera enhancements have encouraged businesses to actively consider using consumer smart devices to scan barcodes and capture images to augment operational workflows. A new generation of smartphone camera peripherals offers organizations the option to deploy consumer devices into harsh environments for applications such as proof-of-delivery and warehouse inventory management. Read more

VDC Research-Scandit Present Joint Webinar on the Evolution of Data Capture in the Enterprise

by Richa Gupta | 03/22/2016

On Wednesday, March 23rd, VDC’s Richa Gupta will co-present a webinar with Scandit CEO, Samuel Mueller, where they will discuss the evolution of data capture solutions used for barcode scanning in support of enterprise applications. This presentation is a follow-up to the comprehensive white paper authored by VDC Research in December, titled “Revolutionizing Data Capture: Bringing enterprise-grade scanning to everyone”. You can download this white paper here. Read more

Exploring Opportunities in the Color Label Printing Market

by Richa Gupta | 03/20/2016

Color labeling has posed somewhat of a conundrum to label printer hardware vendors, many of whom are still unsure about the use cases for such a solution beyond GHS labeling for chemicals manufacturing and distribution. That said, there are several hardware options and brands in the marketplace today – this list includes cab Produkttechnik, Carl Valentin GmbH, Epson, Primera Technology, QuickLabel Systems, and VIPColor. What is interesting to note is that although thermal is the print technology-of-choice for barcode labeling applications, there aren’t many on-demand thermal color printers available today. Read more

Patients are Vital: How mobile technology is giving the healthcare industry a renewed focus on patient engagement

by Cameron Roche | 03/09/2016

With a recent PEW study citing that 64% of American adults have a smartphone and 50% of American adults have an internet connected tablet, it is clear that mobile technologies have widespread influence. A number of customer-centric industries including retail, hospitality, and transportation, are beginning to leverage the power of mobile consumer engagement, and one of the biggest industries also feeling the effects of a more mobile society is healthcare. With so many healthcare providers looking to increase patient satisfaction rates and engagement rates, HIMSS vendors had a number of solutions on display which can help re-engage with patients expecting a more mobile experience. Read more

Security of Things Hackathon

by Roy Murdock | 03/09/2016

Fresh on the heels of successful adventures in Spain (MWC), Germany (embedded world), and San Francisco (RSA), VDC found itself a bit closer to home last weekend at the MIT-hosted Security of Things conference and hackathon. A wide range of programmers, academics, IT professionals, researchers, engineers, and students gathered in the gleaming glass and steel atrium of the MIT Media Lab in order to talk, eat, joke, learn, and hack. The goal of the event? To promote awareness of common IoT threats, review tools for building more secure, transparent devices, and walk through the (surprisingly simple) process of compromising devices that are used in millions of homes today. Read more

IoT Hot Selling Point, Data Less Relevant to Consumer Electronics Manufacturers

by Roy Murdock | 03/07/2016

Embedded engineers within the consumer electronics industry are excited about the IoT. Why? “Sell more products because they are IoT ready” and “Charge a higher premium for our products” are the two main reasons according to VDC Research’s 2015 engineer survey. Consumer electronics makers want to move more units at a higher price due to the allure and novelty of connected devices. Survey data reveals the perception among engineers that the IoT is a great marketing tool when selling products such as smart watches, fitness trackers, connected TVs, and smart home security systems in the consumer market. Read more

MWC2016 (Part 3): Gateways, Programmable Fabrics, and Servers

by Daniel Mandell | 03/04/2016

Over three days (and several miles of walking), it became apparent to me that Mobile World Congress represents much more than the name implies. Mobility has become an integral part in how much of today’s businesses operate and that notion stretches from sophisticated enterprise infrastructures down to the embedded market. There might not be a name that truly captures the magnitude of the technologies being displayed and launched at this event each year. Read more

The Inevitable Progression Toward Connected Cities

by Matthew Hopkins | 03/03/2016

Smart cities, a term meant to describe urban areas employing technology to improve services, garners the infatuation of government officials and technology companies alike. Considered an immense financial and social opportunity, this broad, attention-grabbing phrase has quickly become a buzzword, as industry and government build the idea into their roadmaps. Despite the buzz, actual implementation of smart city technology remains fairly limited and wide in scope. From connected sensors in infrastructure to public Wi-Fi, renewable energy technology deployments to citizen engagement mobile applications, and parking applications to real-time data analytics, the options available to cities are both extensive and expensive. Consequently, cities looking to modernize generally take a piecemeal approach, rather than an all-encompassing one, albeit examples of the latter do exist. Read more

MWC2016 (Part 2): Graphics, Cars, and Communications

by Daniel Mandell | 03/03/2016

In our second installment, we look back at our time at MWC2016 with a different group of leading IoT and embedded technology providers. Enabling mobile computing is no longer revolutionary – quite the contrary actually as it has become table stakes in a number of vertical markets. However, the efficiency and functionality of mobile computing systems particularly in industries like automotive is still very much a common battleground for competing architectures and vendors. Also in full swing is the development of new wireless infrastructure and technologies to meet the accelerating demand of mobile end users and IoT deployments. Read more

Xamarin, Microsoft's Appnostic Play

by Eric Klein | 03/01/2016

There was one notable enterprise mobility acquisition announced at MWC last week, Microsoft (finally) acquired Xamarin.

Just 24 hours after acquiring cross-platform mobile tool developer Xamarin, Microsoft announced that it was officially killing its Windows Bridge for Android program (dubbed project “Astoria”). The company's Bridges strategy is focused on providing developers with tools to accelerate bringing their apps to Windows 10 devices. Microsoft released its Windows Bridge for iOS as an open source project this past summer-the tool enables developers to bring Objective-C iOS apps to the Windows app Store. So what about Android? Read more

Open Connectivity Foundation, Part 2: OCF’s IoTivity to Support AllJoyn, But Could it Also Support Google Weave?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 02/29/2016

As we noted in Part 1 of our post about the newly formed Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), Qualcomm has joined Intel, Microsoft, and numerous other technology vendors in support of the IoTivity framework for interoperability among IoT devices. Given that Qualcomm was the creator of the competing AllJoyn framework and founder of the AllSeen Alliance, this inevitably begs the question of the long term viability of AllJoyn. Read more

Open Connectivity Foundation, Part 1: Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Others Come to Terms on IoT Framework Licensing and Intellectual Property Rights

by Steve Hoffenberg | 02/26/2016

The announcement on February 19th of formation of the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) stirred up much interest among participants in the IoT market. The OCF is the successor organization to the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), essentially consisting of the existing OIC members (Cisco, General Electric, Intel, Samsung, and many more) plus new members Electrolux, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. The OIC has been the force behind the IoTivity framework for interoperability among IoT devices from different vendors, particularly in the smart home market. All three of those new OCF member companies are also board members of the AllSeen Alliance, proponent of the AllJoyn framework which is directly competitive with IoTivity. Read more

Zebra Technologies’ stock falls after mixed Q4 performance, company signals soft start to 2016

by Shahroze Husain | 02/26/2016

Zebra Technologies reported its Q4 2015 earnings on February 25th 2016 beating analysts’ EPS estimates by $0.04 while missing on revenue by $7.52 million. The company’s revenues grew 20.5% from Q4 2014. Revenues of $952.74 million for the quarter included $635.8 million from the Enterprise business unit, which was significantly higher than the revenue contribution in Q4 2014 (24% increase) as the acquisition closed on October 27 of that year. Zebra’s legacy business (including barcode printers, card printers, consumables, location services) accounted for $320.5 million, up from $314.6 million in Q4 2014. Read more

MWC2016 (Part 1): Mobile, IoT, and 5G

by Daniel Mandell | 02/25/2016

After the first two (and a half) days, much has been abuzz at Mobile World Congress 2016. Essentially all of the new product announcements, demos, and keynotes highlight either mobile devices (obviously), IoT solutions, or 5G. Several of the leading IoT & embedded hardware players are out in force, showcasing new levels of performance, connectivity, integration, and software support. The following are some highlights from my time with various vendors so far. Read more