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In the early days of computing, hardware limited software’s potential. Low memory density, simple processors, and slow clock rates enforced constraints on the possible range of instructions and the number of operands available to the software programmer, limiting software complexity and flexibility. Fast forward through 50 years of steady technological progress, and software has gained almost unlimited potential due to cheap, powerful commodity computing hardware .
Virtualization is the latest step in unleashing software’s full power, by abstracting it further from the hardware that runs it. We define virtualization to be a software-defined resource that is typically intended to mimic or replace a physical, hardware-defined resource. Read more
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. an immensely popular and highly successful quick service restaurant chain serving build-your-own burritos, tacos and bowls, has been at the center of a string of food-borne illnesses since the second half of 2015 involving E-coli and salmonella, affecting hundreds of customers across the country that dined at the chain’s many restaurants. The outbreaks have taken a massive toll on the company as share prices have declined from $750 to $450 (as of 02/11/16), a 40% decrease since October 2015 while also affecting customer confidence in the brand and its food. The company is widely recognized for its “Food with Integrity” mission and its focus on serving 100% non-GMO ingredients and responsibly raised meat across its 1,900 outlets. Read more
While wearable activity trackers have been commercially available since the 2009 release of the original Fitbit, investments in new technology has evolved these trackers into all-around health monitors. These relatively new devices can go beyond simple pedometer functions of their predecessors by integrating real time bio-analytics. The presence of accelerometers, altimeters, GPS technologies, and heart rate monitors in wristbands and armbands is all but expected with today’s fiercely competitive consumer hardware market; a market which has expanded to include more than 25 different vendors including major players like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, Garmin, and Fitbit. With such large-scale investments being made in health monitors and their corresponding applications, one logical next step is their adoption into more formalized healthcare institutions such as hospitals and clinics. Read more
That which we call a system-on-chip by any other name would still feature broad I/O support, integrated memory, and heterogeneous processing.
Embedded processor taxonomies are evolving with the capabilities of the increasingly integrated and powerful technologies they define. The advent of heterogeneous processing architectures and continued miniaturization of chipsets has fueled the rapidly growing system-on-chip (SoC) market over the past five years at the expense of more traditional processor types like central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processors (GPUs). Microcontrollers (MCUs) continue to be a major part of the embedded processor market with even 8-bit devices still seeing strong use prompted by falling costs with little or no increases to MCU application requirements. As these various embedded processor types each assume more functionality and greater overall performance, the lines between them have blurred causing many to question: What’s the difference and does it matter what we call them? Read more
VDC recently authored and published a white paper (download here) focused on Scandit, an independent software vendor with a keen focus on enabling enterprise-grade barcode scanning using the built-in camera on smart devices. In my first blog on the topic, I talked about the evolving data capture solutions market and how the AIDC industry is expanding its footprint to now proactively leverage the capabilities of powerful consumer devices by introducing solutions that enable enterprise-grade performance on smartphones and tablets. Scandit, and other solution providers like it, are changing the way the world views barcode scanning and devices that enable the same. Read more
Last night, the citizens of Iowa kicked off the presidential nomination process by coming out in record numbers to participate in the quirky, uniquely American Iowa Caucus. The event’s complicated voting process, with Republicans using a secret ballot and Democrats showing their support for candidates based on their location in the room, has resulted in a number of vote counting and reporting errors over the course of its history.
Most recently, in 2012, Mitt Romney was declared the initial winner when in fact Rick Santorum had won by a mere 34 votes; a finding that took two weeks to determine and release publicly. This error afforded Romney a host of political benefits, including increased publicity and access to funding that he might not have otherwise received. Read more
Businesses no longer rely exclusively on purpose-built scanning solutions to capture information from barcodes, which are now synonymous to enterprise supply chain operations such as asset identification, visibility, and track-and-trace. Since the launch of smartphones and other camera-enabled consumer mobile computing devices in the last decade or so, several application developers have also empowered consumers to know more about their purchases, thereby helping them make informed decisions and elevating their levels of engagement. There is now an installed base of more than 1 billion smartphones and hundreds of millions of tablets. VDC’s research shows that the data capture industry is expanding its footprint to now proactively leverage the capabilities of these powerful computing devices by introducing solutions that enable enterprise-grade performance on these smartphones and tablets. Read more
Honeywell, an AIDC veteran, this year introduced a range of solutions which showcased its strong initiative behind the Honeywell User Experience. Focusing on the user’s requirements and maximizing businesses’ productivity, the company showcased a number of mobile computing, scanning and printing solutions this year at NRF. For scanning, Honeywell introduced the 1602G companion scanner, the Solaris 7820 stationary scanner (aimed at the growing SMB space), as well as two new wireless voyager pistol grip scanners – the 1202G and 1452G. In addition, the company continues to see success of its Youjie brand of scanning solutions and plans to expand its product line to new emerging markets beyond China in 2016. For printing, following the same initiative of customer centric design, the company introduced the Honeywell PC42t is a light industrial label printer developed for price sensitive emerging markets in Asia and around the world. Read more
There was a buzz at the 2016 NRF event in New York City where retailers and their solution vendor partners talked about their growing focus on the retail storefront. E-commerce is certainly contributing to a higher percentage of overall sales and deserves the attention from an investment and operational enhancement standpoint; at the same time, however, it will continue to be critical for retailers to enhance customer experience, increase sales, and improve associate productivity in brick-and-mortar establishments. This is all with an aim of giving customers a consistent experience regardless of their retail touchpoint-of-choice. Read more