VDC Research Blog

Overcoming Local Hardware Constraints Via the Cloud

by Brendan Bradley | 11/13/2023

The COVID‑19 pandemic introduced numerous complications for embedded projects, resulting in severe delays in production times. Government‑mandated lockdowns and similar company policies resulted in many engineering teams suddenly working remotely from home. With no contingency plan in place for such an unprecedented set of circumstances, many distributed teams were left with little to no local access to the physical hardware they required to continue development of their projects. Learn more

Funneling Funds into the Cloud

by Brendan Bradley | 11/09/2023

Venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) have focused their sights – and their wallets – on the cloud-native development market, seeking to reap the rewards of the potential for an industry-wide shift among software developers as they transition from traditional local development towards development performed in the cloud. Learn more

Digital Twins Get a Leg Up with Other Technologies

by David Daniels & Dan Mandell | 11/02/2023

Engineering organizations are investing their time and resources looking into a variety of technologies to streamline the product development process while increasing innovation, eliminating waste, reducing costs, maximizing resources, and limiting their carbon footprint. This will allow businesses to gain competitive advantages and win industries. One of those technologies, digital twins, share growing synergies with other technologies, such as generative AI, 3D interface design, Internet of Things (IoT), metaverse, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). Learn more

Reactions from Honeywell Connect 2023

by Jared Weiner | 10/23/2023

Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) welcomed more than 200 customers, partners, industry analysts, and media members to this year’s Honeywell Connect conference, a software- and digital transformation-focused event held last week in Dallas, Texas. The event featured a wide range of executive presentations, customer success stories, roundtable discussions, expert-led breakout sessions, and technology demonstrations in which Honeywell Connected Enterprise (HCE) emphasized its identity as a software company by highlighting its quickly-maturing capabilities in the areas of industrial cybersecurity, industrial IoT, and sustainability. Learn more

PTC & Pure-systems: Enabling Efficient Agile Engineering

by Brendan Bradley | 10/05/2023

On October 4th of 2023, PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) announced the acquisition of Germany-based pure-systems, a leading vendor of product line engineering (PLE) tools through its pure::variants solution. PLE solutions provide variant management capabilities to manufacturers, enabling them to efficiently share engineering assets across product families, greatly reducing development time and costs. Learn more

Palm Reading at the Checkout – Decoding Amazon One

by Chad Meyers, Andy Adelson & David Krebs | 10/05/2023

Earnings season is in full flow and the VDC team has been tracking results from several leading market players across AIDC, enterprise mobility, and machine vision. Q2 2023 was a rough quarter all around, with market leaders expecting continued weakness through the end of the year. As a whole, large projects have temporarily dried up and the run rate business has taken a hit for vendors and distribution partners alike. Learn more

The New Reality of Employee Training: Virtual Reality

by Elliot Mintz | 09/27/2023

PFor years, industries have been plagued by inefficient onboarding, training, and knowledge transfer. Traditional training methods have proven to be not only slow, unengaging, and ineffective, but costly and even dangerous for industries such as retail, healthcare, and manufacturing. Learn more

SBOMs & the Shifting IoT Regulatory Landscape

by Joe Abajian | 09/26/2023

Cybersecurity concerns loom over the increasingly targeted healthcare sector and other connected industries. Attacks can cost health networks millions of dollars and compromise patient care. Beyond healthcare, downtime of manufacturing lines, utilities, and other connected infrastructure can be devastating. As a result, law makers, industry participants, and standards organizations and consortia are rapidly shaping IoT’s security future. Learn more

Arm Reinvigorates IPOs, Embedded Market a Pillar of Value

by Dan Mandell | 09/15/2023

Arm (NASDAQ: ARM) launched its IPO on Thursday (September 14th) with an initial price of $51, opened trading at $56.10, and ended the day at $63.59. This translated into a fully diluted valuation of roughly $67.9B while raising nearly $5B for SoftBank, still 90% owner of the company. Arm is the largest company to enter the public markets this year, which has seen a dearth of IPO interest amid economic uncertainty. Learn more

US Parcel Delivery Volumes Drop, Forcing E-Commerce and Delivery Leaders to Re-strategize

by Emily Gove | 08/25/2023

Parcel shipping leaders FedEx and UPS have had to temper volume expectations for 2023 after a drop in Q2 revenues. FedEx, which reported a 10% revenue dip year over year, noted that the trend was felt across the industry, and that it would focus on consolidation and operating cost reduction to mitigate the drop. UPS, down 10.9% in Q2, is focused on winning back business and securing new opportunities. USPS reported a decline of 2.4% in year‑on‑year revenues, while Amazon logistics reported 5.5% growth. Learn more

The Cyber Trust Mark: Furthering IoT Security Initiatives

by Brendan Bradley | 08/07/2023

On July 18th, the White House announced the rollout of a new program targeting IoT device security. Under this new initiative proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and expected to go into effect in 2024, IoT device manufacturers will be able to voluntarily enroll in and apply for the “U.S. Cyber Trust Mark”. The program will enable manufacturers to place this stamp of approval on their devices, advertising to consumers the sound security features found within. In order to achieve this certification, manufacturers will need to address basic security concerns that have plagued the IoT. Learn more

August Starts with a Bang & a Thud – Key Takeaways from Q2 Earnings Calls (CGNX & ZBRA)

by Chad Meyers & Richa Gupta | 08/07/2023

Earnings season is in full flow and the VDC team has been tracking results from several leading market players across AIDC, enterprise mobility, and machine vision. Q2 2023 was a rough quarter all around, with market leaders expecting continued weakness through the end of the year. As a whole, large projects have temporarily dried up and the run rate business has taken a hit for vendors and distribution partners alike. Learn more

For Better Care, Hospital at Home Programs Will Rely on Mobile Technology

by Emily Gove | 08/07/2023

Hospital at Home has presented a solution to capacity and patient experience challenges that have plagued the healthcare industry in recent years. Hospital at Home, a remote alternative to in‑hospital care for recovering patients, can enable a more comfortable recovery environment for patients and a lower‑cost, lower‑resource option for healthcare providers. Learn more

US & China Battle in Drone & Semiconductor Markets

by Owen Denby | 07/24/2023

On July 4th, the US announced its plans to restrict Chinese companies from accessing cloud computing services like Amazon and Microsoft. This comes directly after China announced a ban on exports of gallium and geranium – two metals essential for semiconductor production. These bans are the most recent in an ongoing trade battle between the two economic giants and have further stoked competition in the global drone and semiconductor markets. Learn more

Li-Fi: A Revolutionary Development in the Future of Enterprise Connectivity

by Rowan Litter | 07/21/2023

As enterprises look to enhance operational efficiencies and tap into emerging technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence, the role of connectivity becomes increasingly vital. The development of private wireless networks and advancements of Wi-Fi technology is a clear sign of this need. Another innovation in physical network infrastructure resulting from the demand is Light Fidelity, or “Li‑Fi”. Learn more

New Connectivity Solutions Bring African Nations One Step Closer to 4IR

by Emily Gove | 07/12/2023

As connectivity improves throughout the regions of Africa, there is immense potential for enterprise growth. The African continent, whose population of over 1.2 billion has the world’s lowest internet penetration rate (39%), is on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR): improved connectivity will enable technology startups and large-scale industrial operations to take shape, where former limited connectivity inhibited enterprise growth. Learn more

Apple’s Vision Pro Primes the Market for a Paradigm Shift

by Emily McIntosh | 06/09/2023

Apple finally entered the extended reality space this week with the debut of the Vision Pro. Investment in the XR category is risky as consumers remain skeptical and have yet to adopt these solutions consistently. Amid the flurry of first impressions two questions dominated the discourse: At this price, who is this product for? And, will Apple’s venture into the XR space succeed? Learn more

Athonet Acquisition by HPE Inc. Signals Continued Development of Private Wireless Market Ecosystem

by Rowan Litter | 06/07/2023

Just before the start of Mobile World Congress Barcelona in late February, HPE Inc. announced the planned acquisition of Athonet, a leading provider of private wireless mobile core solutions. This acquisition provides HPE with a complete portfolio of private wireless solutions for enterprise customers and communication service providers (CSPs). Learn more

Automation & its Discontents: Will US Ports & Workers Find Common Ground?

by Emily Gove | 06/06/2023

Between Friday and Monday, the largest ports in the US went quiet. The ports of LA and Long Beach found their operations halted as dockworkers staged “concerted and disruptive work actions” in response to contract negotiation breakdown. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), a dockworkers’ union representing workers on the West coast, staged individual work slowdowns and in some cases avoided working entirely on Friday and Monday, an action designed to sway negotiations that have been ongoing since July. The dockworkers, also called longshoremen or stevedores, are pushing for better pay and job security in negotiations with shipping lines. Learn more

The Private Networks Global Forum Recap

by Rowan Litter | 05/26/2023

On Tuesday, RCR Wireless News hosted the much-anticipated Private Networks Global Forum, in which industry voices came together online to discuss updates and nuances in the private wireless market for enterprise adoption. The Forum covered a range of market issues, including emerging solutions, spectrum allocation, ecosystem partnerships, challenges, key deployment drivers, and vertical-specific case studies, among other topics. Here are some of the highlights from Tuesday’s Forum. Learn more

LiveWorx 2023: A Cloud-Native Future

by Brendan Bradley | 05/19/2023

During his keynote speech at LiveWorx 2023, PTC (NASDAQ:PTC) CEO Jim Heppelmann emphasized the company’s software‑as‑a‑service (SaaS) strategy, laying a roadmap for a widespread cloudification of the company’s portfolio. Learn more

PTC LiveWorx: Unlocking Value Through Service Lifecycle Management

by Paige Ludl | 05/19/2023

This week, PTC hosted its LiveWorx event, a trade show and convention focusing on digital transformation and product lifecycle innovation, in person for the first time in four years. PTC covered a plethora of company-specific and industry‑wide topics, including recent acquisitions, product updates, agile product development, the industrial metaverse, and service lifecycle management (SLM). SLM is a crucial aspect of product lifecycle management (PLM) and PTC’s lifecycle management platform strategy, as SLM helps OEMs and service providers maximize service revenue by utilizing a product’s engineering and manufacturing information for service planning and implementation. Learn more

As Recession Looms, Enterprise Leaders Face Difficult Decisions

by Emily Gove | 05/10/2023

Amid speculation that the US will default on its debt by as early as June 1st, leaders across industries are taking extra measures to protect operations. Congressional response could entail a further raise of the debt ceiling, prioritization of lenders and bond holders in a technical default, or prioritization of domestic spending in a classic default. Any of the three outcomes may result in a recession, which could trigger the following trends. Learn more

Key Factors Fueling PKI M&A

by Brendan Bradley | 05/08/2023

Public key infrastructure (PKI) has long played a critical role in the security of the Internet. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the exponential growth of systems and devices connecting to the Internet and communicating with each other, a need for unique, comprehensive, and adaptable PKI solutions has been spurring a flurry of M&A activity within the PKI market over the past few years. Learn more

MediaTek Connects with New Markets

by Dan Mandell | 05/03/2023

Last week, MediaTek hosted its annual Analyst Day event in Austin, TX to discuss the company’s key growth areas and strategy for the future. While we can’t share everything we learned throughout a day of detailed presentations, roundtables, and 1:1 interviews with executives, MediaTek’s plans for diversifying its business across vertical markets and geographies has already been on full public display. Learn more

RSA 2023: AI & IIoT

by Steve Hoffenberg | 05/01/2023

At this year’s RSA Conference in San Francisco, artificial intelligence was the hot topic. On one hand, industry participants were concerned about the potential of AI, for example, to write better malware or craft more effective phishing emails. On the other hand, vendors were positioning themselves to leverage AI to improve cybersecurity defenses. AI has become an impetus in an escalating cyber arms race between attackers and defenders. Learn more

Distribution & Fulfillment Centers Overcome Challenges with Voice Solutions

by Emily McIntosh | 04/28/2023

Between supply chain instability and a tight labor market, the distribution centers of today are faced with many obstacles. Luckily, the picking and sorting process can be streamlined through advanced voice solutions - wearable devices that talk employees through workflows. Time spent interacting with a screen or paper adds up and opens the door to error, but with hands available and eyes free from distraction, employees can accomplish more for their efforts. Learn more

Consumer Wearables Features Approaching Requirements for Full FDA Approva

Manufacturers of DTC wearables have begun to seek blended device approval, gaining FDA clearance for certain features within their devices without going through the lengthier process of seeking complete clearance or approval of the entire device. Whether or not a consumer wearable requires any level of FDA regulation depends on its intended use. General wellness products, such as step counters or fitness trackers, are outside the scope of FDA regulation. However, when devices begin to make claims of diagnosing, monitoring, or treating medical conditions, they fall under the definition of a medical device. Learn more

Emerson (Finally) Acquires NI

by Jared Weiner | 04/23/2023

Emerson (NYSE: EMR) announced last week that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NI (NASDAQ: NATI) for approximately $8.2 billion, reportedly outbidding Fortive and Keysight Technologies, among others. Emerson expects the acqusition to close during the first half of its 2024 fiscal year, which begins in October 2023. Learn more

Regulatory Barriers Facing Medical Device Manufacturers

by Brendan Bradley | 04/14/2023

Manufacturers of medical devices face a plethora of regulatory standards from multiple entities and agencies. ISO 13485, IEC 62304, and UL 2900 are just some of the international standards that regulate all levels of the medical device supply chain, addressing key requirements such as quality and risk. While the FDA previously relied upon suggested best practices for the cybersecurity of medical devices in the form of guidelines, the agency has recently taken a far more proactive approach to regulation. Learn more

Delivery Robots Help Alleviate Frontline Worker Pressures

by Emily Gove | 04/11/2023

Frontline labor challenges have persisted in 2023, and industries like transportation, deliveries, logistics, food service, and manufacturing continue to face record turnovers. Enterprises have adopted a multitude of strategies to expedite training, retain workers, and increase a sense of value as job satisfaction drops. While some companies are considering semi and full automation of their operations, others are seeking out ways to retain their workers while identifying, isolating, and eliminating less‑popular tasks. Learn more

RISC-V’s Rapid Ascent in Embedded Systems

by Carter Ramsey & Dan Mandell | 3/28/2023

Originally developed as a research project at UC Berkeley in 2010, the RISC-V ISA has since sparked a considerable amount of interest and use in captive and merchant/commercial processing applications. In 2015, the non-profit RISC-V Foundation was created to establish an open-source development network for this new ISA. Developers across the world expressed their interests in the RISC-V platform, which eventually sparked the incorporation of the RISC-V Foundation in Switzerland in March 2020, which is now called RISC-V International today. Learn more

Embedded World 2023: VDC’s “Embeddy” Award Winners

by Dan Mandell & Chris Rommel | 03/28/2023

Last week, VDC Research attended the Embedded World 2023 conference in Nuremberg, Germany and held dozens of face-to-face meetings with exhibitors. Following a barren 2020 and relatively muted attendance last year, Embedded World 2023 was a clear indication that this industry is a small step away from back to normal conference and tradeshow attendance and activities. The halls were packed and bustling like times of old, with everyone sharing a sense of relief and rejuvenated appreciation for in-person events, meetings, and connections. Learn more

Embedded Technology Helps Sports Organizations Optimize Performance

by Brendan Bradley | 03/17/2023

Athletic organizations across the world have begun to view IoT devices and the data they can glean from them as an important factor in optimizing player performance, mitigating injuries, and increasing fan engagement. Learn more

Independent Recommerce Models Help Sellers Mitigate Returns Losses

by Emily Gove | 03/09/2023

With the growing ease of online ordering, try-at-home models, and lenient refund policies, the modern consumer is no stranger to product returns. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that over 16% of online and in-store purchases were returned in 2022, down from 20% in 2021. Returns are a major drain on retail and ecommerce profits, and the reverse logistics of returns can be messy. Learn more

Artificial Intelligence & the Metaverse in the Enterprise: An Introduction of ChatGPT

by Rowan Litter | 03/07/2023

The recent emergence of ChatGPT, an AI-based language model, has caused a stir in both the consumer and enterprise world with the chatbot’s ability to provide detailed and articulate responses across a variety of knowledge topics. Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT was released in late 2022 and can not only mimic human conversations, but write and debug computer code, compose stories, and answer test questions at a level above average human test‑takers. Learn more

MWC 2023: Satellite IoT & eSIMs

by Steve Hoffenberg | 03/06/2023

VDC’s IoT staff was back in Barcelona for MWC for the first time since 2019. This year’s attendance continued to rebound from the COVID pandemic, and was 88,500 participants, compared to 61,000 in 2022, after the 2019 peak of nearly 109,500. Learn more

Qualcomm’s Reinvigorated Windows on ARM Strategy

by Emily McIntosh | 01/31/2023

CPUs made with Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) architecture are inherently mobile-friendly. A benefit of ARM devices includes low-energy consumption, extending battery life. Low heat production makes noisy fans obsolete. Compact, simple circuits and slim designs translate to portability. ARM chips also win in terms of affordability. Learn more

The Transformation of Automotive Manufacturing Through Digital Twins

by Rowan Litter | 01/20/2023

The automotive manufacturing industry is rapidly evolving. Over the past several years vehicle manufacturers have been affected by a variety of challenges including supply-chain disruptions, rising employee turnover (and the need to adapt to remote/social distanced work models), and shifts in consumer demands. Combined, these challenges are putting increasing pressure on traditional automotive manufacturing business models, which are proving more costly than ever. Learn more

Can Smart Ports Outwit Threats of Cyberattack?

by Emily Gove | 01/09/2023

Global logistics have had a tumultuous three years, facing threats of disease and supply chain slowdown on a worldwide scale. As travel restrictions and inventory backups attenuate, cybersecurity threats will persist for ports and infrastructure into 2023. Cyberattacks are already occurring: a cyberattack on the port of Lisbon on Christmas day 2022 threatened the release of confidential information if a ransom of $1.5 million was not paid by January 18. While operations were able to continue, the port’s website was down into the new year, and financial and operational resources have been diverted to address the issue. Learn more