IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

Will Patents Hinder IoT Openness?

by Steve Hoffenberg | 03/12/2015

Coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999, the term “Internet of Things” (IoT) has only recently become a widespread concept. Use of the term began its slow emergence from the tech world in 2003-2004 when popular publications like The Guardian and Scientific American wrote articles on IoT. However, based on Google Trends, interest by tech companies and the public began rising around 2009 with a dramatic increase in 2013, a year filled with smart home appliances and tech giants’ connected device innovations.

To delve more into the increasing interest in the Internet of Things, VDC conducted an analysis of U.S. patent applications and patent awards specifically mentioning “Internet of Things” or “IoT.” In the chart below, the green line represents the number of IoT-specific U.S. patent applications, and the purple line represents the number of IoT-specific patents awarded. (Note that the average award of a U.S. patent takes more than two years from its date of application.) Read more

NXP and Freescale: A Genuine Marriage

by Daniel Mandell | 03/03/2015

NXP’s acquisition of Freescale to form a $40B company is much more than two organizations unifying under a common banner – it is the wedding of leading embedded technology suppliers with similar, yet different, market focus and goals. Both companies provide a rich mix of embedded processors, analog and mixed signal solutions, wireless ICs, and other hardware. While there is some overlap in the companies’ microcontroller, RF, and sensor products, the rest of Freescale and NXP’s offerings are hugely complimentary to each other with cross-selling opportunities in a variety of markets including automotive, consumer electronics, and industrial automation. Read more

IoT Lessons from the Blizzard of 2015

by Steve Hoffenberg | 02/01/2015

A few lessons for the IoT industry in the wake of this week’s blizzard:

Forecasts based on historical patterns represent probabilities, not certainties. Here in the Boston area, we received the full dumpload of predicted snowfall from the blizzard, but in New York City and regions further south, weather forecasters were apologizing for their overestimates. When big data analyses of complex IoT systems make predictions, don’t expect them to be right 100% of the time. Read more

QNX Ex-Owner Harman International Acquires Red Bend Software

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/22/2015

Harman International is best known as an audio electronics maker, owning numerous brand names targeting consumers and professionals, including AKG, Crown, dbx, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, and Revel. As old-school “car stereos” have evolved in recent years into multifunction “infotainment systems,” Harman has also become a major player in automotive electronics. Read more

Cybersecurity, Politics, and the State of the Union

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/22/2015

Even before President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 20th, The White House was touting new cybersecurity initiatives that would be mentioned in the address. Indeed, during his speech, President Obama told a nationwide (and worldwide) TV audience, “To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I have already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing danger of cyber-threats.” This is the first time that the topic of cybersecurity has received such high profile political exposure in the State of the Union, and given the increasing sophistication of hackers, it likely won’t be the last. Cybersecurity is now an integral component of national security. Read more

VDC Research is attending Embedded World 2015!

by Steve Hoffenberg | 01/14/2015

VDC will be making the trip across the Atlantic again this year to visit the largest embedded technology tradeshow of the year, Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany. Last year, the conference boasted 26,700 visitors and 856 exhibiting companies! Read more