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18 posts from April 2010

2010.04.14

Cinterion and Asentria team to deliver enhanced SiteBoss solution for remote management of cell tower equipment

Source: Cinterion & Asentria

BELLEVUE, WA -- Cinterion Wireless Modules, a manufacturer of cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) communication modules, and Asentria, a provider of remote site monitoring and telemanagement solutions, today announced that Asentria’s SiteBoss product line will begin integrating Cinterion’s MC75i module to enable enhanced wireless communication capabilities over GSM networks.

SiteBoss was designed to help Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) remotely update, repair and manage maintenance for base transceiver stations (cell towers and equipment) from the network operation center (NOC). The SiteBoss series, enhanced with MC75i, is available immediately worldwide.

“Asentria’s SiteBoss products are a powerful tool to help MNOs control costs, optimize the evolution to 4G networks and improve overall service,” said Peter Fowler, regional president, Cinterion Wireless Modules, Americas. “The Cinterion module provides two-way, back-up communications vital for site repairs and updates. MNOs can reap huge savings by remotely controlling power usage at communication tower sites, and additionally, by having highly skilled technicians work on repairs and software patches no matter where they are located.”

SiteBoss integrates a powerful Linux computer and the Cinterion MC75i module for data communications and provides a range of basic to sophisticated remote monitoring, maintenance and management functions for cell towers and equipment in the field. Part of Cinterion’s M2M Evolution Platform, the MC75i module offers high-speed data rates for worldwide GSM networks based on EDGE standards. The versatile and intelligent monitoring and control features in SiteBoss allow users to remotely optimize power consumption at tower sites, immediately detect and react to potential equipment threats in the field and increase network reliability and prevent downtime.

In addition, SiteBoss enables software upgrades and patches and allows remote network upgrades to 4G technologies – all without rolling a truck or sending technicians to the site.

“With Cinterion as our communications partner we were able to hit the ground running and start working with some of the biggest MNOs in the world,” said Jon Baars, Asentria director of sales. “We selected Cinterion for its unparalleled customer support and engineering intelligence as well as its market proven products which helped get us to market in three months from design to implementation. We look forward to working with Cinterion and our MNO customers to support network evolution as well as smart M2M technology.”

IdaTech And Cascadiant to Deploy Advanced Fuel Cell Technology With Hutchison Telecom In Indonesia

Source: IdaTech

BEND, ORE, USA, April 14, 2010 – IdaTech plc (AIM: IDA) a global leader in the development and manufacture of clean and reliable PEM fuel cell products for critical backup power markets, in conjunction with its partner Cascadiant Inc. and Indonesian wireless operator PT Hutchison CP Telecommunications (HCPT), is pleased to announce a deployment of the latest generation of hydrogen backup power fuel cell systems throughout the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

IdaTech’s partner Cascadiant has been awarded the contract to install and support the ElectraGen™ H2 fuel cell systems. This order confirms the value proposition of backup power fuel cell systems and demonstrates the growing trend of telecom service providers to support and promote more eco-friendly initiatives including the reduction of telecom sector emissions, lowering energy consumption and the overall carbon footprint.

Harol Koyama, CEO of IdaTech, commented, “We are delighted to be working with Cascadiant to supply ElectraGen™ fuel cell systems for the Indonesian market. This agreement is an exciting sign of the times to come. Indonesia is a very attractive wireless market because of its large population and will undoubtedly require more solutions such as these fuel cell systems to support the operations of mobile products as they become more popular. With an experienced local partner like Cascadiant that is dedicated to identifying and promoting more sustainable means of energy within its solutions, IdaTech sees this as a significant win,” Koyama said.

According to Marshall Towe, President and CEO of Cascadiant, “We’re extremely pleased to play a leading role in furthering the use of cleaner fuel cell technology in Indonesia. This denotes a solid acceptance in the belief that greener technology is truly the wave of the future in ensuring the protection and functionality of telecom services in dire situations.” He continued by saying, “We applaud Hutchison for their forward looking endorsement of this technology and we believe that it is a milestone in achieving mass adoption of fuel cell products as viable replacements for generators and batteries.”

Telecommunications networks require reliable backup power solutions that can operate for several hours or days when electricity is no longer available due to severe weather, natural disasters, or grid quality. IdaTech’s ElectraGen™ fuel cell systems were developed specifically to provide critical backup power to the telecom market when loss of grid occurs. These fuel cell systems are fueled directly by hydrogen or by using IdaTech’s proprietary fuel reformer process that converts liquid fuel, methanol & water, into hydrogen gas to power the unit.

2010.04.12

Cinterion CEO says business is 'safe and sound’

Cinterion Wireless Modules' CEO Norbert Muhrer arrived in Las Vegas for International CTIA Wireless with a lot of momentum behind new business development efforts.

And yet, he also brought news for his clients and investors that the company's parent organization and financing source, Cinterion Holding, GmbH, had filed for bankruptcy and financial reorganization under the German courts.

We spoke with Muhrer last week, who shared more details about the logic behind the decision to file for protection. “The operational company is safe and sound,” he said, describing a new beginning for the company, and a new chapter in its history.

During a flurry of meetings at CTIA, Muhrer and Cinterion’s executive team told their customers and partners that under German law, insolvency is safeguarded such that “the holding insolvency has absolutely no impact on the operation of the company.”

Disbelief has accompanied the spreading news of the refinancing. During the last two years, once profitable brands have faced the grip of the recession. But it is unusual when the company continues to perform as the market leader.

Muhrer said it is suitable, from a certain perspective, to compare this reorganization to the home owner, who in the economic crisis, surveys his or her financial foundation and thinks, “This loan is too heavy. I can do better.”

After the filing in Munich on 22 March, the week of CTIA would continue with Cinterion news of automotive Land Grid Array (LGA) modules for process manufacturing, eToll, eCall, and fleet management.  From home base, Cinterion would also jointly announce with Telenor Connexion that week that they would pair HC25 modules and Telenor SIM cards for a new deployment with Hitachi Construction Machinery’s Global e-Service. Cinterion concurrently released sales data from 2009, confirmed by ABI Research, showing market growth and profits.

To provide deeper context, Muhrer highlighted the company’s history, since spun out of Siemens’ wireless manufacturing business two years ago.

“The company was founded in 2008 when there was no crisis on the market yet. And then the crisis happened,” he said. “We were lucky to the extent that we were small, we were fast, fast to implement changes and cost savings which would have been a difficult job if we were inside a huge conglomerate.”

This explains the success of the operating company, yet leaves questions as to the timing, and what else may be in the works.

Muhrer and the Cinterion executives confirmed there had been no change of ownership recently, but could not speak to market valuations or any potential change in ownership of the company.

Yet, the Financial Times German version (FTD) carried news last week that an offer had been made on former Siemens-owned wireless module company.

Citing an undisclosed source, FTD reported that Cinterion’s biggest creditor, Swedish fund EQT, made a bid to acquire the business. The offer was unsuccessful and prompted Cinterion’s owner, Hamburg-based private-equity firm Granville Baird GmbH, to announce that it would continue investing significant amounts for its own growth, according to FTD and Bloomberg News.

Muhrer estimated that ongoing work for the reorganization would culminate in May. “At the end of the financial restructuring process, we're going to have a lighter finance structure which will then be suitable to begin post-crisis business planning again.”

Quake Global Announces Next Generation M2M Modems for the ORBCOMM Satellite Network

SAN DIEGO --(Business Wire)-- ORBCOMM, Inc., a global satellite data communications company focused on two-way Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications and Quake Global, Inc. the leading manufacturer of ORBCOMM M2M modems, today announced the next generation of modems for the ORBCOMM® satellite network with the Q4000 and Q-Pro series of QUAKE™ products. These robust, reliable and highly configurable devices have received ORBCOMM Type Acceptance Testing (TAT) approval and units are immediately available.

“ORBCOMM and Quake have over a decade-long partnership,” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM CEO. “These new devices reflect our shared vision to expand our leadership position to new M2M markets such as security, marine, transportation and others that have been previously underserved in data acquisition. When configured as dual-mode, the Q4000/Q-Pro provides satellite coverage and cellular bandwidth at prices below other satellite-only services with similar capabilities.”

Though small enough to fit in your hand, the Q4000 is a rugged industrial grade modem with dual-mode operation over the ORBCOMM satellite network and GSM terrestrial networks. With embedded GPS, the highly customizable Q4000/Q-Pro are versatile, all-in-one remote asset tracking solutions. They are designed to meet stringent automotive power conditioning requirements and have extremely low power consumption for extended battery operation. The Q4000/Q-Pro also incorporate an application programming interface (API) for developers to utilize their functions to create customized onboard applications. Utilizing QUAKE’s patented technology and unified communications protocol, system integrators need only develop a single protocol to communicate across ORBCOMM satellite and terrestrial networks, significantly reducing development time and costs.

For more information, visit www.quakeglobal.com, or www.orbcomm.com.

CSC study foresees more opportunity as grids get smarter

FALLS CHURCH, Va. --(Business Wire)-- A study released today by CSC found that business and IT executives at the top 20 utilities and retail energy providers worldwide are finding opportunities for growth as new smart utility and meter-to-cash advancements are unveiled. Participants of the 2010 Smart Utility and Meter-to-Cash Study reveal that there is optimism in the utilities sector about implementing new technologies to support the “smart grid,” but that the business processes to support them are just beginning to take shape.

The study, commissioned by CSC and conducted by leading analyst firm, IDC Energy Insights, in the winter of 2009-2010, queried business and IT executives from leading utilities from Australia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States about their major initiatives, objectives, expected payback, readiness and challenges. IDC Energy Insights is a division of International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

Responses indicate that smart utility and meter-to-cash technologies are creating significant amounts of data and analytics for customer intelligence, which allows utilities to study consumer reaction to pricing, identify potential revenue leakage, forecast customers’ ability to pay and limit unbilled usage through move-in/move-out disconnections. Despite these advantages, less than half of the top 20 utilities are currently applying analytics to energy consumption, but utilities executives across all regions believe that with the proper planning, organizations can achieve desired profitability goals in a relatively short amount of time.

“Smart meters and a diversity of transmission and distribution grid sensors are generating volumes of data, and this has the potential to have a profound effect on the business,” said Jill Feblowitz, practice director, IDC Energy Insights. “Surprisingly, utilities executives indicated that they are not yet at a point where they’re making full use of this data.”

The study also showed that utilities recognize that they must do more to adopt new meter-to-cash processes to drive the bottom line. New remote connect and disconnect services can send an automated notification to customers of possible shut off, which creates a more open lines of communication with the customer and enhances their service experience. The availability of new data through updated meter-to-cash systems tells providers more about customer credit history, payment history and consumption will support improved approaches to credit and collections.

“A critical component of successful planning is a comprehensive, long-term roadmap for the smart enterprise that takes into account changes in technology, business processes and customer interactions,” said Robert E. Welch, president, CSC’s Chemical, Energy and Natural Resources Group. “CSC is working with its clients to ensure they are prepared to implement smart technologies and keep their business moving forward.”

More key findings from the interviews conducted for the study include:
  • Smart grid investments are strong across all surveyed regions regardless of whether or not utilities have received stimulus funding
  • Utilities embracing a comprehensive network strategy will benefit from scalability capabilities as new application deployments increase
  • Short-term planning will result in overspending, thus a long-term vision of enterprise architecture that considers changes in business processes and customer interactions is essential
  • Smart grid security will be a major focus for utilities and this provides a huge opportunity for security services outsourcing
“The move to smart energy provides utilities with the opportunity to improve competitiveness, profitability and customer satisfaction. ROI can be realized more quickly than many utilities recognize. The average payback for investments in smart metering/Advanced Metering Infrastructure is just six years. The average ROI period for dynamic pricing is even faster, just three years,” added Welch.

For more information, visit visit www.csc.com/2010SmartStudy.

Parasoft Embedded Joins AUTOSAR

MONROVIA, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Parasoft Embedded Corporation, leading provider of automated solutions that improve software quality and the development process for embedded systems, today announced its membership in the AUTOSAR Development Partnership.

Driven by the advent of innovative vehicle applications, contemporary automotive E/E architecture has reached a level of complexity which requires a technological breakthrough in order to manage it satisfactorily and fulfill heightened passenger and legal requirements. This need is particularly acute for high-end, luxury vehicle manufacturers and their leading Tier 1 suppliers who are faced with often conflicting requirements. Leading OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, having recognized this to be an industry-wide challenge, decided to work together to address it, and created a development partnership called Automotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR).

For more information, visit www.autosar.org.

Barnes & Noble and Best Buy Announce Partnership For NOOK™ eBook Reader and BN eReader Software Distribution

Best Buy to sell NOOK by Barnes & Noble in stores and at bestbuy.com beginning April 18 Best Buy to feature BN eReader software on PCs, netbooks, tablets and smartphones

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)-- Apr 12, 2010 Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest bookseller, and Best Buy Co., Inc., America’s leading consumer electronics retailer, today announced an exclusive partnership to distribute Barnes & Noble’s popular NOOK eBook Reader and accessories, as well as free BN eReader software through Best Buy in the United States. NOOK is expected to arrive at Best Buy beginning April 18, just in time for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation gift season.

Through the partnership, the award-winning NOOK eBook Reader and stylish accessories along with NOOK and Barnes & Noble eBook gift cards will be prominently featured in Best Buy’s 1,070 stores nationwide and online at www.bestbuy.com. As with Barnes & Noble stores, NOOK at Best Buy will be featured at a special in-store display where customers can see, try and buy a NOOK for $259.99 with the guidance of a trained Best Buy Blue Shirt.

In its growing eReader selection, Best Buy named Barnes & Noble a preferred eBookstore solution, offering more than one million eBooks, magazines and newspapers for download and enjoyment within seconds. Best Buy will feature Barnes & Noble’s free BN eReader on select PCs (laptops and desktops), netbooks, tablets and smartphones sold at Best Buy and supported by its Geek Squad Agents, giving customers access to shop Barnes & Noble’s world’s largest eBookstore (www.bn.com/ebooks) and enjoy their Barnes & Noble digital library anywhere they go.

1394 Trade Association to Present the Benefits of the 1394 Automotive Standard for In-Vehicle Networking at SAE World Congress April 13-15

SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)-- Apr 12, 2010 The 1394 Trade Association will describe the features, benefits and advantages of the 1394 Automotive standard for in-vehicle information and entertainment networking at this year’s SAE World Congress April 13-15 at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

Entitled “The 1394 Auto Network Bus for all High-bandwidth, High-speed Communications & Infotainment,” the presentation will be made by Rick Tewell, who is associated with Fujitsu Semiconductor Inc., the leading developer and supplier of 1394 ICs for the automotive network. The presentation is set for April 14 at 3:40 PM, as part of the In-Vehicle Networks session, which runs from 1 PM until 4:30 PM.

The presentation focuses on the attributes of 1394 for the in-vehicle network, including reliability, extensibility, and the availability of products. It also describes the proven applications for 1394, including consumer electronics, computers, storage products, industrial and instrumentation systems.

The presentation, which was co-authored by Max Bassler, Littelfuse, and Zeph Freeman, Eqcologic, details the impressive list of companies that have been involved with development of the 1394 Automotive standard. It stipulates that automakers cannot afford to develop in-vehicle network systems that become obsolete or non-extensible, making 1394 the ideal design choice, providing the network with the reliability, bandwidth, flexibility and cost parameters to last 10 years or longer. He also details how other technologies have major technical issues to overcome and shows automotive grade products that are ready to ship now in volumes required at favorable cost to the automakers.

The 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement of the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) standard. The 1394TA is in its 15th year of promoting 1394, which is used today in mass-market computer, entertainment, and professional products, and in a wide range of specialty applications such as audio, defense, aerospace, industrial, and robotics products. For more information, visit www.1394ta.org.

GridWise Alliance, Japan Smart Community Alliance to Sign Memorandum of Understanding

This Friday, April 16, in Washington, D.C., the GridWise Alliance will co-host a seminar to exchange insights on smart grid development. The seminar will be followed by the GridWise Alliance and the Japan Smart Community Alliance signing a Memorandum of Understanding "to solidify their international collaboration in smart grid."

The US-Japan Smart Grid Seminar provides an opportunity for Japan's smart grid stakeholders to discuss smart grid development and the current challenges of standardization, the GridWise Alliance said in a release. The seminar is co-hosted by the GridWise Alliance, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the Japan Smart Community Alliance.

Attendees include Guido Bartels, Chair of the GridWise Alliance; Katherine Hamilton, President of the GridWise Alliance; Kazuaki Koizawa, Secretary General of the Japan Smart Community Alliance; Norihiko Ishiguro, Director-General, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for Japan; and Keisuke Saito, Director-General, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Japan.

Also in attendance are Bruce Walker, VP of Asset Strategy and Policy, National Grid and Board Member of the GridWise Alliance; and Dr. George Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid and Interoperability, National Institute of Standard and Technology, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

Learn more at www.gridwise.org.

2010.04.08

Home Automation Systems global revenue may approach $12 Bil by 2015


According to ABI Research, the home automation market is approaching an inflection point beyond which its growth rate will increase significantly.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Revenue from shipments of home automation systems will exceed $11.8 billion in 2015, according to a new study released by ABI Research. That number includes all four categories of home automation: Luxury, Mainstream, DIY and Managed. The luxury segment will deliver the greatest revenue.

In addition to quantitative market measurement, ABI Research also sampled US consumers’ attitudes with a September 2009 survey. Nearly half of the 1001 respondents did not know what “home automation” is. A further 43% understood the concept but had no system installed.

According to practice director Sam Lucero, “Our survey results show that a major challenge is simply lack of awareness on the part of mainstream consumers. Other issues for consumers were the expense, and a perceived lack of need for home automation.”

Nonetheless, Lucero believes that for several reasons the home automation market is approaching an inflection point beyond which its growth rate will increase significantly.

·        Vendors are taking advantage of standards-based wireless and powerline technologies to drive down costs and expand the addressable market.

·        Companies in related home systems markets are increasingly targeting home control and monitoring functionality in their devices.

·        Home security service providers view home monitoring and managed home automation services as a means of accelerating growth.

·        Telco and cable broadband service providers see managed home automation services as a way to increase revenue.

·        Utilities can use home automation technologies to help homeowners reduce power usage.

Abiresearch_homentwkchart_2 How do these drivers mesh with consumers’ intentions? An average of three quarters of the 39% of survey respondents who intend buy a home automation system within three years rated three functions as the ones they would expect to use most: energy management, home control, and security. Sam Lucero concludes, “The home automation market is clearly at an inflection point and poised for significant growth over the next few years.”

ABI Research’s “Home Automation and Control” study provides qualitative and quantitative analysis of home automation and control system markets through 2015. The data and forecasts are divided by region and by major market segments.

For more information, visit www.abiresearch.com.

Atlas Cargo RFID Tag Can Offer Industrial Ruggedness and a 50+ Ft. Read Range

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. --(Business Wire)-- RCD Technology, designer and manufacturer of application specific RFID products, today announced the release of its rugged, high performance, cargo tag – called the Atlas Cargo Tag. This new passive RFID tag boasts a read range of 50+ ft. and is a perfect solution for the growing demand to manage large, mobile assets such as trailers, military vehicles, shipping and cargo containers as well as other equipment that is difficult to track.

“The tag was developed based on feedback and requests from customers who trust RCD to provide reliable, quality products that are tailored to difficult RFID applications,” said Sandra Garby, vice president of product management and co-founder of RCD Technology. “Our customers requested a tag that had a longer read range, was less expensive and more impervious to the inherent environmental stresses than other products on the market. The opportunity to provide solutions for various long range applications reflects RCD’s commitment to raising the bar on quality and performance of passive RFID tags.”

Shipcom Wireless tested RCD’s Atlas Cargo Tag for use in offshore oil rig container tracking applications. While the Atlas tag surpassed expectations in read range and durability, the overall evaluation exposed Shipcom's oil and gas team to a new level of RFID performance.

“The read range ability of the Atlas Cargo Tag consistently demonstrated superior performance with mobile and fixed readers delivering close to 80 feet in read range,” said Sam Falsafi, senior principal of Oil & Gas, Shipcom Wireless. “While the Atlas clearly exceeded our expectations for tracking materials in the most remote areas in the world, such as an offshore oil rig, its performance and reliability, has triggered a whole host of new application ideas in other Energy sectors as well. The Atlas tag has provided a ‘game changing technology’ and opened the door to use UHF passive tags in many applications where read range is required to be greater."

The Atlas withstands harsh environmental conditions and can be mechanically attached or adhered to any surface including metal, wood and other industrial materials. With its robust read range, the Atlas tag could be used as a more cost effective solution in some active applications, where RTL is not necessary.
 
For more information, visit www.rcdtechnology.com

New Single-Chip RFID Data Logger with Sensor Can Reduce Medical and Environmental Safety Concerns

WOLLERAU, Switzerland --(Business Wire)-- IDS Microchip, a fabless semiconductor company focused on all aspects of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, today began shipping development kits to early adopters for a first-of-its-kind RFID sensor and data logging chip, the IDS-SL900A. Based on the popular EPC Gen2 standard for supply chain applications, this new single-chip solution enables a vast new array of medical, food, healthcare and environmental-supervision applications that ensure quality and/or freshness. Like its high-frequency (HF) version, the IDS-SL13A introduced last year, it can automatically track, monitor, time-stamp and record temperature, pressure, humidity, light, sound and other information about any goods in supply chain or cold chain transport. However, unlike any other RFID solution, it also can be configured to notify users automatically of an event. This event-driven capability enables various applications in the cold chain, pharmaceutical, and food and health industries, as well as applications in the construction industry, and makes it possible to determine the conditions of materials used, in an economical, non-invasive and practical way. The IDS-SL900A’s sensor reading range of up to five or six meters is at least triple that of other data monitors/loggers. IDS Microchip will demonstrate the new IDS-SL900A at RFID Journal LIVE! 2010 in Orlando, Fla., Apr. 14-16, and at Euro ID 2010 in Cologne, Germany May 4-6, 2010.

Oluf Alminde, director of Sales & Marketing at IDS Microchip, said, “The new SL900A chip and sensor helps prevent the use of expired or faulty goods that could endanger people’s lives. For example, in medical and healthcare applications its automatic alarm can be set to warn users when freshness dates expire for food or pharmaceutical items such as insulin in the fridge, or for goods on store shelves. In terms of environmental safety, the SL900A sensor can be used to detect humidity in concrete instantly and effortlessly – replacing costly bridge closings, traffic reroutes, and jack-hammering, for example, with accurate assessment simply by driving across a bridge roadbed that has the chip embedded in it. The SL900A eliminates hassles and keeps people safer.”

For further information, visit www.ids-microchip.com.

New Web Portal Would Allow Carriers and Shippers to Leverage Real-Time Data

RALEIGH, N.C. --(Business Wire)-- Transite Technology, a provider of transportation management solutions, software and services, has released an industry wide initiative enabling shippers and logistics companies to obtain more accurate and timely LTL carrier service information while reducing the cost of obtaining this information for the entire industry. This information includes transit time standards, detailed terminal information, coverage, and more. This differs significantly from existing services in the market by providing a highly collaborative environment for shipper, logistics provider, carrier, and transportation software vendors.

Within the Transite model, all carriers utilize a single location to keep the marketplace updated with all of their current business. In turn, shippers can use a single website or use Transite’s easy integration tools library to obtain this information via web services. This allows ERP, TMS, WMS, and other systems to accurately obtain real time data for real time decision making.

“Transite already has the technology, relationships, and much of the data to solve this complicated problem,” said Geoff Comrie, CEO of Transite. “With our web portal, neither the carrier nor shipper has to buy technology. The portal will be easily accessed by the both carrier and shipper so both can easily utilize via web services and browser to input and extract data, respectively.”

Every carrier contacted has agreed to participate along with other companies including BirdDog Solutions, eShipping Logistics, and others.

“Companies are becoming very savvy at using its supply chain as a competitive advantage,” said John DuBiel, CEO of Supply Chain Edge. “In this sense, it’s crucial to obtain accurate information in a manner that is seamless and in real time.”

Goal Setting, Real-Time Feedback and Social Engagement Key Drivers for Smart Grid Adoption

GroundedPower Submits Behavior-Focused Recommendations for California Smart Grid Initiative

NEWTON, Mass. --(Business Wire)-- GroundedPower, creator of the interactive customer engagement system (iCES) for consumer-driven energy management and efficiency, has urged the California Public Utilities Commission to encourage utilities to adopt web-based technologies that appeal to self-identified consumer motivations beyond price signals. According to GroundedPower’s formal comments, consumer acceptance and adoption are among the top challenges utilities face with moving to the Smart Grid. This is especially true in California, where consumers in some areas are already rebelling against what they perceive to be higher costs related to the technology.


In response to the California Public Utilities Commission’s request for commentary on the state’s Smart Grid deployment plans and the best methods for providing access to electricity prices and usage, GroundedPower writes that “while price is an important motivator, it is just one of a number of factors that encourage consumers to save energy.”

GroundedPower argues that consumer engagement is fundamental to the next generation of energy efficiency and demand response applications, particularly in a Smart Grid environment. The Company notes that price as a lone motivator may overlook the significant potential of other factors, such as improving the environment, competition, cooperation, peer comparisons, learning and recognition and rewards.

Additionally, GroundedPower recommends that the Commission provide flexibility to utilities to encourage adoption of new and innovative technologies, including those related to web portal and other communications vehicles. In pilot applications, GroundedPower has found that consumers who are engaged, motivated and empowered to achieve energy efficiency goals will have greater recognition of the importance of demand side management. This is displayed in both the level of savings being achieved and in anecdotal information showing increased favorability toward the program sponsor or utility.

For example, the Company points to a pilot project on Cape Cod, Mass., for which monthly savings are averaging close to 10 percent without an in-home display, plug level monitors, time differentiated pricing or direct load control. Participant interest for this pilot program was high, with 90 percent of participants indicating they were interested in keeping the system after the pilot period. With 80 percent of participants logging on to the dedicated site weekly, it is clear that ongoing engagement is imperative to adoption of Smart Grid initiatives.

“The recognition that consumers are motivated by behavior that goes well beyond price signals is crucial to the success of the California Smart Grid. In fact, focusing solely on dollars can lead to user resistance rather than interest and cooperation,” said Dr. Paul Cole, CEO and founder of GroundedPower. “Environmental concerns, competition, community cooperation, peer comparisons, rewards and recognition and learning are proven motivators for changing behaviors related to energy use. Offering technology that enables consumers to tap into their motivations will ensure that California utilities provide users with all the right tools—technological and behavioral—to become habitually more energy efficient, and to feel favorably about electricity providers.”

For more information, visit www.groundedpower.com.

New Standards Based Battery Assisted Passive (BAP) RFID Platform

SANTA CLARA, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Intelleflex, specialists in Extended Capability RFID, today announced their next generation, standards based Battery Assisted Passive (BAP) XC3 technology platform. The new XC3 technology platform, comprised of RFID chips, tags, reader modules, fixed readers and mobile hand held readers, supports both the existing EPCglobal Class 1 Gen 2 standard and the emerging ISO 18000-6C Class 3 standard, which just received final technical approval.

The new Intelleflex XC3 technology platform provides industry leading BAP RFID performance and capabilities that are normally associated with active RFID solutions, such as: read/write operating ranges up to 100 meters, 60 kbits of on-chip extended memory, security using multi-layer password protection and over-the-air data encryption, and sensor support. These capabilities come at a significantly lower price point than traditional active tags and will enable applications previously not served due to prohibitive tag cost. Intelleflex is upgrading their existing tag and reader family with the new XC3 technology.

“Our customers have been asking for solutions that provide better visibility into, and management of, their cold chain operations,” said Jeff Wells, President and CEO of Franwell, an RFID software integrator and solutions provider. “Existing solutions are either too costly or lack the performance required in RF challenging environments. Intelleflex’s XC3 technology is the first RFID solution to meet our customers’ needs, providing the performance required at the right price. We are looking forward to implementing solutions for our customers based on the Intelleflex XC3 technology.”

“The Intelleflex XC3 technology represents a breakthrough for RFID as it enables cost effective, real time access to tag data even when the tag is buried in a pallet of produce or a sealed package,” said Peter Mehring, President and CEO of Intelleflex. “Delivering extended capabilities, such as reading or writing tags at up to 100 meters or accessing real time sensor data from tags buried in RF challenging product, all at a compelling price point, provides a new tool to significantly increase cold chain visibility and improve logistics management. No longer will transporters and customers have to manually retrieve data collection devices from their shipments or incur product losses due to a lack of supply chain visibility.”

The new Intelleflex platform provides unique benefits and significant ROI for many applications and industries, including: asset tracking, cold chain management, manufacturing WIP control, construction, agriculture, reusable container tracking, vehicle/yard management and many others.

Intelleflex will be demonstrating their new XC3 platform at the upcoming RFID Journal Live Show in Orlando, Florida, April 14th – 16th at Booth 660. As part of a technology demonstration highlighting the platform’s capabilities, Intelleflex will be showing a new XC3 platform tag with integrated temperature sensing and data logging. Also at their booth, Intelleflex will be providing a white paper explaining the new ISO BAP Class 3 standard, and how it can be used to generate significant ROI in specific markets and applications. The new platform components will sample in June, with general availability in the third quarter.

Fleet Management Systems to Rebound Beginning in 2012, According to ABI Research


LONDON - Market growth in fleet management systems will remain flat in the short term in the wake of the global economic recession, but will stage a return to healthy growth starting about 2012 as the market dynamics and trends shift to scalable end-to-end solutions, driver management applications, and regional strategic ecosystems. FMS revenues are expected to reach $9.5 billion in 2015, according to forecasts just released by ABI Research.

From cost-reduction to workforce productivity

Telematics practice director Dominique Bonte says, “As a recession begins, costs (in this case particularly fuel costs) become increasingly important, and failure to reduce them can be fatal for some smaller businesses. Survivors squeeze every penny out of a fleet management service, focusing on small things such as driver behavior, route navigation efficiency, routing, vehicle diagnostics, and preventive maintenance. Most of these are machine-to-machine applications that have very little to do with human beings.

“As recovery kicks in, emphasis will shift from cost-reduction to workforce productivity. Now, the industry is moving towards empowering humans to drive profits rather than machines to reduce costs.”

This effort is supported by increased awareness and adoption of technological solutions, and falling hardware component and wireless connectivity costs.

Ripe for consolidation

Among the barriers to FMS market growth are the absence of standardization, market fragmentation, and the lack of differentiation between operators. “Most fleet management operations are doing pretty much the same thing,” notes Bonte. “Given that, the industry is ripe for consolidation. What the market needs in the long term is a standard platform portfolio of features from which firms can pick and choose those that best suit their size and operations.”

ABI Research’s “Fleet Management Systems” study provides a definition of target vertical markets, and considers end-user applications, enabling wireless technologies, and market dynamics. It includes profiles of selected ecosystem participants. Market forecasts are also given for regional subscription penetration, system subscriptions, system hardware shipments, and total system revenues by regional segments.

This report is included in two ABI Research Services: Telematics and M2M, which also provide other Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices, and analyst inquiry support. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com.

Connected Devices Summit in May - by invite only

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. --(Business Wire)-- Apr 05, 2010 Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. a provider of on-demand transaction management software platforms, today announced that it will host the Connected Devices Summit – “The Connected User Experience” in May at the Calistoga Ranch in Napa Valley, California. This three-day event is a device-centric forum, bringing together a diverse group of companies that are part of a unique ecosystem, such as OEMs, retailers/e-tailers, cable operators and communication service providers (CSP).

Invited executive-level participants – all whom represent a unique cross-section of the connected devices market as well as some very interesting business models and go-to-market strategies – include Acer, Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Cablevision, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Nokia, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sony, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, and Yahoo.

Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor and Producer of The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital and Columnist, and Rich Wong, partner at Accel Partners (one of the leading venture capital and growth equity firms in the Silicon Valley), will provide keynote presentations at the event.

The market for connected devices is experiencing considerable growth, with industry forecasts ranging from 10 billion units (Morgan Stanley Report) to 15 billion connected devices by 2015 powered by the embedded Internet according to Intel.

“The plethora of connected smartphones, netbooks, eReaders, navigation systems, gaming consoles and other Internet-enabled devices presents a broad array of new market opportunities and challenges for the ecosystem,” said Omar H. Téllez, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. “Similar to other events we have hosted, the Connected User Experience Summit will offer a unique, executive-level forum to explore different go-to-market strategies and approaches to deliver the best connected customer experience.”

The Connected User Experience Summit will be held on May 16-18, 2010 at the Calistoga Ranch. For more information, visit www.synchronoss.com.

2010.04.05

Nearly $4 bil from DoE giving US Smart Grids a boost, for now

Chairman of IEEE's P2030 Smart Grid Interoperability committee sees enormous potential, and a long road ahead

Dick DeBlasio, IEEE Smart Grid & Interoperability Expert

Title
TE_AudioCast_2010_DeBlasio

Description
Dick DeBlasio, IEEE Life Member and IEEE Smart Grid Liaison to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)



We recently talked to one of the leading smart grid and interoperability engineers in the U.S., Dick Deblasio.

DeBlasio holds a long string of titles and recognitions within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Last May, the Life Member after 40 years of professional engineering service became chair of P2030, a "Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS) and End-Use Applications and Loads;" in conjunction with this role, he serves as IEEE Smart Grid Liaison to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

He admits that this and several other responsibilities for organiziing committee activity at IEEE keep him quite busy these days. Meanhile DeBlasio holds down a day job as Principal Laboratory Program Manager for Electricity, Research and Development at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado.

The  next meeting of the IEEE P2030 working group will happen May 25-28
at Connectivity Week in Santa Clara, Calif. Or, if your plans bring you to Louisiana on April 21, you may find DeBlasio and other leading technologists in New Orleans for what was recently declared "Smart Grid Day at IEEE PES T&D Conference." IEEE recently announced this expansion of purpose in the New Orleans Local organizing committee. The announcement included the following food for thought:

"A Smart Grid, as defined by the US Department of Energy, integrates advanced sensing technologies, control methods and integrated communications into the existing electricity grid. Although Smart Grid technology presents opportunities for utilities and consumers to benefit from the efficient management of energy, significant challenges need to be addressed to integrate and deploy these innovative technologies."

Please listen to this informative Audiocast with DeBlasio for the inside story on these efforts.

For more infomation about P2030, DeBlasio, or IEEE's interoperability programs, visit smartgrid.ieee.org. More information about the New Orleans Smart Grid Day is available at www.ieeet-d.org/smartgrid.html.

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