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Computer Electronics

Augmented and Virtual Reality Markets Expected to Reach All Time Highs

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: justscience.in
Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

A 2016 report release by a well-respected industry research firm, Statista, painted a rather rosy picture for the global augmented (“AR”) and virtual reality (“VR”) segments. The report stated that: “In 2022, the augmented and virtual reality market is expected to reach a market size of $209.2 billion U.S. dollars.”

new report from Zion Market Research, just recently released, actually gave the AR and VR global markets a higher than expected valuation: “… at around USD $26.7 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach approximately USD $814.7 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 63.01% between 2019 and 2025.” So it appears that the markets are exceeding prior expectations.  The AR and VR markets are usually grouped together but there are differences in the AR and VM technologies themselves. Each has a strong market share on its own but can also be used in conjunction, which is called augmented virtuality (“AV”), according to PC Magazine. 

Active tech companies in the markets this week include Vuzix® Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), Lumentum Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LITE), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA).

Zion summarizes that the two biggest global markets for the technologies are North America and EuropeNorth America is expected to hold the largest share in AR and VR due to the rising demand in the media and entertainments markets, while Europe will hold a substantial share due to early adoption by EU consumers. It concludes that Asiapacific should likely have the highest CAGR in the future.

BREAKING NEWS:  Vuzix® Corporation, (“Vuzix” or, the “Company”), a leading supplier of Smart Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technology and products is pleased to announce the debut of Vuzix’ next generation enterprise smart glasses, the M400, one of the first products made commercially available using the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR1 platform.

Since the Company’s collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, was announced in May 2018, the teams have been actively engaged to develop the first Snapdragon XR1-based enterprise smart glasses.  The Vuzix M400 enterprise smart glasses will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) taking place February 25-28, 2019 at the Fria Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain.

“Snapdragon XR1 is the first dedicated XR platform from Qualcomm Technologies targeted to the class of devices that Vuzix has mastered. Vuzix’ focus on wearability, experience, and form factor combined with XR1 will drive smart glasses to the next level,” said Hugo Swart, head of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Qualcomm Technologies is a strong believer in the smart glasses segment for the enterprise. We look forward to seeing our collaboration with Vuzix help scale adoption in enterprises and become a mainstream device to help increase employee productivity in the new era of AI and immersive computing.”

The Snapdragon XR1 platform integrates Qualcomm Technologies’ heterogeneous computing architecture including an ARM-based multicore Central Processing Unit (CPU), vector processor, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and Qualcomm® AI Engine. The Snapdragon XR1 allows for power efficient on-device processing of vision-based machine learning algorithms that can help with key Augmented Reality (AR) use cases like superior pose prediction, object classification, etc.  The Snapdragon XR1 platform was also designed to deliver an immersive User Interface (UI) experience, with features such as native voice processing, motion tracking, head tracking and more.

The new product, currently referred to as the Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses, is expected to enter volume production in summer 2019. Further details and pricing will be announced this spring as well as the commencement of an early engagement program for select developers and customers. Even with all its new capabilities and features, the product will be physically, mechanically and for most software 100% compatible with Vuzix’ existing M-Series products.

Additional recent developments and major influences in the tech industry include:

QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) last week the company announced that its latest 8 series mobile platform is powering Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s latest and most cutting-edge flagship smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G, for select regions. The Samsung Galaxy S10 line-up is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 Mobile Platform, which supports multi-gigabit connectivity and industry-leading on-device artificial intelligence (AI) to usher in a new decade of flagship mobile devices.

Additionally, Qualcomm has an Augmented Reality platform and is working toward enabling a digital reality. Augmented Reality (AR) is the concept of superimposing digital content (such as online information and graphics) on top of a view of the real world as seen through the viewfinder of a camera. The company’s vision-based AR platform uses complex computer vision algorithms, tightly aligns computer graphics, and includes robust tracking and image detection.

Lumentum Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LITE) is a market-leading designer and manufacturer of innovative optical and photonic products enabling optical networking and laser applications worldwide.  Lumentum’s optical components and subsystems are part of virtually every type of telecom, enterprise, and data center network.  Lumentum’s lasers enable advanced manufacturing techniques and diverse applications including next-generation 3D sensing capabilities.

On February 4, the company announced that it will present a collection of innovative photonic-based products for a wide range of applications in 3D sensing and advanced manufacturing markets including – VCSELs, edge-emitting DFBs, kW fiber, pump, and diode lasers at SPIE Photonics West 2019 held in San Francisco, Calif., from February 5 – 7, 2019 at Moscone Center in the South Hall in booth #1123.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) not that long ago announced that John Giannandrea has been named to the company’s executive team as senior vice president of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Strategy. Giannandrea oversees the strategy for AI and Machine Learning across all Apple products and services, as well as the development of Core ML® and Siri® technologies. “John hit the ground running at Apple and we are thrilled to have him as part of our executive team,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

On its website the company says: Apple hardware and software have always been designed together for the best experience possible. Now that experience includes augmented reality like you’ve never seen it before. iOS 12 and ARKit 2 take advantage of the powerful hardware in iPhone and iPad to bring the virtual world seamlessly into the real world.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) on February 22, the company introduced the GeForce® GTX® 1660 Ti, a new gaming GPU that delivers a big step up in performance and power efficiency for today’s most popular games. It is available now worldwide starting at $279.

Based on the 12th generation Turing™ GPU architecture, the GTX 1660 Ti takes advantage of all of Turing’s shader innovations to deliver 2x the TOPS of the previous-generation Pascal™ architecture. It supports concurrent floating point and integer operations, a unified cache architecture with 3x the L1 cache, and turbocharged performance using adaptive shading technology.

DISCLAIMER:  FN Media Group LLC (FNM), which owns and operates Financialnewsmedia.com and MarketNewsUpdates.com, is a third party publisher and news dissemination service provider, which disseminates electronic information through multiple online media channels. FNM is NOT affiliated in any manner with any company mentioned herein. FNM and its affiliated companies are a news dissemination solutions provider and are NOT a registered broker/dealer/analyst/adviser, holds no investment licenses and may NOT sell, offer to sell or offer to buy any security.  FNM’s market updates, news alerts and corporate profiles are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities. The material in this release is intended to be strictly informational and is NEVER to be construed or interpreted as research material. All readers are strongly urged to perform research and due diligence on their own and consult a licensed financial professional before considering any level of investing in stocks. All material included herein is republished content and details which were previously disseminated by the companies mentioned in this release. FNM is not liable for any investment decisions by its readers or subscribers. Investors are cautioned that they may lose all or a portion of their investment when investing in stocks. For current services performed FNM has been compensated forty six hundred dollars for news coverage of the current press releases issued by Vuzix® Corporation  by the company.  FNM HOLDS NO SHARES OF ANY COMPANY NAMED IN THIS RELEASE.

This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. “Forward-looking statements” describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as “may”, “future”, “plan” or “planned”, “will” or “should”, “expected,” “anticipates”, “draft”, “eventually” or “projected”. You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in a company’s annual report on Form 10-K or 10-KSB and other filings made by such company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should consider these factors in evaluating the forward-looking statements included herein, and not place undue reliance on such statements. The forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and FNM undertakes no obligation to update such statements.

 

SOURCE FinancialNewsMedia.com

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Agriculture

Yara and IBM join forces to transform the future of farming

Betty Tűndik

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The Digital Farming Platform, built incorporating world-class IBM technology, will allow Yara to create digital twins of the farmers’ fields and give farmers actionable insights to drive the improvements through advanced analytics, weather data and satellite images.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Yara and IBM will combine world-class agronomy and cutting-edge technology to develop the world’s leading global digital farming platform.

Yara International (OSE: YAR), a global leader in crop nutrition, and IBM (NYSE: IBM), today announced an agreement to build the world’s leading digital farming platform, providing holistic digital services and instant agronomic advice.

Yara and IBM Services will jointly innovate and commercialize digital agricultural solutions that will help increase global food production by drawing on the two companies’ complementary capabilities: Yara’s unrivalled agronomic knowledge, backed by more than 800 agronomists and a century of experience, and IBM’s digital platforms, services and expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.

The Yara/IBM collaboration is centered around a joint vision to make a real difference in food production

“Our collaboration centers around a common goal to make a real difference in agriculture. To be able to responsibly feed a growing population, it is critical that farmers increase food production on existing farmland to avoid deforestation. Yara and IBM will develop digital solutions that empower professional and smallholder farmers to optimize farming practices to increase yields, crop quality and incomes in a sustainable way,” said Terje Knutsen, EVP Sales and Marketing in Yara.

The joint global digital farming platform will apply artificial intelligence, machine learning and in-field data to unlock new insights for farmers. The digital platform will have worldwide coverage and aspires to reach 100 million hectares of farmland – which is equivalent to twice the size of Spain or close to 7 percent of all arable land worldwide* including millions of smallholder farms.

Yara and IBM work together to deliver the world’s most comprehensive global digital farming platform.

 

“As demand for food rises along with the world’s population, the digital farming platform will play a key role in increasing global farming yields in a sustainable way. The collaboration is a perfect symbiosis of IBM’s capabilities in AI, big data management and blockchain technology and Yara’s agronomic knowledge, farmer-centric digital innovation, and proven track record in improving farming across the globe,” said Luq Niazi, IBM Global Managing Director Consumer Industries.

As a first step, Yara and IBM will establish joint innovation teams, collaborating at digital hubs in EuropeSingapore, the US and Brazil. The teams will work closely with IBM researchers to develop new capabilities, such as visual analytics and machine learning techniques for crop insights. The first services are planned for end 2019.

Advancing the digital frontier of farming

The Yara/IBM partnership will focus on all aspects of farm optimization. One specific area of collaboration will be weather data. The ability to respond optimally to weather conditions is critical for farming. By merging analytical insights from IBM’s Watson Studio, IBM PAIRS technology, The Weather Company and other services, with Yara’s unrivaled crop knowledge and modelling capabilities, the joint platform will not only provide hyperlocal weather forecasts but will in addition give real-time actionable recommendations, tailored to the specific needs of individual fields/crops.

Yara and IBM to deliver the world’s most comprehensive global digital farming platform.

As the joint digital farming platform expands, the teams will explore innovative business solutions to integrate the joint platform into the IBM Food Trust, IBM’s blockchain-enabled network of food chain players. This will allow for greater traceability and supply chain efficiency as well as ways to tackle food fraud, food waste and sustainability. It will firmly link the farm into the full food chain, creating a holistic approach to food production from farm to plate.

The contract was signed in April 2019.

*World Bank, FAO.

SOURCE: IBM

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Automotive

Sono Motors to Produce Sion in Sweden

Betty Tűndik

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Sion - The first Solar Electric Vehicle. A car charging itself. - Photo Source: sonomotors.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The first series production solar electric vehicle (SEV) developed by the German mobility provider Sono Motors is to be manufactured in Sweden. As Sono Motors officially announced today, the first generation of the Sion will be produced in Trollhättan by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). The plant located there was home to the production lines of the long-standing and innovative automobile manufacturer SAAB. In total, an initial 260,000 vehicles will roll off the production line in Trollhättan over an eight-year period. Production will commence in the second half of 2020. After the ramp-up period, approximately 43,000 Sion a year will be manufactured in two-shift operations. Production will be carried out using one hundred percent renewable energy.

“In NEVS, we found the perfect partner for us,” says Thomas Hausch, Chief Operating Officer, Sono Motors. “Together, we share a vision of intelligent and resource-conserving mobility. We also value our partner’s specific expertise based on their many years of experience in traditional automobile development and production in combination with proven expertise in the area of electromobility.”

The innovative vehicle concept of the Sion already represents tomorrow’s mobility today – the aim of which needs to be the reduction of vehicles on the roads through more sustainable and more efficient usage. The Sion will therefore be equipped ex works with integrated sharing options. These enable the owner to share the vehicle itself, individual journeys, or even energy via a mobile application (goSono app), developed by Sono Motors. A bidirectional charging function enables the Sion to both receive and supply electricity, power electrical devices independently, and feed energy to other vehicles or into the electricity grid. Thanks to full-surface solar integration, the vehicle battery can be charged with pure and free solar energy worth up to 34 kilometers’ range per day in addition to its regular WLTP range of 255 kilometers.

For its market launch, the Sion will be rolled out in one single variant version costing 25,500 euros. There are plans afoot to develop other vehicle models based on the vehicle’s platform.

Since the presentation of the prototypes in summer 2017, the Sono Motors team has been going on test drive road shows all over Europe. On the occasion of the cooperation with NEVS, the next road show will take place in Sweden. Sono Motors has so far taken approximately 9,800 partially paid preorders for the Sion.

 

SOURCE Sono Motors GmbH

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Awards

New Research Identifies the Technology That Hotel Guests Really Want

Betty Tűndik

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Criton developed app for Cheval Residences
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Research conducted by leading travel technology firm Criton reveals the importance of hotel technology to improve the experience of today’s travellers

Dependence on mobile phones when travelling is brought into sharp focus by a survey of more than 3,600 travellers which reveals a growing appreciation for bespoke travel apps. Research commissioned by Edinburgh-based hospitality firm Criton, highlights that loyalty programmes, self-check-in/out and accessing your hotel room via a digital door key are primary requirements of today’s guests.

Julie Grieve, Founder and CEO of Criton

 

 The findings highlight crucial information for all hoteliers, with guests’ smartphones now recognised as an essential tool for delivering and improving their travel experience. With 45% of respondents travelling for leisure more than four times a year, findings showed that 62% of respondents regularly use an accommodation app, with the figure increasing to 67% amongst business travellers.

If their favourite hotel was to have its own app, 74% of respondents overwhelmingly stated they would use this digital channel, with only 10% favouring an in-room device such as a hotel’s smartphone or tablet. This reinforces Criton’s core belief that the future of hotel technology is own device. Hoteliers no longer need to absorb the cost of installing in-room devices when their guests travel with their own smartphone and are more comfortable with the apps and content within it.

The opportunity to check-in via an app and access their hotel room via a digital door key was warmly received with 58% likely or very likely to want this technology. With 68% finding it unacceptable to queue at reception for longer than five minutes, offering guests access to a service which global chains already offer is fast becoming a core priority for independent operators.

Respondents prioritised loyalty programmes as their favoured element of hotel technology with 53% recognising it as their top requirement. In a competitive landscape, the opportunity to drive direct and repeat bookings through a personalised loyalty programme will ensure hoteliers save on OTA commission while creating their own closed marketing group to upsell onsite services and facilities.

Underlining modern travellers’ awareness of technology, the survey found an audience ready to talk about tech use and expectations while travelling. Reflecting on the results of the survey, Julie Grieve, founder and CEO of Criton, which developed the UK’s first intuitive app builder for the hospitality sector, said:

“Increasingly, today’s travellers are downloading apps that help them get around and stay connected with their hotel. That level of tech awareness or even dependency also raises expectations for information, guest services, such as check-in, digital key and offers and incentives to reward their loyalty.

“Respondents to the survey were people who travel regularly, with the majority opting for a mid-range hotel or accommodation. It is increasingly clear that adopting technology has to be seen as an imperative for all hospitality providers; it is not something purely for the major franchises.”

Criton lets independent operators compete with big chain technology through an easy to use platform. From digitising the traditional hotel room guest book to PMS, live chat, digital door key and in-room ordering integrations all contained within a fully-branded hotel app; Criton supports hospitality businesses with their digital transformation strategies and work with clients across the UK and overseas.

Research Methodology:

An online survey ran from Tuesday 26th March until Monday 1st April and received a total of 3,654 responses, of whom 1,311 were classed as business travellers.

Key Findings:

  • 45% of travellers stated they travel for leisure 2-3 times a year
  • 36% travel for business
  • 39% use TripAdvisor as main source of research and inspiration before booking a hotel, followed by 29% of respondents relying on online search
  • 40% of travellers said they regularly stay in a 4-star (boutique) hotel, with 6% in a 5-star (luxury) hotel. The majority (47%) stated they regularly stay in a 3-star (mid-range) hotel
  • 53% have at least one hotel app on their phone
  • 74% would use a hotel app if their favourite hotel had one
  • 55% stated it is acceptable to wait at check-in 2-5 minutes
  • 62% would be likely or very likely to check-in to a hotel via an app
  • 58% would be likely or very likely to check-in to a hotel via an app and use digital key

App usage

  • 62% use an accommodation app regularly (eg Airbnb)
  • 57% use a transport app regularly
  • 47% use an airline app regularly
  • 36% uses a hotel app regularly

The hotel technology that respondents seek:

  • 53% – loyalty programmes
  • 35% – self check-in
  • 10% – in-room mobile
  • 18% – in-room tablet

Awards:

  • Criton won the ‘Best Technology Provider’ award at the 2018 Travolution Awards and was Highly Commended for Best Use of Mobile
  • Criton won the ‘Industry Breakthrough and Innovation Award’ at the ASAP Awards 2018
  • Julie Grieve, Founder & CEO won the prestigious ‘HOSPACE 2017 Best Entrepreneur Award’

 

SOURCE: Criton

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