Grand Challenges Canada announced funding of up to $270K to 21 global mental health projects worldwide; and, up to $2M to an innovative program in India designed to improve the quality of mental health patient treatment and end reported abuses. Note that the second funded project listed, out of the University of Ottawa, is a mHealth epilepsy detection system that leverages the smartphone. Other projects leverage the Internet and mobile technologies to place social workers and medical experts in contact with target groups.

Grand Challenges Canada:

Industry Canada is looking for public input to update its S&T strategy. Initial submissions need to be in by Feb 7. News Release Link ; Consultation Link

Online consultation questions include:

  • ·       Building on the advice provided by the Expert Panel on Federal Support for Research and Development, what more can be done to improve business investment in R&D and innovation?
  • ·       What actions could be taken, by the government or others, to enhance the mobilization of knowledge and technology from government laboratories and universities, colleges and polytechnics to the private sector?
  • ·       How can Canada continue to develop, attract and retain the world’s top research talent at our businesses, research institutions, colleges and polytechnics, and universities?
  • ·       How might Canada build upon its success as a world leader in discovery-driven research?
  • ·       Is the Government of Canada’s suite of programs appropriately designed to best support research excellence?


The Nielsen Company releases an international overview of convenience in retail – providing examples that include mobile technology. An example is drawn from South Korea for a ‘click & collect’ option whereby online orders are delivered at convenient time.
According to Nielsen, in 2011 Tesco decided to offer customers the convenience of browsing through Subway-based digital displays of merchandise offered in its stores. To make purchases, consumers scan QR (quick response) codes of the items displayed that they wish to purchase and then click the send button on a smartphone app. Tesco then delivers the merchandise to the consumers shortly after they get home from work. The results speak for themselves: online sales increased by 130% and site registrations grew by 76% in a few months.

That experience was mimicked by several other retail companies. After 18 months, Peapod (US), Cold-Storage (Singapore), Woolworths (Australia) and Yihoudian (China) had created virtual platforms of their own.

According to CT-based Gartner, worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 7.6% increase from 2013. Among the operating system (OS) market, Android is on pace to surpass one billion users across all devices in 2014. By 2017, over 75% of Android’s volumes will come from emerging markets. Mobile phones are expected to dominate overall device shipments, with 1.9 billion mobile phones shipped in 2014, a 5% increase from 2013. Ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, will take over as the main driver of growth in the devices market from 2014, with a growth rate of 54%. In 2014, the worldwide tablet market is forecast to grow 47% with lower average selling prices attracting new users.

Consumers continue to buy tablets as an additional device that they carry everywhere. According to a recent consumer study that Gartner conducted in the third quarter of 2013 across Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US and Japan, over 2/3 of tablets were used outside the home for activities such as vacation or concert. Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs are forecast to total 278 million units in 2014, a 7% decline from 2013. Driven by an uptake in Windows ultramobiles, the PC market is estimated to remain flat in 2014 (0.2%), after a decline of 9.9% in 2013. In the OS market, Android continues to be the OS of choice across all devices. Gartner estimates that Android will reach 1.1 billion users in 2014, a 26% increase from 2013. “There is no doubt that there is a volume versus value equation, with Android users also purchasing lower-cost devices compared to Apple users. Android holds the largest number of installed-base devices, with 1.9 billion in use in 2014, compared with 682 million iOS/Mac OS installed-base devices,” said Annette Zimmerman, principal analyst at Gartner.
MA-based International Data Corporation announces the initial results from consumer survey in “Methods and Practices: Connected Vehicles and Consumer Connectivity Preferences.” The survey was designed to assess the current situation and potential challenges associated with connected vehicle technology adoption. According to the results, almost 50% of consumers consider it vital to have access to a phone in the vehicle and about 40% consider it vital to access apps such as navigation and music while in the vehicle. And, while only about 25% of all consumers consider it vital to utilize the phone for business when in the vehicle, almost 50% of the baby boomer population (consumers between the ages of 45-65) consider it vital to access the phone in the vehicle for business and applications, signifying that this group has a strong connected identity beyond personal use. This is a significant finding for connected vehicle stakeholders, especially automakers, because baby boomers continue to have the majority of “buying power” today for large investments such as homes and vehicles. Additional findings include:

  • 75% of respondents prefer to access in-vehicle services through their existing mobile device, maintaining their “digital identity”.
  • The majority of consumers 66% would prefer their existing mobile service provider for emergency and other in-vehicle services, if given a choice.
  • 35% of consumers believe connected and emergency services should be included free with the vehicle, but 50% of consumers find $24-60 per year a reasonable price range to pay for the services.
Cisco issues a report that promotes trillions of dollar value for public sector orgs which implement IoT technologies. News Release Link



Accenture releases an electronics purchasing intention survey of 6,000 consumers from 6 countries (Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, UK and US). With respect to wearable technology, 52% are interested in buying wearable technologies such as fitness monitors for tracking physical activity and managing their personal health; 46 % smart watches; and, 42% in Internet-connected eyeglasses. Among the 6 countries, consumers in India were most interested in buying fitness monitors (80 %), smart watches (76%) and Internet-enabled eyeglasses (74%). Also during the next year, 52% plan to purchase a smartphone and 40% a tablet PC. Similarly, 41% intend to buy a HDTV and 38% a laptop. Consumers’ plans to buy these 4 types of multi-function devices – typically the most popular product categories in consumer electronics – far exceed the percentages that plan to purchase single-function devices such as home game consoles (25%), GPS navigation units (23%) and ebook readers (22%). Link


Needham MA-based PTC acquires PA-based ThingWorx, creators of the ThingWorx M2M/IoT platform for building and running IoT applications, for approximately US$112M, plus a possible earn-out of up to $18M.

These are CES-related news items that came out last week, many deal with connected cars.

Samsung Smart Home brand debuts at CES 2014 with the integrated Smart Home platform that is being rolled out across Samsung devices and appliances. Pursuing a connected world, Samsung will collaborate with third-party partners to make the Samsung Smart Home service extendible to their products and services, building the foundation for a rapidly-growing ecosystem of connected home services. Samsung Smart Home will initially provide 3 main service features enabling users to connect with their devices from anywhere, anytime: Device Control, Home View and Smart Customer Service.

AT CES Gemalto announces the addition of Oracle Java™ ME Embedded v8 solutions based on Qualcomm Technologies chipsets to its Cinterion® portfolio of cellular modules and devices. With support for Java and for the SensorLogic cloud-based software as a service platform, the new products enable Gemalto to launch next generation embedded solutions and services that simplify M2M technology and speed up app development to expand the growing IoT. The new products will target applications from medical devices, automobiles and smart meters to shipping containers, home appliances and alarm systems. Link

Announced at CES, AT&T entered into a new multi-year exclusive agreement to enable current and future Tesla vehicles in North America with high speed wireless connectivity. AT&T connectivity will power Tesla’s remote engine diagnostics, telematics, and industry-leading infotainment features such as Internet radio, Web browsing, live traffic, weather and navigation, all accessed through the 17-inch touchscreen entered into a new multi-year exclusive agreement to enable current and future Tesla vehicles in North America with high speed wireless connectivity.|innovation-releases

Intel Corporation, Barneys New York, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Opening Ceremony* announced strategic collaborations to explore and bring to market smart wearable technology, and to increase dialogue and cooperation between the fashion and technology. Intel will work with CFDA to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers to network, match-make, cultivate and exchange ideas on wearable technology.  Link

Ericsson announced an agreement with AT&T to improve connectivity for products and applications that are powered by the Connected Vehicle Cloud which is based on Ericsson’s Service Enablement Platform, providing drivers and passengers with access to applications directly from a screen in the car. The agreement creates a better consumer experience and helps advance the automotive cloud ecosystem.

Audi will add convenience by becoming the first automaker to offer a Mobile Share data plan option to AT&T wireless customers who would like to add their vehicle to their existing smartphone or tablet data plan. 

LG Electronics introduces LG Lifeband Touch and LG Heart Rate Earphones. Lifeband Touch is a smart activity wristband tracker that is compatible with heart rate monitors (HRM) as well as smartphones. The Heart Rate Earphones’ dual-function design offers a way for users to measure their heart rate while exercising. LG’s Heart Rate Earphones feature PerformTek®sensor technology which measures blood flow signals from the inner part of the ear to capture accurate biometric data such as heart rate and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max). Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate Earphones can wirelessly link up to each other.

Related articles categorized under

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *