With Fitbit’s Charge and Flex sports trackers nearly two and three years old, there are rumors floating around the web about the launch of Fitbit Charge 2 and Flex 2 on November 27. The rumor broke following a recent trademark listing, which gave a hint that the new models will arrive soon. If rumor mills are to be believed, the images of the upcoming Flex 2 and Change 2 along with their technical specifications were leaked on a popular tech portal. Upon inspection, we found that the Flex 2 has re-oriented the indicator lights. We can also spot several holes on the backside. Meanwhile, the Charge 2 features a bigger display and interchangeable bands in blue, violet and black colors.
Now that Ericsson has succeeded in pushing its favored technologies into the heart of the 3GPP agenda for low power wide area (LPWA) networks, it has stepped up its efforts to get them into the market, even ahead of full standardization in the next LTE release.In November, it announced projects with Orange to trial both its key cellular technologies, Narrowband IoT and Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM). The former is the solution adopted by the 3GPP for its work on an LTE-based LPWA standard – technically a combination of Ericsson’s NB-LTE and Huawei’s Cellular IoT, in fact insiders indicate that the Swedish firm scored something of a coup and got its approach, which is more backwards compatible than Huawei’s, at the heart of the emerging specifications.
The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group are doing their part to diminish fragmentation in the Internet of Things (IoT), announcing they will offer an end-to-end solution for IP-based IoT networks later this year.The solution will become part of the ZigBee Alliance’s set of product development specifications, technologies’ branding and certification programs. It follows an agreement announced in April of last year where the two entities said they would collaborate. Over the ensuing months, they hammered out just how that would happen.
The Internet of Things stands as one of the largest economic opportunities in the world. But it’s not just about consumer devices. Some of the biggest breakthroughs are taking place behind the scenes in factories, farms, and industrial sites to optimize production or increase energy efficiency.The opportunity for IoT in industry, however, is also incredibly challenging and involves applications and a customer mindset that are far, far different than what some tech companies might be used to. The good news is that industrial IoT isn’t about producing simple gadgets. These will be sophisticated, elegant systems. The bad news is that meeting the performance specifications will be a mammoth task.
Duke Energy has joined MESA to drive the development of communication specifications for energy storage systems.Duke Energy joins a dozen equipment manufacturers, software suppliers, and public and private utilities, whose objective is to accelerate the growth of the energy storage industry through the development of an open, non-proprietary set of specifications and standards for energy storage systems.
The Thread Group (www.threadgroup.org) today announced the release of Thread, the new IP-based wireless networking protocol designed for low-power connected products in the home. Starting today, product developers who are members of the Thread Group can access Thread technical specifications and documentation to build Thread-compliant products.”Thread was designed to be the foundation of the Internet of Things in the home by allowing developers and consumers to easily and securely connect hundreds of devices within a low-power, wireless mesh network,” said Chris Boross, president, Thread Group. “In the nine months since opening membership, more than 160 companies have joined the Thread Group, and now the group is launching the Thread technical specification, which has now completed extensive interoperability testing. Today’s announcement means that Thread products are on the way and will be in customers’ hands very shortly. I’m excited to see what kinds of products and experiences Thread developers will build.”
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has become a key building block for the Internet of Things, and chip makers are working to make it an even better fit by using the technology to further reduce power consumption of devices and helping developers implement it.Applications have been a key ingredient in making smartphones a huge success. Vendors are hoping to repeat that recipe for IoT, with semiconductor companies such as ST Microelectronics coming up with tools to make BLE, a set of specifications for reduced-power wireless networking, easier for developers to use.
Apple will allow its upcoming Siri-controlled HomeKit platform to work with certain existing, non-HomeKit home automation products, including ones using competing protocols such as ZigBee or Z-Wave, but there are many limitations. According to sources briefed on the new specs, the latest Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing program specifications detail the types of home automation products other than HomeKit that Apple will permit to interact with its platform.
The radio frequency that you choose for your wireless IoT application is very, very important. There are regulatory and physical considerations that must be accounted for and weighed against the design goals and specifications of the IoT application you are developing. The three primary frequencies to consider in the US market are 433 MHz, 902-928 MHz, and 2.4 GHz. Here, I am going to focus on the first of these: 433 MHz.
Apple AAPL +0.29% is building a closed ecosystem for the connected home. If device makers want to play with the Cupertino tech giant, they better be prepared to spend a lot of time and money revamping their entire product to fit into Apple’s specifications.
iDevices wants to make that process a little easier. The maker of an app-connected thermometer for grills, iDevices knows how hard it is to fit into Apple’s plans. For the past 10 months, iDevices has worked closely with Apple and spent $10 million on a new product for HomeKit, Apple’s standard for controlling home devices in iOS.