IBM received a record-breaking number of U.S. patents in 2016, topping the list for the 24th consecutive year, showing the efforts the company is making to expand its business into products that process and analyze vast amounts of health-care data, according to Bloomberg. IBM was awarded 8,088 patents in 2016. The top five winners remained the same as the previous year, with Samsung, Canon, Qualcomm and Google nabbing those spots, according to data compiled by IFI Claims Patent Services.
Waymo has slashed the cost of a key technology required to bring self-driving cars to the masses and rolled it out in an autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivan, according to Bloomberg. The company has cut costs by 90 percent on LiDAR sensors, which bounce light off objects to create a three-dimensional map of a car’s surroundings.
IDC has published a new 2016 IDC Innovators report recognizing innovative companies under $100 million in the datacenter facility industry that are focused on cooling and environment management. The three vendors named IDC Innovators within the smarter datacenter infrastructure market are OptiCool, Romonet, and Vigilent.
BMW will dispatch a fleet of autonomous vehicles to U.S. and European cities in this year’s second half, the next step in its partnership with Mobileye and Intel to introduce fully self-driving vehicles by 2021, according to Bloomberg. The German automaker will put 40 of its 7 Series sedans on the road and train them to drive in urban areas.
The next frontier in digital advertising may be your car’s windshield, according to Bloomberg. Automakers, technology companies and glass manufacturers are teaming up to turn the display that graces the front of an iPhone into the windshield of a car, one that can show ads, directions and vehicle information to the person behind the wheel.
Fiat Chrysler is laying out a vision of a battery-powered, self-driving minivan that it bets even a millennial could love, according to Bloomberg. The automaker’s fifth-generation minivan, whose design concept is called the Chrysler Portal, would have a 400 kilometer electric range and enough screens, ports and social-media options to entertain young families while software handles much of the driving. It was unveiled in Las Vegas ahead of consumer technology show CES 2017.
Insta360, winner of the CES 2017 Innovation Honoree award for the Insta360 Nano, announced the launch of its Insta360 Pro professional VR 3D camera in Las Vegas. The standalone camera raises the bar for professional VR imaging with 8K resolution, 3D image and video capturing, and immersive livestreaming capabilities.
Fitbit is rolling out new social features on its app, including a news feed where users can share exercise summaries, read health-related content and join like-minded communities, according to Bloomberg. The fitness-tracking wristband maker is also upgrading its personal-trainer app, Fitstar, to give users custom recommendations based on historical Fitbit data, the company announced at CES in Las Vegas.
Sony unveiled a new product that's creating a bit of buzz at the annual CES industry gathering in Las Vegas, according to Bloomberg. XBR-A1E Bravia 4K is the electronics maker's first commercial foray into the niche market for televisions that use OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, technology.
Google is rolling out a real world application that allows shoppers to see what they might buy without leaving home, according to Bloomberg. They introduced two new retail partnerships, with BMW and Gap, deploying its 3D-scanning project called Tango.
Leica Geosystems today announced it has been named a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree for the Leica BLK360 Imaging Laser Scanner in the Digital Imaging category. Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 28 product categories.
Tanvas, a startup company which is trying to redefine touch for the touchscreen, announced the widespread debut of TanvasTouch, an award-winning programmable surface haptic technology that enables you to feel what you see on any touch display.
The Tesla Gigafactory outside Reno has been activated, according to Bloomberg. Its first battery cells started rolling off production lines Wednesday to power the company’s energy storage products and, before long, the Model 3 electric car. The start of mass production is a huge milestone in Tesla’s quest to electrify transportation, and it brings to America a manufacturing industry that’s long been dominated by China, Japan, and South Korea.
This year STEMI, a robot for education and increasing awareness of natural sciences, arrives to CES as well. As Marin Trošelj points out, this year he wants to open up to western markets (EU and US) and they hope to make good contacts and cooperation that will go in that direction.
Car electronics supplier Delphi went coast-to-coast in 2015 in a self-driving Audi Q5 sport-utility vehicle to prove the autonomous automobile had arrived, according to Bloomberg. Now, Delphi is shifting from stunts to selling.
The Drone Rodeo, the premier drone industry event at CES, is returning for more high-flying fun in the high desert. Called “The Wildest Event in Tech” in 2016 by ABC News Digital, the Drone Rodeo brings media together with drone manufacturers, race pilots and accessory makers to fly drones in their natural habitat: wide open spaces.
LG Electronics announced its futuristic Levitating Portable Speaker, which will be launched at CES 2017. The mesmerizing wireless speaker (model PJ9) hovers in place over the accompanying Levitation Station to deliver high-quality audio while also making a lasting impression with its eye-catching design. In addition to its striking looks, the versatile speaker provides users the ability to seamlessly play music, podcasts and other audio content in the home as well as outdoors.
Tesla and Panasonic completed work on an agreement to begin manufacturing solar cells and modules at Tesla’s factory in Buffalo, New York, eventually bringing some 1,400 jobs to the region, according to Bloomberg. Production will begin this summer, with the factory’s output capacity expanding to 1 gigawatt by 2019.
Honda said it is talking to Waymo, the autonomous driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, to try to strike a deal that would put its self-driving technology into some of the Japanese automaker’s cars, according to Bloomberg. Both companies stressed that the talks are about research, rather than full production vehicles, at this point.
Fiat Chrysler announced the production of 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans which will join Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving vehicle fleet, according to Bloomberg. The minivans are currently being being outfitted with fully self-driving technology, including purpose-built computers and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will become part of the test fleet of Waymo, formerly the Google car project, in early 2017.
Retail giant Amazon has made its first drone delivery to an actual customer, dropping off a Fire TV device and a bag of popcorn to a house in the rural English countryside 13 minutes after receiving an online order, according to Bloomberg. The delivery occurred Dec. 7 near Cambridge in a zone that U.K. aviation authorities have authorized for drone test flights, according to a tweet by company Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and a video documenting the flight.
Nowcast, a Japanese financial research and technology startup, has developed a product that estimates economic growth in real time by using satellite images of night-time lights, according to Bloomberg. Based on algorithms that examine changes in the intensity of illumination, as well as a range of published statistics including industrial production and trade, the company can accurately forecast changes in gross domestic product, Chief Executive Officer Ryota Hayashi said in an interview.
IDC Manufacturing Insights Worldwide Commercial Robotics program published its latest report titled “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions" and highlights the key drivers for robotics and how these are likely to shape the development of robotics in the planning horizon of 2017 through 2020.
Google, the world’s biggest corporate buyer of clean energy, expects to reach a major milestone next year: running the company entirely with wind and solar power, according to Bloomberg. The Alphabet unit has been pursuing the goal since at least 2012, “but I didn’t think it would happen so fast,” Gary Demasi, Google’s director of global infrastructure and energy, said in an interview.
Volkswagen plans to expand its new mobility-services division into a business with billions in revenue as the German carmaker seeks salvation in ride-hailing, autonomous driving and electric cars in the wake of the diesel-emissions scandal, according to Bloomberg. Moia, Volkswagen’s 13th brand, will initially focus on ride-hailing and car-sharing and will roll out its services in two European cities next year before possibly expanding to other regions.
Deutsche Telekom will start selling products designed to protect companies and authorities from drones linked to spying, smuggling or vandalism as the German carrier turns to security products and services to unlock fresh revenue, according to Bloomberg. The systems feature tools like video cameras, frequency scanners and microphones and have software that can distinguish drones from birds or helicopters.
Japan's obsession with keeping order and tech prowess has reached its natural conclusion with an intelligent megaphone that can issue commands in Chinese, English and Korean, according to Bloomberg. Panasonic recently unveiled the device, essentially a smartphone paired with a handheld loudspeaker, betting that police, event organizers and transport staff seeking to control crowds will be eager to get their hands on something that lets them bark orders to a large group of people at once.
According to figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), 8.2 million tablets were shipped into Western Europe in 3Q16, for a 6.7% decline YoY. The main trends in the quarter were the ongoing expansion of detachables and the penetration of tablets in the commercial segment.
In 2005 there were less than one million industrial robots. Today there are 1.8 million and in three years’ time, this will soar to around 2.6 million. Technology already plays a major role in the manufacturing sector. But as robots become better and more sophisticated, PwC economists expect their impact to gradually permeate more industries, including the services sector, which accounts for most jobs in industrialised economies.
U.S. safety officials called on smartphone makers to add features that would keep motorists from using functions linked to a surge in deaths due to distracted driving, a proposal that drew immediate opposition from the electronics industry, according to Bloomberg. Proposed voluntary guidelines ask device makers to take steps such as blocking some video displays and preventing manual text entry while vehicles are under way.