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May 16
Online transaction fraud to double by 2020

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that the value of online fraudulent transactions is expected to reach $25.6 billion by 2020, up from $10.7 billion last year. This means that by the end of the decade, $4 in every $1,000 of online payments will be fraudulent.

The new study identified three hot areas for online fraud: eRetail (65% of fraud by value in 2020 - $16.6 billion); banking (27% - $6.9 billion); and airline ticketing (6% - $1.5 billion). The study also claimed that eRetail would be particularly susceptible to online fraud, with the value of fraud in this sector increasing at twice that of banking and seven times that of airline ticketing.

Juniper Research says that, although banks are able to counter online banking fraud by deploying new technologies such as 3D-Secure and device fingerprinting, these measures often only provide temporary respite as...

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May 13
23% of smartphone owners also own a smart home device

New Parks Associates research (www.parksassociates.com) hows that 23% of U.S. smartphone owners also own a smart home device and over three-fourths of those consumers use their smartphone, tablet, or PC to control their smart home devices at least once per month.

"Purchase intentions for smart home devices among U.S. broadband households more than doubled in less than two years, going from 21% in early 2014 to nearly 50% at the end of 2015," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "Safety and security are the main drivers for consumer interest, and we see, once smart home products are in the home, consumers quickly develop habits with these devices. Usage varies based on device, but among owners of most safety and security devices, 40-50% control or monitor these products on a daily basis.”

Age and income are key demographics in the current early adopter market, he added. Mass-market...

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May 13
AMOLED growth is a bright spot for the display industry

Active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays are rising fast, thanks to lowering costs, wider use in end-market consumer electronics devices and the ramp-up of new manufacturing capacities.

While liquid crystal display (LCD) technology is still the dominant technology in the display industry, AMOLED display shipments will grow 40% year-over-year year, to reach 395 million units in 2016. AMOLED display revenue is expected to increase by 25 percent, to reach $15 billion in 2016, according to IHS (www.ihs.com).

“AMOLED is becoming the shiniest spot in the flat-panel display industry,” said David Hsieh, senior director, displays at the research group. “AMOLED has a simpler structure than LCD, as well as a thinner and lighter form factor, better color saturation, greater contrast ratio, faster response time and easier integration with touch functions. In addition, AMOLED is formed on a polymer base...

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May 12
Consumers who use digital health tools find them useful

Seventy-six percent (76%) of consumers who use digital health tools say their health apps/devices have made them healthier. And 59% of consumers who use digital health tools use them at least once per day.

Another 57% responded that using digital health tools has helped to lower their healthcare costs. The results are based on a March HealthMine (www.healthmine.com) survey of 500 insured consumers who use mobile/internet-connected health tools.

Consumers are taking more steps towards digital health. There are now nearly 165,000 health-related apps which run on Apple's iOS and Google's Android. PwC, a consulting firm, forecasts that by 2017 such apps will have been downloaded 1.7 billion times. Add to that 10 million activity trackers and 7 million smart watches shipped by the end of 2014 (ABI Research), as well as a growing crop of other internet-connected health devices. According to HealthMine's...

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May 11
Consumer awareness of Bluetooth is at an all-time high

A recent survey conducted by Lux Insights, Inc. puts consumer awareness of Bluetooth wireless technology at 92% globally, with 62% of respondents reporting a purchasing preference for Bluetooth enabled products, noting Bluetooth is reliable, easy to use, and makes life easier.

The proliferation and success of Bluetooth captured the imagination of the consumer, leading to increased demand for unique wireless applications, most notably home automation, location-based services, personal monitoring and tracking, and remote access control. Industry analyst ABI Research projects that over three billion Bluetooth enabled products will ship this year alone.

“Bluetooth delivers a connection that just works for consumers globally, whether they are listening to music or tracking their steps. This has led to a shift in expectations of what connectivity can be,” said Errett Kroeter, vice president of marketing for the Bluetooth SIG. “Consumers are looking to experience that same...

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May 10
Business leaders need to prepare for digital...

Business leaders looking to improve the quality of their customers’ digital experience agree they do not know where to start according to research published today by Actual Experience (www.actual-experience.com). Four out of five C-level executives know that digital experience quality is critical to business success, but more than half (55%) don’t know how to identify the issues that affect quality.

It’s vital that business leaders embrace the next phase of the digital transformation if they’re going to succeed, according to the research group. Actual Experience’s research shows that business leaders both in North America, UK and Ireland appreciate the value of consistent digital experience quality (89% agree it’s crucial to company success over the next two years). However, they claim their biggest barriers to improving digital experience quality are identifying the specific quality issues that...

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May 09
Nearly 50% of U.S. broadband households are concerned...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds 47% of U.S. broadband households are concerned their private information stored on connected devices could be made public.

Another 47% are worried companies will sell their personal information. Both findings present challenges for companies as they look to leverage connected product data to enhance the consumer experience and deepen engagement.

"Nearly 50% of U.S. broadband households plan to buy a smart home product in 2016, and two-thirds already have at least one Internet-connected entertainment device," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "The data generated by these devices can extend the product lifecycle and open many new value propositions to consumers. In this webcast, we will discuss the best ways to use data in the expanding consumer IoT environment and how to alleviate consumer concerns so that they...

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May 06
Worldwide IoT security spending to reach $348 million...

Worldwide spending on Internet of Things (IoT) security will reach $348 million in 2016, a 23.7% increase from 2015 spending of $281.5 million, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

Spending on IoT security is expected to reach $547 million in 2018, adds the research group. Although overall spending will initially be moderate, Gartner predicts that IoT security market spending will increase at a faster rate after 2020, as improved skills, organizational change and more scalable service options improve execution.

"The market for IoT security products is currently small but it is growing as both consumers and businesses start using connected devices in ever greater numbers," said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. "Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 11.4 billion by 2018. However, considerable variation...

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May 05
Downturn in national customer satisfaction hits eight...

The steep downward trajectory in national customer satisfaction continues, as the free fall of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) reaches the two-year mark. The aggregate ACSI (theacsi.org) score for the fourth quarter of 2015 is down 0.5 percent to 73.4 on a 100-point scale, its lowest score in a decade after eight consecutive quarters of decline.

“Consumer spending and retail sales in the fourth quarter were disappointing but actually predictable, given the extended weakening of customer satisfaction and lack of wage growth,” says Claes Fornell, ACSI chairman and founder. “Unless both wages and customer satisfaction improve, consumer demand is not likely to pick up enough to lift the economy from its sluggish pace of growth.”

The cause of the sustained decline in customer satisfaction is unclear, though it does coincide with a weakening of corporate earnings and with a reduction in unemployment. When unemployment is high, the job market is more...

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May 04
IDC: VR hardware to soar past the $2 billion mark this...

Worldwide shipments of virtual reality (VR) hardware will skyrocket in 2016, with total volumes reaching 9.6 million units, according to IDC. Led by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus, the category should generate hardware revenues of approximately $2.3 billion in 2016, adds the research group.

While VR will drive nearly all of the hardware volume in 2016, Augmented Reality (AR) hardware is forecast to ramp up over the next few years. According to the first worldwide AR/VR forecast from IDC, the combined device markets will see hardware shipments surge past 110 million units in 2020.

IDC has identified three major device categories across the augmented and virtual reality markets. They include: screenless viewers that use the screen of specific smartphones to drive an AR/VR experience (example: Samsung Gear VR); tethered head mounted displays (HMDs) that utilize an existing compute device such as a PC, game console, or even a smartphone to drive a head-...

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May 03
IHS: automotive touch screens on the rise

With consumers becoming increasingly comfortable using smartphones and tablet PCs, touch screens are now increasingly making their way into their vehicles, too. In fact, the automotive touch panel market is expected to expand from 28 million units shipped in 2013 to 86 million in 2021, according to IHS Inc. (www.ihs.com), the leading global source of critical information and insight.

“Projected capacitive touch technology is commonly found in consumer smartphones and tablets, which consumers have grown very comfortable using,” said Shoko Oi, senior display analyst at IHS Technology. “Although there are concerns about how direct touch operations could affect safety while driving, automotive touch panels are becoming a standard feature in new vehicles coming to market.”

The content shown on automotive displays now comes from a variety of sources, both inside and outside the car. Many of these applications require...

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May 02
The Northern Spy: Quo Vadis

By Rick Sutcliffe

The Apple haters and doomsayers will slither from beneath their rocks in force now that Apple has suffered its first quarterly year-over-year decline in revenue in 13 years. No company can grow its sales indefinitely, so this day had to come. Mind, the company still had revenues of over $50 billion, so it's not about to become a corporate food bank client. This does mark a watershed for the iPhone business, however, as it may indicate, if not market saturation, at least a flattening of the growth curve--not just for Apple but for the whole sector.

Is this "a cloud the size of a man's hand" on the horizon? Only if Apple abdicates its technology leadership role and fails to introduce yet another iconic game changing product. What of the second AppleTV and the Apple Watch? The Spy says "yawn". Both entered an already crowded market--one to which neither contributes significantly, much less redefines. Moreover, watches...

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Apr 29
Gartner: half of CEOs expect their industries to...

CEOs have underlined that growth will be their top business priority for 2016, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).

The 2016 Gartner CEO and senior business executive survey found that despite indications that the global economy is struggling in early 2016, CEOs don’t plan to significantly change their priorities. After growth (54%), the second and third business priorities are customers (31%) and workforce (27%). The Gartner CEO and senior business executive survey of 400 senior business leaders in user organizations worldwide was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2015, asking questions about 2016/2017.

Most responding organizations were those with annual revenue of $1 billion or more. The survey results show that while business conditions are challenging, CEOs remain confident enough to sanction strategic investments, particularly when it comes to digital business...

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Apr 28
U.S. carriers score poorly on ‘app experience’...

Apteligent (www.apteligent.com) and analyst firm, STL group, have put together a report quantifying the customer “app experience” on 27 mobile networks in 7 countries. The findings on U.S. carrier providers was especially surprising considering analysts and market observers often cite the U.S. as a mobile market that has achieved higher broadband prices owing to its operators’ network investment. 

So how do U.S. carriers Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T measure up?

° All four of the major US mobile operators are in the bottom half of the ranking table.

° The best-performing US operator, T-Mobile, only scores 45 – a full 31 points below Bouygues Telecom (France) and 4 points below the median operator. 

° Verizon and AT&T, the U.S. market leaders, score only 43 and 37 respectively and Sprint, as already noted, is in the bottom 5 with 33.

° All the U.S. operators perform...

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Apr 27
Organizations failing to harness benefits of agile...

Organizations are far less willing than their employees to adopt agile working methods and are missing out on the benefits such as earlier delivery of projects and return on investment, according to a new global survey published by AXELOS (www.axelos.com).
 
The survey of more than 2,400 professionals found that more than three-quarters (81%) of respondents – across all job roles and industry sectors surveyed – now see value in working in an agile way. In fact, the appetite to use agile methods among individual professionals is on average 37% greater than their employer’s.
 
The lack of appetite among organizations for agile working exists despite the finding that people in senior management roles were among the most enthusiastic for it, with 83% acknowledging its value. AXELOS’ research also showed how more professionals with a PRINCE2 certification than those without see the value of agile working...

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Apr 26
MWR research confirms risk of NFC enabled card theft

With contactless payments increasing in popularity, MWR InfoSecurity (www.mwrinfosecurity.com) has today warned consumers to be aware of the dangers from contactless cards. It also issued a reminder to retailers and banks that not all fraudulent card theft is the fault of the card owner and more needs to be done to thwart scammers.
 
MWR has developed an application that uses NFC (near field communication) to read the information stored in the contactless chip embedded in credit and debit cards. Google Play currently has a number of similar apps available via its store that claim to do the same thing, plus the source code isn’t too difficult to find.

Explaining the process MWR senior research consultant, Nick Walker explained: “Brushing past someone, the app sends a signal to the chip in the card to query the data stored. Depending on the card type will determine just what information is...

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Apr 25
Video banking reaches inflection point

More than 80% of banks surveyed recognize that online and mobile banking channels improve customer engagement, and 93% of banks expect customer satisfaction to improve if a high quality video banking service were to be implemented.
 
A newly released research report, co-sponsored by Efma (www.efma.com), a not-for-profit association of 3,300 retail financial services companies in more than 130 countries and Vidyo, Inc. (www.vidyo.com), which specializes in video collaboration, aims to bring clarity to the role that video banking plays in the digital transformation of banks. The research results uncovered massive support for video banking among financial organizations worldwide, with nearly 80% of all banks planning to offer video-enabled banking services. The research from Vidyo and Efma also found:

° Nearly 70% of banks prioritize video banking...

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Apr 22
Mobile apps becoming more popular with small...

Will mobile apps that are cheaper and easier to develop convince more small businesses to have them? Not necessarily, according to a new survey by Clutch (https://clutch.co), an app development research firm.

While nearly 50% of small businesses indicate they plan to have a mobile app within the next few years, over 30% still have no intention to do so. Industry experts, however, say that attitude will likely change as more small businesses watch the trend of mobile app adoption grow and are forced to have an app in order to stay competitive.

"Many small businesses don't even consider building a mobile app, but this is changing fast, with more and more traffic coming from mobile devices," says Viktor Marohnic, CEO of the mobile app creator Shoutem. "Three years ago, a small business might see 10% of its total traffic coming from mobile, but right now it's closer to 70%. Within the next couple of years, a shift...

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Apr 21
Cost reduction driving the data center colocation...

According to the latest market research report by Technavio (www.technavio.com), the global data center colocation market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 12% until 2020. To calculate the market size, Technavio researchers have considered revenues garnered from sales of new units in leading geographies.

“Accessing information stored in a data center involves the use of many devices. A robust networking solution is required to offer high-availability services. During the forecast period, a growing need for digitalization will enable processing of application workloads on servers with cross-platform support,” said Rakesh Panda, one of Technavio’s lead industry analysts for data center research.

He adds: “The use of cloud-based services and big data analytics is growing rapidly. Also, increasing digitalization has resulted in a significant rise in the amount of enterprise...

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Apr 20
IDC: cloud environments will drive IT infrastructure...

According to the International Data Corp. (www.idc.com) total spending on IT infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for deployment in cloud environments will increase by 18.9% in 2016 to reach $38.2 billion.

This amount excludes double counting between storage and server, adds the research group. In comparison, spending on enterprise IT infrastructure deployed in traditional, non-cloud, environments will decline by 4% in 2016, but will still account for the largest share, 62.8%, of end user spending. Spending on private cloud IT infrastructure will grow by 11.1% year over year to $13.9 billion geared toward on-premises private cloud deployments. Spending on public cloud IT infrastructure will increase by 14.1% in 2016 to $24.4 billion.

From a geographic perspective, investments in cloud IT infrastructure will grow across all regions. As cloud service providers continue to expand their...

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Apr 19
Tech companies creating strategic platforms to support...

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology concept that is currently transforming and redefining virtually all markets and industries in fundamental ways. In fact, IHS forecasts that the IoT market will grow from an installed base of 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 2025, according to “IoT Platforms: Enabling the Internet of Things” a new white paper available as a free download from IHS Inc. (www.ihs.com), a global source of critical information and insight.

An important sign of the fundamental significance of the IoT concept is that most major information and communication technology vendors are now strategically developing IoT offerings, adds IHS. Companies that sit at the heart of the telecom, networking, industrial infrastructure, enterprise system, and cloud computing sectors are now offering platforms to facilitate the broader economy’s transformation to pervasive...

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Apr 18
Consumers seeking higher value for home IoT

Network entertainment applications are the stepping stone to a broader home Internet of Things (IoT) experience, even as consumers remain skeptical of the value proposition behind the home Internet of Things, wary of their cost and uncertain of their utility, according to a recent survey of U.S. consumers by International Data Corporation (www.idc.com).

About 28% of people who own a home network stream online videos to their televisions, and they are much more likely to express high interest in and adoption of home IoT applications than other home network owners, notes the research group. What’s more, one out of five people who use home automation, monitoring and control devices say their home IoT applications solved a problem they didn't know they had. The majority of consumers, however, remain skeptical of the value proposition behind the home Internet of Things and are holding back for a higher overall value proposition...

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Apr 15
Most broadband households with a security system will...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that 65% of U.S. broadband households with a security system plan to buy a smart home device in the next 12 months.

"Nearly 20% of U.S. broadband households own at least one smart home device, and over one-half of these device owners also have a security system," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "Security households, rather than being content with their current system, have a proclivity to add more smart features to their home. Companies need to use this insight to capitalize on the growing demand for connected devices in the home.”

Smart home solutions are available to consumers through multiple sales channels. Parks Associates' data shows 70% of U.S. security dealers currently install some type of interactive smart home device or system within their residential offerings or plan to do so within the next 12 months...

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Apr 14
Gartner: worldwide IT spending will decline 0.5% this...

Worldwide IT spending is forecast to total $3.49 trillion in 2016, a decline of 0.5% over 2015 spending of $3.5 trillion, according to Gartner, Inc (www.gartner.com). This is down from last quarter's forecast of 0.5%. The change in the forecast is mainly due to currency fluctuations, says the research group.

"There is an undercurrent of economic uncertainty that is driving organizations to tighten their belts, and IT spending is one of the casualties," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "Concurrently, the need to invest in IT to support digital business is more urgent than ever. Business leaders know that they need to become digital businesses or face irrelevance in a digital world. To make that happen, leaders are engaging in tough cost optimization efforts in some areas to fund digital business in others.”

As an example, the savings from legacy system optimization and...

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Apr 13
Worldwide semiconductor revenue declined 2.3% in 2015

Worldwide semiconductor revenue totaled $334.8 billion in 2015, a 2.3% decline from 2014, according to final results by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). The combined revenue of the top 25 semiconductor vendors fell by 0.5% during 2015, according to the research group.

This was a better performance than the rest of the market, however, which saw a 6.9% revenue decline. The top 25 vendors accounted for 73.5% of the market, down slightly from 74% in 2014.

"The worldwide semiconductor market declined in 2015 as slowing demand for key applications combined with strong currency fluctuations to subdue the market," said Andrew Norwood, research vice president at Gartner. "2015 saw a mixed performance by the different device categories, unlike 2014 when all categories posted positive growth. Nonoptical sensors performed best due to increased usage of fingerprint sensors in smartphones, while discretes saw the...

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Apr 12
High-growth wireless charging market matures in 2016

The wireless charging receiver market grew more than 160% in 2015 over the previous year, as annual global shipments reached 144 million units.

Integrated receivers hit mainstream devices, and refinements to system design and diversification for various applications and power ratings is now driving the development of the technology. Annual shipment volume is expected to top one billion units by 2020 and two billion by 2025, according to IHS (www.ihs.com), a source of critical information and insight.

The mobile phone market remains the dominant force in overall shipments, led by the Samsung Galaxy smartphone series, which comes equipped with dual-mode Qi and Power-Matters-Alliance- (PMA-) certified low-frequency charging retained for this year’s S7 model.  IHS forecasts that 10% of smartphones shipped this year will be capable of wireless charging. 

Meanwhile wearables are already the second largest...

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Apr 11
52% of millennial smartphone owners use their device...

As consumer preferences and habits for smartphone usage continue to shift, millennials are driving the increased usage of video calling as a preferred application among smartphone users.

In fact, according to The NPD Group’s (www.npdgroup.com) “Connected Intelligence Application and Convergence Report,” more than half (52%) of smartphone users age 18-34 say they now use their smartphones to conduct video calls, representing an increase of 10 points year-over-year. In addition to video calling, smartphone users in the 18-34 age range also cited using their device for music and shopping as well as posting and viewing videos. In fact, many of these behaviors increased in prevalence among this user segment during the prior year, too.  

“Video calling, posting and watching video are more common among Millennial smartphone users than among any other age group,” noted John Buffone, executive director, Industry...

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Apr 08
Consumers happier with their wearable hardware than...

Wearable technology is evolving beyond wrist-worn devices to include shirts, tattoos, hats, shoes and more but what makes these devices useful is the actionable collected data.

A new report from Argus Insights (www.argusinsights.com) shows that consumers are much happier with their wearable devices than the apps they use to interpret the data they collect. Jawbone Up is leading delight as a great “all in one app,” but at the same time users express discontent with the Jawbone bands. Based on an analysis of over 136,000 consumer reviews of Wearables devices and applications from November 2015-February 2016, Argus Insights finds that users report higher delight for devices than brands’ associated apps.

“Clearly the app experience is affecting the long term efficacy of the wearables market,” said John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights. “Without interpretation of the data to inspire action and promote...

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Apr 07
Adoption of solid state drives to drive global 3D NAND...

Technavio (www.technavio.com) analysts predict the the global 3D NAND flash market will reach 8.78 billion units by 2019, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 91.82%.

To calculate the market size, the research group considered unit shipments of smartphones, tablet personal computers (PCs), notebooks, smartcards, universal serial bus (USB), MP3s, and solid-state drives (SSDs) made to manufacturers.
3D NAND flash market at a glance

Technavio analysts predict the global 3D NAND flash market to grow at a fast pace during the projected period. The high market growth rate is attributed to increasing demand for high non-volatile memory in mobile devices and enterprise servers because of the following advantages: large memory storage, low power consumption, less space, and high speed.

Technavio hardware and semiconductor analysts highlight the following four factors that are...

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Apr 06
Now is the time for banks to make a play in the mobile...

As consumer awareness of mobile wallets has risen dramatically, financial institutions have a perfect opportunity to stake a claim in this market. As the barriers to wallet adoption drop, and issues with merchant adoption and consumer hesitation lessen, FI-branded wallets stand ready to reap the benefits.

The JAVELIN (www.javelinstrategy.com) research group has released a report and introduced JAVELIN’s S.C.O.R.E. wallet analysis model for assessing and comparing competing wallet providers. For the past two years, the consumer’s primary bank has topped the charts, as the wallet consumers would be most likely to adopt. However, as the vast majority of FIs sat on the sidelines, consumer preference has shifted. Now, PayPal (63%) and Visa (56%) have both surpassed the primary bank (51%) as the mobile wallet providers of choice.

“The customer relationship is the trump card that issuers have to...

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Apr 05
Usage of TV Everywhere reaches 40% of pay-TV consumers

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that usage of authenticated video viewing, or TV Everywhere, reached 40% of U.S. pay-TV consumers in 2015, up from 22% in 2013. The data shows the percentage of respondents watching authenticated video at least once a month is 23%, which both broadens and deepens the online video audience for pay-TV providers.

"Content providers have been extremely aggressive in promoting their authenticated catch-up services, which is helping create traction for authenticated TV Everywhere services in the digital entertainment household," said Glenn Hower, research analyst, Parks Associates. "As usage increases, service providers and content companies alike will need to expand their big data capabilities, allowing them to create even more personalized services for their subscribers and viewers.”

Streaming and multiscreen usage have altered...

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Apr 04
70% of U.S. households with smart energy devices...

New data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that 70% of U.S. households with smart energy devices report saving money due to reduced energy consumption. However, the report also notes the difficulty of selling smart energy devices based on cost savings as 83% of U.S. broadband households do not know the price they are paying for electricity.

"Residential customers today see energy as a necessary expense, and while 62% of U.S. broadband households strongly believe that saving energy and lowering utility bills are important, getting them to pay for these benefits has proven difficult," said Eddie Accomando, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Electricity does not currently drive customer action, but as the process of energy production changes through DR, solar, and storage innovations, energy management will become a much more significant value-added service within the connected...

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Apr 01
The Northern Spy: Sweet Sorrow

Parting can be tough when you've had a faithful machine for so many years. But the old model 180 was getting long in tooth and was no longer reliable. True, some of the problems were mere cosmetic scuffs, but others ranged from annoyances that had to be worked around to serious impairment of functionality.

So, when the Spy's local dealer announced an introductory (and deeply discounted) sale on a brand new (to the frozen north; they'd already been selling in the land to our south) model X380, he decided to put the suction hose on his bank account and make it "out with the old, in with the new".

On short acquaintance, the new machine is wicked fast. The combination of wider bandwidth and some 22% more horsepower appears on first blush to increase throughput by nearly fifty percent, which has always got to be an important goal of so major a technology upgrade. Moreover, operating speed adjustments are automatic; the manufacturer no longer makes the old...

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Mar 30
Over 80% of smartphone users stream video

Eighty-one percent of all U.S. smartphone users now stream video on their devices, according to recently released data from The NPD Group. This usage is being driven primarily by users who are 25 and younger, who spend twice as much time watching video content on YouTube and Netflix mobile apps compared to users who are over the age of 25.

As a result of this uptick in video consumption, users who are 25 and younger outperform older age groups in terms of cellular and Wi-Fi data consumption levels generated by video applications. These users consume, on average, 6.2 GB of data (cellular and Wi-Fi combined) for video streaming purposes each month, versus older smartphone users who use an average of 4.9 GB of data for video streaming monthly.
 
And while the majority of video streaming occurs over Wi-Fi networks, smartphone users now rely on cellular data more than ever. According to the NPD Smartmeter, an opt-in metering application that tracks live smartphone and...

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Mar 30
Production printer market increases 5.2% year-over-year

The worldwide production print market increased 5.2% year over year in unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15) to approximately 10,700 units, according to the IDC (www.idc.com) research group. Unit shipment value increased 0.9% to nearly $1.3 billion in the same time period.

Six out of eight regional markets saw positive year-over-year unit growth in the production print space. Key contributors to the worldwide growth were Western Europe, which grew 10.4%, Japan (22.9%), and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (6.4%).

Color laser grew by 19.1% on an annual basis. High-speed inkjet saw a 7.1% increase, while monochrome inkjet decreased by 8.7%.

"While production-class technologies saw an annual dip in the fourth quarter, 2015 showed itself to be a growth year for digital technologies. Digital vendors closed out the year of 2015 with 10% gains, with the highest increase coming from color laser, followed...

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Mar 29
Contactless usage soars as digital payment limits rise

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperrsearch.com) has found that hat the annual transaction value of online, mobile and contactless payments will reach $3.6 trillion this year, up from $3 trillion on 2015, resulting in a 20% increase.

The new research argues that the recent surge in contactless payments would continue, fueled by further scaling up of infrastructure rollout and increased card payment limits in key markets. The research group also anticipates that while cards will account for 90% of contactless payments over the next five years, the deployment of NFC (Near Field Communications) payments by high-profile players such as Apple and Samsung will increase consumer awareness and usage of smartphones to fulfill transactions.

Meanwhile, the research highlighted the growing presence of social media companies in the eRetail space. It pointed out that several leading companies,...

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Mar 28
Wearable devices are expected to reach 110 million...

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 110 million by the end of 2016 with 38.2% growth over the previous year, according to IDC (www.idc.com).The Apple Watch will continue to dominate the smartwatch market, though sales may slow down as potential buyers and upgraders wait for the second iteration of the smartwatch, notes the research group.

IDC adds that Android Wear remains in second place as its list of partners grows and the platform further integrates into Google's larger ecosystem. However, Android smartwatches are expected to remain a small portion of the overall market.

IDC says an expanding lineup of vendors combined with fast-growing consumer awareness and demand will generate double-digit growth throughout the 2015-2020 forecast period, resulting in shipments of 237.1 million wearable devices in 2020. The research group adds that market will also be driven forward by the...

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Mar 25
Health monitoring device adoption to triple by 2020

New study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has estimated that the adoption of health monitoring devices will nearly treble by 2020, exceeding 70 million worldwide, up from an estimated 26 million this year.

The new research forecasts that the use of monitoring devices is set to witness a swift rise as new entrants gain FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approval. However, it highlights the need for new entrants to prove that their hardware is able to measure health indicators with the same accuracy as standard medical devices, according to the research.

Juniper argues that greater consumer affinity with connected monitoring devices will in turn be accompanied by an upsurge in the adoption of mobile and cloud health platforms such as Apple Health and Google Fit. What’s more, it claims that the “big data” collected by such monitoring devices presents a significant medium term...

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Mar 24
Wireless charger market to grow through 2020

The global wireless chargers market is expected to reach USD 9.36 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of more than 33%, according to Technavio’s (www.technavio.com) latest report.

The research group says the growing awareness of wireless power technology among consumers and increased adoption of wireless charging for industrial applications and in the healthcare sector drive the wireless chargers market, especially in the US. The increased concentration of leading suppliers of wireless charger ICs like Integrated Device Technology (IDT), Intel, and Qualcomm is a growth factor in the country.

Also, original equipment manufacturers in the US like Duracell Powermat are investing heavily in R&D projects that include providing wireless charging pads in public places such as shopping malls, metro stations, and restaurants. In the consumer electronics segment, vendors like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are...

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Mar 24
Global business tablet shipments to grow to 110...

As tablets continue to become more established workplace tools, the pressure on IT departments to enable the practice of BYOD and to ensure the enterprise has the infrastructure and policies in place to secure corporate data and systems, continues to grow. According to the Strategy Analytics Mobile Workforce Strategies (MWS) latest report, "Global Business Tablet Forecast Update Q4 2015", Strategy Analytics forecasts global business (personal and corporate liable) tablet shipments will grow at a 6% CAGR between 2015 and 2020, reaching 110.2 million units in 2020.

“While the tablet market overall has become somewhat saturated resulting in slowed growth, business tablet shipments are expected to be a bright spot and ramp up in the next several years as businesses shift computing models from PCs or laptops to 2-in-1 tablets. Partnerships forged by vendors such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and HP demonstrate how these players see the tablet potential in the Enterprise," said...

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Mar 23
Global gaming hardware market to each $140 billion by...

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), a research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, says global game hardware market will pass $140 billion in 2019.

The global PC gaming hardware market receded slightly in 2015 but, but less than the overall PC market, and will resume growth in 2016. However, all recession and growth within the market is not equal. JPR (www.jonpeddie.com)) believes that notebooks bought for gaming have entered a challenging sales environment as PC gamers gear up for the forthcoming mass market 4K/UHD development.

Ted Pollak, senior gaming analyst at JPR notes that Playstation 4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Wii-U will be the dominant platforms for hardcore console gamers. However, Android console offerings from Amazon, Google, and others are projected to grow at a much faster rate, and offer the casual to mid-core gamer an affordable way to play from the couch, he says.

Nvidia'...

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Mar 22
Internet of Things will place greater pressure on...

One of the hottest trends in tech right now is the Internet of Things, or IoT. Morgan Stanley projects that within the next five years, as many as 75 billion smart connected devices will be communicating with each other via IoT. Research from Gartner (www.gartner.com)predicts that IoT will generate nearly $2 trillion in global economic value by 2020.

Companies are scrambling to take advantage of the power of IoT, but are held back by aging systems that may no longer suited to the needs of modern consumers. In fact, another research report from Gartner suggests that as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more ubiquitous, traditional operating systems like Windows will become obsolete, placing greater value on speed and accessibility.

While IoT has been talked about for many years, it has only just started to gather momentum, as a series of new technologies reach sufficient maturity to make it cost-effective...

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Mar 21
PC market stabilization remains an elusive goal

The outlook for PC [personal computer] shipments continues to call for eventual stabilization as competition from other devices eases, upgrades to new models and Windows 10 boost demand, and economic conditions around the world stabilize or improve.

However, the decline in PC volume since early 2012 is still expected to linger through 2016 with later years struggling to boost volumes as economic issues and competing products continue to present headwinds, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Expectations for the fourth quarter of 2015 and early 2016 were already fairly low as PCs have struggled with competition from tablets and phones as well as weak economic conditions for several years now, notes the research group. However, the impact of falling commodity prices and foreign currencies has further depressed demand, and the ability to upgrade older hardware to Windows 10 has provided an option to further stretch the life of older PCs.

...

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Mar 18
65% of broadband consumers engage in at least one...

New digital media research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds 65% of U.S. broadband households engage in at least one second-second screen activity on at least a monthly basis. The report finds the most common activity is to search for information about the program being watched.

"Most consumers favor a passive second-screen experience that complements the already immersive first-screen experience versus the highly interactive apps that typified the first phase of second-screen solutions," says Glenn Hower, research analyst, Parks Associates. "Second-screen users are more likely to engage in supplemental activities, like looking up information while they watch TV, as opposed to social media activities. These types of apps open new partnership opportunities among content providers, data aggregators, advertisers, and service providers.”

Nineteen percent of pay-TV subscribers...

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Mar 17
Changes in the large format printer market are afoot

According to new data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com) the technology trends that are shaped by buyer demands are driving mix changes in the worldwide large format printer (LFP) market.

The move to color printing in the technical market and the need for faster turnaround in the graphics business has reshaped important segments of the large format printer business. Still, key technologies, such as eco-solvent inkjet, have continued to prosper.

“Overall, large format printer shipments declined by about 2% in 2015 with monochrome toner-based printers and conventional aqueous inkjet printer shipments slipping, but key areas of growth included eco-solvent, Latex, UV and color toner printers," said Tim Greene, research director, U.S. Large Format Printer Tracker

The large format CAD/Technical printer market segment declined by about 1.5% year over year in 2015, which is partly due to mix changes with the...

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Mar 16
App advertising to reach $44 billion by 2020

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that app advertising, using context and location targeting, will exceed $44 billion by 2020, up from an estimated $13 billion last year.

As the mobile advertising landscape matures, the simple geofence is being usurped by contextual data such as a user’s interests, real-time location and even political leanings, according to the research group. The new data found that social applications are providing a highly accessible pool of rich user data for advertisers. Indeed, Facebook’s recent earnings call highlighted the tremendous growth opportunity of this sector, with North American ad revenues per user rising by 60% over the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, players such as Pinterest are developing tools that serve to reduce the intrusiveness of adverts, with user-friendly approaches seen as crucial in avoiding a rising tide of ad-...

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Mar 16
Rapid growth of 802.11ad WiGig expected in 2016

Products using the fastest available Wi-Fi, 802.11ad, will ship in a growing number of products this year, offering users wireless 4K UHD video streaming and file downloads at breathtaking speed, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

New data from the research group lists the latest products using 802.11ad, and predicts rapid adoption of technology, also referred to as multi-gigabit Wi-Fi or WiGig. Thanks to an agreement between 802.11ad Wi-Fi chipset providers Qualcomm and Intel to collaborate on interoperability, devices shipping with 802.11ad this year should work together seamlessly, helping to stimulate demand.

"Applications of this technology include wireless docking, Cloud access, 4K video screen mirroring from mobile device to a big display, wireless VR and AR headsets with ultra-low latency, point-of-sale kiosks for downloading movies in a few seconds, and...

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Mar 15
Mobile payments growth finally on the horizon

Mobile payments made via NFC-enabled handsets will approach $240 billion in total value by 2021, according to a new Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) forecast.

Increasing competition between mobile wallets from device vendors Apple and Samsung, payment card issuers, and mobile operators, combined with a maturing contactless payment infrastructure across most regions, will finally catalyze in-store handset-based NFC purchases, according to the research group. Furthermore, Strategy Analytics expects consumer readiness to adopt mobile payments to improve as providers of mobile wallets increasingly support coupons and loyalty cards.

The research group is encouraged by rising use of contactless payments over the past 12 months, particularly in cities like London where the acceptance of contactless payments has become nearly ubiquitous. Nitesh Patel, director, Strategy Analytics'...

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Mar 14
17 million hybrid and electric vehicles will be on the...

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts that nearly 17 million hybrid and electric vehicles will be on the road by 2020, up from an estimated 12 million last year.

The research group believes that stakeholders primarily need to establish the viability and desirability of electric vehicles with consumers, and adopt an aggressive ‘go to market’ strategy that includes:

° The rolling out of a wide-scale public charging infrastructure – that is seen as both ongoing and committed.

° Conducting effective consumer education campaigns, with attractive incentives to change.

The new research found that electric car manufacturers are prioritizing ‘range’ as the key issue. Original equipment manufacturers, such as Tesla and Chevrolet understand that “range anxiety” is the greatest hindrance to the adoption of electric vehicles. In order to meet the expectations...

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Mar 11
33% of U.S. broadband households own one or more...

Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) has released new research showing connected health device ownership (including digital fitness trackers, networked weight scales, connected treadmills, and blood pressure meters) has risen from 24% to 33% of U.S. broadband households between 2013 and 2015 The research group also notes that 13% of U.S. broadband households own two or more connected health devices.

Adoption of wearables and connected health devices is growing, evidenced by the stellar growth achieved by Fitbit in 2015, according to Harry Wang, director, Health and Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. The health and wellness industry is also speeding up its pace of innovation. For example, at the 2016 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition this week, AT&T announced partnerships with health and wearable players including Becton Dickinson, WellNest, and OneMedia.

"While...

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