Smart glasses poised for enterprise adoption

abi researchMany may have been misled that Google Glass is dead and gone, a failed innovation. But that’s not what is happening. Google has simply retired it Glass Explorer Program and graduated Glass out of Google[x].

Smart glass is alive and well and ABI Research expects 2015 to be a big year for smart glasses with unit shipment growth of nearly 150 percent, almost of all of which will be in the enterprise and public sector.

More than 90 percent of smart glasses are expected to be sold in the enterprise or public sector for uses such as remote assistance, police and military, security, warehouse and barcode scanning, and, in the consumer space for gaming.

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Dropping oil price a US$1 trillion boost for GDP and IT spending in H1 2015

CanalysWhat has proven a massive hit for the oil and gas industry may turn out to be a silver lining for the IT industry and GDP as a whole in the first half of this year.

According to Canalys, business and consumer IT spending will be boosted by the current oil shock, as prices remain below US$50 per barrel. It believes the reduction in prices will provide a short-term economic stimulus equivalent to a large tax cut, boosting corporate profits and consumer disposable incomes, which will filter into IT spending.

“Price falls translate into a transfer of wealth from producers to importers. Oil producers received approximately US$340 billion less in the second half of 2014 compared with the first half of the year, based on average monthly production and prices. The difference will be even more significant if prices remain at US$50 per barrel and production continues at the same level for the next six months. If this scenario happens, producers will receive almost US$1 trillion dollars less compared with the first half of 2014,” said Matthew Ball, Principal Analyst of Canalys.

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ZTE pre-5G base station sets capacity record

ZTEZTE has completed pre-commercial field testing of multi-user and multi-stream transmission on a Massive MIMO (multiple input multiple output) base station, setting new records in single-carrier transmission capacity and spectral efficiency.

Using ZTE’s proprietary pre-5G multi-user/multi-stream spatial multiplexing technology, with user handsets based on existing 4G standards, the Massive MIMO base station demonstrated peak data throughput that is more than three times that of traditional base stations, and average data throughput that exceeds conventional systems by at least five times.

“Being a pre5G technology, ZTE’s Massive MIMO solution is delivering exponential advances to 4G networks without modifying existing air interfaces, making it possible for carriers to provide a 5G-like user experience on existing 4G handsets in an accelerated timeframe, ZTE successfully overcame the challenge of doing multi-user and multi-stream spatial multiplexing in a scattered-signal environment, clearing the main hurdle in the development of Massive MIMO technology,” said Xiang Jiying, Chief Scientist of ZTE.

Mainstream Maxwell hits sweet spot

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960When NVIDIA introduced the Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 980 and 970, the gaming community was all abuzz with not just the performance but the exciting new features, such as dynamic super resolution (DSR) and multi-frame anti-aliasing (MFAA).

But, not everybody could afford these high-end cards. The introduction of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 is set to change that mindset. Priced at US$199, it is positioned just nicely for mainstream gamers or even those who want a better visual entertainment experience.

The new GPU offers the same Maxwell performance and advanced technologies but at a lower cost. So, what’s the trade-off? No much really as the GTX 960 is powered by 1,024 CUDA cores, and delivers 60 frames per second on full HD 1080p displays. It can run MOBA titles with efficiency. On top of these, gamers also gain from G-SYNC for smooth gameplay, GeForce Experience for system optimisation and future-proofing with DirectX 12.

WhatsApp comes to the desktop

WhatsApp on desktopEver wished that you could use WhatsApp on your desktop? After all, it would make reading easier and writing messages faster. If you have, your wish was granted yesterday! WhatsApp is now available on the desktop for all, except iOS users. The company said that’s because of Apple’s platform limitations.

It’s easy to install — just download the latest version of WhatsApp and go to http://blog.whatsapp.com/ for further instructions.

The app works by pairing with your mobile phone. After a day of using it, I’m hooked!

APAC PC market down 6% in 2014

IDCIt’s not surprising but the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market dipped 6.3 percent to 101 million units in 2014, according to preliminary results from IDC. The fall is not as bad as in 2013, which saw a 10.3 percent drop.

In Q4, the market was flat year-on-year, reaching 25.9 million units, which was marginally higher than IDC’s initial forecasts.

“The good news is that 2015 should not contract as much as last year. While high retail channel inventory and uncertain economic conditions will still bear down on China, upcoming commercial sector activity should help offset that somewhat. India should still have post-elections momentum and yet another large education tender. Indonesia should similarly have post-elections momentum, although high inflation and currency fluctuations are downside risks,” said Handoko Andi Research Manager for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia-Pacific.”

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5.2 billion SIM cards shipped in 2014

abi researchGlobal SIM card shipment will reach 5.2 billion units in 2014, a 5.32 percent increase from 2013, according to ABI Research.

LTE, NFC, and M2M are gaining momentum and considered the trends for the next few years.

Large markets such as India, China, and Saudi Arabia are currently among the last countries to undergo ID registration regulations. Among them only India saw a massive decline in shipments during 2013 but data from 2014 show that the market has successfully stabilised and steady growth is expected from 2015 onwards.

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Lenovo strengthens grip on top spot as PC shipment rises 1% in Q4

GartnerLenovo maintained its pole position in the PC market, holding off HP and Dell. However, the gap between Lenovo and HP narrowed as HP garnered 18.8 percent of the market in Q4, relative to Lenovo’s 19.4 percent, according to Gartner. Dell remained third with 12.7 percent market share.

Overall, worldwide PC shipment totalled 83.7 million units in Q4, a one-percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2013. These results indicate a slow, but consistent improvement following more than two years of decline.

“The PC market is quietly stabilising after the installed base reduction driven by users diversifying their device portfolios. Installed base PC displacement by tablets peaked in 2013 and the first half of 2014. Now that tablets have mostly penetrated some key markets, consumer spending is slowly shifting back to PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, Principal Analyst of Gartner.

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Renovo Coupe zooms ahead with NVIDIA DRIVE

Renovo Motors Coupe CockpitElectric cars may not be common in Asia at the moment but Renovo is giving a foretaste of the capabilities with the Renovo Couple, the first all-electric American supercar.

The 500-horsepower Coupe includes a cockpit concept designed in collaboration with NVIDIA using NVIDIA DRIVE Studio software, with its cockpit powered by the new NVIDIA Tegra X1, the first mobile super chip with over one teraflops of processing power. The all-digital instrument cluster and 11.6-inch touchscreen in the center stack make the Renovo Coupe the world’s first vehicle to feature the NVIDIA Tegra X1 technology.

Those attending CES can catch the car at the NVIDIA booth #30307 at CES, till January 8. As for the rest of us, we’ll just have to make do with the knowledge for now.

Flash-based array market clips US$11b in 2014

IDCFlash-based array is more than just a flash in the pan. The emergence of more robust offerings that can handle a wide range of increasingly complex workloads helped drive the worldwide flash-based array market to US$11.3 billion in 2014, according to IDC.

The impact that flash-based arrays will have on the datacentre is undeniable as more flash-based platforms are delivering enterprise-class data services, including snapshots, clones, encryption, replication, and quality of service (QoS) as well as storage efficiency features.

Once dominated by storage startups looking to carve out a niche with flash-optimised solutions, the promise of flash in the datacentre is driving traditional enterprise storage vendors, such as Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM, NetApp, and Oracle, to all get on board and offer flash-optimised hybrid flash arrays, and in some cases, all-flash arrays.

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Tablet sales to be sluggish in 2015

GartnerGlobal demand for tablets will continue to be slow in 2015, according to Gartner. Worldwide tablet sales will reach 233 million units, an eight percent increase from 2014.

“The collapse of the tablet market in 2014 was alarming. In the last two years, global sales of tablets were growing in double-digits. The steep drop can be explained by several factors. One is that the lifetime of tablets is being extended – they are shared out among family members and software upgrades, especially for iOS devices, keep the tablets current. Another factor includes the lack of innovation in hardware which refrains consumers from upgrading,” said Ranjit Atwal, Research Director of Gartner.

Gartner analysts expect vendors in the devices space to announce new partnerships at CES this week that lead to innovative apps that use personal data to tailor the user experience.

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NVIDIA unveils Tegra X1 mobile super chip

Tegra_X1

Imagine supercomputing power in a mobile device. That’s what the newly-announced NVIDIA Tegra X1 mobile super chip can deliver.

Built on the NVIDIA Maxwell GPU architecture, it is the world’s first mobile processor to pack more than one teraflop of processing power.

Tegra processors are built for embedded products, mobile devices, autonomous machines, and automotive applications. Tegra X1 will begin appearing in the first half of the year.

China Telecom Sichuan launches commercial 4K ultra-HD iTV service

China TelecomChina Telecom Sichuan has launched the first commercial 4K ultra-HD iTV network service in China. It has teamed up with Huawei to release a 4K ultra-HD intelligent smart set top box, making China Telecom Sichuan the first telecommunications company in China to use 4K STBs for carrying video services.

By combining fibre broadband, 4K ultra-HD video capabilities, and a 4K ultra-HD network construction, the 4K ultra-HD iTV service aims to deliver better quality picture and smoother 4K video experience.

China Telecom Sichuan has adopted the H.265 video coding standard for a better user experience, and also deployed leading technologies to optimize the code stream, coding quality, delay, and algorithm complexity.

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