IoT, IPO and fashionable wearables — here’s a glimpse of what happened in the mobile industry last week.
AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel have formed the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an open membership group focused on breaking down the barriers of technology silos to support better access to big data with improved integration of the physical and digital worlds. The consortium will enable organizations to more easily connect and optimize assets, operations and data to drive agility and to unlock business value across all industrial sectors.
An ecosystem of companies, researchers and public agencies is emerging to help drive adoption of Industrial Internet applications, a foundational element for accelerating the Internet of Things. The IIC is a newly formed not-for-profit group with an open membership that will take the lead in establishing interoperability across various industrial environments for a more connected world. Specifically, the IIC’s charter will be to encourage innovation by:
“We are at the precipice of a major technological shift at the intersection of the cyber and physical worlds, one with broad implications that will lead to substantial benefits, not just for any one organization, but for humanity," said Janos Sztipanovits, E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS), Vanderbilt University. “Academia and industry understand the need to identify and establish new foundations, common frameworks and standards for the Industrial Internet, and are looking to the IIC to ensure that these efforts come together into a cohesive whole.”
Utilizing existing and creating new industry use cases and test beds for real-world applications
Delivering best practices, reference architectures, case studies, and standards requirements to ease deployment of connected technologies
Influencing the global standards development process for Internet and industrial systems
Facilitating open forums to share and exchange real-world ideas, practices, lessons, and insights
Building confidence around new and innovative approaches to security
As founding members, AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel will each hold permanent seats on an elected IIC Steering Committee along with four other elected members. The Steering Committee will provide leadership and governance to help organizations capitalize on this vast opportunity.
Given the importance of this technology, the Federal government is investing over $100 million/year in R&D related to cyberphysical systems, and has been partnering with the private sector on a series of testbeds in areas such as healthcare, transportation, smart cities, and increasing the security of the electric grid.
“By linking physical objects to the full power of cyberspace, the Industrial Internet promises to dramatically reshape how people interact with technology, “ said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The Administration looks forward to working with public-private collaborations like the new IIC to turn innovative Industrial Internet products and systems into new jobs in smart manufacturing, health care, transportation and other areas.”
The IIC is open to any business, organization or entity with an interest in accelerating the Industrial Internet. In addition to gaining an immediate, visible platform for their opinions, consortium members will join in developing critical relationships with leaders in technology, manufacturing, academia and the government on working committees. The IIC will be managed by Object Management Group (OMG), a nonprofit trade association in Boston, MA.
Box, Inc. has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC will act as joint book-running managers for the offering, BMO Capital Markets Corp. will act as lead manager, and Canaccord Genuity Inc., Pacific Crest Securities LLC, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC will act as co-managers.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
Google Glass Luxottica
Luxottica Group S.p.A., a leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and sales of premium, luxury and sports eyewear and Google Inc. have agreed they will join forces to design, develop and distribute a new breed of eyewear for Glass.
This far reaching strategic partnership is intended for collaboration across multiple efforts on the creation of innovative iconic wearable devices. Through this relationship, the two companies will match up high-tech developers with fashion designers and eyewear professionals.
In particular, they will establish a team of experts devoted to working on the design, development, tooling and engineering of Glass products that straddle the line between high-fashion, lifestyle and innovative technology.
Luxottica noted that the two major proprietary brands of the Group, Ray-Ban and Oakley, which has a 10-year heritage in wearable technology that has evolved from MP3 to HUD devices, will be a part of the collaboration with Glass; however details about these new products will be disclosed at a later stage.
“We live in a world where technological innovation has dramatically changed the way in which we communicate and interact in everything that we do. More importantly, we have come to a point where we now have both a technology push and a consumer pull for wearable technology products and applications.
Seeing such a future, over the last years, Luxottica invested heavily in building-out our technology platforms and digital solutions to combine with our products excellence. We believe that a strategic partnership with a leading player like Google is the ideal platform for developing a new way forward in our industry and answering the evolving needs of consumers on a global scale. We believe it is high time to combine the unique expertise, deep knowledge and quality of our Group with the cutting edge technology expertise of Google and give birth to a new generation of revolutionary devices,” said Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of Luxottica Group.
The first collection generated by this partnership will combine high-end technology with avant-garde design offering the best in style, quality and performance.
BlackBerry Limited reported financial results for the three months and fiscal year ended March 1, 2014 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP, except where otherwise indicated).
• Cash and investments balance of $2.7B at the end of the fiscal fourth quarter
• Adjusted Q4 gross margin of 43%, up from 34% in the prior quarter
• Channel inventory down 30% from the prior quarter
• Reduced adjusted operating expenses by approximately 51% from Q1FY14
• Revenue for the fourth quarter of approximately $976 million
Revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 was approximately $976 million, down $217 million or 18% from approximately $1.2 billion in the previous quarter and down 64% from $2.7 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2013. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 37% for hardware, 56% for services and 7% for software and other revenue. During the fourth quarter, the Company recognized hardware revenue on approximately 1.3 million BlackBerry smartphones compared to approximately 1.9 million BlackBerry smartphones in the previous quarter. During the fourth quarter, approximately 3.4 million BlackBerry smartphones were sold through to end customers, which included shipments made and recognized prior to the fourth quarter and which reduced the Company’s inventory in channel. Of the BlackBerry smartphones sold through to end customers in the fourth quarter, approximately 2.3 million were BlackBerry 7 devices.
"I am very pleased with our progress and execution in fiscal Q4 against the strategy we laid out three months ago. We have significantly streamlined operations, allowing us to reach our expense reduction target one quarter ahead of schedule," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry. "BlackBerry is on sounder financial footing today with a path to returning to growth and profitability."