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During Q2 of 2015, half of US Internet homes now have at least one connected TV device, according to a report from The NPD Group. The statistic includes connected TVs, video game consoles, streaming media players, and Blu-ray players able to connect to the Internet.
45 percent of TVs sold in the second quarter supported apps, a drastic increase from 34 percent in 2014 and 24 percent in 2013. Not surprisingly, Netflix is the most commonly used video service among connected TVs, ahead of YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO GO.
"We're living in the Golden Age of TV where significant investments are being made in developing original series," said John Buffone, executive director of connected intelligence at NPD. "This is being enabled by growth in online services such as Hulu and Amazon Video as well as industry leading TV networks benefitting from the large pay TV subscriber base and fast developing over-the-top audience that uses apps on TV."
Comcast wants to provide every American it can with gigabit Internet goodness within the next two years, with the company hoping it can push 1Gbps nationwide within 24 months.
Comcast said back in April that it was upgrading its entire network to the new DOCSIS 3.1 standard, with some customers switching on by early 2016. Comcast's intent is to scale their network through their footprint over the next 12 months, with the force behind it seeing the company upgrade its entire network over two years, with areas that Comcast already serves receiving 1Gbps speeds.
Robert Howland, Vice President of Network Infrastructure said that it could take up to three years, but it hopes to get millions onto a gigabit service as soon as possible. Better yet, the DOCSIS 3.1 standard isn't limited to 1Gbps, as it is capable of supporting downstream speeds of up to 10Gbps, and uploads of 1Gbps.
LIVALL recently unveiled its LIVALL Bling Helmet, a custom designed smart cycling helmet that features Hi-Fi Bluetooth speakers, built-in LED lights, and other features designed to set itself apart from normal bike helmets.
Using the helmet's Hi-Fi Bluetooth speakers and microphone, it's possible to safely answer and end phone calls. LIVALL Bling also features a walkie-talkie function so wearers are able to communicate with riders around themselves.
LIVALL Bling also includes a built-in gravity sensor to detect falls, nano cadence sensor, battery power bank, remote control, Hi-Fi Bluetooth speaker, and mobile app.
Semiconductor and microcontroller company Microchip Technology announced a partnership with Intel to utilize its Enhanced Privacy ID (EPID) technology in future products.
"Microchip has long recognized the importance of security in IoT applications," said Ian Harris, VP of Computing Products Group at Microchip. "Collaborating with Intel to integrate its proven Intel EPID technology demonstrates Microchip's steadfast commitment to providing the very best IoT solutions, by working to enable designers with the safe and secure interoperation of their 'things' with Intel's devices, gateways and servers."
The IoT marketplace is growing drastically, but privacy and cybersecurity remain two major hurdles that must be addressed accordingly. EPID can be used for device authentication, standardization, and helps protect end-user privacy. The need for data security is crucial for the widespread adoption of Things in the workplace and at home, so expect similar partnerships from Intel in the future.
Verizon has teased that it has successfully tested out its new, insanely fast fiber-optic technology that goes by the name of next-generation passive optical network, or NG-PON2.
This new technology is capable of blasting speeds to users at anywhere between 10Gbps and 80Gbps, enough to download many Blu-ray movies in just a few seconds. The new technology uses an optical line terminal (OLT) which is capable of generating four wavelengths of light, each capable of transmitting data at 10Gbps down, and 2.5Gbps up.
Verizon's impressive new technology is capable of transmitting both the current GPON (or Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network) as well as the new, insanely quick NG-PON2, simultaneously. The system is even capable of switching between the four wavelengths in the case of something going wrong, where it can quickly restore the 10Gbps connection.
Sure, Google is rolling out its Google Fiber service out in various cities in the United States, but if you live in Oregon you might want to check out SandyNet.
SandyNet is rolling out fiber access throughout Oregon, offering 100Mbps for $40 per month or 1Gbps for just $60 per month. Both services do not include a contract, nor do they have any data limitations or caps. SandyNet GM Joe Knapp told Ars Technica during a recent interview: "Part of the culture of SandyNet is we view our citizens as owners of the utility. We've always run the utility on a break-even basis. Any profits we do have go back into capital improvements and equipment upgrades and things like that".
The construction of SandyNet's ambitious fiber network started in June 2014, where it is now connecting 50 new homes to the super-fast Internet each week. Oregon has a 40-year master plan in place, which has the state looking at expanding its fiber network quite rapidly over the coming decades.
A startup company from Germany wants you to forget about your regular house keys, and use a hands-free fob that has been named the Kiwi Ki.
The system operates using radio-frequency identification (RFID) and unlocks a house door as the resident approaches. The mechanism is available for less than $450, and each key fob requires a monthly fee.
"It is much more secure than a normal key. A normal key can be copied easily, sometimes just from a photograph," said Henryk Ploetz, a security analyst, in a statement to Euronews. "With this one you can't do that. That is the case for all contactless keys, but this one is as secure or more secure than all other contactless systems."
With many Americans wanting to get their grubby mitts on Google Fiber, there are going to be many simultaneously excited and disappointed with the news that Google is set to deliver its super-fast 1Gbps service to low-income properties.
Google will be rolling its Fiber service out to low-income housing in markets where it offers its Google Fiber service, including Atlanta, Durham, Nashville, and Kansas City. Best of all, it's going to be offered for, free. Yes, $0. Nothing. Nada. The Mountain View-based giant notes that households earning under $30,000 per year, roughly 26% of those have no Internet access at all.
A recent trial program pushed more than 90% of the residents in one public housing property sign up for Google Fiber. But offering up some free 1Gbps Internet for free, is going to be huge for the service, and those in low-income housing.
Read a recent news announcement regarding connected items in the apartment or household and wonder about it? Well, it turns out millennials are interested, as we are "twice as likely" to have a connected smart home product already.
Smart products range from network connected security and monitoring devices to smart lighting, power, system controllers, appliances, and other Internet-enabled technologies. Many of these products have some form of mobile app, so they can be remotely controlled by a smartphone or tablet.
Twenty-three percent of millennials have at least one in their household, whereas just 12 percent of the overall population currently own smart tech.
If you thought your current 4G speeds were good, they won't even begin to compare to what 5G will offer. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has agreed on the preliminary definitions of the future 5G standard, where the 12-member delegation decided on the new specification.
5G compliant networks will be capable of providing speeds of up to 20Gbps, or over 2GB/sec, which is 20x faster than the 1Gbps specification for 4G. This means that consumers will enjoy speeds of up to 1GB/sec on your smartphones, with the region being between 100MB/sec and 1GB/sec, which is insanity. This is a 10x to 100x increase in the speeds available on typical 4G networks.
This huge increase in speeds will usher in a new era of connectivity, allowing 4K resolution video streaming and beyond being more than capable from a 5G-capable smartphone. The final 5G standard will be confirmed in October, with the 193 ITU member countries all voting on the final spec. 5G should be tested in 2018 at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.