Saturday, January 30, 2010

LCD-TV panel market returns to growth in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: After three consecutive quarters of red ink, the global market for LCD-TV panels returned to profitability in the second half of 2009, paving the way for a resumption of revenue growth in 2010, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global revenue from shipments of large-sized LCD panels used in televisions is set to rise to $49.2 billion in 2010, up 40 percent from $35.2 billion in 2009. The projected revenue increase for this year follows a 5.2 percent decline from 2008 to 2009.

Coming in concert with the rise in revenue is a resumption of profitability for the LCD-TV panel market.

Overall, the industry bounced back to a 10 percent profit margin in the third quarter of 2009 after successive quarters of negative performance. Suppliers had their first setback in the third quarter of 2008 when sales of 32-inch panels, the most popular LCD-TV size, yielded zero profitability. This was followed by a loss of 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, and then succeeded by negative margins of 31 percent and 12 percent, respectively, in the first and second quarters of 2009.

That tide of decline has reversed, and profitability for 32-inch LCD-TV panels is now expected to continue to rise throughout 2010, reaching 25 percent in the fourth quarter.

“Revenue growth and profitability in the global LCD-TV panel market in 2010 will be driven by rising demand, the shift to larger-sized displays, the accelerating sales higher-value panels and increased manufacturing efficiency,” said Sweta Dash, senior director, LCD Research, for iSuppli.

“These higher-value panels sport features including LED backlighting, full high-definition resolution and faster refresh rates of 120Hz and 240Hz. Furthermore, television brands in 2010 are planning to focus on 3-D solutions that will lead to faster adoption of higher-frequency panels such as 240Hz. On the supply side, increased production efficiency from 8.5 and higher-generation fabs are also going to make larger-size TVs more affordable for the consumers. Furthermore, suppliers are set to cut costs by reducing the number of components used in TV panels, further bolstering profit margins.”

LED backlighting leads to profits
After a rocky start, sales of panels using LED backlights are now rising and helping to drive improved profitability for the large-sized LCD panel business.

In the early phase of the adoption of LED-backlit LCDs in the first quarter of 2009, suppliers sold these panels at prices below their manufacturing costs because of the general oversupply in the market. While this helped drive adoption of LED-backlighting technology, it also exacerbated losses among suppliers.

However, higher demand combined with supply constraints will lead to panel price increases and improved revenue growth opportunities for panel suppliers.

Global shipments of LCD-TV panels using LED backlights are set to rise to 25.4 million units in 2010, up by more than a factor of five from 4.8 million in 2009. By the fourth quarter of 2010, 25 percent of shipped LCD-TV panels are expected to have LED backlights.Source: iSuppli, USA

Friday, January 29, 2010

iPad: Apple takes a bite of the e-books market

Adam Leach, Principal Analyst, Ovum

UK: Yesterday Apple launched its much anticipated tablet device, the iPad, and with it Steve Jobs proclaimed that Apple was now a mobile device company. Apple hopes to kick-start the market for e-books with its iPad and iBookstore service, and replicate its success with the iPod and iTunes. However, like the iPhone, the key to the iPad’s success will be the value added by the enthusiastic community of Apple developers.

iBookstore is to books what iTunes is to music
The iPad, which resembles an enlarged iPhone, with a 9.7-inch touch-screen, will be available worldwide from March 2010. Apple has produced a unique device that has multiple use cases, from e-book reading to video watching and gaming.

A key aspect of the iPad proposition is Apple’s iBooks application. It allows users to both read e-books on the device and, importantly, to purchase new books and download them directly to the iPad. This puts the iPad in direct competition with other e-book readers, but most notably with Amazon’s Kindle.

The revenue-generating capacity of the e-book market looks significant, with early estimates for the Kindle 2 last year suggesting that the device had generated over $100 million in revenues in little more than two months after its launch in February. Apple will be aiming higher still with the iPad, which should also deliver a useful uptick to its other content stores.

The iPad’s advantage over the similarly priced Kindle DX is that it provides a host of multimedia functions as well as e-book reading. Although this seems like bad news for Amazon, the iPad will certainly increase the market for e-books.

The iPad as a platform
The iPad is based on the iPhone OS, and applications built for the iPhone will run on the iPad, providing users with access to over 140,000 existing applications, giving them content from the start.

However, the real value will be delivered once developers start delivering applications optimised for the iPad. Although this will require extra effort for developers and cause fragmentation, some will be motivated by first-mover advantage. However, the larger shift will happen once there is a proven addressable market.

The iPad, like the first versions of the iPhone, has a number of limitations (such as no camera and no multitasking capability), and it is tempting to believe that these will limit its success. Apple will refine the iPad through OS updates and new hardware, but still needs to deliver a compelling experience for the initial version of the iPad. It cannot rely purely on improvements that are not yet delivered to establish the product.

Apple is essentially acting as a highly specialised MVNO
If, as Apple’s press release seems to imply, the device will be tied to AT&T, even in international markets, this may leave a greater legacy, with local carriers potentially cut out of the revenue loop created by such a relationship, except through roaming charges.

The potential for many more such selective agreements to be made between platform vendors and specific carriers is clearly a concern for those excluded from such deals. It is also consistent with the idea of tight interdependency between specific SMART and LEAN players outlined in Ovum’s Telecoms 2020 Vision report series.

As with Amazon and the Kindle, Apple with the iPhone and iPad is essentially acting as a highly specialised MVNO, piggybacking on AT&T’s international access agreements. But while there appears to be very little scope for other carriers to join the party, there may in practice prove to be opportunities for regional operators to act as the host carriers for the iPad once its geographical reach extends beyond the US and the as-yet-unannounced initial international markets.

Cheap data plans will help adoption of the iPad
AT&T’s data plans for the device are cheap compared to current big-screen mobile broadband prices, but are nowhere near as generous. Users opting for the 3G device can pay either $14.99 per month for 250MB or $30 for unlimited data, both without the need for a fixed contract term. The ‘unlimited’ plan is a good deal cheaper than the $50–60 per month plans currently seen for netbooks. However, 250MB per month would be limiting for many users on an iPhone.

Significantly, both plans come with free access to AT&T’s Wi-Fi hotspots. This re-inforces the idea of the device as nomadic rather than truly mobile like the iPod or iPhone.

Infibeam.com launches India’s first reading device - Pi

INDIA: Infibeam.com, one of the largest online retail portals for consuming India, has launched the infibeam.com Pi, the first ever reading device in India designed to provide an exceptional reading experience that also supports most Indian languages with digital rights management.

Pi, comes with a revolutionary new display technology, making reading a pleasurable experience akin to real life reading of books, with no strain and glare of a computer screen. Pi is also easy on the fingertips, and can read comfortably at any angle for long period of time.

At present Pi owners have the choice of downloading over 1 lac digital books from infibeam.com, which the company plans to increase over a period of time. The reading device also gives the users the option to upload their own content from PC or any other device through a simple USB device. Infibeam.com is also in advance talks with a number of newspaper publications to provide subscription based access to large number of newspaper content to its consumers.

“The idea of Pi has been with us for the past two-years and a lot of R&D effort has gone in the same. We are proud to have created India’s first-ever reading device. Pi should not be seen just as a device but has great socio-economic ramifications, just imagine a doctor consulting his latest medical journal on the fly, or a lawyer looking at the latest case laws or even students having access to his text book in less than a 180 gm device. We can look at many such applications that have the potential to redefine how Indians view and look at content,” enthused Vishal Mehta, founder and CEO, infibeam.com.

“We are in talks with publishers and content owners across segments to give our customers access to the best in breed content and we are looking at content dissemination for specific verticals like healthcare, law, education etc,” he added.

Some of the key features of Pi include extremely light weight at approximately 180 gm and less than 10 mm thick similar to most magazines we read. Storage capacity up to 350 books with expandable capacity to store an additional 2000 books and reads in most Indian languages with digital rights management and a battery life of 4 days or 10000 refreshes.

Pi is available at infibeam.com for pre order booking with an introductory price of Rs. 9,999.

Axis intros complete solution for HDTV-quality video surveillance in vehicles

INDIA: Axis Communications has introduced a complete, IP-based mobile video surveillance solution consisting of a new series of network cameras and a network video recorder for use in buses, trains, subway cars and emergency vehicles.

AXIS M31-R Network Camera Series and AXIS Q8108-R Network Video Recorder are specially designed for easy and discreet installation, as well as reliable operation in vehicles. They are protected from dust and water and can withstand shock, vibrations and temperature fluctuations.

“The rugged AXIS M31-R cameras and AXIS Q8108-R recorder provide the transportation industry with the highest standard for mobile surveillance,” says Erik Frännlid, Director of Product Management, Axis Communications.

“The products hold a number of transportation-specific certifications. They take into account the environment and surveillance requirements in vehicles and offer a complete solution for capturing, recording, managing and accessing high-quality HDTV video.”

The palm-sized AXIS M31-R cameras provide full frame rate video streams in H.264 and Motion JPEG in resolutions up to 1 megapixel, including HDTV 720p. AXIS M3113-R (SVGA) and AXIS M3114-R (1 MP) come with either a rugged RJ-45 or rugged M12 network connector. The cameras respond rapidly to changing light levels and employ progressive scan for clearer images of moving objects.

The cameras are also designed for quick and reliable installation. For instance, the desired field of view and a leveled image can be easily achieved by using the supplied lens tool to direct and rotate the ball that holds the lens and image sensor. Power over Ethernet (PoE) support further simplifies installation since only one cable is needed for carrying power and video.

AXIS Q8108-R supports HDTV recording and has an integrated PoE switch that offers an easy and cost-effective solution for powering as many as eight network cameras recording at full frame rate. The network video recorder provides battery back-up to handle short periods of power drop and safe shutdown of the system.

AXIS Q8108-R can be delivered as an out-of-the-box-ready solution with integrated hard disk drives and AXIS Camera Station video management software. It can also be customized to meet project specific needs, with options such as third-party software and support for wireless technologies such as WLAN, GSM, UMTS and GPS. Such options allow operation centers, for instance, to remotely access live and recorded video from a vehicle and receive information about its location.

The new products will be available in Q1 2010.

IDMA lays foundation for a successful 20th year

LAS VEGAS, USA: The International Digital Media Alliance (IDMA) announced a number of firsts, including the finalization of the alliance’s name change from DVDA (DVD Association) to IDMA.

While the DVDA has been a proud fixture on the digital media scene since its name was first adopted in 2000, the IDMA name better reflects the alliance’s efforts in expanding its mission to promote best practices and excellence in the entire digital media market, rather than limiting the organization to just the DVD market.

In conjunction with the name change, IDMA has also established its new, final URL www.TheIDMA.org. The new website will feature a number of innovative developments including the IDMA Preferred Provider Network, which will serve as a directory of IDMA-approved vendors in the areas of compression, authoring, programming, QC, tools, media supplies, and other digital media related goods and services.

The new site will also house the IDMA Digital Media Gallery, which will feature a video gallery for IDMA members to upload and display their digital media trailers or demo reels in high quality.

As an added value to members, IDMA is finalizing a transaction engine that will allow for the sale and full-length delivery of videos previewed from trailers which have been uploaded by members. This will provide all IDMA members with a store front presence for their digital content.

Furthering the goal to educate both the industry it serves as well as its consumers, IDMA has also begun work on the IDMA MediaPedia; a comprehensive online encyclopedia listing important digital media facts and information that will allow easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages by IDMA members.

In celebration of IDMA’s 20 years of service to the digital industry, IDMA also announces its 20th anniversary Excellence Awards event, “Twenty Years of Excellence,” will be held in May, 2010 in the Los Angeles area. The event will feature a host of important technology presentations on the subjects of publishing digital media in all its forms, and will include tabletop demos from the association’s many technology partners, IDMA members, and special sponsors.

It will also provide a special session with all of the CDIA, DVDA, and IDMA executives who have presided over the association, recalling its growth from humble beginnings to the association’s present form. It will also include special 20th anniversary Excellence Awards, recognizing important landmarks in digital media over the past 20 years.

“2010 marks an important milestone in the life of the IDMA,” said Bruce Nazarian, IDMA President. “While we have been associated with optical disc media our entire life, the IDMA has expanded its mission to include digital media in all forms, both on-disc and off. We anticipate another 20 years of service to the media industry, promoting best practices and excellence in digital media production.”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cisco, NetApp and VMware to deliver new capabilities for dynamic data center

NEW DELHI, INDIA: As enterprises move toward a data center that is 100 percent virtualized, Cisco, NetApp and VMware are expanding their long-standing collaboration to deliver new design architectures that help customers evolve virtualized data centers to be more efficient, dynamic and secure.

The three companies introduced an end-to-end Secure Multi-tenancy Design Architecture that provides enhanced security in cloud environments by isolating the information technology (IT) resources and applications of different clients, business units or departments that share a common IT infrastructure.

As part of their collaboration, Cisco, NetApp and VMware will also offer a cooperative support model for these pretested and validated design architectures to help customers quickly build a unified, virtualized infrastructure.

“It’s clear that a tremendous opportunity exists for Cisco, NetApp and VMware to enable real change in the data center,” said Tom Georgens, president and CEO of NetApp. “Our visions are aligned around the concept of a dynamic data center that will be the foundation of cloud computing and that will enable enterprises, integrators and service providers to deliver IT as a service [ITaaS]. In this scenario, IT becomes a dynamic asset that is more efficient and can better adapt to changing business needs. This new era of IT has stringent infrastructure requirements that our companies are ready to meet today—together.”

“Virtualization of the network, server and storage infrastructure is radically reshaping today's data center,” said Paul Maritz, president and CEO, VMware. “The dynamic data center built on VMware vSphere, along with Cisco and NetApp technologies, will provide the foundation for both private and public clouds and the ability to move data and applications between these clouds. A shared virtual infrastructure requires that resources for different tenants are isolated while delivering on promised service levels. We have integrated our technology with Cisco and NetApp not only to accelerate our customers’ journey through their data center transition, but also to deliver an outstanding customer experience.”

“A unified architecture approach is more important than ever before,” says Tony Bates, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business at Cisco. “Our joint vision with NetApp and VMware centers on delivering a unified architecture for customers to design and build a complete, virtualized data center that will streamline operations and improve their business resilience.”

Is Apple’s iPad a game changer?

EKL SEGUNDO, USA: Having finally gotten its first glimpse of the new iPad, the high-tech world has one major question: Does this tablet represent another game-changing product from Apple, similar to the Apple II, the Macintosh, the iPod and the iPhone?

iSuppli Corp. believes that while the iPad has met its lofty expectations and is likely to be a sales success for Apple, the jury is still out as to whether the tablet will define or redefine the technology market to the same degree these other products have.

“In terms of features, product design, software and content, the iPad delivered on all its promises,” said Dale Ford, senior vice president at iSuppli. “And at a starting price of $499, the product even exceeded expectations. However, with the iPad straddling multiple product categories and with the usage model for the product still unproven, it likely will be a number of quarters after shipments begin before whether we know the product will have a revolutionary impact on the technology world.”

What’s the use?
The iPad ostensibly is a tablet PC, putting it squarely in the notebook computing category. However, with its extremely light weight, it use of the iPhone operating system and its focus on presentation of content, the iPad seems to occupy a position somewhere between the smart phone, the e-reader and the netbook PC.

“The question for Apple is what is the usage case for such a product?” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst iSuppli. “What does it do that other products don’t do—and what does it have that will make a large number of consumers want to buy the product?”

The killer app for the iPad appears to be delivery and presentation of content. The iPad’s portability, built-in iPod, display, touch interface, wireless connectivity and powerful processor make it ideal for convenient viewing of all types of content, from photos, to videos, to music, to games, to e-books, to online newspapers.

While Apple seems to have all the pieces in place with its iTunes store and agreements with many content providers, it may take a few years before the success of this content-oriented strategy will become apparent.

“What Apple is trying to do with the iPad is to try and create a new market by stimulating new user behavior and new use cases,” Rebello added. “So, while the iPad might appear to compete with many existing products in specialized markets like eBooks, tablet PCs and PMP/MP3 players, the success of the produce is intrinsically linked to its capability to change consumer behavior.”

“The iPad will be a game changer if it becomes the Trojan horse that changes the slowly dying print information business to an electronic information market,” said Egil Juliussen, principal analyst and fellow at iSuppli.

What’s important — the hardware or what it does?
It’s not hardware that makes an electronic product different and unique. For example, the ingredients of Apple’s iPhone are similar to the other 1.1 billion phones sold in 2009, i.e. baseband, memory, radio frequency and power amplifier.

What makes the iPhone so different, prompting sales of 8.7 million last quarter, is its unique usability, convenience and content. This makes the iPhone a commercial hit, and successful at redefining the smart phone category.

“The iPad has similar traits to the iPhone—being the right enabler at the right time” said Steve Mather, principal analyst for iSuppli. “For investors and corporate leaders, it’s all about identifying trends early, positioning for success. To this end, we believe an area centered on usability, convenience, and emerging content on the Internet, will prove increasingly relevant in the coming years. Furthermore, we believe Apple’s iPad will prove a unique enabling device, connecting new apps and content with emerging behavior trends.”

Developers are on board to propel usability, including social networking and business use, well beyond today’s successful Apple’s iTunes, Apps store and new book store.

iPad’s potential
While many early reviews concluded the iPad is simply a bigger, faster iPhone, iSuppli believes it more closely resembles Apple’s iPod touch. This is because the iPad is available in a version that includes Wi-Fi as its exclusive wireless connection, the same as the iPod touch.

Because of this similarity, the initial total available market for the iPad may be similar to that of the iPod touch. During the first four quarters after its introduction, Apple sold a total of 8.3 million iPod touch units, according to iSuppli.

Over the longer term, the iPad will benefit from Apple’s large and loyal customer base.

“The iPad’s success is expected to be substantial because a significant portion of the 200 million plus users of iPhones, iPods and Macintoshes will want one,” Juliussen added.

Inside the iPad
Apple’s iPad announcement also provided some insight into the product’s components. When the iPad is available, iSuppli plans to conduct a physical teardown of the product to determine pricing and all component suppliers.

One notable component is the use of a microprocessor described as a “1GHz, Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip.”

iSuppli believes this part was designed by low-power processor specialist, PA Semi, a company Apple acquired in 2008. This part’s low power consumption, fast performance and high integration are partly responsible for the iPad’s light weight, prodigious processing power and long battery life. The iPad weighs just 1.5 pounds, it can display high-definition video and its battery can support up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.

The iPad’s 9.7-inch LCD display uses the same capacitive touch screen technology as the iPhone and iPod touch. The display employs In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology which supports a wider viewing angle and better picture quality than conventional LCDs.

Like other Apple products, the iPad’s display probably is sourced from three suppliers. However LG Display and Innolux are the two most likely suppliers of the iPad’s IPS LCD, according to Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for iSuppli.

Source: iSuppli

Apple launches iPad

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Apple has introduced iPad, a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more.

iPad's responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch display lets users physically interact with applications and content. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds— thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook. iPad includes 12 new innovative apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. iPad will be available in late March starting at the breakthrough price of just $499.Source: Apple

"iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before."

iPad features 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications. Every app works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between views as the user rotates iPad in any direction. The precise Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the web on iPad an entirely new experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a computer. Reading and sending email is fun and easy on iPad's large screen and almost full-size "soft" keyboard.

Import photos from a Mac, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad's elegant slideshows. Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD or flip through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple's new iBookstore while listening to your music collection.

iPad runs almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for your iPhone or iPod touch. The iTunes Store gives you access to the world's most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 11 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 8,000 films including over 2,000 in stunning high definition video.

Apple also announced the new iBooks app for iPad, which includes Apple's new iBookstore, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device. The iBookstore will feature books from major and independent publishers.

Apple also introduced a new version of iWork for iPad, the first desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. With Pages, Keynote and Numbers you can create beautifully formatted documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will be available separately through the App Store for $9.99 each.

iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable, so you can sync all of your contacts, photos, music, movies, TV shows, applications and more from your Mac or PC. All the apps and content you download on iPad from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically synced to your iTunes library the next time you connect with your computer.

iPad's brilliant 9.7-inch, LED-backlit display features IPS technology to deliver crisp, clear images and consistent color with an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle. The highly precise, capacitive Multi-Touch display is amazingly accurate and responsive whether scrolling web pages or playing games. The intelligent soft keyboard pioneered on iPhone takes advantage of iPad's larger display to offer an almost full-size soft keyboard. iPad also connects to the new iPad Keyboard Dock with a full-size traditional keyboard.

iPad is powered by A4, Apple's next-generation system-on-a-chip. Designed by Apple, the new A4 chip provides exceptional processor and graphics performance along with long battery life of up to 10 hours.* Apple's advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology deliver up to 1,000 charge cycles without a significant decrease in battery capacity over a typical five year lifespan.

iPad comes in two versions—one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. Apple and AT&T announced breakthrough 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad with easy, on-device activation and management.

Continuing Apple's dedication to designing and creating environmentally responsible products, each iPad enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy-efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iPad contains no brominated flame retardants and is completely PVC-free.

Apple released a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for iPad, so that developers can create amazing new applications designed to take advantage of iPad's capabilities. The SDK includes a simulator that lets developers test and debug their iPad apps on a Mac, and also lets developers create Universal Applications that run on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Pricing and availability
iPad will be available in late March worldwide for a suggested retail price of $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 32GB model, $699 for the 64GB model. The Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

International pricing and worldwide availability will be announced at a later date. iBookstore will be available in the US at launch.

*Apple tested wireless battery life by browsing web pages and receiving email over an AirPort® network, never letting the system go to sleep during the test, and keeping the display at half brightness. This is a typical scenario of use on the go, resulting in a battery performance number that is very relevant to mobile users.

A properly maintained iPad battery is designed to retain 80 percent or more of its original capacity during a lifespan of up to 1,000 recharge cycles. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

Consumer electronics market returns to growth in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: After a 6.7 percent drop in 2009, the global consumer electronics market is expected to achieve a mild recovery in 2010, with revenue expanding by 1.6 percent partly because of improving sales of LCD-TVs, digital set-top boxes (STBs) and appliances, according to iSuppli Corp.

Worldwide consumer electronics OEM revenue will rise to $317.3 billion in 2010, up from $312.3 billion in 2009. While a less than 2 percent increase represents only marginal revenue growth, it marks a welcome turnaround after a dismal 2009. The 6.7 percent fall in consumer electronics OEM revenue in 2009 represented the market’s first annual decline since the 1.6 decrease during the dot-com bust year of 2001.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of global annual consumer electronics OEM revenue.Source: iSuppli, Jan. 2010, USA

“Sales of consumer electronics rebounded in the second half of the year, setting the stage for renewed growth in 2010 and beyond,” observed Jordan Selburn, principal analyst with iSuppli. “One major bright spot for consumer electronics in 2009 was the LCD-TV segment, which achieved 4.2 percent revenue growth due to incentives in China and the increasing sales of LED-backlit sets. The LCD-TV market is set to extend its winning streak in 2010 as stabilization in the global economy and declining prices prompt consumers to keep buying.”

Global LCD-TV OEM revenue in 2010 will rise to $75.5 billion, up 5 percent or $3.6 billion, from $71.95 billion in 2009, the largest dollar increase of any consumer electronics segment for the year.

Set-top boxes set for growth
The next biggest growth area in terms of dollars will be digital STBs, which will see OEM revenue rise to $18.2 billion in 2010, up $1.9 billion—or 11.6 percent—from $16.3 billion in 2009.

“Strong sales of premium boxes will propel revenue growth in the digital STB market,” Selburn said. “Consumers are snapping up premium STBs that support advanced features like high-definition and Digital Video Recording (DVR).”

Sales are particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region due to the continued expansion of digital infrastructure, giving increasingly wide swathes of the population access to pay-television content over cable, satellite and the Internet.

Appliances get plugged in
Global OEM revenue from appliances such as washing machines, ovens and refrigerators is expected to rise to $76.99 billion in 2010, up 2.1 percent or $1.9 billion, from $75.4 billion in 2009—making it the third largest dollar growth area for the year.

“Increases in sales are being driven by emerging economies, where more households are buying basic appliances, such as washing machines,” Selburn noted. “After a 4.6 percent decline in 2009, this area will rebound in 2010 as global governments continue their stimulus efforts.”

Other areas expected to experience revenue growth in 2010 include DVD video players, PMP/MP3 players, digital photo frames and handheld video games.

Plasma bleeds in 2010
In stark contrast to the LCD-TV market, global OEM revenue from plasma television is set to contract by $3 billion in 2010. Plasma television revenue is set to decline to $9.2 billion in 2010, down 24.9 percent from $12.2 billion in 2009.

“Continued cost reductions are making LCD panels more cost competitive, hurting sales of plasma sets,” Selburn said. “Furthermore, some of the leading suppliers no longer foresee plasma generating sufficient sales growth to continue investing in the technology.”

Meanwhile, CRT television revenue is set drop by $2.5 billion for the year as consumers continue to favor flat-panel displays.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Successful 2010 CES sets optimistic tone for industry

ARLINGTON, USA: The 2010 International CES, which concluded January 10 in Las Vegas, featured the world’s most innovative new technologies, from android products and apps to tablets, eReaders, netbooks and smartphones. As a result of the resounding success from the 2010 CES, exhibit space sales for the 2011 CES are already tracking ahead of 2010, with the 2011 International CES scheduled January 6-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The 2010 International CES featured a record number of innovative products and raised the bar for the next generation of consumer technology,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA.

“Due to the phenomenal success of the 2010 CES, we are seeing more companies sign up for the 2011 CES each day. We’re already exploring new TechZones and special exhibit areas for 2011, so that we can showcase the entire technology ecosystem. With more than 120,000 attendees, including 5,000 media, analysts and bloggers, CES is simply largest global platform for consumer technology product launches.”

“The quality of attendees at the 2010 CES was excellent; Sharp, like most exhibitors, is far more interested in seeing the "right" people during the show, not in how many people come to see us,” said Judah Zeigler, associate vice president, retail and consumer marketing group, Sharp Electronics. “Not only was our display extremely busy, but the people who came were genuinely interested in purchasing our products; in other words, they were true members of the trade. CES was truly the perfect springboard to what we are hopeful will be a strong 2010.”

“There is no doubt, this year’s CES was one of the best ever for D-Link,” said Daniel Kelley, senior director of marketing for the computer networking leader. “Our wide array of new solutions for the digital home – media players, home monitoring, energy efficiency products and Wi-Fi connectivity – not only drew huge crowds to our booth, but earned enormous media coverage and a ton of awards.”

More than 20,000 new products were announced at the 2010 CES, including the products listed below, which generated tremendous buzz throughout the industry. Several companies listed had such success at the 2010 CES, they have already made plans to expand their exhibit space for the 2011 International CES.

New products announced at the 2010 CES include:
Asus Eee PC Touch Series tablet
Boxee Box by D-Link
Dell’s Streak tablet
enTourage eDGe
Ford myFord Touch interface
Freescale Semiconductor Smartbook tablet
Innovative Converged Device (ICD) Vega and Ultra Android Tablets
Intel Reader
Kodak Pulse Digital Frame
Lenovo Hybrid IdeaPad U1
LG 15” OLED TV
Motorola Backflip Android-powered smartphone
Notion Ink’s Adam with NVIDIA's Tegra 2 and Pixel Qi
Panasonic 152" 3D TV
Parrot AR.Drone
Pocket Radar
Samsung world's first transparent touch active matrix (AM) OLED display MP3 player
Saygus VPhone
Sharp’s QuadPixel technology
Skype on Panasonic and LG flat panel TVs
Sony’s Dash
Sony’s partnership with Discovery and IMAX for 3D network
Sprint’s 4G Network
Syabas Popbox
Tivit Mobile ATSC DTV adapter
Toshiba CELL TV with gesture technology
ZOMM mobile phone leash

Tablets were among the major trends on the 2010 CES show floor with noteworthy tablet product announcements from Asus, Dell, enTourage, Freescale Semiconductor, HP, ICD, Lenovo, Notion Ink and Sony.

The 2011 International CES will be held in Las Vegas Jan. 6-9, 2011 and registration will begin this summer.

Automotive buyers unwilling to pay for advanced safety features

BOSTON, USA: A recent Strategy Analytics survey of vehicle owners in the USA and UK found that while drivers are interested in many advanced automotive safety features, the current price for these features dissuades them. Details may be found in the Strategy Analytics Automotive Consumer Insights (ACI) report, “Consumers Interested in Advanced Safety Features, but Not at Current Price.”

From adaptive cruise control and blindspot detection, to night vision and pre-crash safety systems, consumers in the USA and UK indicated great interest, however at a fraction of their current price.

“These findings show that night vision systems will continue to be confined to premium luxury models until costs are reduced and the user experience is improved,” commented Chris Schreiner, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Kevin Nolan, Vice President of the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice, added, “Blindspot detection shows more promise in the US than in the UK, as UK consumers show interest but are less willing to pay.”

Bluetooth headset owners aim for comfort

BOSTON, USA: A recent Strategy Analytics survey has found that respondents in both the US and UK sought comfort, sound quality and ease of use when purchasing their current Bluetooth headset. The Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab report, “Comfort Most Important Feature for Bluetooth Headsets: Owners Want In-Ear and Loop,” investigates purchase behavior and satisfaction with various Bluetooth headset attributes.

“Owners of Samsung Bluetooth headsets, in particular, indicate the highest levels of satisfaction for the comfort, ease of use, sound quality, and overall size aspects of their headsets,” commented Christopher Dodge, Analyst in the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice.

Chris Schreiner, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “The best opportunity for Bluetooth headset manufacturers will be to target mobile phone-specific physical retail stores to advertise and market their headsets, as this was the most common acquisition location for headset owners.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

South Asia's first medical tech park to make quality healthcare affordable in India

CHENNAI, INDIA: It is an idea whose time has certainly come. With healthcare costs becoming prohibitive by the day, it is imperative that initiatives like this one be promoted aggressively. The launch of the Trivitron Medical Technology Park is the first of the many steps that need to be taken to make quality healthcare affordable in the country.

The setting up of the park at Chennai is in line with the government of Tamil Nadu’s initiative of promoting Chennai as a manufacturing hub. Chennai has also been chosen in view of its reputation as a medical tourism hotspot.

Its healthcare infrastructure, which includes among other things the clinical expertise on offer, has often come in for praise. What’s more, it has the added advantage of having an eastern seaport and a well-established airport.

Spread over 25 acres and designed to house 10 international medical technology manufacturers, the park aims to bring cutting edge medical technology to medical professionals across the country at affordable costs.

A range of products, including ultrasound systems, Color Doppler, X–ray, C-arm, in-vitro diagnostic reagents and instruments, cardiology diagnostic instruments, critical care instruments, modular operating theatres, operating theatre lights and tables and implantable medical devices will be manufactured at the park. It is expected that the manufacture of world-class medical devices within the country will bring down the overall healthcare costs dramatically.

Inaugurated by Dr. Prathap. C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo group of Hospitals, the Aloka Trivitron Medical Technologies facility will engage in the manufacture of ultrasound machines, high end colour dopplers and advanced imaging systems. Aloka Trivitron Medical Technologies is a joint venture between Aloka, a Japan based company credited with pioneering the diagnostic ultrasound technology globally and Trivitron.

“For quite some time now there has been a felt need of making quality healthcare not only available but also affordable. With the setting up of this park this need will certainly be met. Indigenous manufacture of world class medical devices in collaboration with the best medical technology companies and research institutes in the world will spawn a new era in the spread of life saving medical technology across the country,” said Dr. Reddy.

In his welcome address Dr. Parthasarthy, Director, Trivitron Group of Companies emphasized that the products manufactured at the facility will adhere to international standards such as ISO 9000 – 2001, ISO 13485, CE, US FDA and Japan MITI certifications.

With this, it has some world class facilities like, fully ESD tiled production area of 12,000 sq.ft.(ESD helps in discharging of electrical charges within human being thus calibiration of the instruments are not affected), with this whole are is connected with CCTV for a complete view on all the activities. It has been kept in mind the importance of nature and science and whole area is Green/Eco friendly with ample usage of natural light with ample water harvesting capacity.

In his keynote address Dr. G.S.K. Velu, Founder and Managing Director, Trivitron Group of Companies, expressed hope that the setting up of the park will catalyze the rapid spread of medical technology across the country. “The setting up of this park is a dream come true. With this, we plan to put India on the global map of medical technology manufacturing. The fact that this initiative will eventually help bring down healthcare costs, facilitating the spread of advanced medical technology across the country is a source of great satisfaction for me,” he said.

Trivitron Healthcare Pvt Ltd is looking at setting up more facilities at the park very soon. To this end, the company has already signed joint ventures with leading international medical devices manufacturers. These include Brandon Medical, UK, ET, Cardioline, Italy, Johnson Medical, Sweden, and Biosystems, Spain.

V.K. Subburaj, Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Tamil Nadu hailed the setting up of the park as a giant stride towards self – sufficiency in medical devices manufacture. He said that this unique initiative will go a long way in ensuring that quality healthcare becomes widely available. A reduction in the manufacturing costs of medical devices, he said, will in turn reduce the overall healthcare costs significantly.

Prominent among others who spoke were Minoru Yoshizumi, President, Aloka Ltd, Japan, and V.R. Venkatachalam, Chancellor, Sri Ramachandra Medical University, who also felicitated the chief guest.

Friday, January 22, 2010

3D-capable TVs to achieve 1.2mn+ shipments in 2010, 15.6mn in 2013

AUSTIN, USA: Closing out on a year in which average selling prices for TVs are expected to fall for the first time since the flat panel TV transition began, TV manufacturers are building new combinations to re-value their products and retain consumer interest.

In the newly launched Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, DisplaySearch research indicates that LED backlighting and 240 Hz LCDs will serve as enabling technologies for new feature developments in TVs in 2010, specifically for 3D TVs, an area of intense interest to TV manufacturers. DisplaySearch forecasts 3D-ready TVs will grow from 0.2 million units in 2009 to 64 million units in 2018.

“We have passed the first hurdle,” said Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of TV Electronics Research.

“The critical Blu-ray 3D specification is written, but now comes the hard work of securing interoperability. Consumers will want reassurance that such things as 3D glasses will interoperate between brands. Retailers will also have the same demand to allow a thriving accessory market to develop. The next stage is less glamorous but vital to secure 3D’s long-term value. We have seen 3D crazes before, and sustained attention to detail is important to prevent disillusionment from starting.”

Fig. 1: DisplaySearch 3D TV Set ForecastSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report.

DisplaySearch forecasts that over 70 million connected TVs will be shipped in 2012—up from around 15 million in 2009.

Fig. 2: DisplaySearch Connected TV ForecastSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report.

“The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) demonstrated that Internet-connected TVs have finally come of age,” Gray added. “While in the past connected TV sets have seemed to be a solution in search of a problem, compelling new capabilities such as family video calling not only reinforce the TV’s central position in the home, but also represent a bold move to reclaim some of the tasks swallowed by the PC.”

SatGuide welcomes free navigation from Nokia with open arms

BANGALORE, INDIA: Amit Kishore Prasad, Founder MD & CEO, SatGuide – SatNav Technologies, pioneers of GPS technologies in India since 2005.

"The opening up of Navigation software for all Nokia phones will make other Phone OEMs move from their fence-sitting strategy and work out a focused plan for maps & navigation. SatGuide offers maps with navigation software to all Phone OEMs and most of them have been worried about the Bill of Material (BOM) cost addition even though our pricing is the most competitive.

"As a result, in some models it is bundled but in many other models it is only an optional add on which mostly is not communicated well enough to the consumer at the point of sale, enough to make him buy it separately from the phone. Net effect is that consumers are being deprived of the great value add that their smart phones can offer.

"We hope this will now change, and our phone navigation software and maps business will therefore pick up even more since Nokia’s handset competitors should not buy maps from their mapping company and should prefer partners like us leading to higher sales in this segment. To add here, SatGuide also offers a “Try & Buy” version of Navigation software for Nokia handsets, which will be extended to other OS soon, this will now enable consumers to compare both and then decide which one to use in India, we are confident Nokia users too will see that our maps are better than what they can get anywhere else."

"This move will also benefit the growth of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) in the Indian market. Most people till today are not aware of what exactly navigation can do and how it will help them in their daily lives, some people even express surprise that the technology works in India, luckily this number is going down rapidly over the last two-three quarters with awareness increasing rapidly.

"Now, with maps becoming easily available on handsets provided by the phone company that has the largest market share in the country, awareness levels will leapfrog in the coming days. This increased awareness always leads to more demand, international trends have proven that wide screen devices with a processing power greater than the top end phone is the requirement of any navigation user anywhere, and PNDs today offer it better than any phone.

"While we know that the future of PND is being debated, atleast for the next three-four years, it can be safely said that till some major technology change first takes place, the Mobile Navigation Phone and the PND will co-exist and grow together just like Digital cameras and Camera Phones have in the last couple of years. In summary, here too we believe the PND market growth will benefit our company thanks to this strategy of Nokia."

Hot US E-book reader market will spark $2.5 billion in revenue by 2013

BOSTON, USA: Yankee Group forecasts that the already hot US e-book reader market is about to catch fire, sparking from $1.3 billion in revenue in 2010 to $2.5 billion by 2013.

In “Yankee Group’s US E-Book Reader Forecast: Kindling a Fire,” analyst Dmitriy Molchanov shows that as devices such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Sony’s Reader, Interead’s COOL-ER and enTourage’s eDGe adopt more palatable price points—Yankee Group sees $150 as the sweet spot—the market will respond in kind.

“Unlike the iPod, which hooked serious music buyers in addition to a raft of casual listeners, e-book reader adoption will be limited to heavy readers only—at least until prices come down,” Molchanov says. “But we see the average price of e-book readers declining by roughly 15 percent per year for the next five years, resulting in 55 percent increase in adoption rate year over year.”

In fact, by 2013:

* US e-book reader sales will reach 19.2 million, a CAGR of 34 percent, with 6 million e-book readers sold in 2010 alone.

* The US installed base of e-book readers will hit over 36 million, up from an installed base of 9 million by 2011.

* Half of all consumers who indicate interest in buying an e-book reader will have bought one already, so device makers should act quickly.

E-book readers are the leaders of what Yankee Group calls “Anywhere Devices,” a new class of connected products explored in our research and new book ANYWHERE. We expect a host of consumer Anywhere Devices to follow in their wake.

USB-IF announces intent to acquire PCMCIA assets

BEAVERTON, USA: The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced plans to accept Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) tangible assets, which include PC Card 16, CardBus PC Card and ExpressCard form-factor standards, along with the associated compliance programs and copyright, logo and trademarks authority.

PCMCIA member approval is anticipated to close January 31, 2010, with the full transfer of PCMCIA assets slated for completion by the end of the first quarter 2010. The transfer will simplify the development of USB and PCMCIA solutions and continue the certification and logo program for PCMCIA products. Upon completion of the technology transfer, the PCMCIA will cease operation and dissolve as an independent, non-profit association.

“The technology transfer will streamline efforts by developers to implement both USB and PCMCIA standards,” stated Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF president and chairman. “The PCMCIA's assets and activities are transitioning to and will continue in the USB-IF because they promote and support USB standards.”

“The PCMCIA appreciates the opportunity to transfer its standards and support to the USB-IF,” said Brad Saunders, PCMCIA chairman. “Once the transfer is complete, members are encouraged to reconnect with ExpressCard programs by actively engaging in the USB-IF and participating in workgroup activities and compliance programs.”

The USB-IF will extend membership at no additional cost to existing PCMCIA members for the remainder of their current annual membership term, provided the member accepts and executes the USB-IF membership agreement. At the expiration of the membership term, the USB-IF will extend membership in the USB-IF. For organizations that are members of both PCMCIA and USB-IF, there is no need to transfer membership.

Regus launches world’s largest public access video communication network

INDIA: Regus, the leading global provider of innovative workspace solutions, has launched the world’s largest public access video communication (VC) network.

The 2,500 VC suites, available through the Regus website, and made up from its own centres and partner facilities, have a footprint which covers 115 countries and 1,110 cities and suburban areas.

The growth of Regus VC facilities is a response to increased demand for the solution. For the 12 months ending Dec 2009, Regus experienced a global average increase of 22 percent in VC bookings. This supports a recent finding from research and advisory company Gartner that the value of the VC market is set to post a CAGR of 17.8 percent between 2008 and 2013, rising from $3.8 billion to $8.6 billion.

Regus asserts this is because businesses are looking for smart ways to reduce travel, the associated environmental impacts, and crucially, cost without compromising business operations; video communicating rather than travelling can be up to 75 percent cheaper with negligible carbon emissions.

Mark Dixon, CEO, Regus says: “Business boundaries have been expanding for some time but as pressure mounts to curb travel spending, increase productivity and reduce environmental damage there’s the risk that international business relations could suffer. Whether the motivation is cost, productivity or the environment we’re allowing companies to stay connected and expand their international footprint. With facilities in 1,100 locations, from Tokyo to Tehran and Tiblisi to Toronto, video communication through Regus means it can be business as usual.”

Regus’ VC facilities can be booked with just three to seven days’ notice and nearly half of the bookings run across multiple time zones. To cater for this relatively late booking profile Regus offers online, real time meeting room and VC equipment availability globally, meaning that units can be booked immediately from anywhere in the world. All guests need to do is enter their location details to find and book their nearest VC suite.

QD Vision receives $3mn from DTE Energy Ventures for lighting and FPDs

WATERTOWN & DETROIT, USA: QD Vision Inc., a developer of Quantum Light nanotechnology-based products for solid state lighting and displays, announced that DTE Energy Ventures has invested $3 million in the company.

The funding will support QD Vision’s market expansion of quantum dot-based nanomaterials that enable major efficiency gains in high-quality solid-state lighting and flat panel displays.

The investment follows a $10 million initial close of funding announced last month by the company.

“DTE Energy’s investment in QD Vision is a significant endorsement of our Quantum Light product platform, which will improve the quality of solid state lighting and displays while dramatically reducing power consumption and costs,” said Dan Button, CEO of QD Vision. “DTE Energy is actively participating in developing clean-energy solutions with its investments in some of the world’s most exciting startups in renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage solutions.”

Knut Simonsen, president, DTE Energy Ventures, said DTE Energy is pleased to partner with QD Vision and its highly talented team. “QD Vision’s Quantum Light platform will help lighting and display manufacturers reduce the carbon footprint of their products even as they continue delivering higher quality, better efficiency and lower costs for customers,” Simonsen said. “This technology promises to set a new standard for these multi-billion dollar global industries.”

Mike McNalley, Director of Energy Efficiency and Business Energy Services, DTE Energy, said: “We look forward to creating more LED lighting options for our customers with QD Vision products. We plan to encourage QD Vision to team up with Michigan based LED lighting companies and broaden their market reach.”

QD Vision’s first product, announced in 2009, is a Quantum Light optic for a new high- efficiency, high-color-quality LED lamp developed by Nexxus Lighting Inc. that combines the warmth and color of incandescent bulbs with the efficiency of LED technology.

The power-saving lamp, expected to ship in the first quarter of 2010, can be directly installed in standard Edison sockets used by today’s incandescent bulbs. Meanwhile, QD Vision is actively working with several worldwide major manufacturers to design its Quantum Light™ optic into a number of SSL lamps and fixtures.

Founded in 2004 by a research team from MIT, QD Vision has raised a total of $33 million in venture capital financing. Other investors include North Bridge Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners and In-Q-Tel.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

AUO purchases FED-related assets, technology from Field Emission Technologies

HSINCHU, TAIWAN: AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) has entered into an agreement with Field Emission Technologies (FET) and FET Japan, Inc. (FETJ), to purchase certain assets and to transfer certain technology from FET, a leader in FED (field emission displays) technology whose 39.8 percent of shareholding is owned by Sony Corp.

In the transaction, AUO will acquire certain assets that include patents, know-how, inventions, and relevant equipment related to FED technology and materials.

The fast response time, high efficiency, brightness, and contrast of FED technology not only compare favorably with traditional CRT technology but also outperform in terms of image quality and power efficiency.

FED technology will be focused on high-end display application for future development. Apart from OLED, FED technology will be a new application option in the flat display industry, which will become a strong support for AUO's unique competence in the future.

AUO's CEO and President, Dr. L. J. Chen, said: "Being a total solutions provider of display applications, AUO is dedicated to developing all kinds of display technologies for offering customers more application solutions. FED technology will be an appropriate fit especially for the high-end market needs such as medical or broadcast displays.

"Sony had been a leader in FED technology, and AUO also has committed itself to developing new technologies. With its successful cooperation with FET, AUO intends to utilize FET's resources of FED technology to commercialize products, which will hopefully benefit our customers and end consumers."

FED display is self light-emitting and has great contrast and low power consumption, with no motion blur and deeper color depth -- capable of 12bit gray level. With Sony and FET's efforts, FED technology and the possibility of its mass production have achieved a breakthrough. FED is intended to target high-end display applications.

The acquisition is a highlight for AUO's strategies of actively developing core technologies in advanced displays, thanks to the efforts and contribution of the Department of Industrial Technology of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs supporting Taiwanese companies in acquiring core industrial technologies.

With the past two mergers in the display industry, AUO not only has gained large-scale production capacity, but has also aggressively dedicated itself to raising its technology level relevant to the Company's future development. The Company shows its unique thinking in transforming itself to a technology pioneer.

The substance of the agreement includes patents, know-how, inventions, and equipment. Currently FET owns certain core technologies in the FED field. With the completion of the acquisition, AUO will hopefully become one of the few companies in the world that will be able to offer commercialized FED products.

SSD outlook remains bright, despite market challenges and economic uncertainties

FRAMINGHAM, USA: Despite the economic recession and constrained IT spending, 2009 was a good year for solid state drive (SSD) vendors, with SSD shipments surpassing 11 million units, an increase of 14 percent year over year.

Looking forward, IDC expects SSD adoption will continue to experience tangible growth in 2010 and beyond, with shipments expected to achieve a CAGR of 54 percent over the 2008-2013 forecast period.

"Despite lingering uncertainties around the economy, IDC remains positive on the outlook for SSDs and believes the trajectories for shipment and revenue growth are a source of optimism moving forward," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager, Hard Disk Drive Components and Solid State Drives at IDC.

Key IDC findings from this market outlook include:

* Pricing remains a key metric for SSD adoption in all market segments. The slowdown in IT spending over the past 18 months has led to production cutbacks in NAND semiconductors, subsequently slowing overall SSD price reductions. However, the long term decline in the cost of NAND memory will translate into lower price points for SSDs. These lower price points, coupled with increased SSD capacities, will make them a compelling alternative to hard disk drives (HDDs) in certain market segment.

* IDC believes that the largest market opportunity for SSDs will be in PCs, where there are two avenues to adoption. One is as an alternative to an HDD in a traditional notebook where the user is willing to pay a premium for the anticipated performance benefits of an SSD. The second avenue lies in offering a low-cost storage alternative for use in mininotebooks. In both cases, SSD price points and storage capacities must be competitive with HDD costs before broader adoption will occur.

* In the enterprise, IDC believes that SSDs complement HDDs for certain applications. The desire for increased performance, better utilization, faster access times, and lower power consumption is providing an increasing opportunity for SSD-based solutions in the datacenter where there is a premium on high performance.

"SSD adoption will continue to experience tangible growth given the nascent stage for SSD adoption coupled with many of the benefits inherent in SSDs," added Janukowicz. "We expect SSD vendors to achieve capacity and price points that make SSDs an attractive solution in the PC and enterprise markets where the value proposition of SSDs is compelling."

Axis intros new outdoor-ready fixed network cameras

LUND, SWEDEN: Axis Communications, a leader in network video, announced a new series of outdoor-ready, high-performance fixed network cameras that save installation time and costs.

The IP66-rated cameras have protection against dust, rain, snow and sun, and can operate in temperatures as low as -40 °C (-40 °F). Arctic Temperature Control is available for secure start-up of zoom cameras in freezing temperatures. The cameras are powered by Power over Ethernet for easy installation.

“The outdoor-ready fixed network cameras are delivered in an enclosure, ready right out of the box for mounting outdoors,” says Erik Frännlid, Director of Product Management, Axis Communications. “They are robust products that are not only easy to install but also provide superb performance. The cameras are ideal for demanding outdoor applications such as airports, railway stations, city surveillance and traffic monitoring. These product introductions further strengthen Axis’ outdoor camera offering.”

The outdoor-ready cameras, including megapixel (MP) / HDTV models, deliver superb image quality and support multiple streams in H.264 and Motion JPEG, two-way audio, intelligent video functionalities such as video motion detection, audio detection, active tampering alarm, and have built-in SD/SDHC memory card slot for storing recordings locally. The cameras consist of the following:

* AXIS P1343-E Network Camera: SVGA resolution, day and night, digital pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ), remote back focus;
* AXIS P1344-E Network Camera: 1 MP resolution / HDTV 720p, day and night, digital PTZ, remote back focus;
* AXIS P1346-E Network Camera: 3 MP resolution / HDTV 1080p, day and night, P-Iris (precise iris control), digital PTZ, multi-view streaming, remote back focus;
* AXIS Q1755-E Network Camera: 2 MP resolution / HDTV 720p and 1080i, day and night, 10x zoom, autofocus and pan/tilt head support.

The last three HDTV cameras are compliant with the SMPTE standards in resolution, aspect ratio (16:9), color representation and frame rate.

The outdoor-ready cameras are designed to enable easy installation of an infrared illuminator under the enclosure. The cameras come with a wall mount bracket, sunshield and an Ethernet cable.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010: A make or break year for Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: According to a new report from Ovum, EHR vendors that are unable to capture a sizeable share of the market this year will be pushed out of an already competitive market.

The report titled “2010 Trends to Watch: Healthcare Technology” highlights a number of global government initiatives on EHRs as well as the overall economic and consumer drivers that are driving healthcare providers to adopt IT, concluding that 2010 will be a pivotal year in EHR adoption.

As evidence, an earlier survey completed in late 2009, Datamonitor’s Healthcare Business Trends Survey, where 150 hospitals in North American and Europe were asked to rank their top investment priorities in the next six months, is cited; EHRs were overwhelmingly the top priority for the coming year.

“Despite the barriers to adoption—high cost and change management issues—widespread adoption of EHRs will occur in 2010, particularly with the help of SaaS and speech recognition tools,” according to healthcare technology analyst, Christine D. Chang, based in New York.

In the past, major barriers to EHR adoption included high upfront costs and lack of IT resources to implement and maintain the technology. A SaaS model solves both of these issues and Ovum believes it is the best approach for physician offices and small hospitals. With a predictable, monthly expense, a subscription-based SaaS EHR is a much easier cost for providers to swallow. Furthermore, as the EHR vendor hosts the solution, providers only need to worry about their Internet connection.

For physicians who did not grow up with computers using a computer can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. In a fast-paced and time sensitive environment like a hospital or doctor’s office, providers do not want to waste precious time in front of a computer when they could be in front of a patient.

For many clinicians, speech recognition tools have helped increase EHR adoption by decreasing the number of changes providers need to make. Dictation is already a regular part of the physician’s workflow. Speech recognition is even faster, as it feeds directly into the patient health record without the lag time of transcription.

Even physicians who are comfortable using computers have found speech recognition helpful, as they are not only able to dictate notes, but can also navigate through the EHR quickly, jumping from screen to screen without clicking through multiple windows.

Thus, EHR vendors must incorporate SaaS and speech recognition into their product portfolio if they wish to take advantage of the market opportunity in 2010.

Telestream's new release for Pipeline video capture systems

NEVADA CITY, USA: Telestream has announced a new release for its award-winning Pipeline video capture systems. Already recognized for its innovative network-based approach to capturing high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) video from tape or live-sources, Pipeline V2.4 adds the ability to frame accurately print HD or SD video back to tape.

Additional new features include EDL import and time-code-break-triggered capture mode. These new V2.4 features save time and effort for content creators in Mac OS X and PC video production environments.

“This release continues to extend the power of Pipeline beyond simple video capture,” said Barbara DeHart, VP of Marketing at Telestream. “Telestream understands the vital importance of quickly and efficiently moving video between tape and file-based workflows. Already useful for video ingest in live, post-production and archiving workflows, Pipeline 2.4 adds the important final link of playing content back out to tape.”

Telestream changed the game in video capture with Pipeline. These hardware encoders sit on the network where anyone can access them, providing freedom from the hassles and limitations of video capture card solutions on dedicated workstations. Real-time, user-selectable encoding to multiple SD and HD formats – DV, IMX, MPEG-2 I-frame, ProRes 422 SD, plus DNxHD, ProRes 422 HQ and DVCPRO HD – provides flexibility in multiformat editing environments.

The addition of print-to-tape playout of HD or SD content in Pipeline 2.4 is especially useful for the creation of spot reels and review-and-approval tapes. Import of the common GVG4 EDL format in Pipeline 2.4 saves time and effort by allowing Mac and PC users to import an edit decision list from Final Cut Pro, Avid, and other editing systems into Pipeline.

Already available for PC users, Version 2.4 adds time-code-break-triggered capture mode for Mac OS X users. This feature is particularly useful in the production of reality shows where vast quantities of content are captured onto videotape from multiple cameras. By using Pipeline in conjunction with Telestream’s FlipFactory transcoding software, low-resolution proxy files are created for edit decisions.

Pipeline then creates only the required high-resolution clips needed for final production. This workflow saves users time and money by eliminating the need to import and store large quantities of unneeded high-resolution footage.

Pipeline is the recipient of Broadcast Engineering’s 2009 Pick Hit Award, TVB Europe’s Best of IBC 2008 Editors’ Award, and Videography’s 2007 Vidy Award.

Pipeline 2.4 is now available as a free software update. Pipeline systems are available for purchase from Telestream’s direct sales and worldwide resale channels.

Digital Signage Expo 2010 to showcase world’s newest digital signage technology

ATLANTA, USA: Digital Signage Expo (DSE) 2010 will present the newest, most cutting edge technology in the digital signage, interactive technologies and out-of-home network industry on February 23-25, 2010 in Las Vegas. DSE’s New Product Pavilion will feature dozens of new and innovative products that attendees will have the opportunity to be the first to see the following:

* Aerva’s Pic2Screen application enables real-time interactivity between mobile users and digital display networks.
* BrightSign’s BrightAuthor 2.0 Software is a free intuitive interface PC application that helps design full-screen, multi-zone, interactive and synchronized presentations.
* Aurora Multimedia’s NXT-700V is a 7” Hybrid Touch Panel in-wall controller with full video preview capability.
* Capital Networks’ Audience 4.0 Software for Signage new release supports Windows 7, broadcast-quality animation and alpha-channel multi-layer application, and features keyword scheduling, 3D transitions and effects and higher quality text and graphics rendering.
* DA-LITE’s Holo Screen designed specifically for large format applications in high ambient light environments and POS applications.
* Dynasign’s Dynasign Online version 3.0 which features content tagging to target locations with specific attributes and demographics, multiple emergency alert system options, external data source integration modules for Resource25 event system, real estate MLS data feeds and flight status information.
* KenCast’s EdgeSpan Solo is an affordable, scalable and reliable internet-compatible digital media player for HD playback for 1 or 2 screens.
* Leapwave’s Kwizee, WordTickle, AlphaFizz, ChromaChat and ClueZap, animated vote/poll games designed for large and small audiences to simultaneously compete via mobile phone, displaying sponsored advertising.
* Nanonation’s Frameworks DS was designed to provide small-medium businesses with a more streamlined and sophisticated DS solution that is operation simple with robust features.
* Prism Technologies’ Displaymyshow.com, intuitive content development using customized templates with step-by-step instruction.
* STRATACACHE’s SPECTRA PopTouch Display is a new line of touch screen displays with a very small footprint that includes an embedded media player making it ideal for shelf-edge and end-cap applications.
* Visix’s MeetingMinder 1200i is fully integrated, surface-mount PC room sign with a low-profile mount that neatly secures the external power directly behind the sign, has a 12” screen display that allows interactive room scheduling, integration for EMS and Exchange, interactive way-finding, dynamic text, graphics, video and streaming media.
* WAND Corp.n’s Outdoor Menu Board, triple-panel, remotely programmable digital signage with full motion video capability that can withstand extremely low external temperatures.
* Wegener’s Digital Signage Solution simultaneously supports multiple clients, marketing zones and applications with new tools that control screen layouts an localize video, graphics and text elements.
* Wireless Ronin’s RoninCast for Interactive Ordering Kiosks & Menu Board System digital menu boards with interactive digital touch screens.

Prysm’s LPD technology suitable for displays in commercial AV marketplace

SAN JOSE, USA: Following its public launch last week, Prysm Inc., announced that it will initially target the commercial AV marketplace with its groundbreaking technology, Laser Phosphor Display (LPD). With its unmatched combination of brilliant picture quality, lowest power consumption, freeform flexibility, and long-lasting performance, LPD is perfectly suited for the commercial AV industry.

Over the past decade consumers have come to expect a higher level of AV experience from the events and activities in which they participate. Whether at a sporting event, corporate environment, airport, tradeshow, or retail location, consumers demand AV experiences that are sophisticated, immersive, and engaging. Captivating the audience and creating a spectacular event with visual interaction requires creativity and freedom in the design. LPD is completely scalable and can deliver to any shape, size, and resolution.

“With the power consumption of a 100W light bulb per square meter and the scalability to virtually any size application, LPD is generating excitement from prospective customers around the world,” said Amit Jain, CEO of Prysm, Inc. “Although we knew that image quality would appeal to commercial AV customers everywhere, we have also found that LPD energy efficiency to be very important in every geographic market.”

LPD uses solid state lasers to excite phosphors on a surface emissive screen that generates seamless, high-resolution images. As the modulating lasers scan across the surface, phosphors emit red, green, and blue colors to create an image with no motion blur. LPD design translates into superior image quality, 180 degree viewing angle, 240hz refresh rate, high contrast, and a longer life than conventional displays.

“I have seen this technology in action and can say, as a designer, it’s remarkable. Its image is vibrant and sharp and I see it going into designs around the globe,” says Michael Moore from Square Peg Design. “Power consumption and operating cost are a critical topic in design projects. The idea that I can offer my clients an incredible image and a significant reduction in operating costs is truly a game changer.”

“We recognized a considerable gap in the digital display landscape. Current solutions have so many compromises and drawbacks associated with maintenance, consumables, brightness, seams, viewing angles, power costs, and visual quality,” said Dana Corey, VP of sales and marketing for Prysm, Inc. “Prysm’s LPD platform leapfrogs these compromises, providing designers, channel partners, and end users with an unrivaled image and cost-effective display.”

Syndiant and SSTDC demo smallest SVGA laser pico projector engine

DALLAS, USA: Syndiant, the leader in high resolution microdisplays for pico projectors, and Shanghai Sanxin Technology Development Co. Ltd (SSTDC) have announced the SEE100 Smartphone focus free laser optical engine for embedded pico projector applications.

The engine, including three lasers (red, green and blue), all optics, and the Syndiant SYL2010 SVGA (800 by 600 pixel) microdisplay, is only 39 mm by 24 mm by 7.8 mm. The SEE100 engines are being demonstrated to select customers around the world.'

“SSTDC is very excited about the response we are seeing for our growing family of Laseno (Laser Innovation) products for the pico projector market. The SEE100 optical engine represents a revolutionary breakthrough as it provides true SVGA resolution in a very small form factor with the high efficiency and focus free operation enabled by Laser illumination. The use of Syndiant’s SYL2010 panel enables high resolution and amazing image quality,” said James Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at SSTDC.

“To see so much brightness projected from the tiny SEE100 Smartphone Optical Engine is amazing. Beyond that, it is focus free,” said Mark Harward, CEO of Syndiant. “Syndiant’s SYL2010 panel packs high resolution in a very small panel that is only 7 mm tall to enable very thin optical engines. Our patented VueG8 all-digital smart panel technology is providing a rapid path toward providing HD resolution in pico projectors.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Meru Cabs launches card payment facility in Hyderabad

MUMBAI, INDIA: Meru Cabs, India's largest radio cab service provider, has introduced its brand new convenient alternative payment facility for their passengers in Hyderabad city. This alternate payment option is already implemented in Bangalore.

Meru Cabs has tied up with Axis Bank as its merchant bank to facilitate card transactions in its cabs. Visa and Master Cards debit/credit cards will be accepted for fare payment, thereby making life easier for the Meru passengers. Also, Meru Cabs various introduce various promotion programs to promote payment by cards. Keeping in mind the concept of plastic money, Meru Cabs has launched this feature so as to provide a hassle free service to the passengers.

Rajesh Puri, CEO, Meru Cabs, said: "Plastic money is more convenient and viable payment option today. We got a feedback from our consumers regarding their preference for payment through a credit card. Consumers today prefer the convenience of plastic money over hard cash and often fall short while paying for their fares, making it inconvenient for them as they have to hunt to the nearest ATM.

"By providing credit/debit card facilities in our cab directly, we are confident that our passengers will find it more convenient and hassle-free. It is a highly secured application, since the product is almost fully automated. It's inbuilt in the MDT, and the card is swiped in front of the passenger.

"Cities like New York, Boston and Tokyo have the facility of paying by cash or card in the radio cabs. In fact, it is a mandate in these cities for the radio cabs to have a card payment option for the passengers. Our goal is to replicate these revolutionary services in India and offer our passengers a truly comfortable and world-class travel experience."

With total of 4,800 cabs, Meru is the largest radio cab service provider in India and to meet the ever increasing passenger demand Meru has been constantly scaling up its presence in the four operational cities -- Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Its presence at the airports of the four cities has helped in adding to the international class provided by these airports.

For better comforts of the passengers and to keep up with the changing times Meru has been upgrading its technology regularly. Recently, the company has implemented an Oracle ERP system, which has been implemented by Accenture, which makes Meru Cabs the first radio cabs service company in the world to implement ERP systems.

As recognition of the pro-active and holistic approach to IT adoption and the seamless alignment of IT with the business strategy Meru Cabs once again won 'NASSCOM-CNBC IT User Award 2009' for the second time in a row.

For its relentless effort toward providing comfortable and convenient travel option, in 2009 Meru Cab received recognition by All India Passengers Association and was awarded the best & largest taxi company in the country and Mr. Neeraj Gupta was awarded businessman of the year.

In September 2007, the company was conferred with the Excellence Award by the Institute of Economic Studies, Delhi (IES- an established in 1980 by a group of economists, parliamentarians and industrialists) in recognition of the high quality and reliable transport services provided by the company.

Tele Atlas launches new map of India with expanded coverage and rich visual content

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tele Atlas Kalyani India Ltd, a leading provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location-based solutions, today unveiled its latest expanded map for India.

Targeting consumer and enterprise customers, including the booming IT sector in Bengaluru that comprises 70 percent of India's IT and ITES market, the released maps of nearly 640,000 kilometers of navigable roads cover more than 75 per cent of the country’s urban population.

Tele Atlas’ new map of India provides navigable street network coverage for turn-by-turn and location-based applications of 336 cities across the country. It also includes 2D City Maps that cover more than 350 square kilometers across eight key Indian cities including Bengaluru and provides 82 3D landmarks of notable structures in major cities.

The new Tele Atlas maps also provide more than 1.5 million points of interest (POIs), across 53 categories. These include residential buildings and apartments, shops, places of worship, schools, hotels, banks, petrol stations, and other popular destinations and including more than 560,000 villages points.

“Growth in location-based products and services in India, from automotive to wireless and location-based services (LBS), enterprise and government applications, continues to outpace many regions around the world,” said Rajive Chandra, Tele Atlas Director of Sales and Marketing, APAC. “We’ve made significant investments here, and today enjoy a leading position as India’s premier digital mapping provider.”

Designed to be fully aligned with Tele Atlas’ global map offering and seamlessly integrated within Tele Atlas’ Asia Pacific regional data offering, the new Tele Atlas maps and content for India are available for Tele Atlas portable navigation, wireless, Internet, automotive and enterprise customers worldwide for compilation and deployment.

The release marks the company’s third commercial delivery of India products within the past year. Tele Atlas will continue to expand its offering of India in the future with additional map coverage and content throughout 2010.

“Bengaluru, which is considered the fifth largest and fastest growing city in Asia, is home to more than six million people and a base for more than 10,000 industries in India. With a strong team, high-quality digital maps and rich content, Tele Atlas is in the best position to continue to help our customers in Bengaluru and around the world enhance their navigation and location-based solutions and enrich their end users’ experiences,” added Chandra.

Notably, in 2008, Tele Atlas Kalyani India was named first VAR of India’s digital maps, allowing Tele Atlas Kalyani India to release Survey of India-approved digital maps and custom map content within the public domain for commercial use.

The Tele Atlas map database for India provides highly precise geometry combined with positional accuracy for a superior navigation experience. In addition to expanded road network coverage, Tele Atlas’ latest map of India includes advanced display features such as 3D Landmarks, 2D City Maps, and lane and signpost information, which provide richer navigation and local search applications with maps that more closely reflect end users’ surroundings.

Tele Atlas Kalyani India is a joint venture between the Kalyani Group and Tele Atlas.

MSI India announces 2010 notebook line-up

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Micro Star International (MSI), today further expanded one of the broadest product line-ups for laptops in India with the announcement of 14 new models across five series.

The laptops cover the high-performance G-series gaming notebooks, the elegantly styled Classic series, the visually-stunning E-series entertainment notebooks, the extra-lightweight and fashionable X-Slim series and the ultra-thin, ultra-stylish U-series Wind Netbooks.

“As today’s digital lifestyles grow, portable computing is becoming ubiquitous in all facets of life,” said Tony Yang, newly appointed Managing Director of MSI India. “Consumers are looking for products that suit their professional and personal work needs yet reflect their individual style. Our 2010 notebook line-up is based on feedback from users world-wide and backed by MSI’s strong R&D. With our 14 new models, we are able to provide Indian consumers, a notebook suited for every need.”

Gaming power
The ultra powerful MSI G-series GT640 and GT740 notebooks feature the Intel Calpella flat-screen 15.4-inch and 17-inch monitors and pack the latest Intel C i7 Quad-Core processors, combined with NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M 3D discrete graphics making them the most formidable gaming notebooks in the world today.

These notebooks are equipped with the world’s best multimedia entertainment interface – and flaunt their own style with frequently used WASD keys highlighted in easy-to-locate red, a super thin brushed aluminum alloy case, lava red trim, polished metal 3D speakers, and a high-tech luminescent, touch activated interface board. These two notebooks are optimized for use with Microsoft Windows 7.

The G-Series notebooks from MSI are priced at Rs 88,000 upward, depending on configuration.

Synaptris launches FewClix beta for Lotus Notes email users

CHENNAI, INDIA: Synaptris, the market leading Lotus Notes information management company, today announced the public Beta availability of FewClix, an email productivity add-on for Lotus Notes that completely changes the corporate email paradigm.

FewClix is the first email productivity application that gives email users the ability to:
* Quickly prioritize their email.
* Search and instantly find any email.
* Personalize their mailbox and email experience.
* Organize their mailbox for clearing the clutter or for archiving.
* Utilize their email network to extend their social network.

The FewClix Beta product is available on the Lotus Notes platform for both enterprises and individual users and can be downloaded at www.fewclix.com.

With a strong history and expertise in working with Fortune 1000 enterprises that use Lotus Notes, delivering an enterprise-ready Beta product has been a natural extension of its current core competence for Synaptris.

10 for 2010: Top video surveillance industry predictions!

ENGLAND, UK: IMS Research is revealing what it believes will be the hottest video surveillance trends for the year ahead.

Alastair Hayfield, Research Manager at IMS Research comments: “2009 was not a stellar year for the video surveillance industry. Most companies felt the pinch of the global recession and will want to get stuck into 2010 as soon as possible. In the year ahead there are a host of new trends that will keep the industry talking and drive market resurgence.”

1. 2010 will see Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) emerge from the shadows and take the limelight. 2010 will see a raft of companies announce VSaaS solutions.

2. Storage on the camera will be a hot topic in 2010. SD card support will be offered in more network cameras and end-users will increasingly exploit this feature.

3. Brazil is IMS Research’s country market to watch in 2010. Infrastructure development and security spending ahead of the FIFA World Cup and Olympics will see the video surveillance market boom in Brazil.

4. Network camera prices will drop in 2010 as a result of increasing competition, lower cost imports, and manufacturer desire to penetrate price sensitive markets.

5. Searchable analytics will be the next growth area for Video Content Analysis (VCA).

6. The competitive landscape of the video surveillance market will change significantly during 2010. Mergers and acquisitions will continue apace, with at least one “established” vendor leaving the market altogether.

7. HD resolution cameras will gain serious market traction in 2010.

8. H.264 usage will grow spurred by the increasing prevalence of megapixel and HD resolution cameras.

9. Open standards will continue to impact the market positively and will further accelerate the transition to network video surveillance. Greater availability of products conforming to open standards, such as ONVIF and PSIA, will further accelerate the trend to network video surveillance.

10. Video Management Software (VMS) will evolve in 2010 to offer unique user features, PSIM functionality and much, much more.

Axis intros IP-based, HDTV-quality mobile video surveillance solution for transportation

CHELMSFORD, USA: Axis Communications, a leader in the network video market, announced a complete IP-based mobile video surveillance solution consisting of a new series of network cameras and a network video recorder for use in buses, trains, subway cars and emergency vehicles.

The AXIS M31-R Network Camera Series and AXIS Q8108-R Network Video Recorder are specially designed for easy and discreet installation, as well as reliable operation in vehicles. The camera enclosures protect the devices from dust and water, and the cameras are designed to withstand shock, vibrations and temperature fluctuations.

“The rugged AXIS M31-R Network Camera and AXIS Q8108-R Network Video Recorder provide the transportation industry with the highest standard for mobile surveillance,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications Inc. “The products hold a number of transportation-specific certifications. They take into account the environment and surveillance requirements in vehicles and offer a complete solution for capturing, recording, managing and accessing high-quality HDTV video.”

The palm-sized AXIS M31-R Network Camera provides full frame rate video streams in H.264 and Motion JPEG in resolutions up to 1 megapixel, including HDTV 720p. The AXIS M3113-R (SVGA) and AXIS M3114-R (1 MP) models come with either a rugged RJ-45 or rugged M12 network connector.

The network cameras respond rapidly to changing light levels and employ progressive scan for clearer images of moving objects. The network cameras are also designed for quick and reliable installation. For instance, the desired field of view and a leveled image can be easily achieved by using the supplied lens tool to direct and rotate the ball that holds the lens and image sensor. Power over Ethernet support further simplifies installation since only one cable is needed for carrying power and video.

The AXIS Q8108-R supports HDTV recording and has an integrated PoE switch that offers an easy and cost-effective solution for powering as many as eight network cameras recording at full frame rate. The network video recorder provides battery back-up to handle short periods of power drop and safe shutdown of the system.

The AXIS Q8108-R can be delivered as an out-of-the-box-ready solution with integrated hard disk drives and AXIS Camera Station video management software. It can also be customized to meet project specific needs, with options such as third-party software and support for wireless technologies such as WLAN, GSM, UMTS and GPS. Such options allow operation centers, for instance, to remotely access live and recorded video from a vehicle and receive information about its location.

The new products will be available in Q1 2010. The M31-R Network Camera series will range from $499 to $599, and the Q8108-R Network Video Recorder will have an MSRP of $3799.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Europe shifting to CO2-based vehicle taxation regime for low-carbon automotive industry

LONDON, UK: As Europe shifts steadily toward a carbon dioxide (CO2)-based vehicle taxation regime and vehicle manufacturers (VMs) hasten to comply with stringent EU CO2 norms (average fleet emissions less than 130g/km by 2015), demand for low-CO2 cars has skyrocketed. As a result, every European VM is racing towards capturing a share of this opportunity.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Implementation Roadmap of CO2 Tax Banding in European Countries and Impact Analysis on Powertrain and Green Technology Adoption, finds that about 80 per cent of the European vehicle sales is expected to be in the less than 150g/km CO2 emission band by 2015.

The countries covered in this research service are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

"By 2015, the average car in Europe will be 5 percent lighter, with 30 percent lower CO2 emissions," says Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager Vigneshwaran Chandran. "Downsizing, gasoline direct injection (GDI), and start-stop will be the key technologies helping original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) achieve emission targets by 2015."

About 8-10 million cars are expected to be in the less than 120g/km CO2 emission band in Europe by 2015 – a significantly attractive market opportunity for both volume and premium manufacturers.

While VMs invest heavily in the development of new low-CO2 models and engine variants, it is challenging to pass on these costs on to the customer, risking the OEMs' profitability.

"Offsetting the high development costs for green technologies and time for returns-on-investment on certain expensive developments such as gasoline direct injection and hybridisation will be a key commercial challenge for automakers," explains fellow analyst Hariher Balasubramanian.

Subsequently, automakers will likely employ different strategies for emission reduction, with mass manufacturers adopting moderate downsizing and technologies like variable valve train (VVT) and GDI. On the other hand, premium automakers will invest significantly on aggressive engine downsizing by more than 20 per cent, combined with full hybridization.

"Premium manufacturers such as Daimler and BMW are likely to use a combination of electric vehicles, hybridization, and downsizing to achieve their 2015 CO2 emission target of 130g/km, while volume manufacturers will use a mix of green technologies such as GDI, VVT and start-stop systems," concludes Balasubramanian.