The big winner this week was the National Football League, despite a Super Bowl that only was competitive for about a quarter. The league’s big fear was that the weather would be bad and all sorts of chaos and confusion would ensue. That didn’t happen, of course, and the game went off without a hitch.
On the following day and, again, two days after that, the area was hit by awful conditions. The league dodged that bullet as well as Russell Wilson dodged the Broncos’ linebackers.
The world of IT and telecom was slowed to some extent by the bad weather nationwide, but plenty of news and commentary were available for those of us stuck inside. Here are some highlights:
Cisco’s latest foray into really big numbers, the Visual Networking Index, was released this week. The study, which this time around covers the period from last year to 2018, reports that mobile data traffic will increase almost 11-fold and reach 190 exabytes, according to the press release. The rise in growth is due to machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, which will exceed 10 billion connections by 2018, continually growing numbers of mobile Internet connections and other reasons.
Biometric Security to Thrive
Gartner predicts that the continued growth of bring your own device (BYOD) will lead an increase in the corporate use of biometric authentication of mobile devices. ZDNet reports that the analyst firm says that 30 percent or more of organizations will use technology similar to the Touch ID feature on the iPhone.
The story suggests that the feature on the iPhone 5S will acclimate people to using their devices for sensitive activities and, therefore, they will expect to be able to do so when they get to work. The story also cites an Ericsson survey of more than 100,000 users that found that 74 percent expect biometric smartphones to become mainstream this year. Finally, the story reports that Forrester found that 70 percent of organizations support BYOD and that 62 percent of smartphone users and 56 percent of tablet users have brought their devices to work.
Faster Networks in Utah
Gigabit per second (Gbps) networks are becoming more common. Utah, a place that people hardly think of as cutting edge in technology, now has three providers offering services at that speed. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that CenturyLink has joined UTOPIA and Google Fiber in the Beehive State’s fast lane. The story says that CenturyLink services will be available to approximately 2,500 businesses in Salt Lake County, Sandy, Midvale, Draper, South Jordan, West Jordan and Cottonwood Heights.
The fast networks open up a lot of opportunity to enterprises:
The gigabit service means that business customers will be able to get Internet speeds up to 1,000 megabits per second for both downloads and uploads. The higher speed is particularly useful for businesses that transfer big data files back and forth or stream multiple videos simultaneously. Pricing has not been announced yet but there will be bundles available that include the Internet connection with some business-class add-ons such as cloud-based services.
Tablet Growth Continues
It was big news last year when tablets overtook PCs. Though thoughts have arisen that tablets may soon top out, the gap is continuing to grow, at least in the short term. TNW reports on an NPD Group study predicting that 315 million tablets will ship this year. That, the company said, will represent 65 percent of the market. The increasing growth, coupled with reductions in notebook shipments, will lead to tablet shipments of 455 million in 2017. That will represent 75 percent of the PC market. Cost may have something to do with the transition:
NPD predicts the worldwide average selling price for tablets will fall from $311 in 2014 to $296 in 2017. Meanwhile, standard notebook PC prices are expected to rise from $667 in 2013 to $693 in 2014, while ultra-slim PC prices are expected to rise from $885 to $936.
Using What’s Around Us
And, finally, comes a story about a new type of harvest. Navigant Research projects that worldwide revenue from collecting and storing ambient power, or energy harvesting, will grow from $283 million this year to $375 million in 2020. The idea is simple and compelling:
Energy harvesting systems, which convert ambient energy to useable electrical energy, offer an attractive alternative to battery power for portable devices. Using a variety of energy sources including electromagnetic radiation, thermal energy, kinetic energy, and mechanical energy, energy harvesting technology is already powering a range of consumer products, such as laptops and mobile phones.
The piece suggests that sensor networks, which can be included under the machine-to-machine (M2M) category, also will drive this market.