Displaying items by tag: technology
Social networking colossus Facebook has announced that it is attempting to make a ‘technical ‘breakthrough in relation to developing and manufacturing futuristic ‘smart glasses’ specifically designed to allow you see to see virtual objects in the real world.
It has emerged that Facebook published a patent application for a ‘waveguide display with two-dimensional scanner’ which was compiled by three members of its advanced research division of Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus.
It has been reported that the display may augment views of a physical, real-world environment with computer generated elements. In addition to this, the patent filing also suggested that the display being developed may be included in an eye-wear comprising a frame and a display assembly yhat presents media to a user’s eyes.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously expressed his belief that virtual and augmented reality - represents the next major computing platform which is capable of replacing smartphones and traditional PCs. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion and has announced its intentions to continue to invest billions on developing more revolutionary technology.
The ‘smart glasses’ currently being developed by Oculus will use a waveguide display in order to project light onto the wearer’s eyes instead of a more traditional display. However, it has also been claimed that the ‘smart glasses’ would be able to display images, video and be compatible with connected speakers or headphones to play audio when worn.
Facebook has thus far declined to comment on the patent application, but analysts have suggested that the social networking firm have adopted a similar approach to Microsoft, when they launched its HoloLens AR headset. Oculus’s ‘smart glasses’ have also drawn comparisons with glasses being developed by Google start-up Magic Leap.
Interestingly, one of the lead authors of Facebook’s patent application is optical scientist Pasi Saarikko who joined Facebook two years ago, after he spearheaded the optical design of HoloLens at Microsoft. However, despite the announcement being made in relation to work commencing on Facebook’s ‘smart glasses’, analysts have claimed don’t expect to see the device anytime soon.
Chief scientist of Oculus, Michael Abrash said AR glasses won’t start replacing smartphones until 2022. He said, “20 or 30 years from now, I predict that instead of carrying stylish smartphones everywhere, we’ll wear stylish glasses. Those glasses will offer VR, AR and everything in between, and we’ll use them all day.”
Ericsson has endured a difficult number of years in the telecommunications market, but newly-appointed CTO Erik Ekudden has expressed his optimism moving forward – vowing that the Swedish vendor will focus on key trends they’ve identified such as ‘automation’. The CTO disclosed that the key trends were identified following intense discussions with Ericsson’s customers and its leadership team since his appointment on July 1st.
Ekudden believes that Ericsson is well-placed to deliver on some of the technology trends which have been established. However, he did concede that it must develop new skills and capabilities in conjunction with other key industry players in order to be in a position to capitalize on the remainder.
One of the key trends identified is providing an adaptable technology base by combining software and hardware. According to the executive Ericsson’s experience and nous ensures that it can improve the efficiency of networks and ultimately ‘lower costs’.
Other keys trends identified by Ericsson which were disclosed by Ekudden include the need to establish an advanced machine intelligence system - he claimed that the ecosystem for machine learning and AI platforms were maturing and that the Swedish telecommunications colossus was enhancing its operations in relation to the development of such network platforms.
However, it was in the area of ‘automation’ and IoT which represents a great opportunity for Ericsson to assist its customer base in their ‘automation journey’ by offering better infrastructure and ultimately delivering an interaction between operations and networks which is much more intuitive and smooth.
Ekudden said, “Automation is a big theme among our customers. Ericsson is taking a leading role here, and we’ve got great experience in managed services and broader optimization capabilities. In addition to this, end-to-end security in IoT systems is crucial, and our goal is to establish what we call “hardware routes of trust” in every IoT device.”
However, the newly-appointed CTO stressed the importance of security and said it was imperative that it is considered when developing every new IoT device. He added, “It’s an architectural question, and it’s also about designing every node at a certain security level. This is something we take as a very important part of the products that we build on the network side.”
Turkish telecommunications operator Turkcell has announced that it will rollout Narrow-Band-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) in order to support ‘smart city’ applications and innovations which will be introduced in different sectors all across the country.
The new technology will be used to transform industries such energy, healthcare and education. The ‘smart city’ applications powered by NB-IoT will enable machines to communicate with each other via Turkcell’s LTE-A - infrastructure.
Analysts have suggested that this is the first clear strategy towards 5G in Turkey, and Turkcell’s Executive Vice President, Gediz Sezgin claimed that the economic benefits which will be created by the development of innovative ‘smart city’ applications would be ‘staggering’.
He said, “We became the first operator in Turkey to support NB-IoT required for new-gen innovative applications. So we open the door to 5G. NB-IoT will extend smart city applications and many innovative solutions will be developed. It has been projected that the economy created by this technology as of 2025 will exceed $3 trillion. Offering a technology which will create such a volume requires a very strong LTE-A infrastructure. We will continue to research and invest to introduce the most contemporary technologies.”
The operator has identified solutions in smart parking, smart waste management and remote monitoring as applications that can now be used with the rollout of the NB-IoT network. It has also claimed that new applications will now become available for ‘smart agriculture’ which Sezgin says will transform the livestock industry.
Turkcell’s EVP claimed that the network would allow the application to facilitate automatic irrigation of cultivated areas based on measurement of humidity in order to improve the crop yield - whilst also tracking applications for livestock, the ability to conduct these tasks through automation will ensure the process is more efficient, effective and ultimately easier.
Sezgin says, “This new technology helps organisations by ‘changing their way of doing business.’ While living spaces become more and more connected every day, Turkcell’s mobile infrastructure is now ready for a world where billions of devices connect.
South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung and Chinese vendor ZTE have both adopted aggressive strategies in relation to investment for 5G infrastructure – and many analysts are predicting that this approach will both disrupt and threaten the traditional trio of networks players which include Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei.
ZTE has focused largely on the development of 5G specifications in the last twelve months, which is much more than any of it previous forays in relation to mobile technology. The Chinese telecommunications equipment and systems colossus has doubled its R&D spending on 5G in 2016 to $400m – and has assigned 1,600 employees to work on the technology at four dedicated research facilities located in China, the US and Europe.
Director of Wireless Standardization, Wang Xinhui has claimed that ZTE’s inactivity with 2G, 3G and 4G was down to the fact that it lacked maturity, and declared it was now much better equipped for the forthcoming era of 5G. At a 5G Summit in Tokyo in May, he told Mobile World Live: “In the past we were simply less mature. With 2G and 3G, and even with 4G, we weren’t that big. But in the era of 5G, we were well prepared. We’ve spent a huge amount of money and devoted so much human resources, particularly towards the New Radio specifications.”
Chief analyst at Global Data Technology, Peter Jarich said it made perfect sense for an entity like ZTE to attempt to penetrate the 5G market, as the technology will require new expertise and infrastructure. He feels it’s a natural and logical progression from ZTE to invest heavily in 5G, as they recognize it as a phenomenal opportunity.
South Korean smartphone giants Samsung have also adopted a similar approach, and have been working on 5G since 2012, when it started its first mmWave research and development. It has previously stated that it firmly believes that strong 5G infrastructure will help ensure Samsung executes its mission which is to ‘connect everything’.
Samsung has boldly set its sights on becoming a top-three player in the 5G infrastructure market, and it has estimated that network equipment sales will treble to $8.6 billion in 2022. It has been disclosed that Samsung, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker plans to accumulate market share by moving swiftly and targeting the US market.
The reason behind its strategic targeting of the US market is that its Asian competitors such as Huawei and ZTE may face a ban on selling networking gear due to security concerns which have been raised by the government. In May, Samsung publicly announced that it had conducted the world’s first field trial of a multi-vendor, pre-standard 5G network with US telecommunications firm Verizon. In addition to this, more recently Samsung and UK communications firm Arqiva announced it had conducted the first field trial of 5G Fixed Wireless Access Technology in Europe that went live in Central London.
VP of next-generation business and products at Samsung Networks, Woojune Kim, has expressed his confidence they can become a top tier network player in 5G, citing the fact that its Finnish and Swedish competitors are currently struggling. This stark assessment of its rivals was evidenced by the CEO of Nokia, Rajeev Suri conceded that the fact 5G was accelerating much faster than originally expected, would almost inevitable create some near term risks for his company, with the timing and completion of certain projects now uncertain.
Some of the most prominent figures in the US technology sector have publicly expressed their dismay and anger following the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last week. Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have all announced they will implement measures in a bid to fightback against the rise of white supremacists in the US.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook criticized President Trump’s response to the events last week - and in a letter to his employees said counter-protesters were standing up for human rights. Cook said, “I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”
Cook revealed that Apple would contribute $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, who are both human right groups. In addition to this, he said it was suspending its Apple Pay support on websites that sell white supremacy clothing and accessories. E-commerce platform PayPal has also implemented similar measures.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella also voiced her concern at the violence in Virginia, and said there was absolutely unequivocally no place for such racist rhetoric in the US. In a letter to employees, Nadella said, “There is no place in our society for the bias, bigotry and senseless violence we witnessed this weekend in Virginia provoked by white nationalists.”
Cloud security and performance firm Cloud-flare also publicly announced that it has now terminated its account with neo-Nazi outlet ‘The Daily Stormer. The publication drew widespread criticism following the publication of a hate-filled feature on the victims of the Charlottesville violence.
Social media colossus Facebook has also moved swiftly to take action and suspended the account of infamous white supremacist Christopher Cantwell’s accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. Twitter has also removed the online account of The Daily Stormer from its platform.
President Trump drew criticism from technology leaders following his appointment to The White House in November. His controversial policies on immigration were widely condemned in Silicon Valley, and while President Trump has taken steps to build relationships with technology firms in Silicon Valley since taking office – there scathing criticism of his response to Charlottesville will not be well received by either Trump or his republican administration in Washington DC.
Ericsson’s financial uncertainty shows no sign of abating following reports in the Swedish media that the telecommunications firm is set to cut 25,000 jobs. Reports circulating from the Nordic region claim that management at Ericsson intend to lay off around 25,000 employees as part of its new savings program that has been devised in an effort to counteract its financial plight.
In July, Ericsson formally announced that it planned to accelerate measures to meet a target of doubling its 2016 underlying operating margin of 6%. In addition to this, it also outlined its aim to reach an annual cost reduction run rate of at least $1.2 billion by the end of the second quarter of next year.
Ericsson stressed that any actions taken would primarily affect service delivery and common costs, and claimed that research and development would remain largely unaffected. However, the Swedish telecommunications colossus is facing increasing pressure from competitors such as China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia.
Other contributory factors to its financial woes is that of weak emerging markets and falling spend by operators with the demand for next-generation 5G technology still years away. Swedish media outlet Svenska Dagbladet claimed that a source within Ericsson leaked the information to them, but said it was unsure as to whether or not the planned culling of staff included employees within its media operations.
It has been claimed that these positions are up for strategic review, and many analysts have predicted that it is likely to be sold by the group. In a statement which was released on Ericsson’s website, a spokesman said it was too early to talk about ‘specific measures’ in relation to the latest jobs cuts at the organization. The statement read, “Ericsson has not communicated which specific units or countries could be affected. It is too early to talk about specific measures or exclude any country.”
This is just the latest in a long line of job cuts which have been made by Ericsson over the last number of years. Multiple job losses have been made in both Italy and Sweden. However, these reports if true would represent the largest reduction in staff by the company. Theres was hope that the appointment of a new CEO, and a number of board changes would reinvigorate the Swedish telecommunications giant, but that has thus far failed to materialize. Currently, Ericsson has around 109,000 employees.
US technology firm Cisco Systems has announced that its technologies will be used to help roll-out free public Wi-Fi in London. Last week, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan vowed to make London the ‘smartest city’ in the world - and one way of ensuring that vision is to enhance ‘connectivity’.
In a statement released by the US conglomerate which is headquartered in San Jose, California, it said Cisco hardware is set to underpin O2 and Vodafone in an effort to implement free public Wi-Fi across the city. It was further disclosed that the new network will use Cisco’s outdoor access point, the Aironet 1560 series, to provide high bandwidth connectivity points in the square mile area.
In addition to this, Cisco’s technology will sit in passive physical infrastructure provided by O2’s joint-venture with Vodafone, Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure, while 02 will provide the network core. The new network will replace the existing service entitled ‘The Cloud’ which is provided by Sky. The new roll-out is expected to be complete by autumn - and users will be able to access the network for free after completing a one-time registration process.
Chief Operating Officer for O2, Derek McManus emphasized the importance of continuous investment in new infrastructure and digital technologies. McManus said, “Continued investment in infrastructure is essential to maintain the UK’s reputation as a digital leader and we needed a partner that would be able to provide cutting-edge technology to help us realize this." McManus also expressed his delight that they were able to broker an agreement with Cisco, and said the organization’s technology was robust, fast and seamless.
According to Cisco SVP, Global Service provider, Peter Karlstromer access to free Wi-Fi and enhanced connectivity is now a basic requirement for any city looking to drive ‘innovation’. He said, “Free Wi-Fi connectivity is now a pre-requisite for any city looking to drive innovation and compete on a globe scale."
The multi-million pound contract with the City of London was announced in April, and it aims to improve the city’s ‘smart infrastructure’. 4G connected cells will be implemented in street furniture such as street signs, lamp posts and buildings in an attempt to make London ‘connected’. It’s also been reported that Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited will offer all ‘smart infrastructure’ on a wholesale basis to all UK operators, as part of a collective effort to enhance mobile coverage in the area.
In May, O2 said it would invest £80m to install 1,400 small cells in London in a collaboration agreement with Cisco in order to improve mobile coverage for its own subscribers.
Italian operator Telecom Italia has announced that the Republic of San Marino will become the first country in Europe to have a 5G mobile network. Telecom Italia made the prediction following the disclosure of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with government officials from San Marino.
In a statement issued to the press, Telecom Italia indicated that it plans to update mobile sites of its network with 4.5G in order to enable it to conduct trials on some features of 5G technology, such as evolved mast towers and carrier integration. The interim 3GPP standards for the revolutionary next-generation technology will be released in March 2018.
The Italian operator which is headquartered in Rome also disclosed its intentions to double the amount of existing mobile sites in San Marino, it also plans to install several dozen small cells in the innovative project which would make the microstate the first in Europe to have a 5G mobile network.
In a joint-statement in relation to the MOU between Telecom Italia and government representatives of San Marino, it said, “The particular geographical shape of this territory - and the distribution of its industries favor the use and development of innovative technologies. Thanks to this work, it will be possible to start the first testing of 5G technology on a national scale within the next year.”
San Marino is one of smallest countries in the world with a population of around 30,000 people. Some of the objectives of the project include a new mobile infrastructure with considerable transmission capacity that would be ten times that of 4G. The infrastructure would also be able to connect to large objects ahead of the 2020 deadline set by the EU.
According to Telecom Italia Mobile’s head of technology the scale of the project would see San Marino being established as the first 5G state in the world, which would place it ahead of technological superpowers such as South Korea and Japan. The race to deploy 5G continues to intensify between government bodies and operators.
Reports emerging from Italy suggest that the leading Italian operator has already begun installing 100 small cells in Turin as part of 5G network trials being led by the Italian government. However, it’s being suggested that it has more freedom to experiment in San Marino because there are fewer restrictions on the use of airwaves.
Earlier this month, a consortium of European operators including Telecom Italia expressed its desire to launch 5G services quickly. Industry analysts have predicted that the work currently underway in San Marino will be crucial to 5G in Europe.
Social media networking colossus Facebook has vowed to begin constructing homes in an attempt to alleviate the housing problem which has plagued Silicon Valley. Facebook, which is headquartered in the technological hub of the US, has announced that it plans to build 1,500 units - which will be located near its HQ.
However, many have said the housing issue in Silicon Valley has been caused by the growth of tech organizations such as Facebook and Google. The neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay area were not adequately prepared for tens of thousands of working moving there in the last decade – and as a result of this mass influx, house prices and commute times have subsequently increased.
Tech firms have been trying to respond to the issues which have been on-going for some time, by introducing measures such as internet-equipped buses for employees who faced long commutes. In addition to this, it was reported that Facebook was offering employees $10,000 in incentive payments to move closer to its offices.
However, those measures have not had the desired effect, and the volume of complaints which claim tech companies are responsible for making communities ‘unaffordable’ has not subsided. An economist at real estate research firm Core-Logic, Sam Khater, said the policies introduced by Facebook and other tech firms failed to address the primary issue, which is a shortage of homes in the area. He said: “The problem with Silicon Valley is you don't have enough supply to keep up with the demand."
Facebook has now decided to meet the issue head on - and take the housing crisis into its own hands by announcing its construction vision. Facebook has disclosed that it plans to invest in Menlo Park, which is a city located about 45 miles (72km) south of San Francisco where it moved in 2011. In addition to this, the global social media giants also said it would construct a ‘village’ which will include shops, hotels and a pharmacy. "Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services," John Tenanes, Facebook's vice president for global facilities.
However, the properties will be open to anyone, and are not just for Facebook employees, although it’s been claimed that 15% of the homes will be offered at below market rates. Facebook said that it expects the review process into the project to take around two years. Google’s Alphabet has also entered the fray, although on a much smaller scale. It has purchased 300 modular apartment units for short-term employee housing, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal last month.
The Mayor of Menlo Park, Kirsten Keith expressed her concern that Facebook’s plan would increase traffic. Urban congestion is already a problem in the San Francisco Bay area – and the Mayor added that the city’s planning department would study Facebook’s plans in an effort to establish how much traffic would be increased by the new construction. She said, though, that Facebook's plan fits with the city's own long-term plan for development, and that the city was excited about the additional housing.
SK Telecom CTO, Alex Jinsung Choi, has claimed that whilst AI (Artificial Intelligence) will undoubtedly play a critical role in enhancing 5G networks – the technology itself still has a long way to go. SK Telecom’s CTO was speaking ahead of a VR and AR summit at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. (MWCS 2017)
According to Choi, AI will become a natural part of a consumers daily life, but did expresses his fears that it still has a considerable way to go before it’s in a position to be commercially deployed on a large scale. However, he did concede that he feels that AI technology does have the capabilities to ‘transform our lives’ by realizing things beyond our imaginations.
Choi said, “Although AI is being talked about a lot recently, it still has a long way to go. However, it is clear the pace of AI development and advancement will be accelerated thanks to the rapid development of related software and hardware technologies. As a result, AI will be used in many more areas to become a natural part of our daily lives.”
The consumer applications of AI continue to dominate the discussion at ICT industry exhibitions and tradeshows. However, Choi believes that AI represents great potential for mobile operators to utilize the technology to enhance the performance of forthcoming 5G networks.
He said, “Mobile networks have grown in complexity as they evolved from 2G to 3G, then to 4G. In the era of 5G the networks will become even more complex due to the use of diverse mobile technologies and massive cells. Also, the number of services, applications and devices it must support will grow explosively. AI will play a crucial role in operating these 5G networks in a stable and efficient manner.