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The ‘Smart’ Home: If It Only Had a Brain

By David Benjamin

Once upon a time at the Consumer Electronics Show, the “smart home” was all the rage and just around the corner. It exploited a host of new technologies and launched great expectations for household convenience and connectivity. It was promoted and celebrated at CES in veritable floor shows on the show floor.

That was then. Now, in a panel discussion last week, six smart-home analysts enumerated the hitches and glitches that have kept most homes stubbornly stupid—or at least blissfully ignorant—for decades.

Read More »The ‘Smart’ Home: If It Only Had a Brain
Expert panel on 'The Spinning Wheel of Technology – On the Road to Trusted Mobility,' hosted by Veoneer

CES Robocar Panel: ‘Humans Are in the Loop’

By David Benjamin

Call CES 2023 the Consumer Electronics Show of deferred dreams, during which some of high-tech’s loftiest aspirations seem to have hit a snag.

Thursday morning at the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center offered a vivid example of this theme, when a panel of automotive safety experts agreed that the dreamt-of era of autonomous vehicles (AV) is years away, a judgment rooted in the thorny issues of “how safe is safe” and how to get a partly, mostly or “fully” self-driving car to get along with the human “driver” inside.

Veoneer hosted the expert panel on “The Spinning Wheel of Technology – On the Road to Trusted Mobility.”

Read More »CES Robocar Panel: ‘Humans Are in the Loop’
virtual reality at CES

Research Chief Touts ‘Metaverse of Things’ at CES

By David Benjamin

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is bullish on the “Metaverse,” a coinage and concept upon which Facebook (now Meta) creator Mark Zuckerberg has gambled his reputation.

In the opening session at CES 2023 in Las Vegas Wednesday (Jan. 4), the CTA’s vice president for research, Steve Koenig, trumpeted his organization’s support for the still-embryonic Metaverse, calling it a “real trend” with potential applications for business strategy. He called it a “next generation of the Internet” that will evolve into a “Metaverse of Things” (MoT?).

“The Metaverse is closer than you think,” proclaimed Koenig.

Read More »Research Chief Touts ‘Metaverse of Things’ at CES
electric vehicle developmenbt

Foxconn’s Automotive Ambitions Meet Nvidia’s Platform

By Junko Yoshida

Foxconn, a contract manufacturer of Apple iPhones, has forged a partnership with Nvidia. The move underscores the electronic manufacturing services giant’s pivot toward the auto market.

While bolstering Foxconn’s automotive ambitions, the deal announced during CES 2023 in Las Vegas also provides GPU leader Nvidia with a tier-one ally eager to extend deployment of Nvidia’s Hyperion development platform among a growing list of electric vehicle upstarts.

Read More »Foxconn’s Automotive Ambitions Meet Nvidia’s Platform
TSMC fab under construction in Phoenix, AZ

TSMC’s ‘Local’ Momentum Blunts Intel’s Foundry Moves

What’s at stake:
Intel Corp.’s path to becoming a major foundry is narrowing as TSMC responds with a change in its own manufacturing strategy. With new fabs under construction in the U.S. and others planned for Japan and potentially Europe, TSMC is poised to become the “local” chipmaker Western governments want to stabilize and rebalance the semiconductor supply chain. But is TSMC also in danger of destroying its successful recipe, and does Intel still stand a chance of achieving its objective?

The CEOs of two mega-players in the semiconductor industry, facing different challenges and pursuing different strategies to attain similar long-term objectives, collectively hold the fate of a critical part of the global IC market in their hands.

Read More »TSMC’s ‘Local’ Momentum Blunts Intel’s Foundry Moves
Ford Motor's Blue Cruise hands-free highway driving

Mind the Gap: ADAS Pitfalls in 2023

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
The automotive industry sees 2023 as the year of advanced driver assistance systems. Be careful what you wish for! Carmakers are adding more automation features under a Level 2 rubric. Meanwhile, their pitching ADAS features as safety measures that may result in L2 cars being less safe than originally promised.

As they pivot hard toward advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), carmakers no longer need boast about saving lives by developing self-driving cars. That’s the good news.

However, automakers hungry for ADAS revenue are treating automation features as checkbox items, loading them into new models without ensuring the efficacy of safeguards such as effective driving monitoring systems (DMS), minimum performance for automatic emergency braking (AEB) or sensible human-machine interfaces.

Read More »Mind the Gap: ADAS Pitfalls in 2023
Technology transition

Infineon Ramps For the Transition to Silicon Carbide

By George Leopold

What’s at stake:
The race is on to leverage the performance gains of silicon carbide for automotive and industrial applications. Infineon and others seek to ease the transition from silicon via modular approaches. The harder part will be scaling SiC production to reduce cost.

With the steady electrification of cars, the suppliers of key EV power electronics components are expecting higher-performance silicon carbide (SiC) to overtake traditional silicon devices by the end of the decade.

Read More »Infineon Ramps For the Transition to Silicon Carbide
Crystal Ball 2023

Phil Koopman’s 2023 AV Predictions

By Junko Yoshida

What’s at stake:
The auto industry is already steering hard toward Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). But in terms of safety, it’s wrong to think ADAS is easier than AV. Nor should anyone assume that AV and ADAS are following separate paths. Safety expert Phil Koopman calls Level 2 driver assistance is “a fiction.”

After spending a decade pushing for robotaxis, 2022 turned out to be a year of reckoning for the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry. The AV emperor, it turns out, was naked as the auto industry greatly underestimated how hard it is to implement autonomous driving.

Read More »Phil Koopman’s 2023 AV Predictions
bit coins

Cryptocurrencies in Africa: Wary Regulators Struggle to Control Eager Adopters

By Fred Ohwahwa

What’s at stake?
Many enterprises and private citizens in Africa were quick to embrace digital currencies but differences abound between governments and businesses on its legality and how it should be applied. The recent implosion of FXT in the US has only intensified the uncertainties around crypto currencies in the continent.

The crumbling of US crypto currency giant FXT reverberated worldwide and especially in emerging markets where the fallouts are still being evaluated.

In Africa, the IFX saga has increased the uncertainties surrounding digital currencies even as many enterprises and adopters continue to tout the benefits, often ignoring legal obstacles some governments are putting in their way.

Read More »Cryptocurrencies in Africa: Wary Regulators Struggle to Control Eager Adopters