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Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad Review

November 13, 2017

When we received our iPhone X, we knew we had to try out the wireless charging feature of the new device. The iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X models are the first iOS devices to support wireless charging using the Qi standard we told you about some years back.



To that end we were sent a Pictek Fast QI Wireless Charging Pad for review. This charger is slim and light. You have to use your own power block/USB port as one is not included.



The first thing we tested was if we could use the charger with the magnetic plate on the back of our phone used to mount the phone on our desk and car vent.

Sadly, the metal plate blocks charging.









Senet LoRaWAN IoT Network Has Great Start on Global Ambitions

November 2, 2017

We estimate LPWAN connectivity could power half of the world’s IoT devices in the next five years. With range of more than ten miles and devices running on a single battery for a decade, we expect sensors and other IoT devices to be widely distributed. In addition, mass-production will reduce prices, meaning even greater distribution in virtually every industry.

Certainly, LoRa is a strong contender in the LPWAN space – the ecosystem is growing at a staggering pace.

FCC: Soon You Can Port Any Number

October 24, 2017


Wireless porting is taken for granted but local telco and VoIP porting can be troublesome. According to the FCC:

Nationwide number portability would benefit consumers and competition in many ways.  It would level the playing field for small wireless providers, which often can’t port in a number originating from a location where they lack facilities.  It would eliminate disparities that make wireline and VoIP porting more limited than wireless porting.  




IoT Connectivity Standards? Still a Confusing Mess.

October 21, 2017

62 million European households will soon have smart gas meters as reported on IoT Evolution with an annual growth rate of 27.8 percent until 2022.

We recently reported that the U.S. was behind Europe in LoRa deployments so when we saw this research report, we decided to dig deeper. We wondered, are all of these deployments LoRa-based?

Interestingly the answer is a resounding no. 

According to the article:

European smart gas meters use a variety of communication methods, the report indicates, including fixed RF networks and local interfaces to master electricity meters.








Spikko Brings Multiple Numbers and Recording to Mobile Phones

October 9, 2017


While there are a number of companies who can add phone numbers to mobile phones via VoIP, Spikko takes a different approach. The company allows a mobile device to have a single SIM and multiple local numbers with global call-recording added as one of its optional services. The company supports most countries but there are around 50 primary ones.

I spoke with company representative Ron Barak about the company's differentiators and he mentioned that they have their data center in the Amazon cloud in Ireland and from there they allow phones to work as local devices on multiple networks. They have negotiated great rates for customers - 2-3 cents per minute per call, $10/month for call recording and $5-$6 per number.


American Aerospace Technologies Provides Real-Time Imagery and Drone-Based LTE Service

October 2, 2017


The latest technology is changing the way companies, municipalities and other organizations are able to monitor critical infrastructure and provide communications in the aftermath of disasters such as the recent spate of hurricanes which have slammed our country and the Caribbean.

On June 20, airborne LTE connected first responders during a mock disaster exercise in Cape May County, N.J., to a first-of-its-kind “flying cell site,” which was mounted on a RS-20 long-endurance Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and made calls, sent text messages, photos and video from a simulated “communications-denied” environment back to command centers across the state.  American Aerospace also assisted Cape May in securing FAA approval for the test use of an unmanned aircraft flying beyond the line of site to its land-based pilot and crew. Verizon was the wireless partner for this test providing their Airborne LTE Service.



This tweet has been sent via @verizon's "flying cell site" aboard our RS-20 UAS.

The future is here.

Comtech Boosts Location and Analytics in IoT

October 2, 2017


Comtech
Telecommunication’s big differentiator in the IoT space has to do with its Location Studio IoT. The company has been a leader in the space for decades thanks to its acquisition of TCS – a company who also was a leader in indoor LBS going back to our earliest meetings with the company in the nineties.

Fast-forward to 2017 and location is becoming crucial for numerous applications on cell phones but also for asset tracking, customer service and numerous other applications being developed.



We had a chance to discuss the company’s vision with Jay Whitehurst (above) and Fred Servais (below) who mentioned the company’s SDK has the following features:

  • Small memory footprint
  • Power-efficient
  • Utilizes small message size
  • Works with NB-IoT and LoRa
  • OS-agnostic
  • Cloud-based
  • Provides a positioning response
  • Flexible pricing models
  • Accuracy
  • Can use assisted GPS
  • Optimizes for battery life

The way the system works is to send whatever information the device has available to it and Comtech uses the cloud to determine where the device is located.


Streann OTT Hopes to be the Evolution of TV

September 23, 2017

"The revolution and evolution of the golden age of entertainment is happening right now," according to Giovanni Punzo the CEO of Streann Media. The company touts itself as the multiscreen next-generation monetization platform for delivering linear TV, VoD and proprietary  interactive services to end-users anytime and anywhere.

The idea behind the platform is fairly simple - allow customers to provide Netflix-like services with localized content. The solution has a built-in ad platform, app editor builder and allows the full distribution and monetization of content.

In addition, the company has a provisional patent on a new way to show video ads - they can be seen in split screen. This is a replacement of the pre-roll which many people including us have grown tired of.

The Miami based company is doing very well in the Latin America market and its HQ in Miami likely doesn't hurt.  





Why iPhone X Sales Will be Epic

September 22, 2017

The iPhone X is priced at $1,000 which is the first time a mainstream phone has an entry-level price with four-digits in it.

This led to weeks of media pundits explaining to us that $1,000 is a major milestone in pricing and that phone users will be divided into haves and have nots. Other articles explained what a big deal this extra digit is and how it changes everything and other alarmist headlines and story angles which seemed to try to tie into a theme of income inequality.

It's not surprising actually as every story now seems to be divided along political lines.

Here is what no other outlet besides us explained to you.

People who can afford an $800 phone can generally afford a $1,000 phone. This is especially true as via financing, the price difference will be about $3-$4 per month to upgrade from an iPhone 8 Plus to an iPhone X.

We explained this quite clearly a few days ago and now, as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have been released, the lines outside Apple stores aren't what people were expecting. Reporters who for some reason did not read our post and were subsequently uninformed, said customers were "missing."




Of course our readers were better informed than most.

People are gravitating toward the iPhone X not only because it is the best phone Apple makes but because it has a screen larger than the iPhone 8 Plus in the form factor of the iPhone 8.
















Apple Chooses Qi for iPhone 8 and iPhone X Charging

September 12, 2017

Whatever wireless charging tech Apple decided to use would spark a trillion-dollar upgrade cycle in cars, gym equipment such as treadmills, office furniture, night-tables (especially in hotels), coffee-shop furniture and basically all flat surfaces.

Just to stay competitive, Dunkin' Donuts will upgrade all its tables to keep pace with Starbucks and there may not be a restaurant that can afford to ignore the trend.

We are talking world-wide here - over a trillion dollars will easily be spent. Some of the upgrades would have happened anyway but do not underestimate the power of Apple to force companies to piggy-back on their success.

Apple could have gone with its own standard and taken a piece of this new trillion-dollar space through licensing but instead they decided to use Qi, the standard we first talked about in 2013 when we were a bit thinner.



Because Apple went the open route, and decided not to make money from their newfound wireless charging dominance, the industry as a whole will flourish.

There will be no Apple-tax and subsequently all vendors have a new standard to focus on. Expect Microsoft laptops to benefit as well because they soon will have to embrace Qi. Ditto for Chromebooks and all Android devices. We saw Qi powering an electric kettle four years ago so it will likely be able to handle the charging of much of our electronics - not servers but at least much of what we put in our laptop bags.

Expect dirt-cheap Chinese Qi-power mats.













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