Tag Archives: WiFi

Shopping for a WiFi future

WiFi’s role must be considered by retailers in their future strategies in order to engage successfully with their customers.

Increasing numbers of shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping Increasing numbers of shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping

The UK’s High Streets are under pressure and February’s warning from CRR boss Professor Joshua Bamfield re-affirmed this, predicting that “the decline of high streets is accelerating”. Our research shows around 12,000 stores may close this year, an increase of 2,000 over 2013”. It’s a stark warning, but bucking the trend is a number of retailers who have chosen to embrace omnichannel strategies to integrate the success of their online sales with in-store experiences. Retailers take note.

Both John Lewis and House of Fraser have cited their omnichannel strategies for the success of the 2013 Christmas sales. The key to success is integrating their highly evolved and content driven websites, with their bricks and mortar stores. And

WiFi plays a crucial role

Where many consumers now use their mobile devices to ‘showroom’ and check for online deals and coupons, WiFi is playing an increasingly prevalent role for retailers. Lack of a mobile signal in some stores, costs of mobile data and WiFi-only tablets, mean many people will choose a store with free WiFi, and go on to make a purchase, over another, increasing competition on the high street. WiFi’s role must be considered by retailers in their future strategies to engage successfully with their customers.

Philip CongdonWith busy lives and 24/7 availability through connected-devices people don’t have the time to scour for the latest deals. Mobile lends itself to ‘productive shopping’; streamlining the process from curating product options, to negating the need to queue. Research commissioned by Quidco.com in 2013 found that men get bored of shopping in just 26 minutes, women in 2 hours. If retailers only have a limited window of opportunity to engage their customers and up-sell products from across the store, then creating the most engaging experience is paramount. In addition, according to Google, the average smartphone user checks their phone 150 times a day, 45% of those look at their phone during the in-store shopping process and 20% will change what they’re going to buy as a result.

Shoppers are craving more from their in-store experiences; they see the possibility to infuse the physical store with mobile and other connected technologies to offer product information, mitigate frustrations and personalise the experience.

Surprisingly, giving the plethora of practical implications in-store WiFi affords, three-quarters of UK retailers do not offer in-store WiFi and those that do, often do not clearly communicate the availability of the service. One supermarket to accept this growing trend is Waitrose. In January 2014 Waitrose announced it will be implementing WiFi throughout its stores this spring, enabling customers to browse its website and place orders. Another example is the Huddersfield’s Kingsgate shopping centre that now offers social WiFi throughout the shopping centre, providing personalised login pages that promote offers and communicates news.

Implementing free WiFi in-store and employing data analytics to understand shopping habits and trends in-store, can create the shoppers dream scenario. The retailer that utilises analytics can gain a deep, detailed visibility across the entire supply chain informing their decisions from promotions, to inventory, events, staffing and more. This rich data can provide a greater understanding of the customers’ behaviour both in-store and online; enabling retailers to be more proactive and timely in the targeting of their marketing to affect purchase decisions. Earlier this year in predictions for the advertising industry in 2014

Ashley Friedlein chief executive of Econsultancy, said:

“In 2014, technologies will start to improve for matching up the consumer journey from online to offline, allowing advertisers to target consumers based on their high street purchasing behaviour.”

It’s become clear, not only to consumers using everyday technology but to retailers too, that WiFi is the cornerstone of any engagement strategy. In understanding customers better, retailers will be able to serve them richer, targeted content that will ultimately support their purchasing decisions. Offer that engagement for free, and you also gain a loyal customer.

Source: Philip Congdon, WiFi & Small Cells Director, Arqiva

Magellan Selected for Hertz NeverLost 6 platform

 Navigation Solutions, a Hertz Company and developer of the award-winning NeverLost in-car GPS system, and Magellan, a leader of innovative GPS devices and content services for vehicles, fitness, outdoor and mobile navigation, announce the selection of Magellan as the exclusive manufacturer for the NeverLost 6 platform, Hertz’s next generation of connected services, which will be integrated into Hertz vehicles in 2014.

The NeverLost 6 platform features include:

  • ARM Cortex-A9 architecture with quad cores running at 1.0GHz
  • 5.7″, 4:3 square aspect ratio, high resolution, brightness and contrast TFT display
  • GSM and GPRS protocol stack with 3G release 4 compliant technology
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity module
  • GPS module built upon the SiRFstarIV™ architecture
  • A number of other off board components such as Keypad, LCD, camera module, Accelerometers and Gyros sensor board and etc. will connect through a flex cable


“As a long-time partner and a pioneer in the automotive navigation industry, Magellan was a logical choice for the Hertz NeverLost 6 platform,” commented Roger Stevens, president, Navigation Solutions. “Hertz prides itself on being the fastest and easiest car rental company and NeverLost is key to Hertz offering its customers flexible mobility solutions. Rental customers want useful navigation content, and popular travel services. Magellan’s SmartGPS Eco offers the right combination of relevant content and integration capabilities with the NeverLost 6 platform.”

In addition, Navigation Solutions has selected Magellan’s SmartGPS Eco for integration in Hertz vehicles in 2014. The Magellan SmartGPS Eco is the latest advancement in Magellan’s cloud based connected car services that delivers content saving drivers time and money, provide safer navigation and keep them informed with location and social content.

The Magellan SmartGPS Eco is a cloud based platform aggregating location and social content. It leverages the cloud for location intelligence, and personalization. Drivers can choose the content they want, and it is all displayed simultaneously in a standard HMI.

“Navigation Solutions is the GPS innovation leader in the rental car industry. Magellan is delighted to continue our long standing partnership with Navigation Solutions for the Hertz NeverLost program,” said Peggy Fong, president of MiTAC Digital Corporation. “We are proud to have Hertz NeverLost as a customer for the launch of our SmartGPS Eco services. The SmartGPS Eco aggregates unlimited content, which is then personalized based on driver preferences and location. Each driver gets the right content, at the right place, at the right time.”

Source: Magellan

The Opportunities and Possibilities of 4G

In a special article for Mobile News Magazine 02 business director Ben Dowd explains the opportunities 4G brings and how it can dramatically change our lives.

4G is the next logical step in the evolutionary world that is mobile technology.

It has businesses asking questions about the possibilities of 4G’s speed, and if this can really change how they work.

Looking back over this evolution, the first iteration of a new generation of connectivity came in the form of 2G, allowing us to call and message each other wirelessly. This dramatically changed the way we communicated.

However, at this stage sharing media required setting up Bluetooth, finding the other person’s device, and then singularly choosing what you wanted to send with painstaking waiting times.

Then 3G came along and once again revolutionised the mobile industry. It allowed us to get the internet on a device on the go, enabling employees to disregard the conventional fixed workspace and gave businesses more flexibility and connectivity.

However, we are living in a world where speed can always be faster and reach can always be further, so it was only a matter of time until the need for 4G arose.

Why do I need 4G?
While it is well documented that the speed of 4G is its differentiator, the question businesses have been asking us is, “What can 4G do for me?” Indeed, it provides up to five times faster communication speeds, but understanding the potential behind the 4G revolution as a result of these speeds is the real key to unlocking its benefits.

And one of the most amazing aspects of 4G is that it won’t just benefit larger enterprises, but small businesses from start-ups to one-man bands which rely on the internet will also be able to take advantage of 4G’s speed.

4G has the potential to guarantee limitless ways of working. There will be no more dashing to the office to log on to the Wi-Fi, just to download large documents to another device before a meeting; or returning to the office after meeting with a client, to simply add notes to a current presentation. Employees are able to edit directly on a device in the meeting room, and can therefore instantly send the updated version within minutes.

A contractor can make a video call to a structural engineer on a 4G-enabled tablet in a crisis situation and do a walk around of the building. This allows the structural engineer to make site assessments without leaving their desk, in turn enabling them to assist with more queries in a day’s work. Reports can be submitted instantly and wirelessly, and digital photo and video capture will simplify processes and reduce paperwork.

Healthcare is also no exception. Nurses out on their daily rounds are able to access up to date patient information in a heartbeat, even in homes which have no internet connection whatsoever. They would be able to update their records in an instant, meaning faster treatment for more patients. If there is a problem, they can then video conference in a specialist in order to assess a situation; thus allowing the specialist to assist with more cases per day as it will permit better remote management and monitoring, with a more accurate diagnosis.

Emergency services will also be able to find real value in using 4G. The police are enabled to use wireless video cameras on their person to record any problems and occurrences at huge events. 4G means seamless video streaming to a control room where police can have a better overview of the event, without any disruption in connectivity at crucial moments. GPS tracking allows them to oversee the event with real time tactical monitoring, allowing officers to arrive at a location faster, meaning better even mobility and preventative deployment.

Return on investment
Even small businesses can save on costs by using 4G. They will be able to purchase 4G dongles for their small team of employees, instead of using an expensive broadband service that eats in to their monthly allowance. The reality of the potential for retail businesses will be difficult to ignore, as the online shopping via mobile devices industry will experience a significant increase as customers have faster and more reliable internet speeds from which they can get their shopping satisfaction. An increase of £300 worth of sales per month would match their 4G solution investment, thus increasing profits by £60 a month. Multiply these figures for huge retail companies and the outcome and benefits as a result could be huge.

Technology will continue to change the world. Businesses are all connected because of the impact on productivity and flexibility the internet has had on our daily working lives. Take these same possibilities wirelessly, and the potential is impossible to ignore. With the technology coming in to place imminently, the responsibility now lies with businesses to ensure they are 4G ready and able to immediately capitalise on the opportunities it is already providing. The ultimate outcome is flexibility.

It is important that businesses really capitalise on this development, and don’t ignore the benefits and new capabilities that could make their organisation’s and, in turn, their customers’ lives easier. In a broader sense, and via the possibilities given, companies will see the productivity of their staff improve. This will then enable the business to progress at a faster rate as there will be an increase in products and services being offered and created as a result. Progressing ahead of their competitors will be the ultimate gain in having a 4G-enabled business, and the 4G world will be a better and more productive place as a result.

Source: Mobile News










Broadcom Targets In-Car Connectivity with First 5G WiFi + Bluetooth Smart Combo

Paves the Way to In-vehicle High-speed Connectivity and Content Streaming

News Highlights:

  • Enables on-the-road access to the latest in mobile innovation
  • Allows drivers and passengers to easily sync and stream mobile device content
  • Expands Broadcom footprint in fast-growing connected car market

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced a new line of wireless chips, targeted for use in automotive infotainment applications. Featuring the latest in 5G WiFi and Bluetooth Smart Ready technology, Broadcom’s wireless automotive chips will allow drivers and passengers to easily sync and stream content from mobile devices to the car’s infotainment system and rear-seat displays. The new chips also enable high-speed connectivity beyond the vehicle, serving Internet and cloud content via LTE telematics or directly from a Hot Spot connection. For more news, visit Broadcom’sNewsroom.

Based on the latest generation IEEE 802.11ac standard, the integrated 5G WiFi technology provides the bandwidth required for multiple in-car displays and resolution of up to 1080p, allowing uncongested 5GHz video to coexist concurrently with 2.4GHz Bluetooth hands-free operation. Bluetooth Smart Ready technology, which allows products to sip power at an incremental rate, will play a vital role in enabling connectivity between the car and wearable tech and body sensors, such as the ability to monitor biometric indicators including driver fatigue, blood alcohol content and glucose levels.

Car connectivity is the new battleground for product differentiation and the next frontier for Broadcom,” said Rahul Patel, Broadcom Vice President of Wireless Connectivity. “Broadcom is delivering our proven expertise and leadership in wireless connectivity to the automotive market. By providing the same technology and roadmap associated with the fast-moving mobile ecosystem, the possibilities enabled by our new wireless automotive chips are endless.”

Analysts predict the use of in-car Wi-Fi-enabled applications to grow eightfold by 20191 as car makers leverage the latest technologies to differentiate in an increasingly competitive market. One of the most immediate applications enabled by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart is the smart remote, allowing drivers to use their smartphone to remotely adjust seat, temperature and infotainment settings while providing vital data on automotive performance and diagnostics.

V2X Communications
Not only will Bluetooth Smart technology seamlessly sync mobile devices to the vehicle audio and display system, the technology offers great promise for new innovations in vehicle to person, vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communications (V2X). Designed to improve both driver and traffic safety, V2X communications will allow drivers to anticipate upcoming road hazards, traffic incidents and monitor speed limits. For example, when the V2X system reports a blocked road or traffic jam on the route, future vehicles will have the ability to automatically adjust speed or calculate an alternative route. Infrastructure development and smart highway initiatives are already underway throughout Europe and the United States .2

Market Drivers

  • Every car is expected to be connected by 20253
  • 30 billion devices are expected to be wirelessly connected by 20204
  • Automotive wireless market projected to reach $1.6B by 20185
  • 41 percent increase in demand for wireless technology in automotive expected 2012 — 20175
  • Bluetooth Smart ICs expected to grow > 10x by 20186
  • Automotive Bluetooth expected to remain the standard connection with mobile devices6

Key Features

  • Complete 5G WiFi system including MAC, PHY, RF and Bluetooth Smart Ready on a single chip
  • Integrated Wi-Fi Direct™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™ and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint™ support
  • Resolves interference challenges in systems with both 4G LTE cellular radios and wireless connectivity
  • Advanced beamforming, Low-Density Parity Check and Space-Time Block support for better coverage

Broadcom’s wireless automotive portfolio consists of two devices. Both the BCM89335 5G WiFi/ Bluetooth Smart Ready combo chip and the BCM89071 Bluetooth + Bluetooth Smart Ready chip are now sampling.

1 IMS 2012
2 its.gov 2013 The Smart Highway
3 GSMA 2012
4 ABI Research 2013
5 IHS 2013
6 Bluetooth SIG

BMW explores the future of vehicle safety in the Ko-FAS research initiative

The BMW Group explores the future of vehicle safety in the Ko-FAS research initiative. The results are Germany’s biggest funded research project on cooperative vehicle safety.

Aschaffenburg. As an innovation leader in the premium segment, the BMW Group is firmly committed to the vision of accident-free mobility – not least because road safety is first and foremost about protecting human life. In order to prevent accidents through early corrective action, systems are required which support and facilitate the driving task. Driver assistance systems reduce driver stress in difficult traffic situations and make it easier for drivers to make confident decisions by providing the right information or warnings at the right time. “Based on the principle of cooperation with and consideration for other road users, which is a crucial factor in road safety, the benefits of driver assistance systems can be further substantially increased by adopting cooperative approaches,” says Dr Ralph Rasshofer, BMW Group representative on the Ko-FAS steering committee. Four years ago, leading vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, universities, institutes of applied science and research establishments from throughout Germany teamed up to work on the research initiative “Cooperative Vehicle Safety (Ko-FAS)”. The aim of this project was to significantly improve road safety, with an attendant reduction in the number of road traffic accidents and fatalities. The approach centred on accurate detection of traffic environments using cooperative sensing and perception, comprehensive situation assessment to precisely evaluate collision risks, and subsequent activation of appropriate advance protection measures. The results have now been presented at the final Ko-FAS presentation in Aschaffenburg.


Three projects with a single goal: greater protection for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

The Ko-FAS project, which was subsidised by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, comprised the three subprojects Ko-TAG, Ko-PER and Ko-KOMP. BMW Group Research and Technology took a lead role in the Ko-TAG and Ko-PER subprojects.


Cooperative transponder technologies – “much more than just a chip”. 

The aim of Ko-TAG, as the successor project to “AMULETT”, was to further improve cooperative transponder technologies, with a view not only to protecting pedestrians but also cyclists as well as to supporting extremely accurate vehicle self-localisation.

For this purpose pedestrians and cyclists were equipped with miniaturised transmitting and receiving devices (transponders). When they receive an interrogation signal from the test vehicle’s onboard locating system, these transponders send back information which indicates, among other things, the type of road user wearing the transponder and the position of the road user relative to the vehicle. The transponder is identified by means of a code which is frequently and randomly changed, making it impossible to link the transponder to its wearer and ensuring that data protection requirements are met.

The transponder system developed under the Ko-TAG project is extensively based on the WLAN standard IEEE 802.11p. In contrast to the system used in the previous project, AMULETT, it features extensive synergies with Car-to-x communication.

Further miniaturisation – reducing the tag to the size of a chip – would allow future transponders to be fitted in articles such as a school satchel or a walking stick. The distinctive feature of this technology is that it makes it possible to detect people even when they are not visible to the car driver at the time of the hazard.

Effectiveness studies demonstrate that the transponder system investigated in this project offers high potential for mitigating or even preventing accidents, by warning drivers of hazards much earlier and in a more effective way.


Cooperative perception for improved foresight.

In the Ko-PER project, the specialists from the BMW Group researched cooperative perception techniques suitable for use in parallel traffic and at intersections to improve the driver’s foresight in traffic.

The aim of the Ko-PER project was to provide the fullest possible traffic detection, based on the cooperative exchange of information between vehicles. At accident hot spots this information can be supplemented with infrastructure-based information. In these various ways it is possible to eliminate the effect of obstructions in both the driver’s and the vehicle sensors’ field of view. Drivers can therefore be alerted to hazards at an early stage, allowing them to take appropriate action.

The Ko-PER project made use of earlier results from the PReVENT project, as well as an intensive dialogue with the now concluded research project simTD (“Safe Intelligent Mobility – Test Field Germany”).

In particular the BMW Group researchers focused on improved vehicle self-localisation, on individual vehicle-based perception, on cooperative perception, on situation interpretation and on risk assessment. In addition, human-machine interaction concepts were developed that allow this improved traffic foresight to be communicated to the driver in an appropriate form inside the vehicle.


Ko-TAG and Ko-PER – a strong duo.

The results of the research project show that, in future, use of cooperative transponder technologies (Ko-TAG) in combination with cooperative perception (Ko-PER) could bring important benefits for road safety. “By selectively combining different communication technologies we can come a further step closer to realising our vision of accident-free mobility,” says Rasshofer.


BMW Group Research and Technology is a 100% subsidiary of the BMW Group and responsible for the research areas Vehicle Technology, EfficientDynamics Drivetrain Research, ConnectedDrive (driver assistance / active safety) and ITDrive (IT architecture and communications technology). Global access to trends and technologies is ensured by an internationally established research network with the BMW Group Technology Office USA (Mountain View, California), the BMW Group Technology Office China (Peking) as well as the Liaison Offices with EURECOM (Sophia Antipolis, France) and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH, Saarbrücken). With the “Munich Center of Automotive Research” (CAR@TUM) established jointly with the Technical University Munich, the subsidiary company of the BMW Group has secured sustainable access to potentially high-calibre young academics as well as to the indispensable results of basic university research.


Paws for thought with canine WiFi search video link

Canine search is enhanced with the PAWS (Portable All-terrain Wireless Systems) WiFi which Wood Douglas is showing at DSEI 2013.

Wireless communications specialist, Wood & Douglas, is showing its lower cost, lightweight, WiFi-enabled variant of its PAWS live video link worn by military and search-trained dogs.

WiFi has been developed to provide security forces with a low-cost entry system for training and field deployment where search dogs are expected to be in close contact with the handler, such as urban search, drug and explosives detection.

Dogs in training can gain rapid confidence when wearing the live video system. A head-mounted video camera enables a dog to operate without any discomfort, beaming real-time video to its handler for search and rescue, military operations support, explosives and drugs detection.

The camera supports low light, high resolution and IR ‘day for night’ vision options and can be used to search buildings and difficult to traverse terrain; locate and then positively identify suspect packages, devices, or individuals.

Once familiarised with the system, canine teams operations rapidly adapt, says the company. The full PAWS system offers enhanced link performance in any environment with full CofDM video and a two-way audio link. The CofDM video extends the transmission range into buildings or underground, enabling dogs to provide live intelligence from areas otherwise inaccessible to the handler. The audio link allows the handler to instruct the dog remotely and communicate with those caught on camera.

Arqiva’s high speed WiFi is a hit for Heathrow

Heathrow Airport is reaping the benefits of high-speed WiFi from Arqiva, the communications infrastructure and media services company. Europe’s biggest airport is now able to provide the fast, free internet access that its visitors expect – and it’s proving extremely popular with over 30,000 users per day!

During July, there were over one million sessions to Heathrow’s WiFi network, with over 30,000 passengers and visitors logging onto the service each day. Launched on 1 June, the WiFi service is available across all terminals and is free to the public for 45 minutes per day Heathrow Rewards members are given additional free access, being able to use the service for 90 minutes free per day. This compares favourably with Heathrow’s European hub competitors, Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Schiphol who each offer between 15 and 60 minutes free WiFi.

“Providing free WiFi is very much about enhancing the experience for the 200,000 passengers who travel through Heathrow every day and almost two months in, we have certainly achieved that,” said Max Vialou-Clark, Retail Services Director, Heathrow. “We have had really positive feedback on Arqiva’s WiFi service. It means that we can keep passengers happy with great connectivity across the airport.

Max continued:

“We chose to work with Arqiva, due to their record of providing WiFi in airports, retail environments and hotels that is user-friendly, fast and reliable and we’ve been very impressed with the service and Arqiva’s flexible approach.”

Nicolas Ott, Managing Director, Telecoms at Arqiva, said: “Heathrow is one of the world’s busiest airports and we are thrilled to be delivering a world class WiFi service to its passengers and visitors. Everyone expects easy access to fast and reliable WiFi. We’ve used our previous experience at high footfall locations– airports, hotels and shopping centres – around the UK to provide the best possible experience throughout Heathrow’s five terminals.”

The roll-out of WiFi at Heathrow last month means that Arqiva now provides wireless internet services to over 158 million passengers (c.71% of passengers’ traffic) at the UK’s largest airports, cementing the company’s reputation as the market leader in the provision of airport WiFi, with services in operation at 32 UK airports and 56 airline lounges.

Source: Arqiva

Parrot and Cinemo to jointly develop connected car solutions

Cinemo, developers of embedded multimedia technologies for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), and Parrot, a supplier of automotive connectivity and infotainment solutions, have entered into an agreement where Parrot will be utilizing Cinemo’s Unified Media Player in selected IVI systems including Head Units and Rear Seat Entertainment Units.

The result of this collaboration will first be embedded in an automotive Rear Seat Entertainment solution based on the Android framework. It will offer passengers up to Full HD video from DVD, HDMI, MHL, USB, Wi-Fi connected media sources and Smart phones. These videos can be accessed and shared with any embedded display or tablet inside the vehicle with perfect, echo-free, lip synchronization on multiple devices over the car network.

The Parrot system will also enable users to play games, browse the Internet, access a wide range of Apps by connecting to the Parrot Asteroid Market, view documents, and much more. Passengers will be able to control the units with their portable devices for media browsing, advanced gaming or navigation.

Cinemo’s Unified Media Player consisting of Cinemo Media Engine, Cinemo Media Management Engine, Distributed Playback and Distributed Media Management will all be part of Parrot’s multimedia offering, enabling “content anywhere anytime” and guaranteeing the highest level of performance, quality and robustness.

Designed to allow near instantaneous access to all media content available in the car, Parrot’s integration of Cinemo Media Management Engine features multi-pass content indexing, ultra-fast searches, support of complex queries, smart synchronization, Unicode collation, alphabetical index generation, priority queues, video thumbnail creation, dynamic on-demand searches, a seamless approach between local and connected database access, and further significantly intelligent algorithms and extensive optimizations which truly revolutionize the way and speed IVI digital media can be controlled.

Source: Cinemo/Telematics News