The year 2014 is almost over and we saw some crazy and exciting things happen in the past 12 months. The major trend this year has been the Internet of Things (IoT) which also led the Gartner Hype Cycle chart. Here is a short look-back on the highlights of each vertical segment and more.
What an incredible year for identification applications. NFC dual interface products becoming a widely used technology has definitely been a big trend this year. Enabling the user to easily tap and pair devices to Bluetooth and other networks is just one reason for the big buzz around this useful technology. The high-security standard NFC brings to the table and the nearly powerless connection between e.g. your smartphone and the NFC interface are ideally suited for the IoT.
With more and more capable NFC technologies on the market like the Texas Instruments ultra-low-powerRF430FRL15xH system-on-chip (SoC) family which combines an ISO 15693-compliant NFC interface with a programmable microcontroller (MCU), non-volatile FRAM, an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and SPI or I2C interface there are endless possibilities for NFC. It is predictable that we will see a lot more NFC enabled applications and ideas such as a plaster, constantly monitoring your health in 2015.
Modern NFC technology enables new healthcare applications
One of the things which stood out this year was the incredible Cosinuss C-SP01 In-Ear Sports Monitor which EBV was able to support. The device is capable of monitoring several vital body signs including heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV) and core body temperature very accurately. The innovative technology measures HR and HRV optically with the new Circummission method; the core body temperature is captured with a resistance sensing element. Measured data is computed and digitized in the unit behind the ear and transmitted to smartphones or other end devices. For the wireless communication a low energy radio interface in the 2.4 GHz range is used. Cosinuss is already developing the next generation of the futuristic wearable device, which will also allow you to listen to music via the in-ear monitor.
Cosinuss In-ear monitor C-SP01
The little device which was created with the support of selected EBV suppliers has also been one of the most touched, recognised and liked demos at our electronica booth this year in Munich. The video below shows the device at the exhibition, explained by our Healthcare Segment Director Markus Vogt.
In this segment the highlight has definitely been the European Utility Week in Amsterdam this year. EBV attended the show, which attracted more than 9000 attendees and 350 exhibitors in cooperation with the OMS Group. Smart home communication standards and platforms have been a major trend of the exhibition which will take place in Vienna next year.
The European Utility Week 2014 in Amsterdam
The Hermes M-Bus Transceiver is an EBVchip that reduces power consumption, offering significant advantages. Hermes meets the M-Bus specifications in full. The new EBVchip offers space reduction, lower cost and additional functions that enable a range of attractive new designs.
Vesta fulfills the requirements of the IP500 Alliance, an open wireless standard solution for smart building management, smart home and wireless security. Together with the low power microcontroller and a wide range of peripherals, Vesta uses the best-in-class sub-GHz RF technology to meet the long distance reach requirements, high data rate throughput and security expectations.
Vesta fits perfectly to two of the major trends we discovered at the EUW, the need for security and efficient data protection.
Many of our suppliers showed innovative solutions for the energy market. For all highlights and a full video recap of the show click here.
The lighting segment entertained us well this year with a number of exhibitions and events as well as some great news for EBV. We joined the Light&Building in April together with Luminus, the Lightfair in June with Avnet and attended the Smart Lighting & Energy Summit in November.
The bright lights of Abu Dhabi during the Smart Lighting & Energy Summit 2014
In order to serve our customers even better we signed Samsung LED as new supplier effective 1st October 2014. The lighting line card has been enhanced further by adding HEC as new LED driver supplier. EBV Lightspeed is now a true one-stop shop offering everything an LED lamp or luminaire manufacturer needs to build MP, HP LEDs, COB, LED modules, optics, reflectors and lightguides, heatsinks and coolers, LED drivers and RF links (ZigBee LightLink) and more. In addition the design process can be supported with optical software-aided simulations, thermal analyses and custom electronics design.
Earlier this year we had the chance to support the Street Lighting Project in Inzell; together with Siteco, OMS (Slovak Republic), and Osram Opto Semiconductors, we took on the installation of street lighting on thirteen roads in the town of Inzell. The project involved 107 Siteco micro lights type “Streetlight 10 LED Micro and Mini” over a stretch of 6 km with the light poles placed at an average interval of 55 m.
Besides joining the the “Trends in Solid-State Lighting” podium discussion, Lighting Segment Director Sebastian Hülck also explained our high-bay luminaire demo at the electronica 2014.
What’s been going on in this segment? A lot! Wireless communication enables endless innovative technologies like the IoT, smart home applications, connected car and many more. This year, EBV conducted seminars on new R&TTE regulations and its consequence on conformity of wireless systems (CE) in Berlin, Wiesbaden and Dietikon together with ISAD receiving great feedback from our customers.
Wireless communication is nowadays used in nearly all other segments and affects therefore all kinds of applications from healthcare over automotive to consumer. Thus it has been part of nearly all exhibitions and trade shows this year together with the hyped IoT. The challenge is, that all those devices, using wireless technologies like WiFi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, 802.15.4 and proprietary technologies have to be conform to the regional standards like ETSI, FCC, etc.
Wireless communication enables the connection of all aspects of our daily-lives.
At the European Utility Week there have been many great wireless solutions for smart home and smart metering systems. While there are many clever communication standards for smart energy, there is not really an agreement on which to use in what situation/application making it difficult to develop devices which are able to work with other smart home applications seamlessly. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of smart home communication standards here.
At the electronica RF&Wireless has been a topic for each and every demo we displayed at our EBV booth due to the IoT and Cloud theme we had. But also our suppliers focused a lot on connected and smart devices and applications; see the full report and all videos from the electronica 2014 here.
Wow! Consumer applications went through the roof over the last years – this year was no exclusion! One of the highlights we saw here at EBV was the success of our partner Aito Technology. The company manufactures technically advanced touch buttons e.g. for home appliances which have been a favourite for many of our customers.
Speaking about consumer electronics without mentioning the IoT is impossible these days. At the electronica we demonstrated two cloud connected home automation devices. The first is the Netatmo connected weather station and thermostat. The weather station, which even made our top 10 list of the best Tech-Gadgets 2014, is probably the smartest way to monitor and keep track with indoor and outdoor conditions. We spend 80% of our time indoors, yet the air indoors is often more polluted than outdoors. The Netatmo Weather Station measures the level of CO2 indoors and sends you a warning when you need to air out your home. Further the real-time weather readings give you a precise forecast on the day ensuring you do not forget your umbrella anymore.
The Netatmo weather station
Watch our Consumer Segment Director Bernard Vicens talking about the cool applications at the electronica this year:
The most important highlight takes us to the horizon and beyond! 2014 indeed the Rosetta space mission was THE happening – 12 years ago when the mission was planned the availability of high integration was not given so EBV supported the mission’s success with a lot of logic and analogue parts.
Impression of the Rosetta spacecraft at its destination, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (source: DLR)
As it was a ‘standalone or single mission’ we will see no direct following mission after, but after 2 years of building and 10 years of journey to a travelling object, the precision of landing on the asteroid the mission generated and sent a huge amount of data to earth – the lander is still working and just needs to be recharged! The next time, when the asteroid comes near to the earth we will hopefully get even more data!
This segment is generating headlines with high-speed! Despite many break-throughs this year like the Google Self-Driving Car Project and the first 3D-printed actually driving car from Local Motors the industry sees four mega trends for the future.
Automotive Future Vision
The goal to achieve in general zero fatalities is probably the most important one. Reaching this ambitious vision requires more driver assistance systems everywhere in the traffic – a big step for trucks was that the UN has been moving forward to maintain UN Regulation NO. 46 with the mirror replacement around the trucks.
At the Hanover IAA most of the customers showed their approach. EBV helped and will help customers with different approaches for the system solution with simple cameras (analogue) or with smart cameras (Ethernet), as well as with leading µC or SoC FPGA solutions and more.
Mercedes already showed their vision of a 2025 truck which you can see in this video:
FPGA technology offers a number of benefits, ranging from their short time to market to the ability of their hardware to perform rapid (real-time) algorithmic processing. An outstanding highlight has been this years Vision Trade Fair. EBV’s SoCrates Cyclone V SoC Starter Kit was present at several booths of our suppliers and partners, in combination with Dream Chip Technologies GmbH’s Image Processing Pipeline. The solution offers customers a great platform to bring machine vision systems to market.
One of the key trends within machine vision is the increasing number of algorithms running on the GPU and CPU of the systems due to more and more complex object recognition and sensors in systems like pedestrian and blind spot detection. This means that often the GPU of SoC devices is fully packed, creating the need for an additional FPGA to accelerate algorithms. Looking at future developments like autonomous driving cars this trend is very likely to continue. Watch the great video below to learn more:
More Highlights 2014
EBV & Texas Instruments talk IoT
At the EBV electronica booth we brought Thomas Staudinger, Vice President Vertical Segments and Technical Marketing EBV Elektronik and Jan Pape, Sales Director EMEA Distribution Texas Instruments together to discuss their perspective on the trend.
EBV & Analog Devices: The Perfect Fit
EBV and Analog Devices (ADI) signed a franchise contract. We are very excited about this move as we are able to offer the complete ADI product portfolio to you. Not only are ADI’s solutions and products complementary to our line card but they also are a perfect fit as the company has a very similar strategic approach towards the market perfectly aligning to EBV’s Vertical Segments.
IDT Timing Commander Contest on Facebook
We kicked-off a contest for our Sales offices and sent out the IDT Timing Commander so everyone could take and submit cool pictures. Here are the pictures! This was actually a lot of fun!
The winning picture of the IDT Timing Commander Contest on Facebook
EBV Social Live Wall @ electronica 2014
We launched our Live Wall for events and it was a huge success! The interactive screen displayed the tweets of EBV and all our suppliers in real-time helping you to stay up to date on all happenings during the show. The Live Wall will run on all our future exhibitions and is constantly accessible here.
The EBV Live Wall during electronica 2014
EBV Blog Launch
In order to provide more information, insights and help to our customers and everyone who is an engineer, maker, hobby electronics designer or just interested in high-tech in any way we created our own blog – which you are reading right now! We hope our content, posts, pictures, videos and live coverages help you to stay up to date and are informative and entertaining. If you have any recommendations, feedback or questions let us know in the comments so we can get even better in 2015 together!