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MWC: VMware and Harman partner for IoT edge

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A collaboration to deliver simplified and specialised IoT solutions for enterprise customers in industrial, retail, building management, automotive and energy efficiency markets was announced at Mobile World Congress.

Harman, a connected technologies company for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has teamed up with cloud infrastructure leader VMware to integrate Harman’s portfolio of over-the-air (OTA) software updates, sensors, gateways and analytics services into VMware’s IoT solution. The partnership will help deploy, secure, manage and monitor IoT infrastructure at enterprise scale to streamline industry-specific IoT use cases.

The Internet of Things is here today and companies globally are already investing in, and seeing ROI from IoT. IDC predicts that the worldwide Internet of Things market spend will grow to $1.29 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.6% and the installed base of IoT endpoints will grow from 12.1 billion at the end of 2015 to more than 30 billion in 2020 (Doc # US42082716.) As companies race to implement IoT strategies, they will require complete solutions that focus on specific market segment requirements. IT and operational teams will also have to address massive scaling and management requirements to deliver maximum value and the best possible experience.

This new collaboration between Harman and VMware will help Communications Service Providers (CSPs) add new offerings and expand revenue streams that will further enhance the IoT user experience and the delivery of innovative services. Harman OTA update solutions paired with the VMware vCloud NFV platform and end-to-end IoT operational management solution delivers a fully elastic and optimised network infrastructure that allows operators to expand their services into new markets as they transform network architectures towards 5G. The combined solution provides CSP’s the ability to provision and launch innovative services through a fully virtualised mobile core network such as prioritised connectivity such as emergency calling, communication and video conferencing and infotainment with high definition quality, leveraging simplified operations management, policy control, and self-provisioning.

“As industries ramp up efforts to adopt IoT, this one-of-a-kind offering allows enterprises across all verticals to benefit from simplified solutions that elevate their services to a more sophisticated and innovative degree,” said Sanjay Dhawan, president, Harman Connected Services. “Harman and VMware’s complementary IoT offering will change the landscape for non-traditional technology companies, providing them with new growth opportunities that will set them apart from their competitors.”

In addition to supporting new telecom services and automotive enterprises, Harman and VMware’s combined IoT offering will help the following vertical markets achieve their innovation objectives quicker and more effectively:

  • Retail – Understand in-store shopper behavior, determine the efficacy of store displays, enhance floor navigation paths, monetize hot zones with personalised coupons and optimize inventory
  • Industrial – enable factory automation and management, including predictive maintenance using vibration sensor analytics
  • Smart Buildings – optimize energy usage, space utilization, and meeting room occupancy with higher real estate ROI and enhanced occupant comfort
  • Automotive – simplify the update and monitoring of automotive end points using Harman OTA and VMware’s IoT management platform solution

“While businesses look to adopt IoT into their organisations and offerings, the efficient management and security that IT brings is necessary for IoT to reach enterprise grade and scale,” said Mimi Spier, vice president and head of business development, GTM strategy and marketing for IoT at VMware. “Through our collaboration with Harman, we are bridging the gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), helping companies across many industries maximise the full potential of IoT through seamless integration with their IT infrastructure.”

Harman and VMware Demonstrate Connected Car Solutions

At Mobile World Congress at Harman stand K30, Hall 2, Harman, VMware and Athonet will showcase a live connected car IoT scenario. Elements of Athonet’s click-to-deploy “softwarised” mobile core are disaggregated (Control/User Plane) and deployed in real-time with VMware vCloud NFV to allow high performance LTE services to be delivered to the dashboard of a car running a video entertainment application. This allows for the local breakout of video and other communications for local edge computing requirements and can deliver the highly secure, ultra-low latency required by high-bandwidth applications. Harman IoT solutions bring connectivity, digital content, emergency services and policy control to the connected car.

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Naspers feeds into Latin America’s tech funding

Movile will get $400m funding from the SA-based technology investment giant for iFood expansion.

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Movile is to receive US$500-million in funding for iFood in the largest tech funding in Latin America to date. Naspers and Innova Capital have committed to invest $400m of new capital into Movile to use for further investment in iFood, the leading online food delivery platform in Latin America, of which Movile is a majority shareholder.  

Movile and Just Eat have already invested $100m in iFood during 2018. iFood’s extraordinary growth and the vast market opportunity in Brazil and more broadly in Latin America has driven the increased investment commitment. 

iFood’s monthly orders in Brazil have fed more than 9 million customers in the past twelve months, 16 times the nearest online competitor, in terms of daily active users. This means its partner restaurants are serving the biggest population of consumers ordering food in Latin America. iFood has 50 000 restaurant partners and uses 120 000 couriers. 

The increased investment commitment from Naspers, Innova and Movile is expected to accelerate growth, speed up product development and innovation, and fuel geographical expansion for iFood across the region. The company’s vision is to gain deeper knowledge of consumers through artificial intelligence technology, to personalise the food delivery experience – and at a reduced price, because of improved logistics. 

“Movile is very fortunate to have long-term investors who have supported us for the past decade to help achieve our goal of transforming the lives of more than one billion people and thus we are able to continually back iFood to ensure it remains the market leader,” said Fabricio Bloisi, Movile CEO. 

“Our entire ecosystem of companies is focused on allocating resources and energy towards our one billion people goal. iFood is leading the way, fueling unprecedented growth through its innovative technology platform, providing consumers, couriers and restaurants with the best experience in food ordering and delivery.”  

Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures, said: “iFood has established itself as a technology leader in Latin America and its success stacks up with some of the most innovative food companies that are leading regions in North America, Europe and Asia.  We have been impressed by their execution in Brazil and remain committed to backing the company on its path to transform the entire food chain to better serve consumers.” 

Online food delivery is experiencing massive expansion globally. According to latest reported results, Grubhub grew daily average orders 39% year-on-year, reaching over 416 000 orders per day. In Latin America, iFood has reached 390 000 orders per day just in Brazil in the last week of October, compared with 183 000 in October 2017, representing 109% growth.

iFood CEO Carlos Moyses said: “We want our consumers to have an amazing delivery experience from the moment they order their food to the moment it arrives. Our partners – the restaurants and delivery fleet – make that happen by living our purpose of improving people’s lives using our services.

“iFood exists for our customers and, with an increased investment commitment of this size, we will be able to build out our state of the art technology platform, and increase our courier and restaurant partners to even better serve our current and future customers in Latin America.”

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Hide your sheep, Spyro is reigniting

Spyro, the iconic purple dragon that entertained living rooms worldwide in the late ‘90s, is making a return with the release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

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Spyro Reignited Trilogy introduces players to a fully remastered game collection with a re-imagined cast of characters, animations, environments, new lighting and recreated cinematics—all inHD.  Now fans can explore more than 100 lush environments filled with new detail, that brings the Dragon Realms and Avalar to life . The trilogy is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro and the family of Xbox One devices from Microsoft, including the Xbox One X.

South African distributors Megarom provided the followjng information:

In Spyro Reignited Trilogy, lead developer Toys For Bob is giving fans an all scaled-up version of the original three Spyro games that started it all, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, but with a modern-day feel that makes it fresh and fun for today’s player. Adding to the fun, voice actor Tom Kenny is returning to the franchise as the voice of Spyro in all three remastered games. Longtime fans will be treated to Toys For Bob’s reimagined version of the classic soundtracks, in addition to an all-new title-screen theme from original soundtrack composer Stewart Copeland.

Additionally, the new game brings an in-game audio feature that allows players to switch between the original and the newly remastered soundtracks, for those who want a more classic gameplay experience. Players can simply fly in to the “options menu” at any time during gameplay, unleash their preferred nostalgic or scaled-up groove, and glide right back into the Spyro action without losing saved data.

“It’s been a real pleasure to bring back one of most iconic video game characters of all time through the Spyro Reignited Trilogy,” said Paul Yan, Co-Studio Head at Toys For Bob. “We’ve poured everything we’ve got into making sure every detail was done right to deliver a great Spyro experience for fans. We hope players will have as much fun revisiting the Spyro world and characters as we did remastering them.”

In the road up to the official release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, created a first-of-its-kind, life-sized, fire-breathing and talking Spyro Dragon drone. The drone took off from “Stone Hill” castle near New York City, spreading his wings across the U.S. to explore the cities and iconic landscapes that resemble levels and themes from the original Spyro games. As part of the tour, the Spyro drone chased sheep, fired up some BBQ and delivered an early copy of Spyro Reignited Trilogy to fellow O.G. and entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg. Highlights from the Spyro drone’s delivery to Snoop Dogg can be found here.

“Fans have been asking Activision to bring Spyro back for some time now. The response to Spyro Reignited Trilogy has been great thus far, and we’re absolutely thrilled that we’re able to continue to reimagine and reinvigorate some of the most iconic videogames and characters of all time with our remastered experiences,” said Steve Young, Chief Revenue Officer at Activision. “With this year being the 20th anniversary of Spyro, there’s no better time to pay homage to everyone’s favorite purple dragon.”

The Spyro community is invited to geek out and elevate their fandom even further through the elite global partnerships from the Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (ABCPG). Collaborations with Funko, Traly Pins, Exquisite Gaming, KidRobot, USAopoly, Trends International, Rubber Road, and Changes have created new avenues for fans to share their love for the return of Spyro, the original roast master. Spyro consumer products across apparel, collectibles, figurines and more are now available at retailers worldwide. Fans can also take advantage of the GameStop exclusive Spyro TOTAKU Collection.

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