STMicroelectronics and Arduino Launch Cooperation to Expand Maker-Community Access to STM32 MCUs and Sensors

· First Arduino board based on STM32 ARM® Cortex®-M MCU

· Delivers high-performance graphics, TFT touch display, wireless link, and connectivity for audio, MicroSD, USB OTG, and camera

· First demos at Bay Area Maker Faire, May 20-22

STMicroelectronics and Arduino Launch Cooperation to Expand Maker-Community Access to STM32 MCUs and Sensors

Moving to enable makers to make even more than before, STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and Arduino, the world’s leading open-source ecosystem for Education, Maker, and IoT markets, today announced an agreement that brings the industry-leading STM32 family of microcontrollers (MCU), along with ST’s full portfolio of sensing, power, and connectivity technology, even closer to the Arduino maker community. The first product of the STAR (ST and Arduino) program, the STM32F469-based STAR Otto baseboard, will be demonstrated at the Bay Area Maker Faire, May 20-22 2016. Now, IoT developers and other makers can build high-performance graphics into their smart devices using accessible hardware and software to improve their applications with easy-to-use touch displays and audio for command and control as well as for media-streaming use cases.

STMicroelectronics and Arduino Launch Cooperation to Expand Maker-Community Access to STM32 MCUs and Sensors

STAR Otto presents to the Arduino environment exceptional performance from the 32-bit STM32F469 MCU, which includes ST’s Chrom-ART™ graphics accelerator and MIPI DSI[1] display interface along with an open-source software graphics library. Moreover STAR Otto uniquely provides a pre-integrated wireless link and audio capabilities, enabled by an ST MEMS[2] microphone together with the necessary open-source drivers. This efficient and optimized approach lets makers focus on their value-add and makes integration a breeze while enabling a broad range of Smart Home and Smart Industry applications.

In addition to the STAR Otto microcontroller baseboard, the cooperation aims to deliver a range of Arduino shields that expand the functional possibilities. DSI-display and NFC-reader shields are planned for Q2 2016 and a Sensor shield is scheduled to be available in H2 2016. Moreover, several STM32 Nucleo expansion boards and software libraries, including those for environmental sensors and proximity detection, have already been ported to the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and can seamlessly be used with the new STAR Otto baseboard.

“By adding ST’s broad family of industry-leading STM32 ARM Cortex-M-based microcontrollers to the Arduino universe along with a broad array of ST sensors and other components, makers will have at their fingertips the ability to design, build, and manufacture just about anything,” said Daniel Colonna, Marketing Director, Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. “Because of the tremendous enthusiasm within the maker community for Smart Home and Smart Industry applications, we’re supporting those development efforts with our audio- and graphics-friendly STM32F469 MCU and other exciting products from ST broad portfolio.”

“Arduino has grown by encouraging kids – from 10 to 100 years old – to learn electronics and programming to make projects by building on the learnings of others and now we’re excited to add the STM32 family into the Maker community, to broaden learning with new features such as audio input/output and touchscreen display control,” said Federico Musto, CEO & President of Arduino S.r.L. “We fully expect commercial IoT companies to also use these new features to easily design new smart home devices and applications, or improve products that drive industrial automation and control.”

New Cisco Research Provides Digital Roadmap for Capturing $405 Billion Retail Banking Opportunity

Key digital solutions – including sales and service transformation, mobile payments, analytics, video advice, and cybersecurity – drive more than 90 percent of the value for retail banks

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO): $405.3 Billion. That’s the Digital Value at Stake (VaS)[1] retail banks have the potential to realize from 2015 to 2017. Yet, in 2015, financial services as a whole captured just 29 percent of that opportunity. Of the challenges slowing growth and innovation, cybersecurity weakness is certainly at the forefront. Cybersecurity concerns have prevented retail banks from adopting digital technologies and business models. And this has contributed to them missing out on more than 70 percent of the potential revenue opportunity.

In light of this, and with the pressing realities of agile “fintech” disruptors, digital consumer demands, and complex regulatory hurdles – how do retail banks compete and capture the revenue opportunity at hand? As the largest segment of financial services, how do they grab their fair share?

Today, Cisco announced new research. The “Roadmap to Digital Value in the Retail Banking Industry” outlines the Digital Value at Stake for retail banking – as well as a digital roadmap for success. The study reveals digital use cases that drive the fastest value and return on investment for retail banks. With the right technology investments such as analytics, mobility, video, and virtualized delivery models – and with a plan for navigating security risks – retail banks can create a blueprint for capturing their share of the hundreds of billions in Digital Value at Stake.

“The ability for digital technologies to create and drive new revenue opportunities, combined with the ability to lower operational costs through digitized business processes, brings tremendous opportunity,” said Jason Bettinger, Director of Financial Services for Cisco’s Business Transformation Group. “But, too many banks are moving slowly or not at all. By waiting to digitize their businesses, or by delaying new technology initiatives, banks risk not only missing out on the potential Value at Stake, but are actually at risk for being put out of business altogether.”

Cisco Roadmap to Digital Value in the Retail Banking Industry

Retail Banks Must Accelerate Digitization or Risk Extinction: “Fintech” startups are disrupting retail banks by unbundling their products and services. By doing this, they’re able to seize a share of the banks’ most profitable business while avoiding the barriers to entry that naturally come with being a full-service bank. These start-ups are digitizing their offerings. Retail banks that fail to drive their digital transformation may be put out of business completely. According to a 2015 study by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), an IMD Business School and Cisco initiative, 4 out of the top 10 retail banks will be displaced by digital disruption in the next three years. However, only 27 percent are taking a proactive approach by disrupting their own businesses. Cisco’s research identified key digital use cases in the retail banking industry that drive more than 90 percent of the $405.3 billion opportunity. These digital solutions include video-based advisors, workforce transformation, mobile payments, virtual tellers, information-based consulting, white-label services, connected ads, marketing, and more. A critical foundational element across all the use cases? Cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Weakness is Slowing Digital Innovation in Retail Banking: Despite the tremendous opportunity and competitive pressures that come with digital transformation, retail banks are still slow to digitize. A recent Cisco study, “Cybersecurity as a Growth Advantage” surveyed 1014 senior finance and line-of-business executives globally and found that 71 percent agreed that cybersecurity risks and threats hinder digital innovation in their organizations. Another 39 percent of respondents said they’ve halted mission-critical initiatives due to these concerns. Sixty percent admitted their organizations are reluctant to innovate in areas such as digital products and services because of the perceived risks. Specific digital initiatives delayed potentially include omnichannel capabilities, wealth management and asset transfers, mobile banking and mobile payment capabilities, self-service and virtualized delivery models. Cisco’s economic analysis estimates that by not digitizing more fully, incumbent retail banks missed out on $144 billion globally from 2011 to 2015.

Bottom line – cybersecurity concerns do not need to be a hindrance to digital innovation. Retail banks can transform cybersecurity from a liability into an asset that supports customer trust, innovation, and growth. All of these digital solutions depend on a robust cybersecurity foundation.

“By assessing, adopting and combining the right digital use cases for their needs, and doing it securely, retail banks will capture their share of the Value at Stake and be in a position to operate more agilely and compete,” said Bettinger. “By innovating and driving relevant new products and experiences to the market quickly, they can be the new disruptors.”


To calculate Digital Value at Stake, Cisco conducted the industry’s most comprehensive economic analysis. Spanning across the private sector, it includes 16 industries – financial services being one. The analysis is rooted in customer engagements and evaluation of 350 private sector digital use cases. Thirty of those are focused on financial services. To read the full report, including the key digital use cases recommended for retail banks, visit: http://connectedfuturesmag.com/a/S16R16/roadmap-to-digital-value-in-the-retail-bank-industry/

Expanding Meraki Simplicity into Communications

Meraki has always focused on simplifying powerful technology so our users can focus on their own mission. Originally, cloud managed wireless allowed users to deploy large, sophisticated wireless networks and reach more people. The results speak for themselves. From our humble beginnings with our first wireless access point back in 2006, our global customer base has grown to over 120,000 worldwide.

Meraki users have guided our expansion from wireless to networking to infrastructure including security, routing, switching and mobile device management. Simplifying infrastructure has been incredibly compelling, allowing them to focus on educational initiatives, shopper experience, hotel guest services and operational efficiencies around the globe.

Once again, Meraki users have spoken passionately. They need enterprise communications to be simpler. We’re extremely excited about entering this market with our first cloud-managed voice platform. This completes our transition from Cloud-Managed Wireless through Cloud-Managed Networking to Cloud-Managed IT.

Meraki Formula
Why has Meraki’s model been so much simpler than anything else available? A cloud-based dashboard that provides IT managers with a “single-pane-of-glass” to manage Meraki devices across the enterprise. But the Meraki dashboard isn’t just an overlay. The true magic of the Meraki formula comes from a seamless blending of hardware, software and cloud technologies. We design Meraki devices from the ground up to work seamlessly with our cloud, providing users with a single simple dashboard to manage their entire site.

All of this technology is really just a means to an end, and that’s where simplicity comes in. Instead of sending someone to a branch office to configure a network or change a security setting, an IT manager can simply log in to the Meraki dashboard and make the changes remotely. Need to troubleshoot a network remotely? No problem. Need to set up a new branch office? Easy. Trouble with remote security posture? Piece of cake.

Introducing Cloud-Managed Communications
A rapidly growing number of IT teams depend on the Meraki Dashboard to manage their infrastructure. More and more of them have been asking if we could do the same thing to simplify their voice networks. Meraki users can be incredibly persuasive.

The result is the new phone, the Meraki MC. As you’d expect, it’s designed to deliver the same simplicity and ease-of-management Meraki customers have come to expect. Here are four things you need to know about the Meraki phone:
· Single-Pane-of-Glass: It’s managed from the same “single-pane-of-glass” dashboard as the rest of the Meraki portfolio, including wireless, security, switching and mobile device management.

· Three Elements: The platform is built on a SIP-based architecture and the solution is comprised of the endpoint, cloud license and SIP service from designated service providers.

· Availability: It’s available immediately in the United States, with other countries coming on board over time. (We’re in the process of partnering with service providers around the world to deliver the SIP capabilities that underpin the solution. Once that happens we’ll announce local availability.)

· Integration: The Cisco Meraki team is working on integrating with Cisco Collaboration solutions like Cisco Spark to enable a complete mobile collaboration solution. Cisco Meraki is also working on integration with other leading IT tools and platforms.

Focus on Users
In this industry, it’s easy to focus on the newest technology, or aggressive competitors, analysts or the media. We believe that a maniacal focus on users is our true north. What do we hear?

· Simplicity – less is better: Functionality no one can turn-on might as well not exist. Every IT dollar spent on complexity that can’t be leveraged is wasted.

· Do more with less: IT groups have fewer resources and need to do more with less. Specifically, they need fewer systems that do more, less hardware on-site, and just enough complexity to get the job done.

· Technology for the future: Technology teams are investing in cloud systems, modern collaboration and high performing connectivity to make their infrastructure simple. This simplicity frees them to focus on the digitization of their businesses, schools and organizations.

We think Meraki’s MC is by far the easiest to manage voice system on the market. We believe by providing users a voice system managed on the same platform as networking and security we’ve changed the game.

Expanding the Stack
This phone release is so special because these devices are managed exactly the same way and in the same Dashboard as the rest of the Meraki IT stack. This converges networking, security, enterprise mobility management and now voice onto one IT platform.

With that in mind, we’re also adding new wireless access points and Ethernet switches to our product lines. Our two new indoor access points will be the highest-end, highest density APs we’ve every built. They provide higher capacity, connect more devices and support more voice and video streams than ever before…So much, they won’t be able to reach their full potential on a single gigabit link, so we’re also releasing a new Multigigabit Ethernet switch and two new 10Gbps fiber switches.

Managing more with fewer systems will free IT groups to focus on what really matters to them instead of another cumbersome management platform. We know this is what users around the world have been asking for. I can’t wait to see what they do with it.

Telit powers new Axstone gateway for IoT apps

Axstone speeds time to market with Cloud-ready Telit H910 wireless module

Telit, a global enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced that its Cloud-ready HE910 wireless module has been designed into the Axstone DW-100 gateway for cellular communications. The Axstone gateway is ideal for IoT applications with high-data throughput requirements such as asset and fleet tracking, in-car telematics, security surveillance and more.

“The HE910 wireless module allowed us to get to market quickly with an IoT gateway and differentiate ourselves in the market,” said Gihong Bang, the CEO of Axstone. “As a Telit-designated Competence Center in Korea, we design connected products using Telit technology and our new gateway will enable innovative IoT applications throughout the region.”

Featuring GSM/GPRS, CDMA and WCDMA cellular connectivity capabilities, the DW-100 gateway allows customers to connect remote devices and sensors to the internet easily through serial (RS232/RS485) and multiple I/O ports. It also features Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) for remote firmware updates and remote monitoring and control via SMS. ZigBee, Bluetooth and GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and QZSS) options are also available.

To simplify the development of IoT applications, the Cloud-ready gateway also features support for Telit’s deviceWISE platform and instant access to the Telit IoT Portal. deviceWISE allows customers to seamlessly integrate any device or remote sensor with mobile or web-based applications and enterprise systems, for real-time data collection, remote monitoring and control, and big data analytics.

“Axstone is a leading developer of connected solutions in Korea,” said Steven Kim, Sr. Sales Director of Telit Korea. “With the integration of Telit modules into the DW-100, we are helping Axstone deliver operational efficiencies and other business values to organizations across Asia Pacific.”

The HE910 is a multi-band HSPA+ LGA module well suited for numerous industrial and consumer applications with high data throughput requirements. From low cost tri-band models to fully loaded configurations, Telit offers a wide range of HE910 models.

Twitter makes changes allowing more than 140 characters in tweets in some cases

Twitter today announced a few changes that would be rolled out on their social broadcasting platform with the aim of simplifying the experience for new users.

Twitter makes changes allowing more than 140 characters in tweets in some cases

These changes would finally allow you to insert more alphabets in your tweets as the counter would no longer include mentions and attached media in some cases.

I am not sure about one of the change where starting a tweet with a mention of a name would broadcast it to all your followers. This currently work only for users following you and the account mentioned at the start of the tweet. Twitter said that the change would end the requirement to start the mention with a dot to broadcast it publicly.

Here are the changes announced by the company:

Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ”.@” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.

Welcoming the 6th edition of India’s biggest social media festival

Social Media Week, from June 9-10, will explore how digital technology has successfully been used for good

June 9 – 10 this year has been earmarked for the 6th edition of the Social Media Week, at India’s biggest start-up hub – Bangalore! One of the most popular platforms worldwide to discuss the power of technology and global impact, SMW Bangalore has speakers from all over the world who are experts in the digital space.

Social Media Week is an independently organized event that has become hugely popular with technology and social media enthusiasts from across the subcontinent. Technology today is changing the way people connect, consume and communicate. This welcome change in technology and communications drives the global theme for 2016 – ‘The Invisible Hand’: Hidden Forces of Technology (and how we can Harness it for Good).

SMW is a platform to interact with experts and explore new opportunities and avenues for growth. With its diverse line-up of speakers, SMW aims to highlight the cause and effect of social media across industries and economies.

SMW Bangalore is expected to attract over 2000 professionals, including people from advertising & marketing, brand management, entrepreneurs, start-ups, students and other communities of relevance and interest.

SMW Bangalore will be hosted by R SQUARE Consulting, an integrated marketing services agency. “The evolution of communications technology primarily catered to the growing demand for staying interconnected, even when mobile. However, mobiles and other smart devices have had a far-reaching impact on behaviour and efficiency, owing to creative uses. This edition of Social Media Week at India’s IT headquarters, brings together experts who have first-hand experience of how this has panned out – from establishing a stronger connect between brands and customers to grow the invisible horizon” Rohit Varma, Founder R SQUARE and Director Social Media week.

Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare™ Data Center Operation v8.0 Extends Asset Visibility Across Different Users

Latest Schneider Electric DCIM suite bridges the gap between facilities and IT, enhances capabilities for colocation providers

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, today introduced StruxureWare Data Center Operation v8.0, an enhancement to Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare for Data Centers, Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) suite. Data Center Operation v8.0 includes new functionalities that enable a higher level of asset visibility for key data center stakeholders, including tenants in colocation environments, and across both IT and facilities. This empowers businesses to prosper by managing their data centers across multiple domains, providing actionable intelligence for an ideal balance of high availability and peak efficiency throughout the entire data center life cycle.

“Data center managers – across enterprises and colocated facilities – are facing a growing number of challenges as they look to keep up with the pace of business, including industry-wide shifts in capacity and performance needs, in an increasingly competitive market,” said Soeren Brogaard Jensen, vice president, Solution Software, IT Business, Schneider Electric. “Schneider Electric’s StuxureWare Data Center Operation v8.0 provides the asset visibility, capacity planning capabilities and risk management functionality data center users need to optimize the performance and efficiency of their system while also enabling business growth through new services offers for clients.”

Building on already existing features of StruxureWare Data Center Operation that simplify data center management, new capabilities in v8.0 include:

· Web Client: allows user visibility into data center assets, power usage and power capacity via any modern web browser. This lowers maintenance costs and empowers managers to make better and more informed real-time decisions.

· Tenant Portal: expands on Schneider Electric’s commitment to colocators and their customers by enabling colocation providers to offer additional services on the basis of their DCIM solution, including management of individual tenant services. The portal provides tenants with an instant overview of their hosted data center solution, including insight into the rooms, cages and racks, reserved capacity, measured power and rack temperature. Tenants also have access to a KPI dashboard. Through the portal, tenants can view their assets without direct access to the colocator’s local network. The colocation provider can, with a single mouse click, enable or disable the tenant portal access for each individual tenant, and decide what information is shared.

· Direct Current Capacity Planning and Risk Management: Schneider Electric is the first and only DCIM vendor to offer direct current capacity planning and risk management as well as the ability to support a mixed power infrastructure (both AC and DC). This enables data center managers to model DC-powered devices within their data center, allowing them to more intelligently and accurately plan capacity and assess risk for the DC power path.

· Predicted Power: provides rack and breaker level capacity planning and the potential to unlock stranded capacity as estimated load values are automatically derived from actual power measurements.

StruxureWare Data Center Operation v8.0 will be available in June through Schneider Electric and its partners. StruxureWare for Data Centers management software suite is designed to collect and manage data about a data center’s assets, resource use and operation status throughout the data center lifecycle. This information is then distributed, integrated, and applied in ways that help managers optimize the data center’s performance and meet IT, business and service oriented goals. From IT assets to racks, rows, rooms and buildings, StruxureWare for Data Centers delivers the right information to the right users at the right time. For more information on Schneider Electric’s complete line of DCIM solutions, visit the Schneider Electric website.