Wearables Market Headed for a Shakeup as Google Seeks to Acquire Fitbit

Parks Associates, Parks Points (image)

Wearables Market Headed for a Shakeup as Google Seeks to Acquire Fitbit | #TpromoCom  #Parks #Google #Wearables | According to Reuters and CNBC, Google (aka Alphabet) has made an offer to acquire Fitbit. This stands to considerably shake up the wearables space.

Fitbit is the number one wearables company in the US—Parks Associates consumer surveys find that among the 19% of heads of US broadband households that own and use wearables, Fitbit has nearly 60% penetration—twice that of its nearest competitor, Apple.

Looking specifically at smart watch models, Parks Associates finds that Fitbit smart watches and the Apple Watch are nearly neck and neck in terms of consumer adoption. Fitbit has been largely successful in getting its users to move from its lower-cost (and lower profit) fitness trackers, with Parks Associates consumer survey data finding that 40% of Fitbit users in US broadband households use one of its smart watch models.

A Google acquisition of Fitbit would make Google the number one name in the US wearables market overnight, and give it a highly useful entry point into the healthcare market. While there’s been some speculation that Google may be seeking to acquire Fitbit for its IP, it seems more likely that Fitbit’s strong brand and popularity among consumers would make it an acquisition a la Nest rather than the next Motorola.

However, Google also has its own smart watch platform—Wear OS—which is used to power smart watches from companies such as the Fossil Group, LG, Misfit, Casio, and Mobvoi.

What will an acquisition of Fitbit do to Google’s existing smart watch platform? While Google may seek to keep both alive for a while, it seems likely that Fitbit—the stronger, more popular brand—would receive the bulk of Google’s time, attention, and resources, leaving Wear OS to the fate of Google Inbox, Hangouts, and Google Reader. It’s too soon to tell for sure, but history isn’t exactly on Wear OS’s side.

Interested in learning more about the US wearables market? We recently published research looking at this space. Go check out our new 360 Deep Dive: Consumer Demand for Connected Wearableswhich answers the following questions:

  • What is the current state of the connected wearables market?
  • How are leading device makers managing the growing blending of the wrist wearables categories?
  • What are the major barriers to connected wearable adoption?
  • What types of functionality are most in-demand by consumers?
  • How do the customers of big four wearables players – Fitbit, Apple, Samsung, and Garmin – differ in terms of their priorities and use of devices?

To read the remainder of this news release, click here.

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More than 50% of new security system owners self-installed their system

Connections Summit, Parks Associates (logo)

More than 50% of new security system owners self-installed their system

CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES® examines impact of DIY and smart home on the security industry with executives from Arlo Technologies, Google, Ring, and SimpliSafe

November 7, 2019

New research from Parks Associates reports that 51% of security system owners who acquired their security system in the past 12 months self-installed their system. This is up from only 10% of security system owners who acquired their system six or more years ago, and 88% of self-installers report the setup was easy or very easy for their system.

The international research firm will explore the impact of DIY and smart home solutions on the security market, including strategies to leverage innovations to expand adoption, at the fifteenth annual CONNECTIONS™ Summit: Smart Home Business Models and Strategies on January 7 at CES® 2020 in Las Vegas.

CONNECTIONS™ Summit features multiple sessions examining mass-market business strategies, partnership opportunities, next-gen home services, energy management solutions, and smart home platforms, concluding with a networking reception. CONNECTIONS™ Summit sponsors include Alarm.com, ARM, Cirrent, Inspire, Sprosty Network, Trusource Networks, and MMB Networks.

“New DIY security solutions entering the market are designed from the ground up to be self-installed by the consumer, so they are designed to deliver a smooth, painless experience on installation and setup,” said Dina Abdelrazik, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “These solutions seek to appeal to households unmoved by traditional self-installed security systems. Value propositions such as security and peace-of-mind have always appealed to a broad base of consumers, so as DIY products evolve to deliver an easy off-the-shelf experience, security adoption will start to crack the 70% of households that do not have and do not plan to acquire a security system.”

The session “Disruption in Home Security: Smart Home Convergence” features the following speakers:

  • Naveen Chhangani, VP, Product and Services, Arlo Technologies
  • Vera Tzoneva, Head of Assistant Distribution Partnerships, Google
  • Andrew Vloyantes, GM of Installed Solutions, Ring
  • Matt Wolf, Head of Partnerships, SimpliSafe

“Over the past decade of keeping people’s homes and businesses safe, we’ve seen that more and more customers want solutions that fit their lives without compromising on security and privacy protections,” said Matt Wolf, Head of Partnerships, SimpliSafe.

CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES is a one-day executive summit that focuses on the best business models and value propositions in the Internet of Things (IoT), the smart home, and connected and mobile CE and services. The event includes eight executive sessions and a networking reception on January 7, the opening day of CES.

For more information on Parks Associates research or events, visit www.parksassociates.com, or contact sales@parksassociates.com, 972-490-1113. To schedule an interview with an analyst or to request specific research data, please contact Sherrelle Lewis at Sherrelle.lewis@parksassociates.com.

About CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES

CONNECTIONS™ Summit at CES is an annual research and industry event hosted by international research firm Parks Associates at CES in Las Vegas. The executive event features one day of panel discussions on the smart home, Internet of Things (IoT), energy services, connected health, and connected entertainment, with trends and implications for connected consumers and opportunities for companies to build new revenues and develop innovative business models. The 14th annual CONNECTIONS™ Summit will take place January 7 during CES, which runs January 7-10 in Las Vegas. Follow the event on Twitter at @CONN_Summit. http//www.connectionssummit.com

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EllaLink receives Global Carrier Award for Best Subsea Project of the Year

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EllaLink receives Global Carrier Award for Best Subsea Project of the Year | #TpromoCom #Connectivity #Communications #Award | DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EllaLink has received a Global Carrier Award in the illustrious category “Best Subsea Project of the Year” during a ceremony held in London and taking place as part of the Capacity Europe 2019 conference. This much coveted award demonstrates true recognition of the project’s success from industry leaders, peers and the market at large.

The key factors that led the jury of industry experts to select EllaLink are:

Creation of a new diverse route connecting Latin America and Europe; Provision of the first low latency coherent network between these two continents; New secured landing in Sines, avoiding other congested areas in Portugal and creating a new cable landing station in a site ideal for data center expansion; Openness and neutrality working in close partnerships with clients; Openness to onward connectivity between Asia and Latin America thanks to the choice of providing secure and diverse routes to Marseille.

Alfonso Gajate, Member of the EllaLink Board and project founder, exclaimed: “I am proud of this award that is a recognition of the commitment and perseverance that has gone into the project since it was first conceived back in 2012. Ross Mullins and I have been joined along the way by key anchor tenants, our investor Marguerite, team members, partners and a lot of external supporters all sharing the belief that a direct link between Europe and Latin America was strongly needed.”

Philippe Dumont, CEO of EllaLink, added: “EllaLink is honored to have received this award which is a testament to the forward-looking view that has driven the development and implementation of this project. I would like to thank our anchor customers CVT, EMACOM, RedClara and GEANT, as well as Telebras, for their trust. We are working closely within our eco-system to bring to the market an alternative choice for those wishing to cross the Atlantic. Operations are progressing on schedule for achieving a ready for service date in 2020.”

Michael Dedieu, Managing Partner of Marguerite and Chairman of the board of EllaLink, declared: “Marguerite II joined EllaLink as financial sponsor back in May 2018 to finalize the development of this landmark project and to fund its construction. This accolade recognizes this asset’s quality as well as the tremendous amount of work accomplished by the management team over the last 18 months.”

The Global Carrier Awards are the wholesale telecom’s largest global industry celebration uniting industry leaders from across the international carrier community.

About EllaLink
EllaLink is an advanced optical platform offering secure high capacity connectivity on a unique low latency transatlantic route serving the growing needs of the Latin American and European markets. The EllaLink network directly connects Brazil and Europe, linking the major hubs of São Paulo and Fortaleza with Lisbon, Madrid and Marseille.

The EllaLink System is being built with state-of-the-art coherent technology initially offering 72Tbps of capacity over four direct fiber pairs between Europe and Brazil. The landing sites in Fortaleza (Brazil) and Sines (Portugal) have been secured and EllaLink is scheduled to be Ready for Service in 2020. EllaLink is a privately funded and independent company committed to providing products and services on a Carrier Neutral and Open Access basis.

To learn more visit ella.link.

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Parks Associates’ 24th annual CONNECTIONS™ focuses on channel distribution, privacy and security, interoperability, and integration across consumer tech ecosystems

 

CONNECTIONS

Parks Associates’ 24th annual CONNECTIONS™ focuses on channel distribution, privacy and security, interoperability, and integration across consumer tech ecosystems

17% of US broadband households purchased at least one smart home device in the past 12 months

October 31, 2019

Parks Associates today announced the topics for the 24th annual CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference, to be held May 19-21, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. The international research firm will focus on emerging business models and developments for consumer technology, including the impact of technologies like AI, machine learning, and 5G on consumer products and services; the integration of new products and services from different ecosystems in the home; and the expansion of channels distributing smart home, security, energy management, healthcare, connected CE, and home services.

Early sponsors for CONNECTIONS™ include Alarm.com, Rapid Response Monitoring, ServiceLive, Cirrent, MMB Networks, Trusource Labs, Inspire, Aprilaire, and Sprosty Network.

Parks Associates research finds 17% of US broadband households purchased at least one smart home device (not including smart speakers/smart display) in the past 12 months. By comparison, 31% report high intentions to purchase a smart home device in the next 12 months, a level which has stayed consistent over the past six months.

“We have seen smart home growth flatten the past year or so and look forward to hearing from industry leaders on the next stages of consumer engagement strategies,” said Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “Consumers who own smart home products continue to buy more, but growth appears to have stalled out, and while intentions are high, purchases are lagging. We look forward to hearing from industry leaders on the next stage of growth for consumer products and services at CONNECTIONS™.”  

2020 Event Topics:

Consumer Engagement Strategies

    • Extending Peace of Mind: Security Adjacencies

    • The User Experience: Integration and Controls

    • DIY: Impact on Smart Home and Security

    • Clean Energy Trends: Electric Vehicles, Batteries, and Solar

    • Support: Onboarding and Ongoing Services

    • Growing Up Smart Home: Engaging Different Generations

    • New Channel Strategies to Capture Consumer Engagement

Channel Expansion

    • Independent Living: Serving Seniors, Aging Boomers, and Chronically Ill

    • Monitoring: Expanding Beyond Security

    • Health and Wellness: Wearables and Market Growth

    • Point Solutions vs Whole-Home Systems

    • Energy Management: Driving the Smart Home

    • Smart Home Solutions: Channel Expansion

      Partnerships and Business Models

 

  • Business Models: Service-Driven Consumer Market

  • Service Providers: Value-added Services

  • Personalization and the Connected Home: Partnership Strategies

  • The User Experience: Integration, Interoperability, and Controls

    Technology and Innovations

  • AI and the Smart Home: Proactive and Predictive Intelligence

  • 5G, AI, and the Connected Home: Looking Forward

  • Home Network and Wi-Fi: Connectivity Driving the Experience

  • Converging Ecosystems: Entertainment and Smart Home

  • Privacy and Security: Protecting the Consumer

  • Connected Car: Extending the Smart Home

  • Investing in the Future: Tech Driving Innovation

 

CONNECTIONS™ will host more than 650 high-level executives in an intimate networking environment and includes a mix of market research, analysis, and industry insight designed to capture the complexity and opportunities in these interconnected markets.

Parks Associates is accepting speaker submissions for 2020 at http://www.parksassociates.com/cus-speak.  For more information, visit www.connectionsus.com. To schedule an interview with an analyst, contact Sherrelle Lewis at sherrelle.lewis@parksassociates.com, 972-996-0214.

ABOUT CONNECTIONS

Parks Associates’ 24th annual CONNECTIONS™: The Premier Connected Home Conference will take place May 19-21, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in San Francisco.

CONNECTIONS™ hosts more than 650 executives from the connected entertainment, security, smart home, health, and energy industries. CONNECTIONS™ provides networking opportunities combined with visionary keynotes and conference sessions focused on technology innovations, consumer research on adoption and trends, product and service forecasts, and evaluation of new business strategies, partnerships, monetization opportunities, and value-added service design. The event also features a research workshop with a deep dive into Parks Associates’ consumer data and trends in the smart home markets.

Throughout the event, sponsors offer tabletop demos during networking events, spotlighting new technology innovations and services for the entertainment, mobile, and smart home market segments. For more information, contact sales@parksassociates.com, call 972-490-1113, visit www.connectionsconference.com.

 

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Is the US losing the artificial intelligence arms race?

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Is the US losing the artificial intelligence arms race? | #TpromoCom #AI #ArtificialIntelligence #War | The U.S. government, long a proponent of advancing technology for military purposes, sees artificial intelligence as key to the next generation of fighting tools.

The U.S. defense community is coming to understand that AI will significantly transform, if not completely reinvent, the world’s military power balance. The concern is more than military. As Chinese and Russian technologies become more sophisticated, they threaten U.S. domination of technological innovation and development, as well as global economic power and influence.

To read the remainder of this news article, click here.


Personal Perspective: The issue of AI in military hands is a frightening one in that once you open that bottle and the Genie jumps out, you’re NOT going to put him back. Elon Musk has been very vocal on this right from the start, especially since he works with AI in his engineering work.

A number of years ago when AI engineers began working on AI tech, I read a number of comments made by them. Most common, ordinary people would be just as concerned as I was, and still am with what I read. The brunt of it is, “We know there’s a potential for annihilation by our own contrived, mechanized children, but they will embody the essence of humanity by virtue of the fact that we made them.”

I’m not sure about you, but that kind of statement by the creators of the first AI prototypes is disconcerting. Here’s another report released over the past few daze that should also cause you some concern: Click Here! –Al Colombo

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Chinese AI unicorns target smart cities & public security

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Chinese AI unicorns target smart cities & public security | #TpromoCom #AI #Military #Chinese | According to research company, Memoori, in a bid to be at the forefront of the technology, China is pouring billions of dollars into companies that are researching AI technology, with video analytics and IoT platforms for smart cities being two of the prime applications.

Memoori estimates that China accounts for approx. 31% of global physical security revenues and says that it is now the biggest single country market for physical security products having increased its share by almost 50% in the last 7 years.

Video surveillance equipment has been the major contributor here, with the market growing rapidly through a boom in new construction and safe city projects in the public sector. Hundreds of cities in China, large and small, have jumped on the smart cities bandwagon, as advocated by Beijing, and have established budgets to support such initiatives.

To read the remainder of this story, click here.

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Adoption of connected health devices highlights differences in UK and US

Adoption of connected health devices highlights differences in UK and US | #TpromoCom #Heath #ParksAssociates #IoT | The Parks Associates Consumer Analytics team provides quantitative market intelligence that guides strategic business decisions. 

CONSUMER ANALYTICS NEWSLETTER – ISSUE 64

The Parks Associates Consumer Analytics team provides quantitative market intelligence that guides strategic business decisions.

Adoption of connected health devices highlights differences in UK and US

Devices like digital pedometers, fitness trackers, and GPS sports watches are more common in the UK, while large fitness equipment like treadmills, exercise bikes, and ellipticals that have built-in app support are much more common in the US. Larger US home sizes, with more space for in-home fitness equipment, may explain the gap in adoption. Adoption of other connected health devices are similar across markets. One-third of consumers in the UK report owning at least one connected wellness/fitness device while just 15% report owning a connected medical device, like a Wi-Fi weight scale or blood pressure cuff.

Nearly 50% of consumers in UK broadband households report of having a chronic health condition with obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, and asthma being the leading conditions. About half of the consumers with a chronic condition in the UK are interested in products and services that would help in managing their condition. Those with a chronic condition show a higher propensity to own a connected medical device and are good targets for remote patient monitoring or a health management program.

 For more information on this topic, see Parks Associates’ IoT in the UK: Consumers and Technology Adoption – Wellness, Telehealth and Independent Living. This study identifies adoption of connected health and personal emergency devices among UK consumers. The research also examines top caregiver pain points, and their willingness to pay for independent living solutions.

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Artificial Intelligence Research Needs Responsible Publication Norms

Artificial Intelligence Research Needs Responsible Publication Norms | #TpromoCom #AI #ArtificialIntelligence #RulesofEngagement | After nearly a year of suspense and controversy, any day now the team of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers at OpenAI will release the full and final version of GPT-2, a language model that can “generate coherent paragraphs and perform rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarization—all without task-specific training.”

OpenAI (image)

When OpenAI first unveiled the program in February, it was capable of impressive feats: Given a two-sentence prompt about unicorns living in the Andes Mountains, for example, the program produced a coherent nine-paragraph news article. At the time, the technical achievement was newsworthy—but it was how OpenAI chose to release the new technology that really caused a firestorm.

OpenAI was cautious with this release to limit the extent to which it could go in the creation of written copy. The reason, for those who follow today’s political issues, involved the fear that many have concerning the ability of such an expanded AI program to create fake and inaccurate news articles.

“In light of the political climate today, and considering how many of today’s popular news organizations do manufacturer news–rather than simply report it–this fear appears to be warranted.

The Future is Now! (image)

The future is now!

“Projecting this fear out a bit, let’s consider the fact that a true AI-based platform must be able to re-write it’s own programming in order to truly ‘learn’ new things. I may not be an expert on AI tech, but I think it’s safe to say that this is going to be an issue one day, where true AI programs could be programmed with a mission that is contrary to what society deems as acceptable. The worry that many people in that industry have is that it could one day develop to the point where it could have and act on its own agenda–not ours.” –Al Colombo, Senior Design Specialist with TpromoCom of Canton, Ohio.

To read the remainder of this news story, click here.

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