Daimler is partnering with wireless tech outfit Qualcomm to develop connected car solutions. The companies are looking to equip future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance, with an initial collaboration around ‘Wireless Power Transfer’ innovation to enable drivers to charge their electric vehicles without ever needing to plug them in to a charging socket.
There were 4.8 million insurance telematics policies in force in Europe in the last quarter of 2014, with Italy and the UK the biggest markets – the total is likely to exceed 28 million in 2019, according to Berg Insight. The insurance telematics market is dominated by aftermarket blackboxes but Berg expects a shift towards solutions based on smartphones and embedded telematics systems going forward.
Carrier Verizon helped pushed BlackBerry along the path to mobile disaster, according to a new book about BB’s demise, Losing the Signal, published today. Initially, BlackBerry ignored the fact that the mobile world had changed when Apple came out with the iPhone and its touchscreen, then when Verizon pressured the company into developing the BB touchscreen Storm phone, giving it one year to do so, the product unsurprisingly bombed.
German car makers Daimler, BMW and Audi have partnered with private equity firm General Atlantic in a consortium looking to acquire Nokia’s Here. A bid from the grouping could value the maps business at as much as €1 billion. Also in the frame is a Chinese alliance comprising media and Internet giant Tencent Holdings and map maker Navinfo, together with Swedish buyout specialist EQT Partners.
IBM has announced 16 winners in the latest round of its Smarter Cities Challenge programme, with the selected metros now set to receive smart city consulting services from IBM. That means helping out in areas such as jobs creation, transportation, and public safety, to healthcare, revenue, social services and public works. After working closely with city leadership, IBM team then recommends innovative and tailored ways to address issues, providing road maps on how the city can improve.
LoveLive has rolled out its LPlayer video-platform offering publishers original news-driven music programming, with AOL, Bauer Media, CBSi, and Condé Nast Entertainment’s The Scene already on board. The HD content includes a mix of exclusive live performances from leading artists, backstage interviews, along with fan- and artist-driven formats. LPlayer is white-labelled to each publisher and supported by brand partnerships and video ads.
Forget Silicon Valley’s style deficit, Google is getting into the business of identifying fashion trends. For one thing, according to trending Google apparel searches, tulle skirts are growing in popularity just in time for spring fashion, up 34% in the 12 months to January 2015. The trend originated on the West Coast but the tulle skirt is making its way across the US, with the most popular colours being the classics – black and white.
Mobile phone maker HTC has cut a deal with Mama & Company to give it “official smartphone” status across the latter’s nine UK venues, including The Forum in London and Manchester’s The Ritz, along with a number of festivals, such as The Great Escape and Lovebox. The brand will be integrated into the content, with HTC activations demonstrating how its products are part of the music experience.