Networked Globe Briefing – 21 January 2014

Competitions for transport app developers, Catalonian high school students developing applications and the Alliance for Affordable Internet expanding dominate today’s IoT news.

GSMA joins Alliance For Affordable Internet

The GSMA today announced it has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a global coalition of over 50 of private sector, public sector, and civil society organizations committed to driving down the cost of Internet access in developing countries.

Sonia Jorge, Executive Director of the Alliance for Affordable Internet said: “Despite recent falls in prices, mobile broadband remains prohibitively expensive in most developing countries. A4AI’s recent affordability report highlighted that for those living on less than US $2 a day, mobile broadband costs in excess of 20 per cent of monthly incomes in many countries, and skyrockets to as much as 48 per cent of income in Colombia, and 35 per cent in Zambia.

Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA commented: “We welcome the opportunity to become a member of the Alliance for Affordable Internet and to help tackle one of the most pressing technological challenges in less-developed countries.”

The A4AI was launched in October 2013 to support the UN Broadband Commission’s target of entry-level broadband services priced at less than five per cent of average monthly income.

Catalonian high school students to develop apps in the classroom

This month 20% of Catalonia’s 4th year high school students will commence the final part of the Let’s Mobilize Computer Technology program, focusing on the design and creation of applications for mobile devices.

To help the 5,965 students 240 teachers at 196 secondary schools have been trained as part of the mSchools program, an initiative backed by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the Regional Government of Catalonia, the City of Barcelona and GSMA.

mSchools aims to enhance high school students’ skills in the digital environment, reduce school drop-out rates, and improve academic performance.

UK transport app competition

British innovation hub STRIDE – Smart Transport Internet of Things Data Ecosystem – is running a contest for developers building transport applications using data from the organisation’s information hub.

The winning cash prize is £750 with a runner-up cash prize of £250. In addition, the winning team will receive two free tickets, worth £1,800, to The Personal Information Economy event in London. Access to the hub, and entry into the contest, open to school and university students, independent developers, and companies.

Verizon showcases SOBERLINK connected breathalyzer

Alcohol monitoring service SOBERLINK has been showcased as a partner of Verizon’s Hosted Private Network program. The company’s SL2 device, a handheld cellular breathalyzer, has an embedded high-resolution camera that takes a picture of the participant during the breath alcohol test to verify the tester’s identity.

The photo and the person’s Breath Alcohol Concentration and location is sent via Verizon’s Private Network to SOBERLINK’s monitoring portal. The cloud-based monitoring site allows the test results to be accessed remotely by a case manager, counselor, or loved one. Real-time alerts can also be set up so that designated contacts are notified if there are signs of a relapse, such as a missed or positive test.

Stratus Technologies Introduces Software Defined Availability Platform

Business continuity software vendor Stratus Technologies announced the launch of everRun Enterprise platform which includes disaster recovery and application monitoring for mission critical applications.

“This launch signals a change in strategy for Stratus,” said Nigel Dessau, Chief Marketing Officer at Stratus Technologies. “We are broadening our focus on fault tolerance – which ensures the highest levels of availability – beyond hardware, to virtual workloads on commodity servers. In effect, we are bringing mainframe-like levels of availability to Intel-based servers.”

everRun Enterprise unifies the monitoring, management and service capabilities of the Avancehigh-availability software and uses the open source Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor that supports a wide range of operating systems.

Numerex wins Compass Intelligence Mobility Award

At the 2014 International CES trade show in Las Vegas Numerex Corp was selected as a winner for the 2014 A-List honoring organizations in the M2M world.

“We pride ourselves on being a technology innovator in the M2M space,” said Stratton Nicolaides, Numerex Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. “To be recognized for the value we create for our customers and partners as an M2M solutions provider is very gratifying. This is a significant award that affirms Numerex’s leadership in the marketplace.”

About the author

Paul Wallbank is the founding editor of Networked Globe and has nearly twenty years experience of working in and reporting on computers, the internet and the future of our connected society.