Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sweden's Tobii Raises EUR 16 Million for Eye Tracking Silicon

Tobii Technology, a private company headquartered in Stockholm with offices in the U.S., Germany, Norway, Japan and China, has raised EUR 16 million (MSEK 170) in expansion capital for its Eye Tracking technology. The company recently launched an embedded eye tracking system on a chip, which will enable eye tracking technology to be integrated with a wide array of products in new markets such as anti-drowsiness for vehicles, general computers, medical diagnostics and gaming.

Tobii says its eye tracking technology utilizes advanced image processing of a person's face, eyes and reflections in the eyes of near-infrared reference lights to accurately estimate the 3D position in space of each eye and the precise target to which each eye gaze is directed towards.

The new funding came from Amadeus Capital Partners, Northzone Ventures and existing investor, Investor Growth Capital.

IEEE Working Group Advances Broadband Over Power Lines Standard

The IEEE P1901 working group completed a preliminary version of a draft standard called "Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications." The first four chapters of the draft Standard have been unanimously approved. In addition, a refined table of contents for the draft standard was presented, detailing how to merge several confirmed proposals. The table of contents was also unanimously approved.

When completed, the project will present a standard for high speed (>100 Mbps at the physical layer) communication devices via alternating current electric power lines, so called Broadband over Power Line (BPL) devices. The standard will use transmission frequencies below 100 MHz. This standard will be usable by all classes of BPL devices, including BPL devices used for the first-mile/last-mile connection (<1500m to the premise) to broadband services as well as BPL devices used in buildings for LANs and other data distribution (<100m between devices).

The draft standard will continue to be developed over the next several months.

Indostar II/Protostar II Satellite Successfully Launched

International Launch Services (ILS) successfully carried the Indostar II/Protostar II satellite into orbit aboard a Proton rocket launched from Kazakhstan.

The Indostar II/Protostar II satellite, located at 107.7 degrees East, was built on the Boeing 601 HP platform and is the second satellite in Protostar's evolving constellation. This satellite replaces the existing Chakarawarta 1 and will bring high power S-band and Ku-band capacity over Indonesia, with expanded service to India, the Philippines and Taiwan. The satellite's S-band transponders will support Direct to Home TV and Radio services for Indovision. The satellite will also offer HDTV multimedia and broadband services throughout the ASEAN region.

Ericsson Partners with World Wide Fund for Nature Sweden

Ericsson is collaborating with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Sweden to encourage the smart use of telecom solutions across industries to reduce global CO2 emissions. To achieve this, they will work together to promote climate-smart telecom solutions, and introduce the concept of being "climate-positive" to solution-driven companies in the ICT sector.

The partnership covers three key areas: a methodology for calculating CO2 savings from emission avoidance; the integration of low-carbon telecommunication solutions in climate strategies for cities; and a support platform for partnerships that promote a low-carbon economy.

While the information and communications technology (ICT) industry is responsible for approximately 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, Ericsson and WWF Sweden believe it has the potential to help reduce more than 15 percent of the remaining 98 percent emitted by non-ICT industries and the public. The partnership aims to encourage other sectors, such as transport, buildings and energy, to better utilize ICT infrastructure and thereby reduce overall CO2 emissions.

"Society faces a huge challenge to drastically reduce CO2 emissions by 2050, while the world economy will as much as triple. Ericsson has a vision of using telecommunications to foster a more carbon-lean society, and we would like to see ICT and telecom on the agenda for the global climate negotiations in Copenhagen later this year, as a viable means of helping policy makers and governments when it comes to reaching their carbon emission targets. The opportunities for broadband to dematerialize and streamline the economy are almost unlimited," stated Elaine Weidman, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson.

Ericsson and WWF Sweden estimate that smart use of broadband-enabled services can reduce CO2 emissions by a factor of 10-100, i.e. the use of a telecom service that emits 1kg of CO2 may enable a reduction of 10-100kg of CO2.

Ericsson to build Municipal FTTH in Sweden

Ericsson has signed a contract to further develop and manage an operator-neutral city network in Hudiksvall, Sweden. It is the first time Ericsson has taken on both expansion and operation of a city network. The open network model allows residents to select services from an internet service provider of their choice. Residents will be able to select individualized, high-speed broadband services, such as high-definition IPTV and video-on-demand.

Ericsson will manage the network for Zitius, the open-access network operator, until 2016. Under the agreement, Ericsson will supply and deploy EDA 1200 fiber-access switches and metro aggregation, as well as SmartEdge Multi-Service Edge Routers and core network products. Starting this month, Ericsson will roll out fiber connections to individual homes. Financial terms were not disclosed.

India's MTNL Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Mobile NGN

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) has activated a commercial IP-based mobile next generation network (NGN) for supporting enhanced services to residential and enterprise customers in Mumbai. The mobile NGN solution, provided by Alcatel-Lucent, is 3G and IMS ready.

The mobile NGN solution deployment is a part of a multi year agreement under which Alcatel-Lucent is providing an end-to-end GSM/EDGE solution to MTNL. Services offered under the agreement include project management, consulting and design, installation and deployment, network operations, maintenance and integration and testing. Alcatel-Lucent has supplied more than 50 percent of MTNL's TDM switches and more than 2 million GSM lines to MTNL previously.