Acuity Brands acquire Lucid Design to gain share in smart home solutions market

Acuity Brands, an Atlanta based electronics manufacturing company announced its acquisition of Lucid Design Group, a provider of building analytics and business intelligence platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Acuity looks forward to unlocking the value of the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities in buildings by combining Lucid’s software platform with Acuity Brand’s networked sensors.

Based in Oakland, CA, Lucid provides a SaaS-based BuildingOS platform that enables users to gain insights into the operations of their buildings. Lucid has built integrations into over 180 different building data systems and services, including systems tracking utility data, building automation systems, work order systems, and property management solutions.

“We are excited by the opportunity to leverage Acuity Brands’ broad IoT and control capabilities to deliver a complete solution to our customers,”Will Coleman, CEO, Lucid Design Group, Inc.

Acuity Brands, a leading provider of lighting and building management solutions hit $ 3.5 billion in sales in 2017. While the acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on the financial bottom line of the company this year, it will fuel growth for Acuity in years to come.

“Lucid’s technology will allow us to extend the power of our digital networked lighting, building management and IoT solutions,” Laurent J. Vernerey, President of the Acuity Technology Group and Executive Vice President of Acuity Brands, Inc.

Over the past few years, Acuity Brands is transforming from a traditional lighting manufacturer into a state-of-the-art software solution provider within the IoT domain. In July 2016, Acuity made a similar acquisition of 100 percent equity stake in San Francisco-based DGLogik Inc., a provider of innovative software solutions for efficient energy usage and facility performance to enhance its portfolio of holistic IoT solutions.

Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Next-Gen AirPods Rumored to Gain Water Resistance and More

Apple is planning some big upgrades for upcoming generations of its AirPods wireless earbuds, according to a new report. Those upgrades will be part of a larger effort to boost the company’s wearables business. And, like with the Apple Watch and its other products, the Cupertino firm will update new versions of its Bluetooth headphones […]
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iPhone X is a flop? New report says Apple will gain market share in 2018 as Samsung slides

iPhone vs. Galaxy Sales

As is the case every year, Samsung and Apple launch new smartphone models in 2018 that are better and more sophisticated than their predecessors. Samsung’s handsets are coming first, with the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 set to launch in March and September, respectively. Apple, meanwhile, is expected to release three new iPhone X successors this coming September. But a new report says that it’s Apple’s iPhone that will win when it comes to market share gains this year.

TrendForce issued a new research note outlining its forecast for the 2018 mobile market. The company says the growth momentum will remain weak in 2018 due to lower demand and fewer upgrades. Global smartphone production for 2018 should reach around 1.5 billion units, which represents a 2.8% growth compared to last year, reduced from the previous 5% growth forecast.

Samsung will remain the top smartphone vendor, shipping an estimated 300 million units in 2018. But that’s a 5% decrease compared to 2017.

Apple, meanwhile, is expected to retain the #2 position. But unlike Samsung, Apple will gain 6% market share, according to projections. “Apple is set to launch three new flagship models in 3Q18 and will expand the adoption of Face ID and all-screen technology in these new iPhones, along with upgrading their existing functions and increasing the memory content as well,” TrendForce writes. Improved iPhone specs and the expansion in India should help Apple sell more iPhone, the report notes, though stronger than expected iPhone X sales during the first and second quarters will also have to play a role.

Huawei is also expected to see a notable gain in market share, growing from 10.8% of the market in 2017 to 11.6% this year. 
Other Chinese smartphone makers including Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo will contend for the remaining spots in the top-five, with Xiaomi and Oppo seen edging out Vivo.

LG will probably rank seventh followed by Lenovo. Asus and HTC smartphone sales will continue to decline, the report notes. Nokia will see ship 70% more Android handsets this year than in 2017 — that’s an increase to over 20 million units from 11.5 million last year. Google’s smartphone estimates for 2018 aren’t even mentioned in the report.

Apple – BGR

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The Next Web

Discord Desktop Apps Gain Deep Spotify Integration, Including Real-Time ‘Listen Along’ Feature

Gaming-focused chat platform Discord today announced a new integration with Spotify that will allow users to connect their Spotify accounts to Discord in order to showcase what they’re listening to. Spotify Premium subscribers will be able to “Listen Along” to songs and full playlists together with fellow Premium members directly within their Discord server, which syncs up tracks so that each user is hearing everything at the same time.

Non-Premium members will have the ability to display a currently listening to track in their Discord profile, so when friends click on the profile they can discover new music with a “Play on Spotify” button. Discord confirmed to MacRumors that the Spotify update will be available for both the Mac and PC apps, as well as in web browsers, and all of the Spotify integrations will go live on Discord today.

On iOS, Discord users will be able to see what their friends are listening to, but shared listening will only be available on the desktop apps.

“This is the next natural step to highlight the importance of music as an integral part of the gaming experience,” said Mikael Ericsson, Product Director, Platform & Partner Experience at Spotify. “Starting today, we’re really excited to offer Spotify Premium and Discord users the ability to listen together as a group or highlight what they’re jamming out to while enjoying their favorite games.”

Today’s updates are set to become more enhanced additions to existing features already available in Discord. For example, the chat app previously included syncing with Spotify to show when members of a server were using the music streaming service, but today’s announcement is a far deeper integration between the two companies with specific track listings that show song, album, and time in the song.

There have also been bots in Discord that perform a somewhat similar function to Listen Along, allowing server mods to create channels where users can add songs to a playlist — with audio usually sourced from YouTube music videos — and let multiple people join in the channel to listen in real time and edit what’s coming up next.

For those who haven’t downloaded it yet, Discord is a free app for Mac, PC, iOS, and Android that lets its users join servers that are typically aimed at discussing a specific game and organizing events around the game. The Mac app is available to download on the company’s website and the iOS app is free on the App Store [Direct Link].

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Logitech’s HomeKit-Enabled Circle 2 Cameras Gain Notification Snapshots and Subscription Discounts

Logitech today announced the launch of new features for its HomeKit-compatible Circle 2 security cameras via an update to the Logi Circle app.

Notification Snapshots, a new in-app feature, are designed to provide a visual “snapshot” notification of an event whenever motion is detected by the Circle 2 camera.

With this option, you’ll get a visual representation of exactly what triggered the motion detection feature rather than a simple text-based notification that lets you know motion was detected. Snapshots will be sent via push notification and should let you react more quickly to incoming motion detection alerts.

For customers who also subscribe to Logitech’s Circle Safe premium service, Notification Snapshots offer up a zoomed-in view of the object or person that triggered the motion detection based on the Circle’s Person Detection feature.

Enabling Notification Snapshots on existing Circle 2 cameras will require you to download the updated Logi Circle app from the App Store and install a new firmware update from within the app.

Along with new notification features, Logitech is also introducing new Circle Safe Home subscription plans designed for customers with multiple cameras.

Circle Safe pricing starts at $3.99 per month for the basic subscription for a single camera and goes up to $9.99 per month (or $99.99 per year) for the premium subscription, but customers with multiple cameras can now get discounted prices.

For up to five cameras, Circle Safe Basic starts at $6.99 per month or $69 per year, while Circle Safe Premium starts at $17.99 per month or $179 per year.

Circle Safe Basic and Circle Safe Premium allow you to store video in the cloud for a longer period of time and access premium features. Logitech’s cameras, available from Logitech and Amazon for $180, can be used sans subscription, but only 24 hours of video footage is stored in the cloud.

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MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

Researchers Used Virtual Reality to Gain Insight into How Our Brains Assemble Memories

Memory Research

Researchers are using virtual reality (VR) to better explore how human brains assemble memories and organize them in context. In a new study, published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers put human volunteer subjects into a VR experience and then observed the activity in their hippocampuses. Through this experiment, the researchers were able to show that different parts of the hippocampus are activated in response to different types of memories.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, studied how our brains assemble memories within context of time and space by immersing participants in a VR experience. Afterwards, the scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to observe activity in the hippocampus while the subjects recalled their memories of the experience.

Participants try to recall objects from houses in a VR experience. Image Credit:
Participants try to recall objects from houses in a VR experience. Image Credit:

In the VR experience, the subjects “went” into different houses that had different objects in them. They tried to memorize the objects in two separate contexts — which video and which house. This tested both episodic (video) and spatial (house) memory, which each activated different regions of the hippocampus.

Medical VR

This study allowed the researchers to identify a region of the hippocampus that is involved in recalling shared information about contexts (such as virtual objects that were in the same video) and another distinct area that is involved in remembering differences in context. Additionally, the experiment revealed that hippocampus is involved in episodic memories that link time and space, contradicting the previous thinking that the hippocampus codes mostly for spatial memories.

7 Incredibly Ambitious Virtual Reality Projects
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This study shows just how widely applicable VR technologies can be to physiological and medical research. There are already VR systems designed to help medical students learn in a more realistic environment, and future operating rooms and hospitals could easily be equipped with VR training tech.

Additionally, VR systems could allow for surgeons to better assess and view the operating area before a procedure is performed. The tech could even be further applied as a diagnostic tool to provide a 3-dimensional, immersive look at patients bodies that could reveal aspects of a diagnosis that might have otherwise gone unseen.

The post Researchers Used Virtual Reality to Gain Insight into How Our Brains Assemble Memories appeared first on Futurism.


MacBook Pro eGPUs gain full clamshell mode and hot-plug capabilities in Apple’s macOS 10.13.4 beta

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AppleInsider testing has shown significant improvement in eGPU implementation in Apple’s new macOS 10.13.4 beta, boasting a dynamic clamshell mode working as expected regardless of monitor configuration, and a new menu on the desktop allowing users to disconnect from a connected enclosure without necessitating a logout.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Dish set-top boxes will soon gain Google Assistant support

Google Assistant launched with just a few third-party product integrations, but the list has grown considerably since then. You can add Dish to that list soon. The satellite television provider has announced its set-top boxes will soon plug into Google Assistant on all your other devices. That means you can channel surf without touching the remote.

Dish has provided a list of sample commands that will work with its boxes once the update goes through.

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Dish set-top boxes will soon gain Google Assistant support was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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