Accenture calls for platform boost

The smartphone software market needs an equivalent to Moore’s Law to meet demand from a growing number of industries, a leading expert claims.
David Wood, technology strategy lead for Accenture’s embedded software services division, says speed is essential to matching growing demand from sectors covering energy, healthcare and in-vehicle applications.
Wood told Telecoms some incentive is needed to spur platform developers to adapt their software for new devices and services.
“Embedded software is a fantastic enabler,” he noted, pointing to a range of possibilities in devices for utilities firms, and cost cutting health network technologies that will put “more tools in doctor’s hands.”
The Accenture man made no bones about using the Mobile World Congress as a “coming out party” for the firm’s embedded software division. The firm teamed with Vodafone to demonstrate a prototype health device capable of remotely monitoring a patient’s weight, heart rate, glucose level and blood pressure.
Other joint demos covered home monitoring, and a vehicle tracking service for insurance firms that can monitor and analyze the driver’s behavior.
Major automotive components maker Magneti Marelli highlighted the car industry’s interest in December, agreeing a five year deal covering in-car infotainment, telematics and embedded software services.
Entertainment presents an opportunity for platforms to “move to new devices,” Woods notes, but he says car maker’s main interest in wireless is for safety.
His views echo GSM Association spokesman Dan Warren, who in a separate interview told vehicle manufacturers have been left “asking what more can be done” with wireless technology installed as part of Europe’s eCall initiative – which automatically contacts authorities after road collisions.
Accenture also demo’d a device capable of running non-native Android services using a modified version of the software, in a sign of what the big hitter’s platforms are capable of if they expand their boundaries.
Wood believes there is still all to play for in embedded platforms, though, predicting that four major players will come to the fore in the coming years.
“The firms likely to thrive are those who can act fast,” was his only thoughts on who the four might be.