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In July when VMware acquired network virtualization startup Nicira for more than $1 billion, VMware showed that it’s serious about being as big of a player in the cloud’s future as it has been with the cloud’s enabling technology, virtualization.

VMware declined to discuss their cloud roadmap with me for this story, but as the cliché goes, actions speak louder than words. And VMware’s recent cloud actions are revealing.

So before we look at the roadmap, let’s look at where VMware is now. Virtualization, of course, is the enabling technology that made this cloud revolution feasible. Sure, IT curmudgeons will tell you that the idea of the cloud has been around for years, but it wasn’t practical until virtualization matured.

VMware’s cloud centerpiece is vCloud, which serves as a foundation for building clouds. vCloud competes directly with the Citrix-led CloudStack and with the open source project OpenStack. Muddying the waters, VMware just joined the OpenStack Foundation as a gold member (more on this later).

VMware’s open PaaS solution, Cloud Foundry, shows promise but is still in beta. It will also face stiff competition from established PaaS players, including IBM, Amazon AWS, Red Hat, chúng tôi Microsoft and Google. That’s not a list of lightweights.

Where VMware’s cloud potential really starts to shine, though, is with its recent cloud acquisitions, the most important being Nicira, a pioneer of software-defined networking (SDN).

With SDN, the network itself is what is being virtualized. Just as server virtualization decoupled apps from hardware, so too does network virtualization decouple network services and operational control from network hardware. Thus, any available physical network can be transformed into an IP backplane. These virtual networks can then be provisioned to deliver all of the same features of physical networks, but with operational flexibility.

This isn’t trivial. It opens the door (along with virtualized compute and virtual storage) to software-defined data centers.

Nicira isn’t VMware’s only cloud acquisition, but it is the most important. Other cloud-related acquisitions include DynamicOps (cloud automation and management), Cetas Software (Big Data analytics), B-Hive Networks (application performance management), Wanova (virtual desktop management), and Shavlik Technologies (cloud-based IT management). VMware also purchased Log Insight, a cloud analytics platform, from data management vendor Pattern Insight.

What’s the common denominator amongst these acquisitions, other than that in one way or another they all relate to the cloud? The common denominator is management.

And that’s where trouble starts brewing. “Each new acquisition fragments VMware’s cloud management capabilities,” said Shmuel Kliger, CTO of VMTurbo. “VMware is repeating the mistakes made by traditional IT systems management vendors.”

The difference is that when HP, BMC and IBM cobbled together their solutions for managing the non-virtualized data center from an array of point products, data silos were the norm. Enterprises could handle these point products because they already had different storage, networking and server teams, and while everyone paid lip service to breaking down silos, nobody saw this as a huge impediment.

In a software-defined data center, management and data silos pose real problems and seriously undermine efficiency. Kliger isn’t a disinterested party here. VMTurbo provides cloud operations management tools, and, of course, it’s in their best interest to alert people to any cracks in VMware’s cloud management foundation. Nonetheless, his argument is a valid one.

“Instead of solving the management problem, they created a management nightmare. Moreover, most of these tools focus on collecting data – a lot of detailed data – that could be used to alert administrators and generate reports,” Kliger said. “Not only does the collected data not solve anything, but it creates a whole new problem: a Big Data problem.”

With all this data piling up, it must be stored, managed and somehow assessed. With more tools collecting more information, it becomes difficult to extract meaning from the Big Data avalanche.

Another issue with VMware’s cloud strategy is that it recently changed its pricing model. VRAM pricing has been an issue for some time.

Last year, VMware rolled out a new pricing model that charged customers based on the amount of virtual infrastructure, not physical infrastructure, they used. Thus, customers who succeeded in consolidating virtual machines (VMs) onto a few servers were penalized.

At VMworld this year, after vocal complaints from customers, VMware announced that it was doing away with this. It will now charge the old-fashioned way: per-CPU and per-socket.

However, I spoke with an executive at a service provider who complained that the new pricing is not being extended to the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP).

My source wished to remain anonymous, but he said that now it is service providers, and especially hosting providers, who will be penalized.

“This means that the price service providers give to customers for virtual machines or hosted servers will remain high. The big guys will just move to open source because it’s going to be hard to compete as a VMware service provider paying this memory tax,” he said.

Even the new pricing could be seen as flawed. Eventually, virtualization and the cloud move pricing to a utility model, and the per-CPU model, while probably more profitable for VMware, seems antiquated, a remnant of the shrink-wrap software days.

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Developing A Roadmap For Medical Device Interoperability

Healthcare costs around the world are on the rise. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEDC), health expenditure over the next 15 years is set to reach 10.2% of GDP by 2030. But without timely action, a sizeable portion of this expenditure is likely to be wasted — in the US alone, $700bn in healthcare spending is squandered yearly. By embracing medical device interoperability, healthcare authorities can reverse this trend and invest more in patient care.

But before exploring this further, it makes sense to define medical device interoperability. Put simply, medical device interoperability is the ability to exchange data across devices, products, technologies and systems. 

Better patient outcomes 

Connectivity matters more than ever in a world where devices ‘speak’ to each other all the time. But just as importantly, Healthcare interoperability can also improve patient care, reduce errors and encourage innovation.

A true story provides a good illustration. Several years ago a patient was admitted to hospital, treated and released. It turned out that the patient was prescribed a treatment in hospital that contraindicated for a comorbid condition. If the patient had stayed on this treatment, he would have almost certainly died. Fortunately, in this case, the healthcare system had developed an interface for their hospitals that allowed reports to be pushed directly to a physician’s electronic medical record (EMR). This meant that the patient’s physician was able to receive a report from the hospital the day the patient was discharged and was able to stop the medication. 

It goes to show how important accurate data is for medical assessments. And with medical errors contributing to 9.5% of deaths in the US alone, this has become a pressing issue. Interoperability solutions can reduce the risk by giving clinicians access to data at the point of care. 

A boost to innovation 

Lastly, there is a direct connection between healthcare interoperability and innovation. Better access to patient data can aid in more accurate treatments. With access to connected medical devices, clinicians can also prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and ensure care is delivered at the right time and place.

It’s clear that interoperability brings huge benefits to healthcare. So what factors should be taken into account when developing medical devices for this market?

Classification is key 

The first factor to consider is classification. Manufacturers must follow distinct processes to classify their products as interoperable medical devices. The system established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is typical. It makes clear that the intended use of a medical device needs to be clarified in an “intended purpose” document. But that’s not all. Every market has its own product definition, so manufacturers must also ensure that the intended purpose of a product aligns with these requirements. 

Interoperability should be a priority 

Standards relating to interoperability must also be followed. Let’s say a company is designing a connected medical device that transfers patient-driven data into a physician’s electronic medical records (EMR) system. The data would need to be received using healthcare data interoperability standards like HLZ v2 or FHIR otherwise the product would not be fit for purpose. 

Implementing product updates 

Interoperable medical devices can also throw up unforeseen challenges for manufacturers. There may be a necessity to upgrade software or patch security vulnerabilities, which is why flexibility should be baked into any product. 

As long as the changes do not alter the intended purpose of the product there shouldn’t be any need for re-certification. For example, a business may choose to update a library that operates a piece of software without changing the interface. In this instance, the product would not need to be recertified unless there was a significant change to the solution.

Logitech G Cloud Review: Head In The Cloud

Pros

Comfortable and lightweight

Clear and bright display

Excellent battery life

Cons

Not as good value as rivals

Requires lots of subscriptions

Powerful mobile games are laggy

Our Verdict

The Logitech G Cloud offers great hardware and is ideal for those who are happy to subscribe to cloud gaming services, but it is pretty expensive for a console that requires Wi-Fi for most of its features.

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Price

$299.99

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Handheld gaming has always been popular, with brands such as Nintendo long dominating the market with the Gameboy, DS and Switch. In recent years there have been a surge of handheld gaming PCs, including the Steam Deck and the Asus ROG Ally.

The Logitech G Cloud offers something a little different, combining cloud gaming with an Android experience that is similar to what you’d find on a basic tablet.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

What is the Logitech G Cloud?

Cloud gaming device

Controls inspired by Xbox

The Logitech G Cloud is a handheld gaming console in the style of the Nintendo Switch, with a twist. The console is designed specifically with cloud services like Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now in mind.

The console isn’t packed with powerful hardware like you’d find on the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally. Instead, the heavy lifting in games is done elsewhere via various cloud services. This way, the price and weight can be kept down.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The look is pretty familiar to other modern handheld consoles, with the display in the centre, and the buttons and levers on the side.

The layout of the buttons mimics what you’ll find on an Xbox control, and the asymmetrically placed joysticks, ABXY buttons, trackpad, triggers and bumper buttons are also pretty much the same. This is perhaps not surprising when Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is one of the main gaming sources for the console.

Design and build

463g

One colour option

Ergonomic build

One of the most important aspects of a portable console is how it feels in your hand. Fortunately for the Logitech G Cloud, it is just right.

The rounded bottom corners sit comfortably in the palm, whilst the lightly textured materials on either side allow it to be gripped securely. Most of the buttons are easy to reach without having to adjust too much, and those that are a little more out of the way are the two buttons you’ll likely use the least.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The weight of the console is crucial for comfort. You don’t want to drop what feels like a brick on your face when you’re lying in bed playing. At 463g, the G Cloud weighs almost a third less than both ROG Ally and Steam Deck, but slightly more than a regular Nintendo Switch with Joy-Cons connected – it varies slightly between different models of the Switch.

Playing on the G Cloud for long periods of time shouldn’t be a problem, you just need to make sure you find a good sitting or lying position to play in. The light weight and slim profile also means its great for slipping into a bag for travel.

One of the most important aspects of a portable console is how it feels in your hand. Fortunately for the Logitech G Cloud, it is just right

Display, speakers and battery

7in LCD panel

60Hz refresh rate

Stereo speakers

The Logitech G Cloud’s 7in screen is largely impressive. The resolution is the same as the ROG Ally, 1080p, which is better than both the Nintendo Switch’s 720p and Steam Deck’s 800p. The 60Hz refresh rate is on par with Steam Deck, but falls behind the 120Hz refresh rate on the ROG Ally.

The G Cloud uses an LCD panel. Whilst the colours aren’t as rich as what you’ll find on a console with an OLED panel, they’re still impressive and pop well enough.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

In terms of brightness, the panel is 450 cd/m2. For reference, the Steam Deck’s screen is 400 cd/m2, whilst the ROG Ally can reach 500 cd/m2. In practical terms, this means its just bright enough to use outside when turned up to full.

The console features dual stereo speakers on the bottom. Whilst these are reasonably loud and punchy, their placement means that they’re easy to muffle if you’re leaning the console against something. There’s also a headphone jack located on the bottom if you want a more personal audio experience.

Under the hood there is a 6,000mAh battery, which should be able to keep the G Cloud going for 12 hours of play “under normal gaming conditions.” This is reflected during testing, with the console only requiring a few charges during numerous days of testing.

Charging is done via the USB-C port (a cable and brick is included), and it takes just over two hours to juice the console from flat to full.

Cloud gaming

Works with Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, Steam Link and more

Some games may leave libraries at short notice

The longevity of any games console is the largely dependent on the range of games available. The Switch has Nintendo’s proprietary masterpiece, whilst the Steam Deck and the ROG Ally can install large parts of the Steam library and many other PC titles.

The Logitech G Cloud ends up in a bit of a strange position here, as it is more or less dependent on the cloud services available – though you can certainly play some of the games you already own on PC via features like Steam Link.

Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is part of Xbox Game Pass, has a really wide range of games to choose from, from Assassin’s Creed: Origins to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. However, there are drawbacks to the service. For starters, it’s a subscription. In addition to paying for the console, you must fork out every month to play the titles available.

Kristian Kask

Xbox Cloud Gaming also has a rotating library, with titles being removed from time to time. Like your favourite series on Netflix, your favourite game could be gone from the service before you’ve finished playing it.

However, the storage of saves in the cloud is really cool. It allows you to seamlessly switch from playing something on your Xbox console on the TV to handheld on the G Cloud without losing any progress.

Kristian Kask

Nvidia’s GeForce Now lets you play lots of games you have on various libraries, such as Steam or Epic Games Store. There is a free version, but this comes with lots of drawbacks – so again, you’ll likely want to pay a monthly subscription. In addition, you need to already own the games on one of the other services to be able to play them.

One of the new services added to the Logitech G Cloud with the launch in Europe is Shadow PC, a cloud service that gives you access to an entire virtual PC in the cloud. The service can be used for most things a regular PC can do, including gaming.

For example, you can play modified versions of games via the cloud computer. Mods for games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have been an incredible part of its popularity over the past 12 years, and are often cited as a major benefit of PC gaming. But yet again, it’s another subscription.

Playing on the Logitech G Cloud may be great, but there’s no escaping the fact that you’ll face a pretty hefty bill every month to get the most out of the console. The only gaming that doesn’t require a subscription are some Android titles – more on that later.

…there’s no escaping the fact that you’ll face a pretty hefty bill every month to get the most out of the console

Connectivity

Wi-Fi needed

Slow internet speeds can affect cloud gaming

There’s been a lot of talk about cloud services, but there’s one thing they all require: a network connection. How much you get out of a Logitech G Cloud depends on your internet speeds.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

The faster your internet is, the better your gaming experience will be – slow speeds will lead to lag. During testing, we found that 100mbps was fast enough for smooth cloud gaming, providing that nobody else was doing anything taxing such as downloading large files. If you don’t have that luxury, you can hotspot using your smartphone.

This is the only way to play cloud games on the Logitech G Cloud while travelling, which rules it out of being used on planes and the underground, where connections are limited. For longer sessions, you may need to invest in a power bank to ensure your phone doesn’t run out of juice.

The fact that it is not possible to connect G Cloud to a mobile network directly is a shame. Inserting a SIM card and playing using a 5G network on the bus or train would have been perfect. As it is, G Cloud can only handle the most basic of games without a Wi-Fi connection.

Android experience and specs

Android 11

Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor

64GB worth of storage

The Logitech G Cloud can also function as an Android tablet. However, finding the button to switch to tablet mode is a bit tricky and requires digging around in the settings. To return to console mode, there is a large button right on the home screen.

With this, you can browse the internet and download traditional smartphone apps like Twitter, Gmail and YouTube. Oddly, it runs on the slightly older Android 11.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

You can download games and apps from the Google Play store and play them when you’re offline. Despite being a dedicated gaming device, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor is not the most powerful on the market.

As a result, Genshin Impact can only run on low graphics settings without overclocking, and even then there is some stuttering. More casual games like Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will work just fine.

An interesting feature that the G Cloud got for the European launch is that you can map the physical buttons to points on the screen in some mobile games, so you can play with a more ergonomic grip instead of tapping the screen.

In addition to the Snapdragon processor, the console has an internal storage of 64GB, and has room for a microSD card to expand it if you really want to go heavy on mobile gaming.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Price and availability

The Logitech G Cloud costs $349/£329, though at the time of writing the console has a $50 discount in the US. American readers can get it from Logitech, Amazon and Best Buy. Those in the UK can get it from Logitech, Amazon and Currys.

If we just take into account the RRP, this is expensive for a console that largely relies on Wi-Fi. It undercuts the base version of the Steam Deck ($399/£349), but this console can play PC games offline once they’re installed.

It’s also more expensive than all the Nintendo Switch consoles, two of which offer a hybrid way of gaming with the option of being used with your TV. Granted, you’re limited to Nintendo’s library with these consoles – but once you own a game, you’ll have it for life.

On top of that, you have the monthly subscriptions – Xbox Games Pass is priced at $10.99/£8.99 per month. There is a free tier of GeForce Now, but you’ll have to put up with queuing. The next tier up, Priority, costs $9.99/£8.99 per month.

Overall, this results in quite a pricey portable console to run. Other than the mobile games, you won’t own titles that you purchase, so there’s also a big question mark surrounding the longevity of this device in comparison to rivals.

Verdict

The Logitech G Cloud is not the easiest console to rate. On the one hand, it is an incredibly comfortable handheld gaming device that lasts for hours on end on a single charge. The tablet mode also gives it another edge when it comes to versatility.

On the other hand, the reliance on cloud gaming puts a serious hindrance on it. You can’t really play it without Wi-Fi, and you’re beholden to the titles that are available in the cloud libraries that could be taken away at any point. Powerful mobile games also struggle on the G Cloud.

If you’re a big cloud gamer and love idea of trying out numerous titles every month, then it is still worth considering the Logitech G Cloud. Otherwise, there are other portable consoles that you can use anywhere on the go for a more affordable price.

This review has been translated and localised by Hannah Cowton for Tech Advisor, who also added in her own opinions after testing the Logitech G Cloud. The original article was written by Kristian Kask for M3.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G

Storage: 64GB

OS: Android 11

Display: 7in IPS LCD, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 60Hz, multitouch

Wireless: Dual band Wi-FI 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.1

Battery life: 6,000mAh cell, 12 hours of game play under “normal gaming conditions”

Dimensions: 256.84 x 117.21 x 32.95mm

Weight: 463g

Rhinox Soulbound Nft Launches Roadmap With New ‘Soul Breeding’ Mechanism

BinaryX, a GameFi development platform, today announced the launch of their official RhinoX roadmap which unlocks new and exciting use cases for soulbound tokens in the Web3 space. The roadmap reveals RhinoX’s ambitious plans to develop a ‘soul breeding’ mechanism that gives existing RhinoX token holders the ability to breed 2nd generation NFTs from their existing NFTs.

RhinoX Soulbound tokens

The concept of Soulbound tokens was first introduced by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. He envisioned a blockchain-backed, non-transferable NFT that could be used to represent an individual’s identity in the metaverse. RhinoX is inspired by that concept.

Earlier this year, the RhinoX team launched the first iteration of RhinoX NFT, now known as the 1st generation Soulbound NFT. It is tied to a credit rating system and a behaviour analysis model that tracks key user data. A reward mechanism is also applied, and Rh!noX holders stand to enjoy certain benefits according to their level of activity and milestone achievements.

Revealing the new RhinoX Ecosystem

According to the roadmap, RhinoX is set to enter a new phase of development, with a complete ecosystem and a few standout features.

Introducing the ‘Soul Breeding’ Mechanism

The ecosystem has an existing credit rating system and behavior analysis model. Apart from that, the team plans to introduce the ability to ‘breed’ new 2nd generation NFTs from the 10,000 1st generation RhinoX NFTs that sold out in June of this year.

The 2nd generation NFTs would be called Baby RhinoXs, and it will come with a different set of use cases, such as social identity building and asset collection.

‘Personalisation is key to self-identification. We want RhinoX to be a canvas for creative designs to come alive. We hope that with the ability to personalize the NFT, RhinoX holders will feel a greater sense of ownership to the NFTs they own,’ said Chun, Global Head of Business Development at BinaryX. 

RhineT – A Web3 Social Networking Platform

RhinoX is also slated to launch a new social platform called RhineT. RhineT will be a safe space for users to connect and interact with each other on Web3.0. Users can perform actions such as browsing someone’s NFT collection, making connections with others and chatting on the platform. Users on the platform will be authenticated through their ownership of the RhinoX token. 

Cross Chain Interoperability Partnerships

In the latter half of 2023, the project intends to establish cross-chain interoperability to enable the movement of data and value to be transferred between RhinoX and other reputable NFT projects. This will open up new pathways for interaction and collaboration between RhinoX and their partners running on multiple chains. 

“These are hard times for the NFT market, but there is a silver lining – we are pushed to innovate and create a more sustainable environment for our RhinoX holders. We look forward to introducing the new features to our holders, and we’re excited to be the first platform to work towards this.” Said Chun. 

What’s Next For RhinoX?

RhinoX’s Credit Rating System is expected to go live in 2023 Q1. The system will be the foundation of Rh!noX’s ecosystem and will give rise to new NFT use cases and applications in the Web3 space.

About RhinoX

RhinoX is the first soulbound token built on the BNB Chain. It is set within a unique digital environment based on a credit rating system by implementing Soulbound Mechanism where a RhinoX NFT works as a Soulbound Token that reflects a user’s identity, credibility, and social status.

About BinaryX

BinaryX is the GameFi platform behind the metaverse games CyberChess and CyberDragon, both of which run on the BNB chain.

BinaryX began as a decentralized derivative trading system. Recognizing the burgeoning popularity of GameFi and interest in the metaverse games, the team gradually evolved into developing decentralized video games, and is now transitioning to becoming a GameFi platform offering IGO services to bridge Web2 developers to Web3. 

As one of the top 10 projects on the BNB Chain, BinaryX has more than 100k coin holders and 15K monthly active wallets. It is also one of the largest metaverse projects by trading volume on the BNB chain, with more than 300 million in market cap. BinaryX has a token $BNX that has consistently demonstrated strong performance despite the bear market.

About Rh!noX 

Contact

Communications Lead

Sammi K.

BinaryX

[email protected]

Save Space On Your Laptop And In The Cloud By Compressing Files

Digital storage space is always at a premium, so it’s helpful to know how to pack data into even smaller packages. In short, file compression will allow you to reclaim big chunks of room. 

Both Windows and macOS come with built-in tools to compress your files, and if that doesn’t cut it, there’s also a wealth of third-party programs that will do a more comprehensive job.

How file compression works

The squashing algorithms that file-compressing tools use are sophisticated and powerful, but the principle behind them is easy to grasp. Imagine a file made of seven A’s in a row, which would look like this: “AAAAAAA”. You could compact that to take up less space by replacing those seven characters with something like “7A”. 

Some formats do this automatically. Digital photos and music lend themselves well to quick and easy compression, because a lot of data can be cut without your eyes or ears noticing. This is why file types like JPEG and MP3 can keep your photos and audio light and small.

[Related: Your smartphone photos take up too much space. Here’s how to downsize them.]

When opening a compressed file, the process has to happen in reverse—your device needs to reinterpret “7A” as “AAAAAAA”. This is why these documents take longer to open and why people use compression for files they want to keep around but don’t need to access often. As an added bonus, compressed folders or “archives” allow you to put a mass of data into one compressed package, keeping things neat and tidy.

Compressing files on Windows and macOS

Apple’s operating system won’t allow you to easily add files to a folder that has already been compressed without starting the whole process again. This is one reason why you might want to upgrade to a dedicated utility. 

Other file compression programs

Windows and macOS give you the basics, but other applications offer greater levels of compression, plus extras such as password protection, increased security, and broader archive format support. If you’ve got serious amounts of data to package or you want to save as much space as possible, they’re worth a look. 

WinZip is available for both Windows and macOS, and is one of the oldest and most comprehensive compression tools around. You can try it out for free, but after 30 days, it will set you back $40. It deploys banking-level encryption, connects directly to popular cloud storage accounts such as Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, and it includes extras such as PDF watermarking for additional document security.

[Related: Cloud storage is cheaper when you know how to share it]

Then there’s WinRAR, a direct rival of WinZip that has been around for decades. It is also $40, but has a longer 40-day free trial. In return for your cash, you’ll get features such as different compression algorithms for different file types, easy splitting of archives, and broad file format support. It’s mainly for Windows users though, with only a command line interface available on Macs.

WinZip and WinRAR are more for commercial or seriously heavy-duty use. But if you don’t want to splurge and still need more than the basics in Windows and macOS, you have a couple of free options.

PeaZip is available for Windows and is also completely free to use. The main difference is its interface, which is more stylish and polished than 7-Zip. This is another program that supports a large number of compression formats, and also offers features such as strong encryption and password protection for extra archive security.

Volkswagen Releases First Ota Update For Evs With Roadmap For New Features

Volkswagen releases first OTA update for EVs with roadmap for new features

Volkswagen is lighting up over-the-air (OTA) updates for all of its ID electric models, expanding what had until now been a trial with the promise of new firmware delivered without owners needing to visit a dealership. The first VW OTA update for EVs will be released from today, the automaker confirmed, though not every software package will be a free upgrade.

VW has been testing OT updates with its opt-in “ID. First Movers Club” until now, giving those EV owners willing to be guinea pigs a chance to try out the cutting-edge firmware for their cars. Now, though, Volkswagen says it’s ready to roll out OTA support fleet-wide.

That so far means the ID.3, ID4., and ID.4 GTX EVs, not all of which are currently available in the US market. At the moment, American drivers only get the ID.4 electric crossover, with the other EVs offered in Europe currently. In due course, VW plans to release an electric microbus, the ID. BUZZ, along with a larger electric SUV, the ID.8.

The first OTA update – known as ID. Software 2.3 – will tweak some of the existing EV features, as well as add new ones. The ID. Light, for example, is being updated: the LED strip that runs along the base of the windshield will be able to show different status updates depending on drive mode. Different colors will highlight economical driving, while it’ll also be used to communicate status of the adaptive cruise control system.

The multifunction camera, meanwhile, has also been massaged. VW says it can now spot motorcycles and other road users more rapidly, thanks to an image processing update. Night performance has also been improved.

Dynamic main beam control has been upgraded, on ID. models with the feature installed. VW says the v2.3 software will improve how the car can control the headlamp spread.

In the cabin, there’s an update to the digital dashboard graphics. There, Volkswagen says that feedback from the earliest ID. owners helped shape the changes, describing the new UI as “calmer and clearer, with more intuitive operation.”

OTA updates have been an increasing topic of focus for automakers in recent years, a shift driven in no small amount by Tesla’s efforts there. Where once a car would effectively be finalized when it left the factory, and unlikely to change significantly after that, now there’s a growing expectation that new features will be added – and existing features improved – over time. OTA support means that process can take place without the owner needing to book their car into a dealership, though it does require the vehicle’s architecture be designed to support that degree of connectivity and flexibility.

While this first update from VW will be free, the automaker is also looking to how OTA upgrades could be monetized in future. Free software should come on average every twelve weeks, Volkswagen says, but there’ll also be “new, data-based business models.” The company is predicting the potential for hundreds of millions in additional revenue by offering post-purchase upgrades to features like Travel Assist, improved battery performance, or automated driving when that feature is deemed ready for primetime.

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