Orange welcomed yesterday 1k journalists, tech enthusiasts and others to hear about their latest innovations at their ‘Hello’ show. This time they unveiled 20 new products and services, of which connected objects featured prominently. Some of their new connected object innovations include:
Orange Datavenue: Targeted at service providers and manufacturers of connect objects, Datavenue is a platform that will the collection, aggregation, protection, and storage of data coming from connected devices. This is clearly a big part of their strategy to create and nurture a new ecosystem for the Connected Object space
Pops: Based on their M2M platform, Pops enables users to connect their connected objects, and is closely integrated with such objects as connected fabric and clothing. Some examples include, the D-shirt (digital shirt) developed Cityzen Sciences and Quicksilver’s connected bracelet for surfers.
Homelive: Their next generation system, enabling the connected home (thermostats, smoke detectors, movement detectors, lighting, etc).
Another big highlight was their Project Polaris, which focuses on a new interface and harmonized services delivered via a multi-screen approach. The objective of Polaris is to make it easier for users to access various types of content, including VOD, videogame and music, in a clear and intuitive way, bringing a multi-screen, content viewing experience. With news coming yesterday that Orange has reached an agreement with Netflix to distribute their content over Orange’s tripleplay box in France, their offer on the content side has just gotten a lot more robust. As their stores have always been a key point-of-contact with their consumers, they’ll be launching in Poland, Spain, Romania, and eventually, France new concept stores where consumers can interact with their latest innovations and, in particular, get tech support.
4G also was top of the agenda, with Orange confirming that they’ll be launching 4G+ in Paris in October, with Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Douai, Lille, and Lens towards end of the year. Presumably this move is to keep pace with Bouygues’ 4G+ roll-out. Of course, similar to the 4G roll-out, 4G+ won’t be available across all types of devices, with Domino 4G+, Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha, likely candidates.
With the above as just a subset of what was announced yesterday, there is a broader question, as echoed by some media, that perhaps all this might have been too much. Of course, Orange has expanded well beyond being a simple telco, but it is often a challenge to ‘win’ in anyone area while trying to compete in all.