Wireless Devices to Double by 2020, Overland Set for Turnaround, Ford Demos Wireless Health, & More San Diego BizTech News

10/17/11Follow @bvbigelow

Mobile technologies were the topic of the week as the wireless industry’s big enterprise & applications conference came to town. But we also had some interesting economic new, and our Xconomy week in review begins now.

The number of wireless-connected devices around the world will double by 2010, from roughly 12 billion to about 24 billion, according to a study released by the London-based GSMA industry group on the first day of the CTIA Enterprise & Applications Conference in San Diego. About half of the 24 million devices are expected to be machine-to-machine connections, with personal mobile devices making up the other 12 billion.

—A TechCrunch report that Hewlett-Packard was laying off “around 500″ employees and rolling up its entire San Diego Software unit set off a scramble last week among local media, which knocked down much of the report. Mike Freeman of The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that HP is eliminating about 50 jobs at its suburban campus related to help desk and analytics products, which came from HP’s $425 million acquisition of Peregrine Systems in 2005.

—The Ford Motor Co. demonstrated a voice-activated system that could someday help motorists monitor their own health and chronic illnesses on the road. Ford’s prototype uses voice-recognition software to help diabetic motorists who use wireless glucose measurement technology to monitor their blood glucose while driving. K. Venkatesh Prasad, a senior technical leader at Ford Research & Innovation, told the Wireless Health 2011 technical conference that Ford’s in-car health and wellness technology is part of a broader effort to expand the capabilities of Ford’s SYNC in-car connectivity system.

—Local technology industries have had a disproportionate effect in boosting San Diego’s regional economy, according to a study from the National University System Institute for Policy Research. Counting direct, indirect, and induced employment, the study found that San Diego’s 363,000 technology-dependant jobs represent more than 29 percent of all jobs in the metro area. Perhaps more importantly, the $28 billion in technology-related wages accounted for 45 percent of all labor income generated in the San Diego area in 2010.

—Strong venture capital funding nationwide during the three months that ended Sept. 30 is setting a pace that could register the biggest year for venture investments since 2001, according to data from New York-based CB Insights. The financial information firm says VCs sank $7.9 billion in 790 deals throughout the country during the third quarter. If that continues, CB says total VC funding could amount to $30 billion or more by the end of this year. Other VC surveys are expected to report their own results later this week.

—A year-long turnaround effort at San Diego’s Overland Storage (NASDAQ: OVRL) culminated last week with the company’s debut of new “SnapServer DX” technology. Now it is down to a question of market acceptance for the company with roughly 200 employees. The 31-year-old technology company used to make data storage machines only for other big technology companies, such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM. Overland has been re-inventing itself to sell everything under its own brand.

The 2011 Consumer Electronics Association’s Industry Forum, which is scheduled for next week at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego, is showcasing advances in health and fitness for the first time. Qualcomm’s vice president of wireless health, Don Jones, will discuss emerging market opportunities in mobile health and fitness technology. The U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, also will deliver a lunchtime keynote speech on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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