New products, Conferences, Books, Papers, Internet of Things

Archive for January, 2007

Wireless Sensing in GENI

From DOT’s Techy Blog:

The US is about to ramp up a large scale effort to provide a test environment for Future Internet research. The initiative is called GENI (Global Environment for Network Innovation) and its budget is immense (some hundreds of millions).

The scope for GENI encompasses fixed Internet, wireless Internet and wireless sensing from the hardcore physical layer space over routing to service environments.

But keep in mind, GENI only intends to provide the test environment; it does not perform the actual research to be tested. So you can think of GENI as taking Planetlab and blowing it massively up in terms of scale (so no surprise that Larry Peterson from Princeton University has a central role in GENI).

Within GENI, there is a task force to define the wireless environment together with the wireless sensing part. It is good to see that the current direction of the system specifications envisions the notion of GENI-compliant information gateways towards non-GENI sensor networks. This largely targets scenarios for participatory sensing, apart from rather static gateway scenarios where local deployments are remotely connected to some backend infrastructure.

The complete story here.

Top 25 California Ideas

From Moteiv’s blog:

Wireless sensing was named one of the Top 25 ideas to ever emerge from the state of California by California Magazine as selected by the faculties of UC Berkeley and UCLA. Also included in the list are Google, the Simpsons, low-energy lightbulbs, and computer generated imagery (CGI). The article mentions our colleagues (and former advisors) from UC Berkeley and UCLA. Both motes and TinyOS are mentioned as technologies invented here in California.

Read the article at California Magazine.

Last week wireless sensors were also touted by Business 2.0 and CNN as one of the “Top 8 Technologies to Save the World”. Also of interest is nuclear waste neutralizers, which are featured as one of the other 7 technologies. The technologies promise to make the world a better place, while making entrepreneurs “green” too.

8 technologies to save the world.

Video: Software Radio Implementation of Short-range Wireless Standards for Sensor Networking

Software Defined Radios can provide significant benefits as backend gateways or base stations for sensor networks, which do not face the stringent resource constraints of in-network nodes. We extended GNU Radio with two physical layer implementations of IEEE 802.15.4 and an FSK modulation, and use the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) to interoperate with the Chipcon CC1000 and CC2420 radios found on the popular Mica2, MicaZ and Telos B motes. The wideband nature of the USRP makes it feasible for a single SDR base station to simultaneously communicate on multiple independent channels, and provide network bridging across incompatible radio standards.

Cognitive Radios and Software Defined Radios are part of a bigger class of cognitive systems, where also sensors belong to. In this talk I will briefly talk about possibilities of using GNU Radio not only for SDR systems, but also for data processing in sensor networks where it can act as a signal processing tool box.

The video of a lecture given by Thomas Schmid at NESL is available on Google Video.

BTnode updates and tutorial

The BTnut system software 1.8 has been released and is available for download here. The up-to-date snapshot contains bugfixes as well as several new application and libraries.

A major update to the BTnode Tutorial featuring new chapters on sensors, the CC1000 radio and for the first time, an overview of the BTnut OS core is also available. It can be downloaded here.

If you are attending EWSN in Delft next week, be sure to drop in and visit the BTnode tutorial on Monday morning.

The tutorial consists of an introductory part where we introduce basic concepts of embedded wireless sensor network platforms (mote class devices) as well as a hand-on section. The introduction will give a brief overview of the BTnode platform, it’s hardware architecture, the BTnut system software as well as Bluetooth networking. It will then proceed to the practical part where you get to know the development tools and first hands-on experience by downloading a demo application onto a BTnode and connecting to other Bluetooth devices. The lecturer will then coach you through the creation of a simple multihop sensor data gathering application based on Bluetooth Scatternets. The tutorial will conclude by demonstrating and experimenting with different methods of profiling and debugging of sensor network applications.

Paper: "TinyTate: Identity-Based Encryption for Sensor Networks"

In spite of several years of intense research, the area of security and cryptography in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) still has a number of open problems. On the other hand, the advent of Identity-Based Encryption (IBE) has enabled a wide range of new cryptographic solutions. In this work, we argue that IBE is ideal for WSNs and vice versa. We discuss the synergy between the systems, describe how WSNs can take advantage of IBE, and present results for computation of the Tate pairing over resource constrained nodes.

The paper by Leonardo B. Oliveira and Diego Aranha and Eduardo Morais and Felipe Daguano and Julio Lo’pez and Ricardo Dahab can be downloaded here.

Scavenging ambient power for wireless sensors

From SusHI | Sustainability in Hawaii:

Can buildings think? Can cars feel? Can machines hear? Can parcels look? Can ski talk? Can systems sense?

Yes to all the above, says EnOcean, a German startup with revolutionary wireless sensors that operate without batteries.

EnOcean’s ‘energy harvesters’, which are integrated into their radio products, scavenge ambient power from vibrations, light and hot-water pipes. That is, they can convert mechanical energy, light, or temperature differences into electrical energy.

Bruce Sterling says “if this works reliably, it’s a game-changer. It means you can just stroll out into the yard and hook-up a tree.”

Says EnOcean:

“Our groundbreaking technology creates energy seemingly from nothing, the slightest change in pressure, the smallest change in temperature is enough to generate power for our ultra efficient sensors to measure and then transmit their results.”

Early adopters use it to create sensor devices for building automation, industrial manufacturing and automotive technology.

The complete story here.

WSN: one of 8 technologies to save the world

Call it the networked environment. Picture tiny – we’re talking small as a dime – wireless sensors lining lake beds and ocean floors, buried in the ground, and floating in the sky. All the time they are sniffing the air, water, and soil for pollutants and detecting changes in temperature and pressure. The payoff: real-time data on a variety of phenomena that affect the economy and society – climate change, hurricanes, air and water pollution. Cooler yet are solar-powered sensors that hover in the air. Virginia tech company Ensco is developing a beach-ball-size gadget that gets its juice from thin-film solar panels and would measure weather patterns.

Read the whole story here.

Sensors Gain Internet Connectivity

Sensor Synergy and Lantronix combined forces to develop state-of-the-art sensor interfaces that include advanced embedded device server technology.

Whether sensors are stand-alone, connected to PLCs, interfaced to PCs or tied directly to networks, these devices can be found in a multitude of electronics that affect daily life – from washing machines to windshield wiper blades. Although there are a number of ways to add sensor data to a system, designers and users want to keep the sensor-to-system interface process as easy as possible, and, in many cases, users want this information to be accessible via the Internet. Sensor Synergy is committed to helping the industry simplify the task of connecting sensors and actuators to the Internet and local networks.

Many manufacturing and commercial enterprises have identified communication barriers within their organisation that can ultimately be traced lack to the lack of sensor connectivity or incompatible interfaces.

In order to facilitate the process, Sensor Synergy has developed unique software and hardware tools to implement lowcost sensor-to-Internet interfaces.

More info here.

Tiny RFID Tags Used to Track Wasps' Behavior

Computing’s Dave Friedlos reports today that the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has attached tiny RFID tags to wasps in order to track their movements using sensors placed at the entrance to each nest.

What did they learn? “Rather than just tending home colonies, worker wasps also entered other nests to help raise the young,” Friedlos writes.

The ZSL team says it was inspired by London Transport’s Oyster Card system, and believes the same concept could be used to monitor other species as well. “The scientists tagged every female worker wasp, fitting a total of 422 tags, with readers placed at each of the 33 nests,” Friedlos writes.

You can read more about this project on the TUV website, on BBC News and on the ZSL press release.

ZigBee Alliance: Developer Conferences, Plus New Product Certification Webinar

The ZigBee(TM) Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in residential, commercial and industrial applications, today announced North American and European ZigBee Developers’ Conferences and a ZigBee Product Certification Webinar. These seminars provide product developers with deeper insight into the ZigBee product development lifecycle: from design bench to sales shelf.

The ZigBee Product Certification Webinar is an interactive online event scheduled for January 31, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. PST explaining the ZigBee certification process for products, as well as the benefits and resources offered to members of the ZigBee Alliance. The event will be hosted by Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance, and Bill Wood, chair of the ZigBee Alliance Qualification Working Group. For more webinar details or to register, please visit: .

Developers’ Conference: ZigBee Developers’ Conferences are specifically designed to help companies get products to market faster. The Third Annual ZigBee Developers’ Conference for North America will be held in San Jose, California, at the McEnery Convention Center on April 3-5, 2007 in conjunction with the Embedded Systems Conference in Silicon Valley. For registration, conference agenda and hands-on ZigBee certified platform training schedule, please visit: .

In response to demand, a ZigBee Developers’ Conference for Europe is scheduled for June 18-20, 2007 in Munich, Germany. A call for papers and registration information for this event will be available in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact: .

More information here.