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

Archive for May, 2007

M2M Report: Sensor Networking

M2M Report M2M Magazine, a print publication in the U.S. covering machine-to-machine technology, just announced a new report on sensor networking.

WSN Blog had a sneak preview of the report, and it is very interesting and informative. Articles in the report include:

– Market Snapshot: A breakdown of the business models for 25 key companies
– Application Roll Call: A master list of the applications of sensor-network technology.
– 20 Questions: Answers to the most important questions about sensor networking.

The report also includes articles from several leading sensor-network technology providers as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ABI Research.

You can download the complete report for free at

Security and Cooperation in Wireless Networks

The book “Security and Cooperation in Wireless Networks”, by Levente Buttyan and Jean-Pierre Hubaux, is available for free download (until it is published by Cambridge University Press). Also available are the PPT slides and the PDF files accompaining the book. As the authors say: “To summarize, our purpose is to avoid that ubiquitous computing becomes a pervasive nightmare.”

The book’s website is

Tracking Pollution and Social Movement


Although it’s not yet small enough to be suitable for widespread deployment, Shannon Spanhake’s pollution monitor is already generating a lot of interest. Calit2 engineer Don Kimball and his circuits lab colleagues constructed the prototype for sampling and transmitting the pollution data. As conceived by Spanhake, the device – dubbed “Squirrel” – is more than an exercise in shrinking a battery, sensor-on-a-chip and Bluetooth transmitter into something small enough to clasp to a belt or purse, and creating a software database and program to show current carbon-monoxide readings on the cell-phone display.

The wireless carbon-monoxide sensor sends data via Bluetooth to the cell phone, which displays current data on its screen and communicates the pollution levels to a master database.

Wsnblog is 1 year old!

Happy birthday wsnblog!
Our first entry was on the 10th of May 2006. Since then some 300 entries have been written.
Happy birthday messages can be sent to

Moteiv Releases Tmote Mini

Moteiv has released the latest addition to its popular Tmote product line: the Tmote Mini. The Tmote Mini acts as the mote-core of your WSN solution, based on the proven and popular Tmote Sky platform and compacting it into a dramatically smaller, more flexible, and standardized miniSDIO form factor.
The Tmote Mini combines a Texas Instruments MSP430 microcontroller with a TI/Chipcon CC2420 low-power radio in an industry-standard miniSDIO form factor. The Tmote Mini forms the “mote core” of your WSN solution, putting all the required hardware and software together in a single one square inch package. This modular approach allows developers, OEMs, and system integrators to concentrate on their application needs rather than WSN platform development.
The Tmote Mini comes in two configurations — the standard configuration has -25 to 0dBm of RF output, and the Tmote Mini Plus has an integrated power amplifier for a +20 dBm RF boost. Both versions are in the miniSDIO form factor, with the Mini Plus slighltly longer than the standard configuration. Moreover, Tmote Mini offers multiple interfaces for UART, SPI, I2C, 1-wire as well as 8 ADC signal inputs and 2 DAC output channels. Either version can have an antenna connected through the exposed leads, or via a convenient U.FL connector for use with off-the-shelf components.
The Tmote Mini is functionally equivalent to Moteiv’s popular Tmote Sky platform. All Tmote Sky code will run without modifications on the Tmote Mini module, and includes Moteiv’s robust open-source Boomerang Software.

More info here.

Sensor Sensibility

… For smart dust to be useful engineers must figure out how to build a global view from the information provided by millions or billions of individual sensors.

For example, suppose that agricultural researchers scatter a million battery-powered, smart-dust sensors by helicopter to monitor water levels across a cornfield. Without knowing where each sensor has landed, how would the researchers determine whether the sensors’ combined range leaves gaps? Or imagine that engineers have deployed a sensor network to keep track of boats in a harbor. If each sensor reports how many boats it detects, how can the engineers keep an accurate tally without knowing how many sensors have counted the same boat?

To tackle these questions and others, researchers are drawing on techniques from topology, the study of shapes. Analyzed by mathematicians for more than a century, topology has until recently had few real-world applications.

More info here.

Honey, I've lost the kids!

From Crossbow’s blog:

Crossbow’s Japan office is working with a customer to develop a system based on Crossbow’s MICAz Mote to demonstrate how wireless sensor network products can be used to ensure safety for children and others using ubiquitous networking technologies. The initial system was featured on the news and can be seen in the video below. The Motes were used on school children who had a MICAz Mote attached. The school property was outfitted with MICAz Motes fixed in various locations to provide location data on the child based on the signal strength from their attached Mote. This setup also allowed the teachers to monitor whether a child left the school premises. The perimeter was equipped with MICAz Motes so that if a child left the school property and their signal was detected to have moved in a direction away from the school, the gateway would detect the activity and automatically send an email or text alert to the parent/teacher informing them that their child had exited the school. This was also tested by a group of children on a school field trip. If any student moved out of range from the teacher, there would be a display or sound alert so that the teacher was notified instantly.

A video is availabe on YouTube.