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

Archive for October, 2008

SFI Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) in Ireland

The CLARITY centre for sensor Web technology In Ireland is selecting high-profile early-career-stage investigators that want to apply for a SIRG in the area of sensor networking. Applicants must have at least 3 years post-PhD experience and not more than eight years beyond their PhD. Grant holders will be based at UCD in Dublin.

The SFI (Science Foundation Research Grant )Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) Programme provides an opportunity for excellent early-career-stage investigators to carry out independent research in the fields of science and engineering that underpin biotechnology, information and communications technology, and sustainable energy and energy-efficient technologies. The award also provides funding for a postgraduate student, who will be primarily supervised by the Starting Investigator (SI). The SI will work with an associated mentor, who will provide the necessary support and infrastructure for the project to take place. SIRG awards are up to €500,000 direct costs for a period of four years; up to 20 awards are expected to be funded through this Call.

For more information about the SIRG Eligibility criteria of the Applicant, please follow the link. Potential applicants should send their CV and a 1-page lobbying document about the research that they are willing to undertake to with a subject “SIRG applicant” .

The UCD internal closing date for the call is 13:00 Friday 21st of November.

Crossbow Adds Rich Media Capabilities to Wireless Sensor Platform

Building on its popular Imote2 advanced wireless sensor platform, Crossbow Technology announced today the new Imote2 Multimedia Board (IMB400), an integrated camera sensor board that simplifies the capture of rich media content for wireless sensor network applications.
“For the first time visual and audio data can be easily added to wireless sensor applications,” said Ralph Kling, Chief Architect for Crossbow Technology. “This opens up new possibilities for wireless sensor applications, including for example, surveillance, machine vision, object tracking, animal behavior surveys, and elder care monitoring in locations and environments that would otherwise be too costly to observe with traditional monitoring systems.”

More info here.

Microsoft Unveils its Research into Sensor Networks for Buildings

Microsoft showed “SenseWeb” at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference.

Feng Zhao explained the basic mesh network of sensors mounted on the ceiling of the convention center, and pointed them out above the heads of keynote attendees. He demonstrated the ability to map the sensors in a browser and analyze the data. Google Maps meets ZigBee. Zhao is a Principal Researcher and Manager in the Networked Embedded Computing Group at Microsoft Research.

Microsoft seems to have crudely replicated common off-the-shelf building-automation technologies and wowed a room full of people who had never seen it before. Zhao didn’t indicate whether the sensors used ZigBee (a wireless sensor network protocol) or some other method.

Zhao surely is aware that this capability has been around for several years. He’s been involved with sensors for at least 3 or 4 years. He would have to have ignored companies like Gridlogix, CePORT and Echelon, who have numerous deployments of similar technology.

Miniature tag technology


From The Emergent City:

Miniature tag technology has helped unlock the mysteries of the journey undertaken by juvenile salmon in the North-West United states. A team of researchers fitted the novel devices to 1,000 of the young fish and tracked their progress from the Rockies through the Pacific to Alaska. The scientists hope to use the tags in the future to learn more about the movements of other small fish species. The study was part of a 10-year global project called Census of Marine Life. Although tags have been used in the past to track mature salmon along their coastal migration, it is the first time the technology has been used on juveniles, otherwise known as smolt. Jim Bolger, executive director of the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking (Post) project, said the findings were a major step forward in understanding the life cycle of the species.

“But thanks to new sound-emitting tags, about the size of an almond, combined within an extensive coastal network of underwater detectors from Alaska to California, several mysteries of fish migration may soon start to unravel.”

More info here.

Call for Papers: the 5th IEEE/ACM International Conference on DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING IN SENSOR SYSTEMS (DCOSS)

June 7 – 10, 2009, Marina Del Rey, USA                

Submission Deadline: 11:59PM EST Jan 25, 2009
Notification: March 24, 2009
Camera Ready: March 31, 2009

Detailed submission guidelines coming soon on

IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Parallel Processing (TCPP)
IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Distributed Processing (TCDP)
Held in co-operation with ACM SIGARCH, ACM SIGBED,
European Association for Theoretical Computer Science (EATCS) and IFIP WG

Build It. Share It. Profit. Can Open Source Hardware Work?

Wired published an article titled “Build It. Share It. Profit. Can Open Source Hardware Work?“, where it reviews several hardware projects under the umbrella of the Open Source philosophy.

Arduino opens the story. The online version shows a picture of the Diecimila board, together with some nice shots of related projects: WineM coaster, Snail Light Seeker and Botanicalls.

The article can be found here.

Now, a computer to decide for a C-section

Doctors often get confused when it comes to deciding whether a particular woman in labour should undergo caesarean or not. But now, a computer can easily take this decision.

Jose Príncipe and colleagues at the University of Florida in Gainesville say that wireless sensors could monitor the progress of labour, and warn doctors when a Caesarean is necessary. In the new method, software could monitor the progress of a woman’s labour, reports New Scientist magazine.

Usually, a Caesarean is needed in case of an abnormally slow birth. However, deciding what is abnormally slow is what poses the biggest problem for doctors. According to Príncipe, it is possible to obtain the necessary data by using wireless sensor to monitoring parameters like the electrical activity of the muscles in the uterus, which can help determine the strength and frequency of contractions. The computer software can then decide whether the birth is progressing normally or not. Such an approach can provide doctors with valuable extra input to help them decide more safely when to perform a C-section, say the researchers.

More info here.

Midé powering wireless sensors with clean energy

Midé Technology is all set to roll out a different kind of charger with which they hope to power wireless sensors at lesser cost and more ecological sense. The company has rolled out a hybrid charger dubbed the Volture Vibration and Solar Energy Harvester. As specified in the name itself, the device can convert vibration and solar energy to electricity to supply power to the sensors. The company had earlier launched a product named Volture Vibration Energy Harvester, but soon they realized that vibration is not the only form of green energy that can be tapped. To improve things a bit, the company added a solar panel on the cover of the Vibration Energy Harvester to get more out of the same device.


More info here.

A CAP for Tomorrow’s Smart Meters?

Several major US utilities are now going forward with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) programs. Some of these programs will enter the deployment phase in early 2009, where these utilities will each be installing several thousand new smart meters per week. Since these new AMI deployments cover the entire customer base, it will take several years for a large utility to complete its full deployment.

The occasion of new meter installations is an opportunity for these utilities to install a communications infrastructure that reaches into the home and supports future home-based smart grid applications. The most talked about applications are demand response (where certain customer appliances are duty-cycled to reduce utility peak loads) and support for optimized and intelligent charging of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs).
For more information, please click here

GE Scientists Develop Battery-Free, Multi-Detection Wireless Sensors

GE Global Research, the technology development arm of the General Electric Company, today announced a battery-free, multi-detection radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensing platform that could enable a wide range of low cost wireless sensing products in healthcare, security, food packaging, water treatment and pollution prevention. GE’s unique RFID sensors are built on traditional RFID tags.

This “first-of-its-kind” sensing platform, in which a single sensor can provide a highly selective response to multiple chemicals under variable conditions, operates without a battery. GE’s sensor technology overcomes limitations in today’s sensors such as inadequate response selectivity and the need for an on-board power source. Without a battery, new sensors can be designed to be smaller than a penny and manufactured at very low cost. 


More info here.