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

Archive for November, 2008

Adding Sensors to RFID Can Still Reduce Power Needs

In general, asset tracking or logistical management with RFID is very similar to applications in wireless sensor control networks. However, RFID and sensors use wireless connectivity differently.

Wireless sensor networks use small, inexpensive, wireless transceivers integrated into compact sensors that can be used to monitor a wide range of changes like temperature, humidity, vibrations and fluid levels. This data is passed via a gateway to the enterprise net.

Over time, it is expected that wireless sensor networks and RFID will integrate and that RFID systems will be extended and evolve into “Smarter RFID Tags” which can sense, act and display.

More precisely, RFID tags will not create the “Internet of Things;” they will tag the things so the things can become members of the internet.

However, because of this extended functionality and connectivity, these connected RFID tags require greater amounts of energy, and will need to be powered by batteries. At that point, it is clear that the RFID industry will be able to benefit from the ultra low power concept (and its alternative “no-batteries” capabilities) as developed by companies like GreenPeak wireless sensor networks.

More info here.

Grape Networks, MEMS Based Wireless Sensor Networks


Grape Networks, Inc. is a Wireless Sensor Networking company which incorporates Sensor Networks, GIS, DBMS and MEMS sensors in its platform.

With Grape Networks’ management platform, the Environment, Water and the Micro Climate are monitored anywhere in the World via the Internet. Thresholds are established using the Internet with a mobile phone or other Internet enabled wireless device.

Jennic Enables First Wireless Sensor Network in Major City of London School Installation

Jennic announces the successful implementation and installation of the first phase of a wireless control network using a Jennic solution. It is designed to help the City of London improve control of the heating system in its renowned School for Girls (based inside the Barbican arts and residential complex) offering better comfort and prevent over-heating, helping it to meet its obligations to reduce its carbon footprint.
The system was designed and installed by employing the wireless control network developed by Control Technologies Ltd, which is based on Jennic’s 32 bit transceiver modules. Jennic’s solution was selected as the first to market system in a single chip with the combination of ample 32-bit CPU processing power, sufficient memory space, RF transceiver, and the ZigBee/JenNet network protocol stacks. The chip also provides the serial connectivity required to interface with a wide variety of Building Management Systems.

More info here.

Solar Panel for Your Sun SPOT

Connecting a solar panel to a Sun SPOT to provide power to a SPOT installed in the jungle.

The video is available here.

Making Sensor Networks And Radar Arrays More Energy-Efficient

Bethlehem, PA — Since when has censorship become a green activity?

Since Rick Blum and other experts in signal processing began seeking to make sensor networks and radar arrays more energy-efficient.

Sensor networks, says Blum, the Robert W. Wieseman Chair in electrical engineering, are playing a growing role in everyday life.

On a bridge, for example, sensors detect and process the signals caused by the stresses from passing vehicles and then transmit data to a central decision point. This helps engineers determine more quickly and accurately the likelihood that a bridge will fail.

Sensors also detect the presence of radioactive or other toxic waste in the environment. They can determine whether or not a cell is malignant. And they are used in military surveillance, air traffic control, home automation and other applications.

For more information click here

The net shapes up to get physical

Most people, if they bother to think about it at all, probably view the internet as an agent of profound change. In the 15 years since Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, the life of almost everyone in the industrialised world has been touched by it. But just as many of us are getting to grips with its second stage, the mobile internet, very few are prepared – perhaps even aware – of the third and potentially most revolutionary phase of all: the internet of things.

Sometime between now and 2010, the internet is poised to reach beyond virtual space and take root in the physical world. According to many futurist thinkers, almost every object you can see around you carries the possibility of being connected to the internet. This means that your domestic appliances, your clothes, the books on your shelves and your car in the driveway may one day soon be assigned a unique IP address, just as both computers and web pages are assigned them today, to enable them to talk to each other.

More info on this Guardian article, here.

New Software for Arch Rock's PhyNet Wireless Sensor Network Targets Providers of Monitoring Services

A new version of software for Arch Rock’s IP-based PhyNet wireless sensor network (WSN) platform enables companies that provide sensor-based monitoring and management services to build large-scale, multi-customer WSNs that securely reach across customer firewalls to access and centrally manage WSN data. Each customer’s data stays private, and existing security settings protecting the rest of the organization’s networks and IT assets remain intact.

Arch Rock PhyNet 3.5 adds support for IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) and NAT (Network Address Translation) traversal to the PhyNet Router and PhyNet Server. This enables the encryption and authentication of sensor data over the WAN, allowing that data to pass securely through corporate Internet connection boundaries or small business and residential cable and DSL gateways. This extends the PhyNet architecture beyond the enterprise to service provider organizations that provide real-time monitoring and/or control services for home or commercial energy systems, “brown field” development sites, high-end agricultural crops and many others. Providers can now aggregate any number of customer-resident WSNs onto a single PhyNet Server at the provider’s site, simplifying deployment and reducing infrastructure costs.

More info here.

New 'super sensors' available soon

The first commercially manufactured versions of the CSIRO-designed environmental and industrial sensor platform, FLECK, will be available in early 2009. The technology promises to open new opportunities for gathering information that will lead to productivity gains in a wide range of industries including agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, mining, construction and environmental management.

Tasmanian company The Powercom Group – through its subsidiary Datacall Telemetry – is the chosen manufacturer of the platform, which gathers information in the field and delivers it to a server and then the Internet.

‘This is good news for anyone in the business of gathering data in remote areas and having it acted upon in the field, independent of outside instruction,’ says Sensor Networks theme leader for CSIRO’s ICT Centre, Dr Gautam Tendulkar.

‘FLECK allows the creation of a wireless network of devices that sense the environment, share information through wireless communications, formulate group decisions and instigate required actions,’ he says.

More info here.

RF Code Announces Wireless Environmental Monitoring Solution

AUSTIN, Texas & DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–RF Code, Inc. , a leader in automating physical asset management using RFID enabled solutions, today announced the availability of a wireless environmental monitoring solution that provides real-time information about the temperature and humidity conditions surrounding IT assets. Ideal for monitoring environmental conditions in IT dense areas such as data centers and offices, the new R155 active RFID sensor (or tag) provides an affordable way for companies to implement eco-friendly monitoring easily. The announcement comes during the Active RFID, RTLS & Sensor Networks 2008 Conference, where RF Code is highlighting the sensor (Booth #7). The company will also be keynoting a session during the Active RFID in Asset Tracking track, along with IBM.

For more information click here

The Internet of Things

Now, the European Union has announced that it will pursue the main component of Web 3.0, the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media for the EU, “The Internet of the future will radically change our society.” Ultimately, the EU is aiming to “lead the way” in the transformation to Web 3.0.

Reporting on the European Union’s pursuit of the IoT, iBLS reports,

“New technology applications will need ubiquitous Internet coverage. The Internet of Things means that wireless interaction between machines, vehicles, appliances, sensors and many other devices will take place using the Internet. It already makes electronic travel cards possible, and will allow mobile devices to exchange information to pay for things or get information from billboards (or streetlights).”

South Korea is at the forefront in implementing ubiquitous technology and the Internet of Things. An entire city, New Songdo, is being built in South Korea that fully utilizes the technology. Ubiquitous computing proponents in the United States admit that while a large portion of the technology is being developed in the U.S., it is being tested in South Korea where there are less traditional, ethical and social blockades to prevent its acceptance and use. As the New York Times reports

“Much of this technology was developed in U.S. research labs, but there are fewer social and regulatory obstacles to implementing them in Korea,” said Mr. Townsend [a research director at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California], who consulted on Seoul’s own U-city plan, known as Digital Media City. ‘There is an historical expectation of less privacy. Korea is willing to put off the hard questions to take the early lead and set standards.’

An April 2008 report from the National Intelligence Council discussed the Internet of Things and its possible implications.