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

Archive for January, 2009

Wireless Sensor Network R&D Investment to Top $1 Billion in 2012

Aligned with government’s top priorities, Wireless Sensor Networking (WSN) is attracting hundreds of millions of R&D funding in several recession-proof markets, according to a recent study by ON World. Including both public and private sources, WSN R&D spending will reach $1.3 billion in 2012, up from $522 million in 2007.

“With markets reeling, businesses and investors are relying on the public sector more than ever to set the priorities to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship that will lead to an economic recovery,” says Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “By providing needed solutions for energy, the environment, and healthcare, WSN continues to be a one of the fastest growing research and development areas.”

More info here.

SenSys 2009

The premier conference of the sensornet community, SenSys, is going back to California this year. Matt Welsh (Harvard) and Jie Liu (MSR) are the Program Co-chairs, where as David Culler (Berkeley) is the General Chair. SenSys 2009 will be at Berkeley, CA in Nov 2009. Time to get your best works ready for submission! More details here.

WideNoise: noise sensor on an iPhone

WideNoise is the iPhone and iPod Touch application that samples decibel noise levels, and displays them on a worldwide interactive map

With WideNoise you can monitor the noise levels around you, everywhere you go. You can also check the online map to see the average sound level of the area around you. Do you live in a “sleeping cat area” or in a more noisy “rock concert area”?

The producers have used a sound meter (±2dB@114dB) to calibrate the microphone against pink noise, that is a form of noise similar to the sounds that our ears perceive the best. After that, they had to compensate for the limits of the physical mic, which is calibrated to filter the human voice against the ambient sound. The result is accurate within the device’s hardware limits, but it shouldn’t be used for dB readings that require high accuracy.

Read more here.

eKo Environmental System Enables Plant Disease Prediction

From Crossbow’s blog:

Crossbow Technology’s eKo Wireless Crop Monitoring System now enables users of the breakthrough solution to quickly and easily predict disease conditions surrounding their crops to prevent potential outbreaks. Crossbow Technology, Inc., a leading supplier of wireless sensor technology and inertial MEMS sensors for navigation and control, announced today it has integrated plant disease and agricultural models that will let users calculate Powdery Mildew and Downy Mildew at the touch of a button.

The live data from the eKo Nodes provides growers with better insight into their crop’s health so that informed decisions about when and where to spray pesticides can be made preventing unnecessary chemical usage. The ability to monitor multiple points within the field or vineyard provides a granular level of knowledge regarding the various microclimates and zones. This targeted data of the varying crop conditions in a single location will reduce chemical usage and maximize resources so that users maintain healthier, higher quality crops.

New networks take nature’s pulse


The hand-sized yellow objects poking up among the lush canopies at Camalie Vineyards aren’t a new variety of monster grape. They’re electronic devices that can sense soil moisture.

Viticulturist Mark Holler says these wireless sensors sprinkled throughout the leaves help him manage the high cost of irrigation and improve his yield.

“Wireless sensor networks extend the Internet … out into the environment,” says Mr. Holler, a retired Intel technologist who owns and runs the 4.4-acre vineyard in Napa, Calif.

While the networks won’t necessarily make someone a better vintner, they do have a practical side: During the 2007 drought in California, Holler figures the technology saved him several thousand dollars in water costs.


More info here.

Lives tangled in growing net

What if everything you owned – from appliances to books – was connected to the internet? Don’t laugh, it’s already happening, writes Sean Dodson.

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 coming to grips with its second stage, the mobile internet, very few are prepared – perhaps even aware – of the third and most revolutionary phase: the internet of things.

For more information,  please click here.

Enabling ZigBee and 802.15.4 in PDA and mobile phones

The ZigBee/802.15.4 USB pen drive created by the Wireless Sensor Network Research Group and the Libelium team is currently being used as an access point to Wireless Sensor Networks when using PDA’s and mobile phones. If you PDA or mobile phone has a USB (or mini-USB connector) you can also get your sensor information directly on your hand. All the info in the article.

IPSN 2009: Call for Posters and Demos

The call for posters and demos for IPSN 2009 is out. Submission deadline is Jan 30th. Continue reading the post for details.

Top Technology Breakthroughs of 2008

Wired Magazine brought their countdown of what rocked our world in 2008. Edible Chips featured 9 in the list.

Proteus, a Redwood City, California, company, has created tiny chips out of silicon grains that, once swallowed, activate in the stomach. The chips send a signal to an external patch that monitors vital parameters such as heart rate, temperature, state of wakefulness or body angle.

The data is then sent to an online repository or a cellphone for the physician and the patient to track. Proteus says its chips can keep score of how patients are responding to the medication. If proven in clinical trials, edible chips could let physicians look into a patient’s system in a way that could change how medicine is prescribed and how we take the drugs.

More info here. There is also a thread in SlashDot

Get Ready for Growth of the Smart Building Chips

Making buildings more energy-efficient has started to move into the national spotlight with President Obama’s green portion of the stimulus package. And it might be geeky, but wireless networks that will monitor energy consumption will play a significant role in efficient buildings. How significant? According to research from Instat chips and nodes used to build wireless networks based on the leading standard, 802.15.4, (the one the ZigBee specification is based on) will grow from 7 million in 2007 to 292 million in 2012 — that’s nearly 4,000 percent growth over the next five year period.

Smart energy will be the most common application for these 802.15.4-based wireless sensor networks, Instat notes. Those smart energy applications include embedding chips in meters to enable utilities to track customer’s energy consumption remotely, as well as chips for wireless sensor networks that monitor energy consumption in buildings.


More info here.