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

Archive for February, 2009

ETTX 2009 Retrospective

As some of our readers would remember, from one of our previous post, the TinyOS Technology Exchange came to Europe earlier this month –sponsored by CONET. The single day meeting celebrated in Cork, Ireland was jam-packed with interesting presentations. All slides are now available here.

Moreover, there are also videos for the keynote “TinyOS – Time to ROLL” by David. E. Culler and the Tutorial “T2: What the Second Generation Holds” by Philip Levis so you all could catch up.
Fotos taken during the event, courtesy of Mário Alves, are also available here.

From the On the Internet of Things blog:

The 2008 Beijing Olympics were an incredible showcase for Internet technology. The event was 100% IPv6, included embedded IPv6 cameras, building automation systems, taxi monitoring and mobile devices for staff – the largest production IPv6 deployment to date, and an exciting IPv6 IoT experiment as well. Hats of to the Chinese organizers’ IT team, great work. Read more technical details here.

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olypics hosted in Russia, will be the ultimate showcase for embedded IPv6 and 6LoWPAN technology. Finland is known for supplying Russia with building and technology experience, and Sochi will be no exception. Snowpolis, a leading wellbeing, sport and winter technology park (where my office is) – has been elected to coordinate the Finnish effort to bid on Sochi contracts for building the sport and tourism infrastructure needed there. Sochi is currently a village in southern Russia. Almost the entire transportation, tourism and sport infrastructure needs to be built from scratch. I am excited to be working with Snowpolis in this process, on the exciting array of 6LoWPAN applications possible at Sochi. If you have ideas where low-power IPv6 could be applied at the 2014 Olympics, I’d love to hear them!

Cellphones for Science

From IEEE Spectrum:

Being at the right place with a camera phone can make anyone an amateur reporter nowadays. How about turning cellphone users into amateur scientists? Cellphones can take pictures, record sounds, reveal location, and even measure temperature and sense light. And they are everywhere—there are more than 260 million subscribers in the United States alone. So cellphones seem an ideal tool for collecting research data, according to Eric Paulos, assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, in Pittsburgh.

Paulos has lofty goals. He wants to incorporate various environment sensors into cellphones. Everyday cellphone users would then become “citizen scientists,” measuring temperature, wind speed, pollen count, or air pollution levels and sharing the data with researchers. He will be presenting his ideas next month at the ETech 2009 conference in San Jose, Calif.

How a bit of dust can cut pollution

TRAFFIC experts in the North East are working on a gem of an idea to help people dodge air pollution hotspots.

The Transport Operations Research Group (Torg) at Newcastle University has developed “smart dust” technology which involves using tiny wireless sensors.

The group is now placing the sensors in jewellery which can be worn by people to tell them what levels of air pollution they are experiencing.

The sensors, which can also be fitted to mobile phones, relay information on pollution hotspots elsewhere which can then be avoided.

This is especially important for people with respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis, and other health conditions.

The low-cost sensors, housed in metal boxes, were attached to 40 lamp posts in Gateshead last November in a trial which is the first of its kind in the world.

The lamp post sensors communicate with each other, and the last one in the line reports real-time information on air pollution levels to an online database.

This can be combined with data from vehicle-counting systems at traffic lights to give a picture of both congestion and pollution.

More info here.

Micropelt Introduces World’s First Thermoharvester-Driven Wireless Sensor Node

te_power_plus_combiMicropelt GmbH, Freiburg, Germany-based specialist in thin film thermoelectrics, announces immediate commercial availability of the world’s first thermo-powered wireless sensor system, the TE-Power NODE. Micropelt’s built-in chip thermogenerator takes a few degrees of temperature differential and harvests that thermal energy to operate the wireless sensor node, enabling unlimited battery-free operation.


Wireless sensor networks offer many advantages. Market growth, however, lags behind expectations as many potential users avoid the burden of having to maintain hundreds or thousands of batteries. Micropelt’s TE-Power NODE fixes the issue. The TE-Power NODE evaluation kit transmits multiple channels of digital sensor data helping both users and integrators of thermoharvesters better understand many aspects of their implementation in terms of application scenarios and energy budgets.

More info here and here.

A new blog on the Internet of Things

The “On the Internet of Things” blog is to keep people informed on what is happening in Internet of Things standardization, technology and business from an insider’s view. I have the pleasure of watching a technical and business revolution in the Internet happen from the inside, as a day job! As an early researcher in embedded IP, and later starting the world’s first 6LoWPAN networking company Sensinode, the last decade has been extremely interesting. The great part is that this was only the beginning. Activities in the IETF, the new IPSO Alliance, and a business awakening to embedded IP and WSN technology are starting to make the Internet of Things a reality.

Through this blog I will be sharing the inside story on Internet of Things developments through my activities at Sensinode, the IETF, the IPSO Alliance, the SENSEI project, open-source projects, and a touch of common sense opinion.

Zach Shelby

Redpine Signals Launches SenSiFi(TM), An Ultra Low-Power 802.11n (Wi-Fi(R)) Wireless Sensor Module

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ — A new wireless sensor module that provides all the control and wireless functionality required to build and deploy wireless sensor nodes is now available from Redpine Signals, Inc. The SenSiFi(TM) module, designated as RS9110-N-11-31, is based on the company’s ultra low-power Lite-Fi(TM) 802.11n technology to provide the benefits of ultra low-power wireless connectivity and the network capacity advantage of 802.11n to sensor networks in the industrial and enterprise arena. Redpine a leading developer of ultra low power multi-standard OFDM and MIMO silicon- based solutions for Wi-Fi(R), WiMAX(TM) and 3GPP LTE.
More information are available here

Dead Reckoning for Fun

As is becoming a tradition, there will be an Extreme Sensing Competition at the IPSN ’09 Conference on April 13, in San Francisco, CA, USA.

In this opportunity the goal is to dead reckon on persons in a 10m x 10m arena, by using up to 7 sensors (5 of which can be body sensors and 2 ground fixed). The competition will be structured in two phases. Phase 1 is meant for guessing about other team deployment strategies while each system is reckoning on attendees. Phase 2 is for exploiting the opponent team system flaws — that could be guessed from Phase 1 — while system is now reckoning on contenders. Thus preventing the other teams from scoring more points.

Deadline to participate is March 25, 2009. Rules of play, Scoring and more info here

Using sensors to help elderly people stay safe in their homes

joseph-haydukFrom the intro to a front-page story in The NY Times:

Increasingly, many older people who live alone are not truly alone. They are being watched by a flurry of new technologies designed to enable them to live independently and avoid expensive trips to the emergency room or nursing homes.

Bertha Branch, 78, discovered the power of a system called eNeighbor when she fell to the floor of her Philadelphia apartment late one night without her emergency alert pendant and could not phone for help.

A wireless sensor under Ms. Branch’s bed detected that she had gotten up. Motion detectors in her bedroom and bathroom registered that she had not left the area in her usual pattern and relayed that information to a central monitoring system, prompting a call to her telephone to ask if she was all right. When she did not answer, that incited more calls — to a neighbor, to the building manager and finally to 911, which dispatched firefighters to break through her door. She had been on the floor less than an hour when they arrived.

How Sun SPOTs are made

From Roger Meike’s Blog:

For those of you who have been following the story of Sun SPOTs for a while, you know that this has grown from a little Sun Labs research project into quite an endeavor. Sun SPOTs are used around the world by students, researchers and hobbyists whose creative minds apply them to exciting new applications every day. We originally built the Sun SPOT as a platform for our own research. They worked out very well, but we pretty quickly realized that they were just too much fun for us to just keep in our labs. 

More info here.