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

Archive for July, 2009

International CONET Summer School

Frescos Room BiCi, Campbell Lecture

The Summer School on WSN and Cooperating Objects been held in University Residence Center in Bertinoro, Italy, started yesterday with an interesting talk from Andrew Campbell from Dartmouth College. His talk, also delivered as a keynote address at PerCom 2009, went along with the rational that mobile phones can be opportunistically exploited as a sensing platform to take advantage of the reliable communication functionalities it provides and the scales it has reached as a mature computing platform.

The presentation also briefly review some of his group projects: MetroSenseBikeNet and CenceMe

Slides can be found here

SPOTWeb and Sensor.Network

From Vipul Gupta’s Weblog:

Sun SPOTs are tiny, battery-powered, wireless computers that can be programmed in Java. Different types of sensors (e.g. GPS, temperature, humidity, proximity, light) and actuators (e.g. servos, motors) can be attached to these devices for use in a wide range of applications. This blog entry discusses two web-based services – SPOTWeb and Sensor.Network – for interacting with these devices and collecting, analyzing and visualizing data from attached sensors.

The SPOTWeb service lets remote users interact with a network of SPOTs using a standard browser. Authorized users can monitor the state of sensors, applications and other system statistics. They can also install, start, pause, resume, stop and remove applications. In the following video, I walk you through many of these features (I recommend the HD-version in full-screen mode to minimize the blurriness of on-screen text). You can follow along on your own by downloading the latest SPOT SDK (red-090706 at the time of this writing) from and running SPOTWebDemo (it is one of the new demos bundled with the red release).

Sensor.Network is a web-based service for sharing, visualizing and analyzing sensor data collected from a variety of sources, e.g. mobile phones, automobiles, datacenters or embedded devices like the Sun SPOT. Besides supporting a heterogenous mix of data sources, the service supports multiple sensor installations, each of which could potentially be owned by a different entity. It places a strong emphasis on security and privacy concerns and gives researchers and scientists fine-grained control over how their data is shared with authorized partners. Additional details are available in this article. The service is still under development but the following video filmed during JavaOne 2009 provides a good overview of the currently available functionality.

More info here.

Google Internet Summit 2009: The State of the Internet

Wireless and Sensor Technologies Session. Panelists for this session are Craig Partridge, Larry Alder, Sumit Agarwal, Kevin Fall, and Deborah Estrin.

On May 5 and 6, 2009, in Mountain View, Goole brought together leaders from academia and the corporate world for a 2-day summit to discuss the state of the global Internet. The goal of the summit was to collect a wide range of knowledge to inform Google’s future plans–from product development and market reach to users’ expectations and our ability to keep the Internet open yet secure.

Plug & Play Environmental Sensor Nets


Crossbow Technology, a leading supplier of wireless sensor technology, announced the release of an Environmental Sensor Bus development platform. The plug-and-play architecture hooks to a wide range of sensors with ease analogous to USB, says the company.

The ESB capability allows users to quickly and effortlessly customize the rugged system by integrating smart and custom sensors for their own applications whether it be groundwater contamination or wildfire monitoring.

“Scientists at UMass Boston Center for Coastal Environmental Sensing Networks (CESN) have been researching the development of ’smart’ sensor networks for observing interactions of coastal systems around Boston Harbor. According to Francesco Peri, Managing Director of CESN, “the eKo real-time system is an ideal platform to bridge the land-water sensor network barrier and is helping us to detect hot spots and hot moments.”

More info here.

Intel joins IPSO Alliance to push IP smart devices

An alliance of companies promoting embedded Internet Protocol in smart devices, like military sensors and home appliances, has added 12 new member organizations including Intel Corp.

The Internet Protocol for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance, formed in September 2008, evangelizes the idea that an entirely IP-based network makes it easier for dissimilar devices to communicate with each other, instead of being hindered by proprietary and ad hoc protocols.

For more information, click here

Sensor networks should lean on lamp-posts, says researcher

Researchers at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory are making use of lamp-posts to create an urban monitor wireless network.

As part of a research program called TIME, Transport Information Monitoring Environment, the Computer Lab has built a lamp-post loaded with sensors to measure the environment.
“Lamp-posts are commonplace, physically robust, stationary and already have power available that makes them ideal for building a dense network of sensors throughout cities such as Cambridge,” said David Evans, who is heading up the lamp-post research. “We are already collecting data from our first lamp-post on the main road outside the Lab and examining what sort of sensors may be suitable for future projects.”

For more info click here

Cross Reality: When Sensors Meet Virtual Reality

During my recent visit to MIT in Boston I met with Joseph Paradiso, Associate Professor and Director of the Responsive Environments Group at MIT Media Laboratory. He showed me some demos of what his lab is up to, focusing mostly on what is termed “Cross Reality”. This is when sensor/actuator networks meet online virtual worlds.

Paradiso co-authored a paper that has just been released in the July-September edition of the IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine. The paper outlines and analyzes Cross Reality experiments done within Second Life, the most popular virtual world with 15 million current subscribers. In this post we’ll give you a layman’s overview of the paper, because we think this trend is important to the Web’s future.

For more info click here