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

Archive for April, 2010

Jobs at QUT Brisbane (Corke/Wyeth lab)

QUT Brisbane is building a new research group and have a number of early career lecturer and one postdoc position for research at the intersection of sensor networks, vision and robotics.

More info here.

Wireless sensor networks set to take off

After years’ of promises and hype, the wireless sensor networking market is finally set to take off—at much lower levels than originally thought, according to panelists at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC). And there are still challenges for the wireless sensor networking sector. The business is still hampered by a bevy of rival standards, technology issues as well as too many vendors chasing after the market.

In fact, there are hundreds of vendors in the wireless sensor networking market, leaving one expert to believe that the sector is ripe for consolidation. ”There has or will be” a shakeout, said Kirsten West, an analyst with West Technology Research Solutions LLC.

Still, there is room for new startups, but the barriers to entry are becoming difficult. As one example, for the integrated players, the development costs for the radio-frequency (RF) device is becoming expensive.

More info here.

The Fourth Workshop on Real-World Wireless Sensor Networks

We are excited to announce that the fourth Workshop on Real-World Wireless Sensor will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in December 2010.

The purpose of the fourth Workshop on Real-World Wireless Sensor Networks is to bring together researchers and practitioners working in the area of sensor networks, with focus on real-world experiments or deployments of wireless sensor networks.

When working with real-world experiments or deployments, many new issues arise: the network environment may be composed of a variety of
different technologies, leading to very heterogeneous network structures; software development for large scale networks poses new types of problems; prototype networks may differ significantly from the deployed system; actual sensor network deployments may need a complex combination of autonomous and manual configuration. Furthermore, results obtained through simulation are typically not directly applicable to operational networks and it is therefore imperative for the community to produce results from experimental research.

More info here.

RFID Tagged Cows Start Tweeting

herd of dairy cows from the University of Waterloo might be the first of the bovine species to use Twitter. The cows brag about milk production, RFID transponder glitches, eating habits, technical issues with the “Mr. Terminator” milking machines and the specific nuances of which teats perform best.

Some of the cattle even let loose with an occasional literary quotation from Virgil. We’re hoping for Twitpics soon.

The tweets are actually a project from the University’s Critical Media Lab. Lab members Ron Broglio, Marcel O’Gorman and Pouya Emami have teamed up with dairy farmer Chris Vandenberg and a dozen of his favorite milk cows on Buttermine Farms in Brant, Ontario.

More info here.

Wireless Sensors in Real-Time

The ability to make real-time decisions based on pressure, temperature or flow measurements while a process is running can provide significant advantages in a measurement and control system. These advantages can be expressed in different ways, such as cost savings through improved resource management or reduced reliability upon mobile workers. While measurement data can be used to dynamically control a process, it can also be displayed over a network to allow remote monitoring of the process status in real-time.

Rising pressures, temperatures or vibration intensity can easily be adjusted, if need be, if the appropriate personnel is aware of faulty conditions. As data is collected for process control or a system control and data acquisition system, it can also be archived for future reference when a review of process trends could provide additional improvements.

While wireless sensing clearly offers advantages, the adoption phase moves at a slow pace in many industries due to inaccurate perceptions. One of the main reasons wireless technology is yet to be fully adopted is price. Many organizations have not taken the time to explore the benefits achieved via wireless sensing in comparison to the price of implementing the technology. Similarly, a company may be content with their existing wired system and be reluctant to make the switch.

More info here.

Materials Research Advances Reliability Of Faster Smart Sensors

In military and security situations, a split second can make the difference between life and death, so North Carolina State University’s development of new “smart sensors” that allow for faster response times from military applications is important. Equally important is new research from NC State that will help ensure those sensors will operate under extreme conditions – like those faced in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

“We’ve taken a sensor material called vanadium oxide and integrated it with a silicon chip,” says Dr. Jay Narayan, the John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State and co-author of the research. “Normally sensors are hardwired to a computer. But now the sensor is part of the computer chip itself. The advantage is that now you have a smart sensor that can sense, manipulate and respond to information.”

More info here.

UBI Summer School – Still time!

The deadline for the 1st International UBI Summer School held May 31st-June 4th in Oulu, Finland, has just been extended to April 30th. This summer school is highly recommended for those doing MSc or Phd work related to ubiquitous networks and computing, and consists of 6 top-notch workshops:

This summer school kicks off the UBI Challenge which encourages design, implementation and deployment of novel ubiquitous applications on the city of Oulu’s outstanding display and sensor network infrastructure. This will include a city wide deployment of 6LoWPAN 2.4 GHz and Sub-GHz access points! More info here.

China to accelerate development of Internet of Things

From “Smart Earth” to “Reading China”, the Internet of Things has become a globally eye-catching key word in 2009. It was ranked one of the two important tools for revitalizing the economy by the US, defined as the basic strategy to make the Europe the leader of the world by EU and introduced as a part of the strategical plan of emerging industries by China.

In such a field of Internet of Things that is of strategically significance, China has by now ranked ahead of the world. No matter in terms of policies, technologies or the industrial chain, China’s development of the Internet of Things is provided with an outstanding advantage and has hard-won development opportunities.

Although the Internet of Things is an emerging expression, it is not too high to reach. From the concept was put forward till now, in such a short period of only over a year, China has developed successful applications.

In 2009, 20 important water quality monitoring spots at the area of Tai Hu Lake in Jiangsu province were fully installed with “global eyes”, which can monitor any quality change of Tai Hu water throughout the entire 24 hours of a day and transfer the information to the monitoring platform for environment protection in Jiangsu province at real time, improving the capability and level of monitoring the quality of Tai Hu water.

More info here.

Two PhD positions: WSN and the Internet of Things

The research group of Prof. Kay Roemer at the Institute for Computer Engineering of University of Luebeck, Germany, is looking for two highly qualified and motivated PhD students to conduct research in Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet of Things.

The candidates are expected to pursue their PhD in the context of two European research projects. The projects are devoted to  Wireless Sensor Networks and the Internet of Things. Position A is concerned with novel programming paradigms for such systems, while position B is concerned with novel services and semantics for such systems.


Shimmer platform at TEDMED

From Shimmer’s Blog

Eric Dishman (Chief Strategist and Global Director of Product Research, Innovation and Policy for Intel’s Digital Health Group) gave a talk at TEDMED 2009 titled ‘Take Health Care off the Mainframe’. He highlights the importance of behavioural markers in the early diagnosis of a medical issues for the elderly, and talks about how Intel have been utilising Shimmer in areas including fall prevention, tremor analysis to check for trends in motor deficiencies, gait analysis, and stride length.