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

Archive for November, 2010

Open source vs. global warming

From Freaklabs:

The Open Source IPv6 Automation Network (OSIAN), implemented in a one-inch circuit board called the SuRF Block, is shipping as a development kit with the hope of using IPv6 against global warming.

SuRF in this case stands for Sensor Ultra Radio Frequency. The $300 developer kit implements a low power, low bit rate radio system running under the IEEE802.15.4 standard at 900 MHz, using the TinyOS.

More info here.

EWSN Call for Posters and Demos

The European Conference on Wireless Sensor Networks (EWSN 2011), to be held in Bonn (Germany), February 23-25 2011, is now accepting poster and demo proposals!

Call for Posters:
The poster session at EWSN provides a forum for researchers to present their work and receive feedback from experts attending the conference. The areas of interest are the same of the main track. They explicitly encourage submissions from students!

Call for Demos:
The demonstration session at EWSN is typically one of the highlights of the conference. If you are a systems researcher who is bored with producing slides, and you would rather show off great code, working systems, useful tools, crazy flying objects, new platforms, and any other technologies related to EWSN, then the demo session is the place for you! Submissions from industry and universities are encouraged!

Submission instructions are at the EWSN website.

Deadline is December 17th!

For further information, please contact the EWSN Poster/Demo chairs Luca Mottola (SICS) and Daniel Minder (University of Duisburg-Essen) at
ewsn2011-poster-demo [AT]

Human As Sensor

This is a keynote presented by Prof. Alex Paul Pentland on SenSys 2010.

Download video:

More info here.

Shut up, Big Brother is listening

CITIES are synonymous with noise. But what happens when a city centre becomes a home, a bedroom to 19,000 residents? Noise becomes an issue.

Melbourne City Council has spent $70,000 hiring Melbourne University technology experts to draw up plans for a ”wireless sensor network” to measure sounds across the CBD.

The sensors would help create a ”noise map” of the city, and identify areas where noise levels are too high and where there are ”quiet spaces” that should be protected.

The council receives hundreds of requests to investigate noise issues annually. Busking/spruiking tops the list, followed by construction noise and industrial machines and airconditioners.

There are also dozens of calls about garbage collection, entertainment venues and noisy neighbours playing loud music.

The Melbourne project is believed to be one of the first in the world to monitor and map city sounds in such detail.

The council said a noise map would allow it to develop strategies to reduce excessive noise. In recent years New York has introduced tough new noise laws.

The council believes the sensors could also be used at some stage to monitor carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity levels, wind speed, rainfall, barometric pressure and air and water quality, and the information could be presented publicly on the internet for use by businesses, residents and visitors.

The council believes a noise map could also help city planners deliver better “soundscape” planning.

The council already has sensors in place counting pedestrians on busy city streets to provide data on pedestrian flows for city planners.

For those concerned the new noise sensors may be the latest piece of ”big brother” technology in a city already spied on by CCTV cameras 24/7, City of Melbourne chief executive Kathy Alexander, said there was no intention to monitor or record conversations.

”It measures sound pressure levels … you won’t be hearing voices,” she said.

She also said the noise sensors would not be used to weed out bad buskers – but could identify where buskers were breaking council rules.

The council is expected to consider next month a new policy on buskers – including mandatory auditions.

Dr Alexander said the noise sensors were all about the city operating smarter.

Melbourne would next week host the Knowledge Cities World Summit – which will consider how information and knowledge are driving economic growth, she said.

”We all have a lot of information and sometimes we don’t necessarily turn it into knowledge that people can access,” Dr Alexander said.

Marimuthu Palaniswami is a University of Melbourne researcher working on the wireless sensor network for the council.

The final design could include hundreds of low-cost sensors across the city, he said.

”These devices network with each other and send information to a central server. From the central server connected to the internet you will be able to monitor noise levels in different parts of the city, it can be a street, it can be a building or a noisy pub,” he said.

The devices would not be able to monitor or record conversations ”at this stage”, he said – ”this is simply about noise”.

”It is medically proven excessive noise levels can have a detrimental effect on health.”

More info here.

SenSys Summary

A good summary of the recently held SenSys 2010 is here (by Matt Welsh). We encourage our readers to point us to other similar links (and we’ll include them in this post).

New Community on Teaching Sensor and Pervavise Networking

The goal of the community on Teaching Sensor and Pervasive Networking is to gather and exchange tools, techniques, materials, experiences and best practices in teaching wireless sensor, ad hoc and pervasive systems. The new community on teaching sensor and pervavise networking has got its own website and mailing list. The organization of a specialized workshop on the topic is also under way.

More information available here.

SenSys 2010 Keynote

The keynote of SenSys 2010 is now available online here. In other news, Prabal Dutta et al. won the best paper award at SenSys. Congrats! Read their paper here.