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

Archive for February, 2013

The Next Decade Is The Internet Of Things

Internetofthings-280x210Since 1980‘s and 1990‘s we were constantly talking about world globalization and how interconnected we have become, partially thanks to the internet. In todays world, I think we need to coin a new term “internetiolization”, if we can pronounce it that is.

You might think that you live in the world of the internet, where everything is connected. But in truth, you have no idea how interconnected its about to get. Thanks to companies such as Sensinode out of Oulu, Finland, every little device is going to be able to communicate to every other little device and be connected to the global “Internet of Things”.

Just imagine for a second that every light switch, device (TV, Fridge) and door lock in your house being connected to each other and the internet. So that you can adjust the overall brigthness of your living room to your preferred level of lumens. Now imagine that you can do that from anywhere in the world, through your mobile phone? Cool, right? 

Well, it gets better. All of these devices could theoretically be connected to a wider grid, containing for example street lights. The system could then measure the amount of light that your house emits, couple it together with the amount of light needed on the street and power the street lights accordingly. If you connect light sensors and motion sensors to the grid, you can have the lights follow your car on a highway and not have any lights anywhere where it is not needed. This interconnectedness is what machine to machine communications could become. This new internet can and will be an order of magnitude bigger than what we currently have.

According to Adam Gould, the CEO of Sensinode, there are going to be nearly 1 billion connected nodes by 2015. However there are still some problems in this industry, mainly the fact that there are a lot of proprietary protocols that never really scale.

So the only solution is to develop a standards based technology, which is what Sensinode is aiming to achieve. Moreover, as Gould points out, many of those nodes (devices) have battery requirements of 20 years or more, such as the gas meter in your house, so it is crucial to minimize costs and power consumption requirements.

More info here.

Wireless sensor networks aid turtle conservation in Japan

Conservationists in Japan are using wireless sensors in sea turtle nests to improve hatchlings’ chances of survival.

Workers at the Kamogawa Sea World in Chiba, Japan, are working with the Japanese government to protect loggerhead sea turtles. As part of this conservation project, some of the turtle eggs laid on the beaches of the Boso Peninsula are collected and reburied in a manmade beach inside the park — particularly if weather and tidal conditions make it unlikely that the eggs will hatch. The researchers can then study the turtles in conditions that are as natural as possible.

The team uses sensors made by Epson to measure underground temperatures and to monitor movement to see when the buried nests are starting to hatch. Epson developed two types of wireless sensing modules for the project — one which measures temperature of the sand at 10cm intervals from a depth of 10cm down to 50cm below the surface. The other detects movement, thanks to a tilt sensor, and is placed above the eggs to record the time and date the turtles start to hatch. All of this data gets stored in a memory module. In order to gather the data, staff walk or cycle along the beach with an “orange box”, which wirelessly reads the sensor data. The sensors employ wireless communications technology that allows for signals to be sent and received by devices buried in sand, ground or installed underwater.

Isuke Karaki, head of the Quality Assurance and Environment Department at Epson Japan, told Wired.co.uk: “For Epson, it is the first time for its technology to be applied in the harsh environments of the natural coastline and a manmade beach. The biggest challenge was to adapt its equipment and sensor modules to cope with the scorching heat of mid-summer, rain, humidity as well as the tough conditions beneath the surface of the sand. The system had to be robust, secure, and be capable of taking stable measurements over a long period of time to meet the exacting demands of the research programme.”

More info here.

Cisco CEO: Get ready for ‘the Internet of everything’

From Market Place Tech:

This week, we’re asking a range of accomplished figures in the tech world about what could be the next digital frontier.  Are we moving away from an Internet of webpages and toward an Internet of things, or an Internet of interconnected objects?

According to John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, we’re heading towards what he calls “the Internet of everything.”

Think smart refrigerators that call the repair man when broken, or a water meter in your house that monitors use and decreases leakage.

“If you look back at they year 2000, maybe 200 million devices were connected, today it’s 10 billion. In 2020, it is 50 billion,” says Chambers. “We believe it will change every aspect of people’s lives.”

From a business perspective, Chambers says the vast new hook-up could save companies around the world $14.4 trillion over the next ten years.

The interview can be listened here.