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Posts tagged ‘Thingsquare’

Out in the Open: The Little-Known Open Source OS That Rules the Internet of Things

Contiki-ipv6-rpl-cooja-simulationFrom Wired:

You can connect almost anything to a computer network. Light bulbs. Thermostats. Coffee makers. Even badgers. Yes, badgers.

Badgers spend a lot of time underground, which make it difficult for biologists and zoologists to track their whereabouts and activities. GPS, for example, doesn’t work well underground or in enclosed areas. But about five years ago, University of Oxford researchers Andrew Markham and Niki Trigonisolved that problem by inventing a wireless tracking system that can work underground. Their system is clever, but they didn’t do it alone. Like many other scientists, they turned to open source to avoid having to rebuild fundamental components from scratch. One building block they used is an open source operating system called Contiki.

“Contiki was a real enabler as it allowed us to do rapid prototyping and easily shift between different hardware platforms,” says Markham, now an associate professor at the University of Oxford.

Contiki isn’t nearly so well-known as Windows or OS X or even Linux, but for more than a decade, it has been the go-to operating system for hackers, academics, and companies building network-connected devices like sensors, trackers, and web-based automation systems. Developers love it because it’s lightweight, it’s free, and it’s mature. It provides a foundation for developers and entrepreneurs eager to bring us all the internet-connected gadgets the internet of things promises, without having to develop the underlying operating system those gadgets will need.

Perhaps the biggest thing Contiki has going for it is that it’s small. Really small. While Linux requires one megabyte of RAM, Contiki needs just a few kilobytes to run. Its inventor, Adam Dunkels, has managed to fit an entire operating system, including a graphical user interface, networking software, and a web browser into less than 30 kilobytes of space. That makes it much easier to run on small, low powered chips–exactly the sort of things used for connected devices–but it’s also been ported to many older systems like the Apple IIe and the Commodore 64.

Read the complete article here.

Cisco, TI Expand IoT Partnerships

Cisco Systems and Texas Instruments have announced separate efforts to expand partnerships serving the emerging Internet of Things. TI named eight IoT cloud service partners and said more are on the way; Cisco launched a challenge for IoT startups and promised to work with the winners.

TI said it will work with 21emetry, ARM, Arrayent, Exosite, IBM, Spark, Thingsquare, and Xively to provide cloud services for customers of its chips. The company said it is continuing to recruit partners in IoT cloud services.

The move highlights how quickly new providers of cloud services for IoT are coming out of the woodwork with various skill sets and offerings. The other rapidly expanding area in IoT is in design services to handle technical needs of the broad variety of market sectors looking to adopt wireless sensor networks of various kinds.

About 15 companies are now offering some sort of IoT cloud service, many of them listed online, a TI representative said.

“They offer different levels of service, application and demographic focus areas,” said the TI rep. “Some have strong presence in industrial and some are more consumer focused…All of them provide Web interfaces with APIs to build cloud applications [and] some provide advanced business services as well,” he added.

Separately, Cisco will pick three winners in its IoT startup challenge, who will share $250,000. The contest spans work on IoT applications, analytics, management, and connectivity. Cisco will help winners develop, test, and pilot new technologies and potentially partner with or invest in them. The company is taking applications April 21 through July 1.

via Cisco, TI Expand IoT Partnerships | EE Times.

Thingsquare’s Contiki IoT workshop slides posted

From The Official Contiki OS Blog:

The first set of slides from the Thingsquare Contiki IoT workshop series have been posted.

The slides show how to connect a Contiki system to the Internet and make it interact with web services, how to build an IoT cloud service with node.js and Javascript, some of the next steps for Contiki 3.x, and some of the trade-offs in choosing a communication technology for your next IoT system. Slides for the three remaining days will be posted during the week.

via The Official Contiki OS Blog: Thingsquare’s Contiki IoT workshop slides posted.

Thingsquare IoT and Contiki courses – now online too

For spring 2014, the Thingsquare IoT development and Contiki programming course program has been expanded with both a new on-site workshop on advanced Contiki programming and a new set of online courses.

Check out the Thingsquare online courses here and the two-day workshop training courses here.

The courses are intended for developers and decision makers who want to hit the ground running when planning or developing their connected products. If you want to build the next Nest, these courses are for you!

The online courses are intended to broaden the amount of people who can attend the Thingsquare courses, to get more people up and running.

The two-day workshop courses are running as usual in Stockholm, Sweden. Register quickly to get the early-bird discount!

New Ultra Low-power Internet of Things Kit for Smart Cities, Appliances

Internet of Things startup Thingsquare today announced the availability of the Thingsquare Internet of Things evaluation kit.  Unlike many Internet of Things solutions, the Thingsquare system does not depend on a gateway. Instead, all devices are connected directly to the Internet, using a wireless radio with much lower power consumption than WiFi. Using self-forming and self-healing mesh networking, the range of a Thingsquare system can be very large – a single network can cover an entire city.

Building on the success of existing Thingsquare-based systems, the new Thingsquare kit opens up a new range of applications, including street lighting, smart appliances, meter reading, and wireless sensing. The kit is built on the Texas Instruments (TI) low-power CC2538 2.4 GHz System-on-a-Chip (SoC), an IoT-ready integrated radio transceiver and ARM® Cortex™-M3 microcontroller.

“We are excited to see ready-made evaluation kits for the emerging IoT market,” said Oyvind Birkenes, general manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, TI. “The Thingsquare software with TI’s CC2538 SoC opens new application opportunities to further grow the Internet of Things.”

“With direct Internet-connectivity for the radio chips, the Thingsquare evaluation kit makes prototyping and building IoT applications faster than ever before,” said Thingsquare CEO Adam Dunkels. “The TI CC2538 SoC is a powerful platform that can be taken directly to production.”

The Thingsquare evaluation kit is available for immediate purchase for 795 EUR from the Thingsquare website.

Thingsquare Powers the Internet of Things: Thermostats and Light Bulbs

lifx-570Internet of Things software startup Thingsquare  unveiled two customer success stories from innovative companies: the tado° smart thermostat and the LIFX WiFi bulb. Both tado° and LIFX exemplify the emerging Internet of Things landscape, where smartphones are used to interact with physical things.

“By choosing Thingsquare, we were able to develop our product in a surprisingly short amount of time,” said Johannes Schwarz, tado° CTO and co-founder.

“Thingsquare’s technology provides the network stability needed for long-time deployments,” said LIFX co-founder and project lead Daniel May. “The low power consumption of the Thingsquare mesh is key to long-term energy savings for the user.”

The customer case reports can be downloaded from the Thingsquare website.

The history of the internet of things includes a Swedish hockey team and LEGOs

adam_dunkelsThirteen years ago Adam Dunkels was trying to hook up a hockey team in Lulea, Sweden with sensors and cameras so coaches and fans could track helmet cams and players’ vital signs. It was an academic project but it was also an early example of the internet of things. The project was doomed to fail for a variety of reasons, but out of that experience came a lightweight code for connecting devices called Lightweight IP.

A later version of that code became the base for LEGO Mindstorms and a variety of other connected projects. But Dunkels realized that to truly build a platform for connected devices he needed even lighter weight code. So he built Contiki, an operating system of sorts of the internet of things. And now he’s commercializing all that he’s learned in a startup called ThingSquare. In the podcast we discuss the history of the internet of things and when we reached the tipping point that made the internet of things inevitable.

Listen to the podcast here.