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

Archive for June, 2010

Sensor Networks to protect people from Ultraviolet Radiation in the summer

Ultraviolet solar radiation is involved in many biochemical processes, in the case of human beings in the production of vitamin D and melanin, but overexposure may result in highly harmful effects such as erythema, sunburn and even skin cancer. For this reason Libelium has recently integrated an Ultraviolet sensor in the Waspmote platform to control the UV Index which may be harmful for humans.

Read more here.

Designing intelligent sensors for use in an "Internet of Things" – Part 1

From Embedded.com, an interesting series on Designing intelligent sensors for use in an “Internet of Things”. Part 1 is about the basics of sensor design.

The article is available here.

Bluetooth Low Energy is Forecast to Dominate Wireless Sensor Network Market

The newly updated study, “WTRS Wireless Sensor Network Technology Trends, Q2 2010″, reviews and analyzes the available and proposed technology solutions competing for dominance in the wireless sensor network segment.

“Bluetooth Low Energy will be a significant contributor to the overall Wireless Sensor Network market, representing nearly half of all shipments in 2015″, said Kirsten West, Principal Analyst with WTRS. “Bluetooth Low Energy is designed to compete with protocols like ZigBee in applications which require infrequent and short bursts of data communication. The advantage to this new protocol is that it is totally optimized for low power battery operation.”

The WTRS Wireless Sensor Network Technology Trends Report analyzes and forecasts the market for wireless sensor networks. The report includes a thorough evaluation of emerging Wireless Sensor Network technologies and associated software including ZigBee, Bluetooth Low Energy, Wavenis, IEEE 802.15.4, Low Power WiFi, EnOcean, and others.

More info here.

Cheat Sheet: The internet of things

The internet of things – or IoT for short – is all about bringing the analogue (physical) world into the digital (virtual) sphere so that physical objects can be identified, tracked, located and even controlled online, in real-time.

And what does the IoT mean? Lots and lots more lovely data.

Tell me more… here.

Hi-Power Vibration Energy Harvesting with Low Power WSN

Perpetuum and Dust Networks have recently demonstrated that energy harvesting-powered wireless sensor networks are a practical reality even in the most demanding applications. Industrial condition monitoring systems can have high volume data transmission requirements and the consequent impact on power budgets is significant. However, the combination of Dust Networks’ low power SmartMesh WSN products with High Power Vibration Energy Harvesters from Perpetuum, delivers an effective solution to meet market needs, as demonstrated at the Sensors Expo conference in Chicago, Illinois.

See press article here (pdf)

Don’t leave farming to chance

Dr Abd Jamil Zakaria is no ordinary farmer. After years spent searching for ways to improve farming, he tells IZWAN ISMAIL that precision agriculture is the way to go. DR Abd Jamil Zakaria knows the challenges and pains of being a farmer. The principal researcher at Mardi grows crops such as tomato and melon at the research centre’s green houses in Serdang, Selangor.

Although what he grows are for research purposes, the valuable information he has gathered can be used to improve farming. He regularly meets up with farmers around the country to listen to their problems.

Precision agriculture technology is made up of components such as the micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) sensors, GSM network, agriculture management systems and green houses for the close environment farming. Abd Jamil says he has been using the MEMS sensors for a while.
These sensors allow farmers to collect in-field data, including temperature, humidity, soil moisture, pH level and macronutrients.
“So far the sensors have been delivering the much-needed information and we’ve managed to give crops the nutrients required in the correct amount,” says Abd Jamil. With non-automated sensors, farmers have to go to the field and collect the data at the sensor, which is still labour intensive.
“But automated sensors allow the farmers to sit at home or in the office and retrieve the information using computers, laptops or mobile phones.

More info here.

WSN – We Are Getting There

As battery technologies do not evolve fast enough to cope with our current vision and energy needs for WSN applications, we move toward energy harvesting, lower power devices and printed electronics. A recent IDTechEx post revisits the evolution of ad-hoc radio networking and some of the latest progresses in enabling technologies for WSN.

Full text available here.

Best of Sensors Expo Award for Waspmote

The WSN field has been recognised this year in the Sensors Expo by the hand of the wireless sensor platform Waspmote in the Data Acquisition Products category. It is the first time the organization takes into account the added value of an open source programming environment a long with a modular hardware configuration. As the same Sensors Mag editors pointed out “Libelium’s technology for its rugged open-source modular wireless sensor networking platform”.

More information about the Sensors Expo Awards here.

Parliament of Things

In a resolution adopted Tuesday, the European Parliament officially endorsed the development of the Internet of Things. This resolution frankly encourages the development of an Internet of Things in the European Union. It even calls on the European IoT Commission to “secure co-financing for the implementation of these technologies” and “continue funding pilot projects.”

The resolution also sets out instructions to factor in issues of privacy while building out the European IoT.

“(The European Parliament) takes the view that the development of new applications and the actual functioning and business potential of the Internet of Things will be intrinsically linked to the trust European consumers have in the system, and points out that trust exists when doubts about potential threats to privacy and health are clarified”

More info here.

Active RFID applications using IEEE 802.15.4

At the recent IDTechEx conference Wireless Sensor Networks and RTLS Europe in Munich, Colin Faulkner of the UK fabless semiconductor company Jennic spoke on Active RFID Applications Using IEEE 802.15.4. These are strong candidates for energy harvesting. He described their capability and illustrated this with tags having low power consumption when not transmitting data – less than 2uA of current. They use broadcast data transmissions to pass data to local reader(s). They do not associate or join the network of readers and are therefore completely mobile. They transmit a unique 64-bit ID and battery voltage and temperature are measured using the on chip temperature sensor. Taking the sequence number and number of CCA failures, performance statistics can be calculated. He described potential use in container trucking, care for the elderly, retailing etc. The Jennic JenNet proprietary network permits star tree and linear topologies.

More info here.

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