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

Archive for March, 2011


Wireless Sensors, LLC today announced the release of SensiNet, its third generation wireless sensor network designed to address environmental monitoring in Data Centers, Life Sciences and Industrial applications where ease of deployment and extreme reliability are critical. SensiNet is a building block data acquisition and reporting system leveraging the power of advanced wireless mesh network architecture and spread spectrum frequency hopping radio technology to provide a complete solution for crucial environmental monitoring. Its building block approach is cost effective for the smallest application but scales easily to address enterprise class needs.

Battery operated Smart Sensors are available for ambient temperature and humidity, resistance temperature detectors (RTD’s), 4-20mA and contact closure inputs allowing reporting and data logging of virtually any physical measurement. They automatically form mesh sensor networks upon power up eliminating complicated programming and all configuration parameters such as RTD type (2,3,4 wire, 100 Ohm PT, 10 CU, etc) is done over the air.

The mesh network backbone is enhanced and extended by Mesh Routers which relay network traffic, verify data integrity (CRC error checking) and ensure end-to-end message transmission. The system provides complete message acknowledgement which ensuring no lost measurements.

More info here.



ThingsSpeak is an open application platform designed to enable meaningful connections between things and people.

Features include:

  • Open Source API
  • Real-time data collection
  • Data processing
  • Data visualizations
  • Location-awareness
  • Status context
  • Application infrastructure
  • Twitter proxy
  • Apps
  • Plugins

More info here.

Research Engineer – RF Development

The WiSAR Lab
Letterkenny Institute of Technology

€43K (Fixed term contract to May 2013)

The Wireless Sensor Applied Research (WiSAR) Lab is a developing national centre in wireless sensor network research based at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), Donegal, Ireland. The core research is in the field of wireless body area networks (WBAN). Funded by Enterprise Ireland and led by the CNRG research team at LYIT, the WiSAR Lab is becoming a centre of excellence in wireless sensor networks and our goal is to become the hub of research and applied wireless solutions for technology companies in the North West of Ireland.

The WiSAR Lab is seeking to recruit an RF Research Engineer in Wireless Sensor Networks to perform research and development work on ultra low-power protocols for wireless sensor network solutions, with an emphasis on Body Area Networks. It is desirable that applicants have at least three years of relevant industrial experience and possess expertise in the following areas:

• RF/Microwave circuit and antenna design;
• RF channel models and RF simulation;
• wireless network design and implementation;
• low-power protocols and devices for wireless sensor networks;
• knowledge of IEEE 802 standards, such as 802.15.6 and 802.15.4;
• software development for real time embedded systems;

Applicants must have an Honours Degree or higher in Telecommunications, Electronic or Computer Engineering or in a related discipline. In addition, it is desirable that applicants have post-graduate qualifications in a relevant engineering discipline and experience of working in a research environment. Excellent communication skills are essential and authorship of quality publications and/or patents would be a major advantage, as would practical knowledge and experience of electronic system design.

For an application form and further details on the post the applicant should contact:
The Human Resources Section,
Letterkenny Institute of Technology,
Port Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Ireland
(t) +353-74-9186046 (f) +353-74-9186041

Closing date for applications on Friday April 22nd 2011

New iPad version of wsnblog

Starting today, when your navigate from an iPad to wsnblog you are given a beautiful app like experience. Content layout changes according to the way you are holding your iPad.  A built-in share button makes it very easy to share content on Twitter, Facebook, and E-mail.

Enjoy! (and if you have a spare iPad 2, please send it to me!)

How the Internet of things could save the environment

That’s because having all those devices connected to a network will make it easier to run any number of aspects of life that have an impact on the environment more efficiently. That can range from power grids, to traffic or to fuel efficiency. The biggest opportunity lies in placing all those devices on a smart grid — a highly efficient power grid that uses advanced programs and wirelessly connected devices to distribute power without wasting it. Vestberg made the comments at the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference in Orlando, Fla.

“In the next 5 years, we expect two-thirds of all electronics will have some connectivity in them,” Vestberg said. “That means we can use a much more powerful grid in our society and reduce our impact on the environment drastically.”

There’s also a holistic opportunity to reduce the impact that other connected devices — such as vehicles — have on the environment, he said. One way would be to give drivers the ability to “download” more horsepower to their vehicles when they need it, like when they are going on a long trip or going up a hill. If they don’t require it, the car automatically restricts that horsepower — increasing fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

More info here.


Paper: A Light Weight Protocol to Provide Location Privacy in Wireless Body Area networks

Location privacy is one of the major security problems in a Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs). An eavesdropper can keep track of the place and time devices are communicating. To make things even worse, the attacker does not have to be physically close to the communicating devices, he can use a device with a stronger antenna. The unique hardware address of a mobile device can often be linked to the identity of the user operating the device. This represents a violation of the user’s privacy. The user should decide when his/her location is revealed and when not. In this paper, we first categorize the type of eavesdroppers for WBANs, and then we propose a new scheme to provide the location privacy in Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs).

Read this interesting paper here.

Pachube used for Real-Time Radiation Monitoring in Japan

From Pachube blog:

It never occurred to me that crowdsourcing radiation data from Geiger counters would be an application for Pachube! But, in light of recent events, radiation data has been pouring into the system while our community has been coming together to build how-to’s and docs so people can get up and running. Open hardware and open data is coming together here to do what authorities couldn’t do nearly as fast: a national real-time map of radiation data, accessible to everyone As of Monday morning, we are hosting hundreds of feeds.

y socializing radiation data via Pachube, users are also gaining the ability to answer questions like:
  • Is my data consistent with others close by?
  • How has my particular region been affected in relation to other parts of the country?
  • How are radiation levels changing with the weather?
  • Is my data consistent with official reports at home and abroad?
Pachube is also already enabling the foundations of higher-level applications to be built on top of this radiation data. Haiyan Zhang, an Interaction Designer at the design consultancy IDEO, wrote that she had the desire to “just make something”, and in an afternoon she had put together a map visualization of the data. The guys over at Uncorked Studios, a creative firm that builds mobile, social, and location products, built where they are aggregating data and providing additional resources. This stuff is getting built super-fast and is able to be tailored quickly to specific needs around the world.
More info here.


European ZigBee Developers Conference

The ZigBee Developers’ Conference is a platform to learn about the actual and future status of the ZigBee development, to get to know hardware and software products, and to get acquainted with the development process. Gain first-hand knowledge directly from the experts and get a jump on your competition to implement ZigBee wireless sensor networks. Compare certified platforms side-by-side, try out the transceivers, microcontrollers, network stacks and development tools.

Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance, will open the 5th European ZigBee Developers’ Conference with his keynote on ZigBee – “Wireless control that simply works”. Well known for his spirit and his enthralling talks, Bob will give you an update on the Alliance’s activities, ZigBee’s success in many industries and the Alliance’s plans for the future.

A keynote talk you would not want to miss!

More info here.

Security and the Internet of Things

In the next couple of years, there are expected to be 2 billion people connected to the Internet. At the same time, the instrumentation and interconnection of the world’s human-made and natural systems is exploding–which could mean that there soon will be more things connected to the Internet than there are people who are connected. This Internet of Things promises to give people a much better understanding of how complex systems work, so they can be tinkered with to make them work better. But it also opens up a whole new sphere of insecurity. Each of those sensors is, potentially, a point of vulnerability to people who write malicious code for fun, or profit, or to further their political goals.

Harm could come in many forms, but some of the most hurtful scenarios for attacks on the Internet of Things  include electrical power and communications blackouts, disruption of air traffic and roadway traffic lights, interruption of oil and gas exploration and contamination of water. So far, these concerns are mostly theoretical, but the spread of  Stuxnet, the computer worm that targets control systems at nuclear power plants, shows just how dangerous such attacks can be. The worm knocked out about 1,000 centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant last year–and atomic energy experts warn that it has the capability of creating Chernobyl-like disasters. “We have to understand the new threats and understand how to protect our own infrastructure,” says Andreas Wespi, a cybersecurity expert at IBM Research’s Zurich laboratory.

More info here.

1 City, 100 million sensors

Many of us have iPhones with a myriad of embedded sensors on them, allowing countless apps to be built on these sensory systems but crucially, many of these applications were never conceived when the device was put together. In many ways the PlanIT Valley project from the Living PlanIT team is very similar but instead of a few sensors there will be 100 million sensors deployed over 17 km2 – an area equivalent to Manhattan Island, New York City – to seamlessly embed and connect an entire city with Wireless Sensor Networks. These sensors will bring about applications like the ones on our smart phones but sensing and predicting our every movement in a way that has never been done before. Unusually, the architects of this sustainable urbanisation project are not the traditional construction and real-estate types; these are computer people, looking at construction of cities through the lens of the software industry. Smart cities or green cities are being developed in many places around the world from New Sangdo in South Korea, Masdar in Abu Dhabi and Dongtan in China to help sustain a planet that has a population of well over 6 Billion people living on it. With over half of that population moving to cities from the rural areas and 3 Billion who will be born in cities by the year 2050, when the Earth is estimated to have a population of 8.9 Billion, an increase of 47% in 4 decades.
In order to address these needs of a rapidly growing planet, Living PlanIT has developed three distinct areas of technology with one of the main pillars being a Sensor Network Technology STN which with new development in intelligent construction embeds sensor technologies in a way that delivers applied intelligence, better understanding and predicts future actions. The second is a modular construction approach called the Xtreme Construction XTC founded on a systematic approach used in software design. The third, an audacious Urban Operating SystemUOS which is fed information from an integrated Sensor Technology Network connecting every function of the urban environment; data is combined and aggregated to produce information, which in turn is analysed and inspected to derive knowledge and insight to inform the UOS. This allows city management and optimises operations through the combination of distributed sensing and processing with central command and control.

More info here.


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