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

Archive for July, 2011

UNconference and Demo Competition at EMBC

The First EEE EMBS Unconference on Wearable & Ubiquitous Technology for Health & Wellness will be held on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, collocated with 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC ’11). The purpose of the day is to bring together all those who care about addressing key challenges in the translation of technology from the lab to the field around wearable and ubiquitous technology for health and wellness.

The UNconference means that the agenda/schedule for the day will be created live the day of the event. The real time nature means that emerging developments can be discussed and new ideas and unfolding research can be explored.

The unconference will also host a Wearable Technology Demo Competition. This session will be organized using the speed geeking format. Attendees will be divided in groups. Each group will have about 5 minutes to examine each demonstration and discuss with the authors. Your presentation should first highlight (similar to an elevator pitch) the need and impact of your technology (~2min), followed by a demonstration (~3min).

This is an intense presentation format. There are 10-15 demo’s happening at once all around the edge of the room. Each is being watched by a small group for 5 min. Then they move to the next project. Each demonstrator of a project presents 10 times in a row each time to a different small group. This format has a few advantages both for the viewers and presenters. Viewers get a more intimate demo, seeing the application or device up close instead of just up on a large screen and ask questions of the presenters during or at the conclusion of their demo. Presenters get to practice and improve their pitch over the hour of speed geeking.

Important Dates

Demo abstracts due: August 5th 2011
Acceptance notification: August 12th 2011

More info here


Google’s Android Bulb to Run on 6LowPAN Standard

It consumes very little power. The chips and software behind it are cheap and getting cheaper, and the name incorporates an absolutely insane combination of capital letters and numbers.

What is there not to like about the 6LowPAN standard?

The Android bulb — a networked LED bulb coming out later this year from Google and Lighting Science — will connect to Android phones and other devices through the above-mentioned standard, according to Ted Russ, chief business development officer for the company.

NXP Semiconductor, other sources have said, will supply the chips for the bulbs. It figures. NXP — which was spun out of the Philips conglomerate a few years ago — supplies low-powered NFC (near field communications) chips to Android phone makers already and is a leading expert in energy-efficient, light-bandwidth communications. NXP also announced a component family, called GreenChip, for LED bulbs based around the standard back in May, a few days after Google and Lighting Science announced the Android bulb. JenNet-IP, an open-source software stack, complements GreenChip. TCP, a light manufacturer, already supports GreenChip.

More info here.

Digi Launches Wi-Fi Version of Popular XBee Module

Digi International  today introduced the XBee Wi-Fi, an embedded module that enables industry leading low power, serial-to-Wi-Fi networking in the popular XBee form factor.  Because of the XBee’s common footprint and application programming interface (API), customers can now create a single board design for wireless products that supports 802.15.4, ZigBee, ZigBee Smart Energy, 2.4 GHz, 900 and 868 MHz, Wi-Fi and proprietary DigiMesh protocols.

“XBee modules offer developers tremendous flexibility and are extremely easy to use,” said Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Digi International.  “By adding a low-power Wi-Fi module to the XBee product family we give customers the fastest and most flexible way to get Wi-Fi up and running on their systems.”

Ideal for energy management, wireless sensor networks and intelligent asset management, the XBee Wi-Fi offers 802.11 b/g/n networking and flexible SPI and UART serial interfaces. Because the module includes the 802.11 b/g/n physical layer, baseband MAC and TCP/IP stack, developers can add Wi-Fi to their products simply by connecting to the XBee Wi-Fi’s serial port.  The XBee Wi-Fi is fully tested at manufacture and comes with modular certification for the U.S., E.U., Canada and a number of other countries, further reducing the time to market, development expense and design complexity.

XBee Wi-Fi development kits are available now for $149.

More information about the XBee Wi-Fi here.

LogMeIn Acquires Pachube

LogMeIn, Inc. , a leading provider of cloud-based connectivity solutions, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Pachube service ( and substantially all other assets of Connected Environments Ltd.  Pachube (pronounced “Patch Bay”) is a web-based service for connecting people and devices to the Internet of Things — a network of sensor-enabled devices publishing and sharing data that some predict will exceed 50 billion devices worldwide by the next decade1.  This acquisition furthers LogMeIn’s investment in highly scalable connectivity and data sharing platforms, and extends its reach beyond computers, smartphones and tablets to potentially all Internet-connectable devices.

“We believe the volume of devices coming online and the amount of data they will generate will dwarf the Internet as we know it today,” said Michael Simon, CEO of LogMeIn. “This investment extends our Gravity platform for scalable, secure connectivity and storage into the universe of smart and embedded devices and the complex systems that the Internet of Things makes possible. The Pachube team has a deep understanding of the technical challenges and opportunities that this phenomenon represents, and we believe they’ve built a service that will change the way people interact with their devices, their environment and each other.”

Pachube is an Internet of Things pioneer.  Their service, launched in 2008, offers real-time monitoring and management of any type of connected device. Pachube makes it easy for people to connect their devices and sensors to its service, to publish data, and to receive data and instructions from other devices. The Pachube service also collects and stores the published datastreams for further analysis and visualization. Using the Pachube service, individuals, developers and businesses can create applications, services and products that leverage the data created by these connected devices. In doing so, Pachube empowers people to share, collaborate and make use of the information generated by the world around them.  Currently, Pachube users send more than seven million datapoints to the service each day.

More info here and on Pachube’s blog.

The Internet of Things [INFOGRAPHIC]

From CISCO’s blog:

When we think of being connected to the Internet, our minds immediately shift to our computers, phones, and most recently tablets. This week at Cisco live, I shared that in 2008, the number of devices connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people on Earth.

That’s right. There are more devices tapping into the Internet than people on Earth to use them. How is this possible?

The infographic provides a visual representation of the increase in “things” connected to the Internet. With this increase, how will you prepare your network for the future?

WSNblog in the list of 100 people influencing IoT on a daily basis

Postcapes has compiled a list of 100 people influencing the topic on a daily basis whether through their evangelizing, standardizing or through their own companies.’  The WSNblog team is listed #46. Kevin Kelly, Bruce Sterling and Tom Igoe top the list.

On Postcapes: “We are passionate about the convergence of the physical world with the digital, and everything that will encompany that shift. The emerging term “Internet of Things” seems to best represent these changes taking place and the term Postscapes itself is inspired from a future of networked landscapes and its possibilities.  Our goal is to serve the need of those interested in learning or taking advantage of IOT technologies with timely news, resources, events, and education.”

More info here.

IPSN 2012

The 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN) will be held in April 2012, Beijing, China.

IPSN is a leading, single-track, annual forum on research in wireless embedded sensing systems. IPSN brings together researchers from academia, industry, and government to present and discuss recent advances in both theoretical and experimental research. Its scope includes signal and image processing, information and coding theory, databases and information management, distributed algorithms, networks and protocols, wireless communications, collaborative objects and the Internet of Things, machine learning, and embedded systems design.

The conference features two interleaved tracks, the Information Processing (IP) track, and the Sensor Platforms, Tools and Design Methods (SPOTS) track. Authors should carefully review the intended foci of these two tracks to decide which track is better suited for their work, and they are encouraged to contact program chairs with questions or clarifications. As an example of the different foci, results focused on the analysis and processing aspects of data collected from deployments should be submitted to the IP track, while details on the hardware and software platforms and tools used in the deployment should be submitted to SPOTS.

The Information Processing (IP) track focuses on algorithms, theory, and systems for information processing using networks of embedded sensors. Topics covered in this track include, but are not limited to:
– Applications and deployment experiences
– Coding, compression and information theory
– Data processing, storage and management
– Detection, classification, and tracking
– Distributed algorithms and reasoning
– Distributed and collaborative signal processing
– Fundamental bounds and formulations
– Location, time, and other network services
– Sensor tasking, control, and actuation
– Network protocols
– Programming models and languages
– Innovative mobile sensing applications
– User interfaces for sensing applications and systems
– Innovative sensing platforms including crowd sourcing

The Sensor Platforms, Tools, and Design Methods (SPOTS) track focuses on new hardware and software architectures, modeling, evaluation, deployment experiences, design methods, implementations, and tools for networked embedded sensor systems.  Submissions are expected to refer to specific hardware, software, and implementations. Topics covered in the SPOTS track include, but are not limited to:
– Novel sensor network components, device platforms and architectures
– Embedded software for sensor networks
– Design tools and methodologies for sensor networks
– System modeling, simulation, measurements, and analysis
– Case studies that describe experiences, highlight challenges, and study/compare the performance of platforms and tools
– Network health monitoring and management
– Operating systems and runtime environments
– Simulation

Abstract deadline: Friday, October 07, 2011
Full papers due: Friday, October 14, 2011
Author notification: Friday, January 20, 2012
Camera Ready due: March 1st, 2012

More info will be available here

IOT Top 100

Postscapes has compiled a list of 100 contributors and supporters influencing the IOT. Submissions and votes are open! Dear Readers feel free to help extend/sort the list.

Cheers, WSNBlog Team



Post-doctoral Researcher Position in WSN at University of Trento, Italy

The D3S group at the University of Trento, Italy, invites applications for a post-doctoral researcher position in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). D3S is a cross-institution research group focusing on dynamic, decentralised, distributed systems. In the context of WSNs, the D3S group has been successful in bringing research results into real-world, long-term, operational deployments. Examples are the structural health monitoring of a medieval tower, and the closed-loop control of lighting in a road tunnel, which both received a Best Paper Award at IPSN (2009 and 2011).

We are seeking a candidate to conduct research on novel directions for WSNs, geared towards simplifying their development and maximising their adoption in real-world contexts. The issues involved go all across the board including programming platforms, communication protocols, and tools supporting in-field deployment. The candidate will have the opportunity to work on curiosity-driven and application-driven projects, as well as initiate new ones.

The position is partially tied to the makeSense EU project, whose goal is to simplify the programming of WSNs, and increase their impact through integration with business processes. The candidate is expected to contribute to the design and implementation of programming abstractions and the protocols supporting their efficient distributed execution in the WSN.

The Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science is a leading and fast-growing research institution, characterised by a young and international faculty and by a large, international student population. Indicators for scientific production place the department among the top in Europe. Trento is a vibrant city with a beautifully preserved historic center, consistently ranked at the top for quality of life in Italy. It offers a variety of cultural and sports opportunities all year around, as well as excellent food and wine.

The deadline for applications is August 31, 2011. Applications should be sent via e-mail (subject: “D3S postdoc application”) to gianpietro.picco[AT_sign]

More information available here

Bright future for ultra-low-power RF

Even though the chips ship in their tens of millions each week, the market for short-range, low power RF technologies operating in the globally popular 2.4GHz ISM band – such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and a slew of proprietary solutions – is far from maturity. In the next few years, many impressive developments will emerge and wireless connectivity will pervade every aspect of our lives.

In particular, ultra low power (ULP) wireless applications – using tiny RF transceivers powered by coin cell batteries, waking up to send rapid “bursts” of data and then returning to nanoamp “sleep” states – are set to increase dramatically. For example, according to analysts ABI Research, the wireless sensor network (WSN) chips market grew by 300 percent in 2010. And the same company forecasts that no less than 467 million healthcare and personal fitness devices using Bluetooth low energy chips will ship in 2016.

ULP wireless connectivity can be added to any portable electronic product or equipment featuring embedded electronics, from tiny medical and fitness sensors, to cell phones, PCs, machine tools, cars and virtually everything in between. Tiny ULP transceivers can bestow the ability to communicate with thousands of other devices directly or as part of a network – dramatically increasing a product’s usefulness.

Yet, for the majority of engineers, RF design remains a black art. But while RF design is not trivial – with some assistance from the chip supplier and a decent development kit – it’s not beyond the design skills of a competent engineer. So, in this article the author will lift the veil from ULP wireless technology, describe the chips, and take a look at how and where they’re used.

Since it is a long article, interested readers can visit here to continue.


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