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

Archive for October, 2013

ARM report: Businesses look to make money through Internet of Things revolution

From Techworld.com:

A report out today has found that an increasing number of businesses are exploring the economic opportunities that will be created by the Internet of Things (IoT) concept.

The IoT revolution is set to come about as an increasing number of devices come online, from kitchen fridges to road signs. Objects such as these will include sensors that gather information which can then be transferred over the internet to a central computer system or another device.

The 32-page report — conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of Cambridge-based IoT chip designer, ARM — found that 75 percent of business leaders are actively researching opportunities set to come about through the IoT.

The report, titled The Internet of Things Business Index: A quiet revolution gathers pace, also found that 30 percent of business leaders feel that the IoT will unlock new revenue opportunities, while 29 percent believe it will inspire new working practices, and 23 percent believe it will eventually change the model of how they operate.

The study found that European businesses are ahead of their global counterparts in the research and planning phases of implementing IoT. Meanwhile, manufacturing is the leading sector when it comes to research and implementation of IoT technologies, driven in part by the need for real-time information to optimise productivity. One in four manufacturing companies already has a live IoT system in place.

“The self-stocking intelligent fridge is a step closer to becoming an everyday reality,” said James Chambers, editor of the report. “Conversations about IoT are clearly moving on. Two in five executives are now telling us that they discuss IoT regularly. Whether we will all end up wearing clothes connected to the internet remains to be seen – but it’s hard to think of any business that can’t be part of the IoT revolution.”

More info here.

 

IBM and Libelium Launch Internet of Things Starter Kit

IBM and Libelium, a wireless sensor network hardware provider, today released an Internet of Things Starter Kit to enable dozens of sensor applications ranging from monitoring parking spaces or air pollution to providing assistance for the elderly.

Created by IBM scientists and Libelium engineers to ease application development, testing, and scalability of wireless sensor networks (WSN), the new Internet of Things Starter Kit integrates Libelium’s Waspmote wireless sensor platform with IBM’s Mote Runner software and 6LoWPAN, which allows every single sensor and device to connect directly to the Internet using the new IPv6 protocol.

IBM Mote Runner is an open software development platform that connects sensor and actuator motes within wireless sensor networks based on the IETF 6LoWPAN protocol specification. With the new Internet of Things Starter Kit, a real-time operating system is integrated in Libelium Waspmote nodes to support more that 60 different sensors available “off the shelf,” allowing developers to easily build any application on top. The Internet of Things SDK also includes the source code of the 6LoWPAN libraries so that researchers can modify and add their own algorithms and improvements.

“We have worked closely with IBM to offer a development platform that can be used for both simulation and real IPv6 sensor connectivity,” said David Gascón, CTO at Libelium. “This platform is a powerful tool for improving and testing 6LoWPAN capabilities in the context of wireless sensor networks and the Internet of Things.”

“If we can harvest the Big Data insights from all of the things connected to the Internet we can more precisely understand how our world actually works,” said Thorsten Kramp, a computer scientist at IBM Research. “By making Internet of Things application development easier, the answers to the grand challenges of our age becomes more feasible.”

The Waspmote Mote Runner Developer Kit is available today at here.

Team develops tooth embedded sensor for oral activity recognition

nbvgdgrfFrom phys.org:

A team of researchers at National Taiwan University has developed a sensor for embedding in a single tooth. The sensor as the team explains in their study paper records movement using an accelerometer to identify different oral activities such as chewing, smoking, coughing, etc. The team presented their sensor at this year’s International Symposium on Wearable Computers held early this month in Switzerland.

As scientists develop ways to make electronics smaller, researchers find new ways to use them. In this new effort, the team in Taiwan has developed a sensor that is small enough to fit inside of an artificial tooth, or to sit astride a natural one. The current sensor developed by the team uses very tiny wires to carry data from the sensor to a computer—future versions will use Bluetooth to allow for a wireless implementation.

The sensor measures jaw movement, and because of that is able to identify different types of oral activities. Currently it is capable of recognizing (after  for each individual) the difference between chewing, smoking, coughing, eating and drinking. This, the researchers say, could be invaluable to dentists, doctors and other scientists. The device would allow a , for example, to monitor teeth grinding, a doctor to verify how much a person is eating or smoking, and a behavioral scientist to measure .

To verify the accuracy of the device, the research team enlisted the assistance of eight —each had a sensor affixed to a tooth and then was asked to perform several different activities (cough, chew , etc.) for approximately 30 seconds each while the computer analyzed the data and made a personal profile for them. Afterwards, each of the volunteers was then asked to engage in the various oral activities and the researchers report that the sensor and computer were 93.8 percent accurate in determining which activity was being performed.

More info here.

 

Exploring the Impact of the Internet of Things

10wtiFeatureInternetofThings-1380725054454From IEEE’s The Institute:

The “next big thing” is the Internet of Things, a world of networked devices equipped with sensors and radio-frequency identification aimed at interconnecting all things electronic to make them more intelligent and programmable. About 50 billion machines and devices could be linked by 2020, according to Cisco Systems, a leader in the IoT movement. Such smart devices are already being used, for example, to check soil moisture in vineyards, control the carbon emission of factories, alert drivers to traffic jams, and monitor patients’ blood pressure—all without human intervention. But people will have a major role to play as they generate and use the data coming from these myriad devices.

While the IoT offers plenty of business opportunities, it also, naturally, presents challenges for engineers, who must build ever more complex systems, deal with a lack of standards, and figure out ways to analyze the deluge of data. Societal issues also intrude, such as the need to keep personal information private while regulating who uses it and for what purpose. These and other issues are why the IEEE Future Directions Committee, the organization’s R&D arm, recently launched its IoT initiative.

“IoT offers the possibility for IEEE members and its societies to integrate their knowledge and skills to create value and impact industry,” says IEEE Member Roberto Minerva, chair of the initiative’s working group. “Applications of IoT are wide-ranging; specialists are needed to develop and improve specific technologies while others work with a more general system view. In addition, the interdisciplinary challenges posed by IoT could be a means to creating larger synergies within IEEE, especially in the areas of education, conferences, and publications.” Minerva is head of innovative architectures in the strategy department of Telecom Italia, in Turin, Italy.

“The idea behind the initiative is to develop ‘thought leadership’ in the marketplace,” adds Harold Tepper, senior program manager for IEEE Future Directions, in Piscataway, N.J. “Then, when people want to know more about IoT, they think of IEEE as the place to go for information, whether it’s papers in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library or its videos and conferences.”

To that end, the group has developed a website, organized a conference, and is about to launch a journal.

More info here.

Meet Node-RED, an IBM project that fulfills the internet of things’ missing link

node-red-screenshotFrom GigaOm:

If you play around with enough connected devices or hang out with enough people thinking about what it means to have 200 connected gizmos in your home, eventually you get to a pretty big elephant in the room: How the heck are you going to connect all this stuff? To a hub? To the internet? To each other?

It’s one thing to set a program to automate your lights/thermostat/whatever to go to a specific setting when you hit a button/lock your door/exit your home’s Wi-Fi network, but it’s quite another to have a truly intuitive and contextual experience in a connected home if you have to manually program it using IFTTT or a series of apps. Imagine if instead of popping a couple Hue Light Bulbs into your bedroom lamp, you bought home 30 or 40 for your entire home. That’s a lot of adding and setting preferences.

If you take this out of the residential setting and into a factory or office it’s magnified and even more daunting because of a variety of potential administrative tasks and permissions required. Luckily, there are several people thinking about this problem. Mike Kuniavsky, a principal in the innovation services group at PARC, first introduced me to this concept back in February and will likely touch on this in a few weeks at our Mobilize conference next month. He likens it to a more organic way of programming.

The basic idea is to program the internet of things much like you play a Sims-style video game — you set things up to perform in a way you think will work and then see what happens. Instead of programming an action, you’re programming behaviors and trends in a device or class of devices. Then you put them together, give them a direction and they figure out how to get there.

Over at IBM, a few engineers are actually building something that might be helpful in implementing such systems. It’s called node-RED and it’s a way to interject a layer of behaviors for devices using a visual interface. It’s built on top of node.js and is available over on github.

The idea behind the node-RED effort came from playing around with connected devices, and the work it took to make things work together. The engineers behind the code — Nicholas O’Leary, Dave Conway-Jones and Andy Stanford-Clark — are also working with IBM’s MQTT messaging protocol. But with node-RED they aren’t focused on how devices talk to each other, but how they work together.

“The first version of node-RED was all about MQTT and how can we move messages between different topics and do it in a really lightweight way,” said O’Leary. But eventually it became more about a way to tell devices what you’d like them to do as opposed to having to tell each of them how to do it added Conway-Jones.

More info here.

How Big The Internet Of Things Could Become

From ReadWrite:

75 billion.

That’s the holy-@$#! number of devices that Cisco believes will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. That’s 9.4 devices for every one of the 8 billion people that’s expected to be around in seven years.

To help put that into more perspective, back in Cisco also came out with the number of devices it thinks were connected to the Internet in 2012, a number Cisco’s Rob Soderbery placed at 8.7 billion. Most of the devices at the time, he acknowledged were the PCs, laptops, tablets and phones in the world. But other types of devices will soon dominate the collection of the Internet of Things, such as sensors and actuators.

By the end of the decade, a nearly nine-fold increase in the volume of devices on the Internet of Things will mean a lot of infrastructure investment and market opportunities will available in this sector. And by “a lot,” I mean ginourmous. In an interview with Barron’s, Cisco CEO John Chambers figures that will translate to a $14-trillion industry.

Granted, Cisco has a lot of reasons to be bullish about the prospect of the Internet of Things: with product offerings in the router and switch space and a recent keen interest on building intelligent routing and application platforms right inside those devices, Cisco stands to gain a lot of business if it can get itself out in front of this newfangled Internet of Things.

It’s not just Cisco talking up the Internet of Things: late last week, Morgan Stanley published a big 29-page research note on the topic that sought to at once define the Internet of Things and also quantify its size, growth and potential to make money.

Morgan Stanley’s brief was bullish as a whole, though it did deliver expectations from other companies that weren’t quite so high as Cisco’s: “Intel (INTC) forecasts that the Internet of Things will represent a 3.8-billion device opportunity by 2015 (including mobile computing i.e., tablets, smartphones…) and ABI research forecasts that number will reach 30 billion by 2020.”

Read the whole article here.

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