Your next elevator pitch might actually come from data derived from your elevator. That’s the case for an unnamed elevator manufacturing company that used Splunk’s machine data logging software to track how often its elevators were taking trips in its clients’ buildings. It noticed that the fewer trips people made, the more likely it was that the client would cancel the lucrative maintenance contracts the firm offered.
So it took that data and tweaked its approach. Now when it sees a slowdown it reaches out to the client to try a new plan or just make sure the clients don’t cancel. In the future it may offer new pricing plans to adjust for slack usage.
That’s just one way connected devices and the data they offer can be used for benefitting a business. But the value of constant connectivity to a firm goes far beyond that — and could change the way businesses operate. Even after a product goes out the door, the company responsible can still keep an eye on it. That has big repercussions for business and consumers — and not all of those repercussions may be welcome.
For example, the constant contact can also help tweak a design or improve the function of a product — even out in the field. In a recent conversation, Splunk’s Tapan Bhatt walked me through a few examples such as the one above, where the company’s machine logging data helped businesses adjust. For example, the makers of the Nest thermostat use Splunk to analyze data uploaded from hundreds of thousands of homes, and tune their algorithms for energy performance.
Medical device manufacturer iRhythm uploads remote monitor data to Splunk to make sure devices run as expected, as well as help ensure that patients can use the devices intuitively. In many ways this isn’t new. Jeremy Conrad at Lemnos Labs pointed out to me in a conversation last month that many manufactured devices are tweaked again and again after the first manufacturing run to smooth out perceived and real flaws in the design.
The shift is that it can now happen constantly and that the changes might be implemented weeks or months after the product has been manufactured. Advertising firms and online publications have been using such data to refine their products for years. The Huffington Post’s love of A/B headline testing is well documented, while the use of eye tracking in web site design is a common practice. But more connectivity in devices means the fine-tuning and easy tracking that are common in digital products are now available in the real world.
More info here.
How healthy is your air? How much volatile organic compounds (VOCs) does it has?
If you are curious about it now you could find out. A study conducted in Los Angeles, California, area using the Valarm App and the Yocto-VOC sensor show interesting results. You can follow these steps and do the same thing in your neighborhood or area of interest.
For some people the Los Angeles area is notorious for pollution, but LA covers a lot of area so which parts of town are more dangerous for your health? Air quality can be observed to vary dramatically from the west end of the city (where the ocean is) to the east end, where mountains seem to trap pollutants. There’s also variability from the north to south in air quality (and other health factors).
Full story available here.
4th ACM Workshop on Embedded Systems for Energy-Efficiency in Buildings
Toronto, Canada, November 6, 2012 | co-located with ACM SenSys 2012
BuildSys 2012 has received a record number of paper and demo submissions from numerous green building disciplines. This has resulted in a very strong technical, action packed program. We encourage you to view the technical program and join us by registering for this very exciting event.
BuildSys 2012 Tentative Program
List of accepted papers
List of accepted demos
Hotel and venue information
* George J. Pappas, University of Pennsylvania, USA
* Mani Srivastava, UCLA, USA
* Mario Berges, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
* Yuvraj Agarwal, UC San Diego, USA
* Rasit Eskicioglu, University of Manitoba, Canada
* Mário Alves, Politécnico do Porto, Portugal
As the field of wireless sensor networks matures, new design concepts, experimental
and theoretical findings, and applications have continued to emerge at a rapid pace.
Being one of the leading international conferences in this area, the European
Conference on Wireless Sensor Networks (EWSN) has played a prominent role in the
dissemination of innovative ideas from researchers all over the globe.
For EWSN 2013, the tenth meeting in this series, we invite papers describing
original, previously unpublished research results pertaining to wireless sensor
networks, broadly conceived.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
* Communication and Network Protocols
* Operating Systems
* Sensor middleware
* Security and Fault-Tolerance
* Programming Abstractions and Tools
* Information and Signal Processing
* Sensor network applications and novel uses of sensor data
* Internet of Things and Cooperating Objects
* Cognitive sensor networks
* Hardware Design and Implementation
* Prototypes, Testbeds, Field Experiments
Full paper submission: September 1, 2012
Author notification: November 15, 2012
Camera ready paper due: November 22, 2012
Professor Thiemo Voigt at Uppsala University and leader of the Networked Embedded Systems group at SICS has two PhD research positions available for talented students that would be interested into joining his research group at The Uppsala VINN Excellence Center for Wireless Sensor Networks (WISENET).
WISENET is one of the leading multidisciplinary centers on wireless sensor networks in the world. In WISENET researchers with backgrounds ranging from sensor development to networking work together on cutting-edge research in wireless sensor networks.
Moreover, PostDoc researchers are also sought. Interested candidates are welcome to contact Professor Voigt (thiemovoigt [a T] gmail doT com) directly.
More details are available in the official call here.
IoTech is intended to fostering the discussion on Internet of Things (IoT) related issues, in particular focusing on technical enablers for the IoTs, such as practical architectures, software, communication protocols, schemes for interoperability and hardware. Our aim is that of starting up a reference event to promote scientific discussion and spur joint initiatives.
The workshop will be held on October 11, 2012 and is co-located with IEEE MASS 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Submission Deadline: August 15, 2012, 23:59 CET
Notification of Acceptance: September 15, 2012
Camera Ready Due: September 30, 2012
You can find the complete Call for Papers at http://iotech-ws.com/
Scientists and hobbyists who want to use their iOS devices as tricordersnow have a new tool to help them to bring that dream to life. Byte Works has released version 2.0 of techBASIC, a US$14.99 scientific and educational programming environment for iOS that can be used to pull in data from internal (accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope) and external sensors.
In case the name Byte Works sounds familiar to some of you, the company has been around for a long time. Mike and Patty Westerfield started the company in the early 1980s, developing the ORCA computer languages for the 8-bit Apple II. ORCA/M became the standard development system for the Apple IIGS under the names Cortland Programmer’s Workshop (CPW) and Apple Programmer’s Workshop (APW). techBASIC has its roots in another Byte Works product, GSoft Basic for the Apple IIGS.
techBASIC 2.0 is a universal app, so any program you develop on your iPhone can easily be run on your iPad or vice-versa. Launching the app on the iPhone displays a list of included example programs — the source code for these programs is a nice place to pick up some tips on how to access and use readings from the sensors built into iOS devices. The iPad version shows the list of programs and also provides a window showing the graphical output of your programming efforts.
More info here.
W3C Launched the Semantic Sensor Network Incubator Group, sponsored by its Members CSIRO, Wright State University and OGC.
The group’s mission is to begin the formal process of producing ontologies that define the capabilities of sensors and sensor networks, and to develop semantic annotations of a key language used by services based sensor networks.
Read more here.
The International Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP) is an annual international forum on recent advances in both theory and applications of intelligent sensors and smart systems in diverse areas ranging from manufacturing and defense to medical science and environmental monitoring.
The ISSNIP2009 conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia on 7-10 December 2009. The conference is running under the umbrella of the ARC Research Network on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing.
Conference dates: December 7-10, 2009
Submissions Open: June 15, 2009
Submission Deadline: June 30, 2009
Notification of acceptance: August 15 , 2009
Camera ready manuscript: August 31 , 2009
The call for papers is here
A nanometer-scale generator produces continuous direct-current electricity by harvesting mechanical energy from such environmental sources as ultrasonic waves, mechanical vibration or blood flow. It take advantage of the unique coupled piezoelectric and semiconducting properties of zinc oxide nanostructures, which produce small electrical charges when they are flexed.
Prof. Zhong Lin Wang and his group members Xudong Wang, Jinhui Song and Jin Liu expect that with optimization, their nanogenerator could produce as much as 4 watts per cubic centimeter – based on a calculation for a single nanowire. Enough to power a broad range of nanometer-scale defense, environmental and biomedical applications, including biosensors implanted in the body, environmental monitors and even nanoscale robots.
Details of the nanogenerator are reported in the April 6 issue of the journal Science.
A longer story here