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Upgrade Internet-of-Things products to LTE Wireless with Colibri

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Not only here in Australia but in parts of the USA and other countries, cellular providers are closing down their 2G GSM network to reallocate spectrum to their faster UMTS 3G and LTE wireless networks. This shutdown will have a great effect on existing cellular M2M applications as a large percentage were designed around inexpensive GPRS modules – or before UMTs was available. Soon all these devices will be rendered inoperable and will need to be redesigned or replaced with radio hardware that can access the newer cellular networks. There are many chipsets and modules to choose from, and one new example is the Colibri LTE Platform from Sequans Communications – a chipset solution for mobile LTE (commonly marketed as 4G LTE) cellular connectivity, specifically aimed at Internet-of-Things and M2M applications. Colibri LTE is a part of the Sequans Streamlite LTE family of chipset products for 4G connectivity in IoT … Continue reading

Multiplatform Internet-of-Things development with CloudPlugs

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The exponential growth of the Internet-of-Things marketplace is encouraged by new platforms to host prospective products and data – and new player to the scene is Cloudplugs –  an end-to-end platform that provides cloud computing services for Internet-of-Things applications – with features including a trigger management engine, geolocation engine, database and storage engine and a billing engine. Their new SmartPlug Apps cloud-based IDE allows the development of CloudPlugs IoT applications from the cloud, along with cloud-based automation that enables the remote deployment, configuration, update and management of devices. IoT applications can be developed in JavaScript using the SmartPlug cloud based IDE, or with your favourite JavaScript development tool, anywhere, any time, on any browser. Whether you are a home user, an appliance manufacturer or a service provider, the CloudPlugs cloud service allows you to develop, deploy and manage as many as thousands of Internet-connected devices quickly without the need to develop … Continue reading

Interact with Smartphone users using Beacon Technology

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As smartphone use becomes prevalent in today’s society, they can not only be used for voice and data communication – later models equipped with Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) can also receive messages over a short range from new Bluetooth LE-equipped devices known as Beacons. As always Google is on the forefront of Beacon technology, and their new beacon platform enables contextual experiences for users through mobile interactions with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. These beacons are simple, low-power devices which send one-way BLE signals that can be read by nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices. Beacons can be deployed in fixed places such as businesses, museums, and bus stops, and also on movable objects such as vehicles. Deploying BLE beacons in your venue or attaching them to physical assets that you manage is a good way to give users a location-aware experience via their mobile devices, with contextual and timely information for users … Continue reading

Fast and secure Zigbee-based hardware with the new Freescale Kinetis KW2x

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The exponential increase of chipsets aimed at the Internet-of-Things market has offers a huge variety of new IP-based products to choose from, which may cause the appearance that older standards such as ZigBee are waning in popularity. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and one example is the new Kinetis KW2x microcontroller family from Freescale Semiconductor. The Kinetis KW2x is a series of wireless system-on-chip devices aimed at meeting the increased processing and memory requirements associated with applications that use advanced 802.15.4/ZigBee stacks and communications standards in modern Internet-of-Things applications, such as ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 and the ZigBee Internet Protocol specification, today and into the future. These devices integrate a 50 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 processor with an 802.15.4-compliant 2.4 GHz RF transceiver on a single chip, providing a low-power, compact, single-chip integrated solution for 802.15.4/ZigBee wireless mesh network applications in home automation, healthcare, smart energy and consumer … Continue reading

Researching the Internet of Things with ELLIOT

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The Experiential Living Lab for the Internet of Things (ELLIOT) project is a European research project that aims to develop an experiential platform for Internet of Things research, where users and the public are directly involved in co-creating, exploring and experimenting with new ideas, technologies, potential market opportunities and concepts related to IoT applications and services – particularly where UX and user interaction design is concerned. The ELLIOT program is designed to support research into the potential impact of the IoT and other emerging information technologies in the context of what the ELLIOT consortium calls the “Open User Centred Innovation” paradigm and the “Living Lab” approach. Established by a consortium of European universities, institutions and private industries – ELLIOT is a three-year research program built around four main aims – firstly, to study and develop a set of “KSB” (Knowledge, Social and Business) Experience Models integrating social, technical, economic, legal … Continue reading

Zetta – an API-first Internet-of-Things platform

Here at the LX Group we’re always interested in new Internet-of-Things platforms, and the latest discovery by our team is a new entrant called Zetta. This is a new open-source Internet-of-Things platform that is built on Node.js, and designed for creating IoT servers and networked applications that run across multiple distributed devices, computers and the cloud. Zetta aims to create an “API-First” Internet-of-Things platform – where any connected physical device and every Internet-connected “Thing” is exposed as an API, with REST APIs, WebSockets and reactive programming combined into a platform that is well suited for assembling many devices into data-intensive, real-time sensor networks or other Web-connected IoT applications. Unlike other IoT platforms, Zetta servers can run in the cloud, on PCs, or on many different types of embedded hardware platforms and single-board computers such as a BeagleBone or Raspberry Pi. With Zetta you can link these devices together, with each … Continue reading

Simplify Internet-of-Things hardware requirements with Texas Instruments’ CC3200

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The CC3200 WiFi system-on-chip from Texas Instruments – a new entrant into the Texas instruments SimpleLink wireless connectivity family, aims to provide an easy to use, power-efficient “Internet on a Chip” platform that is specifically aimed at Internet-of-Things applications. As a single-chip solution, the CC3200 offers a programmable microcontroller, memory and peripherals such as ADC and DAC all built-in alongside the Wi-Fi radio – giving you an easy, compact and cost-effective platform with which to design applications that include Wi-Fi connectivity in a wide range of industrial, consumer and home electronics applications. The CC3200 is a complete platform for wireless IoT connectivity – including supporting software, sample applications, tools, user and programming guides and reference designs. By offering a very low power consumption, the CC3200 is well suited to battery-operated devices, with a power-efficient radio subsystem and advanced low power microcontroller sleep modes. An example of this is the hibernate … Continue reading

Miniaturise your Internet of Things product with Redpine Signals’ M2MCombo SoC

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Reducing the power and physical size of chipsets required for new and existing Internet-of-Things devices is a common goal shared by our customers and engineers – and a new SoC from Redpine Signals fits the bill. Their RS9113 “M2MCombo” chipset is a system-on-chip which offers the convergence of low-power dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi networking together with dual-mode Bluetooth 4.0 and ZigBee connectivity all in a single chip – offering a powerful and nearly universal wireless communications platform for IoT and machine-to-machine applications. This is particularly valuable for M2M and Internet-of-Things applications where a compact and cost-effective solution with minimum bill-of-materials cost is desired while also implementing a combination of Bluetooth, ZigBee and Wi-Fi communications – for example in network gateways in home automation or smart energy applications that are aggregating data from a number of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices around the home. The Redpine “M2MCombo” platform leverages and improves upon … Continue reading

Improving food supply chains with the Internet of Things

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The potential for the Internet of Things to improve our daily lives is almost infinite, and the technology can be applied in areas that you may have never even considered. Let’s consider the role that Internet-of-Things technologies can play in the food industry, increasing the safety of food for consumers as well as improving efficiency and reducing overheads in the industry. Furthermore, with the potential to address food safety challenges across the whole supply chain – wireless sensor networks, cloud computing and other IoT technologies offer potential benefits in operational efficiency and logistics across the entire food industry. From the primary producer’s field (where environmental parameters such as soil temperature may be monitored and data interpreted over time at a central server, for example, with this data being used to improve crop yield) to stock location, tracking and monitoring of the temperatures and the age of stock right through the … Continue reading

Project Brillo – Google’s development platform for the Internet of Things

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During this year’s recent I/O conference, Google announced Brillo, their new operating system targeted at Internet-of-Things applications. The Brillo OS is a derivative of Android, and be described as a streamlined and cut-down version of Android – targeted towards IoT and smart-home applications on low-power embedded devices with constrained memory and other resources. According to Google, Brillo is an operating system for the Internet of Things that will connect devices through a communication layer called Weave, which “provides seamless and secure communication between devices, both locally and through the cloud”. As Brillo is based on the lower levels of Android, you’re likely to be able to choose from a wide variety of hardware platforms and silicon vendors that will be compatible with the Brillo OS. With this all-in-one operating system, you can focus on building your hardware and applications – everything else you need for an end-to-end IoT solution is … Continue reading

ARTIK – the new IoT platform from Samsung

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Samsung has recently announced their ARTIK Internet-of-Things platform, aimed at enabling faster, simpler development of new enterprise, industrial and consumer-facing IoT applications and products. ARTIK is an open platform that includes a family of powerful integrated hardware modules, advanced software, development boards, drivers, tools, security, cloud and wireless connectivity features designed to help accelerate development of a generation of better, smarter IoT devices, solutions and services. According to Samsung, in ARTIK they are providing the industry’s most advanced, open and secure platform for developing IoT products. By leveraging Samsung’s established full-stack expertise in embedded mobile hardware and software, RF design, silicon-level component fabrication and packaging, consumer-facing design and high-volume manufacturing. Thus Samsung’s ARTIK is well positioned to allow developers working in the Internet-of-Things space to rapidly turn great ideas into market-leading products and applications. The platform is based around a series of hardware modules and supporting software optimised for Internet-of-Things … Continue reading

Bluetooth v4.2 – improving speed and security for wireless devices

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After starting from humble beginnings, the Bluetooth standard keeps improving and now the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has recently officially adopted the new Bluetooth Core Specification version 4.2. This new specification promises improvements in the speed, security and privacy of Bluetooth networks as well as ease of IP network connectivity for Internet-of-Things applications. The new and improved features of version 4.2 build upon the capabilities such as  Low Energy in the Smart (v4.0) standard, aiming to further improve the position of Bluetooth Smart as a key enabling technology for the Internet of Things. The SIG has emphasised “Connected Home” scenarios as being well placed to take advantage of the capability for direct Internet connectivity provided in version 4.2, also emphasising the advantages offered by IPv6 support and higher data rates whilst also maintaining strong energy efficiency. Bluetooth 4.2 introduces several major updates to the specification – Low Energy data packet length … Continue reading

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