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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

IPv6 over Bluetooth with Nordic’s new nRF51 SDK

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With the advent of IPv6 taking hold in the Internet of Things, it’s pleasing to see more entrants into the marketplace from existing and new players, and one example of this is Nordic Semiconductor’s Bluetooth Low Energy nRF51 IoT SDK. This is a new Software Development Kit for the development of Internet-of-Things applications using Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) over Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth SMART), enabling end-to-end IP-based communication for Bluetooth IoT devices. Nordic’s SDK is an IPv6-ready complete Internet Protocol suite for their nRF51-series of devices, bringing native IPv6 support to Bluetooth Low Energy applications, letting them talk directly to cloud services and other Bluetooth-connected Internet-of-Things devices over IP-based networks. The SDK is suitable for networks of Nordic’s nRF51x wireless connectivity systems-on-chip, offering an IPv6-capable Bluetooth Low Energy software stack that provides drivers, libraries, examples and APIs to allow you to easily get started with development – all freely … Continue reading

Atmel makes Wi-Fi easy with their new SmartConnect WINC1500

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Atmel have announced their new SmartConnect WINC1500 SoC – a wireless network controller system-on-chip platform, specifically aimed at Wi-Fi connectivity in embedded systems and Internet-of-Things applications. The WINC1500 is part of Atmel’s SmartConnect portfolio aimed at IoT and wireless connectivity applications, which complements their existing line-up of radio-plus-microcontroller RF SoC solutions for wireless connectivity using 802.15.4/6LoWPAN, by now offering 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN connectivity for embedded and IoT applications such as smart-home appliances, home automation, wireless media streaming or industrial applications.  By using an innovative power architecture that delivers very low power consumption along with high performance, the WINC1500 can help optimise your bill of materials, minimising the number of components required to support your design. Furthermore the WINC1500 is a great add-on platform to extend the wireless connectivity of existing microcontroller-based solutions, bringing Wi-Fi networking capability to an existing system through a UART or SPI interface to the Wi-Fi device. The WINC1500 connects … Continue reading

Reduce M2M resource requirements with Lightweight M2M

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The Lightweight Machine-to-Machine Enabler (LWM2M) is a new standard for the management of devices in machine-to-machine and Internet-of-Things applications. LWM2M is particularly aimed at resource-constrained end-node devices in applications such as Wireless Sensor Networks as well as Machine-to-Machine applications where bandwidth is constrained – for example where cellular connectivity is used to network remote devices. Many devices in the growing industrial and commercial M2M and Internet-of-Things markets require some device management – devices need to be remotely switched on and off, woken up and put to sleep, sent remote requests for sensor data transmission, configured, provisioned, or remotely updated with new firmware. In short, these devices call for protocols and services to effectively support them with device management, service enablement and application management. The design goal of LWM2M was to create a mechanism that is not only suitable for relatively powerful devices like smartphones or Wi-Fi routers, but also caters … Continue reading

Security concerns with consumer IoT devices

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With the increasing popularity of Internet-of-Things connected products, security of these devices and their networks is a growing concern. Let’s consider potential security vulnerabilities that can exist in Internet-of-Things appliances, and how these security threats may be mitigated. Security is a particular concern in the context of home automation devices and Internet-of-Things connected appliances in the home because hardware and/or software vulnerabilities in these devices have the potential to affect the security of homes, buildings and people. Security vulnerabilities in these connected devices, such as home automation hubs, could potentially allow attackers to gain control of door locks or other actuators, access video cameras or otherwise compromise physical security. Recent research from security firm Veracode has found that many of today’s popular “smart home” devices have security vulnerabilities, which are open to exploitation. The researchers examined a selection of typical always-on IoT home automation appliances on the market in order … Continue reading

Reduce IoT power use with Atmel SAM L21

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One of the latest and most power-efficient 32-bit microcontroller options on the market today is Atmel’s new SAM L21 MCU family, specifically aimed at power-efficient battery powered devices in wireless sensor networks and the accelerating Internet-of-Things market. The Atmel SMART SAM L21 family, based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ core, boasts ultra-efficient current consumption as low as 35 micro amps per MHz with the chip in active mode and as low as 200 nano amps in the deepest sleep mode. This best-in-class power efficiency is said to have the potential to “extend battery life from years to decades” in power-optimised sensor network and Internet-of-Things applications. These chips draw less than 1 micro amp with full SRAM retention, real-time clock and calendar running, making the SAM L21 family the lowest-power Cortex-M based microcontroller solution on the market. With a 42 MHz Cortex-M0+ core, which is the smallest 32-bit ARM core, 256 kB … Continue reading

Predix – GE’s new Software Platform for the Industrial Internet

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Industrial behemoth General Electric have now entered the Industrial Internet arena with their new “Predix” product – a new software platform and ecosystem aimed at a wide spectrum of machine-to-machine applications and “Industrial Internet” applications. Predix is aimed at making it easy to connect machines to the Industrial Internet, to embed analytics into machines, making them somewhat intelligent and self-aware, and to retrofit and upgrade machine software without mechanical modifications though a platform which essentially provides the equivalent of cloud computing for the Industrial Internet. One of the main goals of Predix is to offer connectivity to industrial assets of any vintage, from any vendor, to the cloud and to each other – meaning that your industrial applications can benefit from the asset performance management and operations optimisation that Predix makes possible, whether or not the other equipment and systems you use are GE products. Predix enables industrial-scale analytics for … Continue reading

Kaa – a new open-source platform for the Internet of Things

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Kaa is a highly flexible, open-source middleware platform for building, managing, and integrating connected Internet-of-Things applications. The Kaa IoT platform aims to provide a standardised approach for integration and interoperability across connected products. With a powerful back-end Kaa speeds up IoT product development, allowing product developers to concentrate on maximising their product’s user experience and unique value to the consumer. The Kaa middleware supports multiple client platforms by offering endpoint SDKs for various different platforms and different programming languages, and Kaa’s “data schema” definition language provides a universal level of abstraction to help achieve cross-vendor product interoperability – making it a very agile and flexible platform, with standardised methods for enabling integration and interoperability across connected products. Kaa is designed to be robust, flexible and easy to use, enhancing your IoT products out of the box with a variety of functions. Thanks to being licensed under the business-friendly Apache 2.0 open … Continue reading

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