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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

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

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