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Swarm – simple IoT for new or existing products

Bug Labs Swarm IoT LX Group

Bug Labs’ cloud-based Swarm platform is an Internet-of-Things development platform that lets you easily add new Internet-connected services to your existing design or product. Whether it’s a simple sensor device or a complex industrial system, Swarm provides everything you need to get your product up and running quickly with the new value that Internet-of-Things services can add, helping you to innovate in the rapidly growing IoT market. Swarm abstracts the raw functionalities, such as sensors, actuators or transceivers, that any hardware device is equipped with and exposes these hardware functions as web services, allowing simple drag-and-drop creation of applications that interact with a diverse range of hardware capabilities. The system is based around “resources”, which are applications or devices that are configured to produce or consume data over Swarm. A resource may be a physical device such as a smartphone, tablet, an embedded hardware platform or a microcontroller equipped with … Continue reading

IPSO – the Internet Protocol for Smart Objects Alliance


The Internet Protocol for Smart Objects (IPSO) Alliance is an organisation, which has served as a resource centre and industry leader since 2008 – whose goal is to seek the establishment of Internet Protocol as the dominant, open standard adopted by industry as the basis for the connectivity of “smart objects”, machine-to-machine and Internet-of-Things networks and applications. The IPSO Alliance provides a foundation for industry growth by fostering awareness, providing education, generating research, promoting the industry, and creating a better understanding of IP and other open protocols and standards and the role they can play in the Internet of Things. Through the work of the IPSO Alliance, many industries have come to realise the benefits associated with using the Internet Protocol within their Internet-of-Things and M2M products and applications. The Alliance is moving forward from explaining “Why use IP in IoT devices” to “How to use IP” down to the … Continue reading

Using Scrum methodology for Hardware Development

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Although the Scrum agile methodology was originally formalised for software development projects, as with other agile frameworks it can be applied well to any complex, innovative project that a team works on. Scrum is a way for teams to work together to develop a product where product development occurs in small pieces, with each piece building upon previously created pieces. Building products one small piece at a time encourages creativity and enables teams to respond to feedback and change, to build exactly what is needed using a most efficient manner. Furthermore it’s a simple framework for effective team collaboration on complex projects that provide a small set of rules that create just enough structure for teams to be able to focus their innovation on solving what might otherwise be an insurmountable challenge. So let’s have a look at how scrum methodology can be applied, and its potential benefits and challenges, … Continue reading

SmartConnect – the new low-power IoT Chipset Solution from Atmel

Atmel 1

Atmel has recently expanded its SmartConnect wireless connectivity portfolio with the announcement of a series of new, turnkey 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi system-on-chips and modules which are aimed at enabling expanded possibilities in Internet-of-Things, home or building automation and smart energy management as well as smart, connected consumer electronics applications. The Atmel SmartConnect Wi-Fi family is a range of self-contained, low-power and pre-certified system-on-chips and modules which bring 802.11 wireless LAN connectivity – and access to the Internet – to any embedded system. These integrated modules offer a great solution for designers seeking to integrate Wi-Fi connectivity without any existing engineering experience with 802.11, real-time operating systems, IP stack concepts nor RF electronics. Aimed at opening the emerging “Internet of Things”, Atmel’s SmartConnect Wi-Fi portfolio is ready to be integrated in a vast array of battery-powered devices and applications requiring the integration of WLAN connectivity without compromising on cost and power consumption. … Continue reading

LX Design House Wins The SEEA 2014 Software and Embedded Systems Excellence Award

LX Group K Tracker

The very best of engineering from LX Design House helps save our national icon. LX Design House wins the Software and Embedded Systems Excellence Award as part of the 2014 Sydney Engineering Excellence Awards for their work in the Project Caramello Koala. Project Caramello Koala is a response to the increasing risk facing an iconic native animal. Koalas have recently been listed as a vulnerable species, and monitoring programs are an essential part of the effort to protect them. The main goal of Project Caramello Koala has been to develop a tracking device specific to the needs of koalas.  Although animal telemetry is not new, none of the currently available animal tracking solutions quite fit the bill for kolas. For example, koalas tuck their chins into their chest to rest, making it unfeasible to have bulky electronics under their chin. The product of Project Caramello Koala, the K-Tracker, is a … Continue reading

Principles of Agile Development


The Agile Manifesto is based around twelve principles, guiding concepts which build upon the four core values of Agile and support project teams in implementing Agile management methods, helping to lead to better project outcomes, better engineering and better customer satisfaction. Let’s review these twelve principles of Agile project management and the relevance that they have to project management, particularly in the context of embedded computing, electronic engineering and product design projects. The first principle is that it is the highest priority of an Agile project team to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable technology – and this remains true whether the product is software or hardware, embedded firmware, or any type of industrial design or engineering product. Valuable engineering that is delivered to the customer early and continuously may not be the final product, but it might consist of rapid design iterations, demonstrations of certain … Continue reading

LX Design House Wins The SEEA 2014 Software and Embedded Systems Excellence Award


The annual Sydney Engineering Excellence Awards (SEEA) celebrate the accomplishments of some of the finest engineering companies and individuals in the world. The Awards showcase leaders in the profession along with world class engineering and innovation. Each Year the Excellence Awards judging panel consider the finalists of each category for an Engineering Excellence Award. As winners in their own right, these finalists represent the very best of engineering with the judging panel seeking to identify those unique finalists that demonstrate outstanding excellence, innovation and best practice. The 2014 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards feature an exciting new array of state of the art technologies and innovations, cementing the position of the profession at the forefront of our society.   Software and Embedded Systems Excellence Award Winner: Project Caramello Koala Project Caramello Koala is a response to the increasing risk facing an iconic native animal. Koalas have recently been listed as a … Continue reading

Intel Edison – closing the gap between the IoT and your products

Intel Edison 1

The new Edison development platform is the latest in a series of low-cost and product-ready, general purpose computing platforms from Intel that aim to help lower the barriers to entry for all entrepreneurs, from hobbyists and makers to professional engineers and companies working with Internet-of-Things, wearable computing and consumer electronics applications and product development. The Edison platform includes a robust set of features into its small size, delivering great performance, durability, and a broad spectrum of hardware I/O interfaces and software support. Those versatile features help meet the needs of a wide range of customers and market segments. Although announced some time ago, the platform is finally in the retail market, which has waited patiently as the Edison packs a large amount of computing power, communications and networking capability into a small, compact package – including an Intel Atom dual-core system-on-chip, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy, along with a … Continue reading

Advantages and Possible Downsides of Agile Development


Agile project management methods aren’t new, however they can still be considered somewhat foreign to most teams developing hardware or combined embedded hardware and software products. There are a number of both advantages and potential disadvantages that are worth considering when it comes to the role of Agile management methods in hardware projects that should be considered in the decision-making process of switching from a traditional waterfall project management method to an Agile approach for the management of your projects. Imagine a team that focuses on how their work will be used by the customer, and who quickly incorporates feedback from other teams and test users to build something that gets better and better in noticeable and usable incremental chunks of productivity. They may work without the usual documentation and strict procedures because communication is fast and usually face-to-face, with the results being what is important. These are some of … Continue reading

Mango – the world’s most popular open-source M2M platform

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Mango Automation is an open-source software platform aimed at machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, industrial control and SCADA networks, home and building automation and smart energy applications as well as other applications in the Internet-of-Things domain. As a web browser-based, Ajax-enabled M2M software platform, Mango enables users to access and control Internet-of-Things networks and devices over multiple protocols simultaneously with a product that is easy to download and install across a range of different platforms.However there is much more, Mango is a flexible, cross-platform software suite for industrial control and SCADA applications that allows you to record, log, graph, animate, alarm and report on data from sensors, equipment, PLCs, databases and webpages -providing an all-in-one data logging, control and monitoring system with a web browser based interface. Because of Mango’s highly modular design, you can use Mango to put together the exact application that fits your needs. And as Mango is web browser based, … Continue reading

Gilmo – a New Standard in Password Security


  In today’s society, it is almost impossible to exist without some requirement to access computer bases systems. Be it retrieving money from an ATM through to online banking or accounts on a myriad of other web sites, almost  always there is a requirement to gain access via a username and password. To make life harder, each of these passwords  require different  combinations of characters, symbols and numbers and will need renewing at different times. So how does the average person remember all these passwords in a way that is easy to access and secure? There are those that try to have the same password for everything, there are those  that use easy to remember details such as birthdays and pets names and then  those that keep a paper based notebook in their top drawer. Probably  the most popular is to store these very personal details on a phone or … Continue reading

Improve Customer Satisfaction with Agile Practices


Agile project management practices, which can be applied to the management of hardware development or other engineering projects – and not just the software development projects for which these methods were mostly originally developed, have the potential to deliver increased customer satisfaction compared to traditional project management methods such as the “waterfall” technique. These improvements in customer satisfaction that can be achieved by Agile projects come about because of a combination of many different advantages that Agile practices can offer, particularly in the ways that Agile project techniques involve and engage the customer, the customer’s feedback, ideas and expertise throughout the product development lifecycle. These Agile project management practices can increase the satisfaction of your customers by keeping the customers involved and actively engaged through the development cycle of their new product, making the customer feel like they are a valuable, integral part of the project team – which, of … Continue reading

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