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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New books on the Internet of Things

A new book about the Internet of Things has been recently added to Scribd. The title says "Internet of Things. From RFID to Next-Generation Pervasive Networked Systems", and provides a good introduction to RFID-based solutions for IoT.

The only con is that it is too RFID-focused, scarcely mentioning the other side of the Internet of Things: embedded-connectivity mechanisms and protocols. In order to balance this aspect, a new book on 6LoWPAN (Amazon pre-order) "6LoWPAN: The Wireless Embedded Internet" is expected by the beginning of 2010:

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

And now... the tweeting house

After the tweeting plants, the tweeting home has arrived. It seems that the owner of the house, inventor Andy Stanford-Clarke, is using the Crossbow family of motes (maybe MicaZ from the images) to report tweets of information about windows, electricity meters and even... a mouse trap!

As so geek as this may seem, I am sure that we will witness in the next 2-3 years more and more things that tweet. In fact, Twitter has become a convenient communication channel for the Internet of Things: public information can be posted by objects, while other fellow followers may react accordingly. The only problem behind this is the limited amount of data in each tweet, moreover if some metadata has to be added in order to add structure or give meaning to he information.

Other alternatives may be provided by XMPP, the open protocol used by some Instant Messaging systems, which is also a good candidate to create dialogs between connected objects

In the meantime, enjoy the video of the tweeting house:

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

RFID-enabled pet doors

You will never stop finding new uses of RFID. Check this: a pet door that automatically opens in the presence of your RFID-enabled pet (obviously with the RFID tag in the collar).

This application has 3 remarkable characteristics that makes it good to demonstrate the power of RFID in different environments:
  1. The RFID tag is located in a mobile element (your dog, cat, crocodile, ...) that wanders around without any control, so it is a perfect scenario for tracking.
  2. There is one point of control, the door, where you want to allow the authorized pet to enter, and at the same time deny access to not authorized elements.
  3. Pet owners do have the need to use this device in order to avoid intrusions through the traditional pet door, so there is a clear need for this.
As fun as it may seem, this application exhibits very good reasons for being a success, at least for a number of people (a bit expensive, though, $797).

Via: The RFID Weblog
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Adam Greenfield vs El Mundo

It's not very common that a personality in the field of Ubiquitous Computing such as Adam Greenfield, that became widely popular with his book "Everyware: the dawning age of ubiquitous computing", appears in a Spanish mass media newspaper such as El Mundo. He was interviewed last Sunday as he took part in the Urban Labs meetings, organized by the citilab of Cornellà (Barcelona, Spain).

The interview from El Mundo quotes Adam saying:
what users ask has nothing to do with what they need
It seems that Adam is not very happy with how the interview got its final form, and has created a blog entry in which completely rejects the result:
A request to my Spanish-speaking readers: please disregard utterly the interview with me that appears in today’s El Mundo of Spain. It’s almost impossible for me to discern anything resembling my own sentiments among its truncations, paraphrases, elisions and outright inventions.
One of the few times, a Spanish newspaper focus on this area and they do it wrongly as to this extent....
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Immaterials: the RFID aura

This video and experiment called Immaterials from Timo Arnall has become very popular between the Internet of Things and proximity interaction communities in the last weeks. It tries to decribe the interactive properties of RFID by visualizing the activation area of RFID readers and antennas with long-exposure photographs.

The results are not only aesthetically impressive, but a very good learning material in order to understand how RFID fields work.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

First International Workshop on the Web of Things (WoT 2010)

A successful approach to the Internet of Things is the so called Web of Things, a concept promoted by Vlad Trifa and Dominique Guinard that focus on the use of Web technologies, particularly RESTful services and mashups, to build the IoT.

The news is that they are organizing the First International Workshop on the Web of Things that will be held in conjunction with PerCom 2010 in Mannheim (Germany) from March 29th to April 2nd 2010. I guess some nice stuff and an enthusiastic community will come out from this event!
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My presentation on the Internet of Things at Tweakfest

Last month I was invited to Tweakfest to share my vision of the Internet of Things. It was a very exciting event with a nice mix of digital artists and technologists. Among the other invited speakers, I liked the presentations by Ian Pearson (futurologist!?) and Nam Do (co-founder of Emotiv Systems), who made a presentation of the EPOC.

For those of you interested, this was my presentation titled "Ambient Intelligence and the Internet of Things":

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Real-Time Web: a new candidate for Web 3.0?

The news website is (too) strongly promoting a concept called Real-Time Web as the new "promised land" for all those who still think that there is a Web 3.0 after Web 2.0.

It is funny because I have seen how they have been generating a lot of buzz with this term, and how those news have been consistently linked from other websites. You may want a take a look at these two articles:
Now, let's look at this chart:

This is the evolution in terms of Google search of the terms "Internet of Things" (red line) and "Real-Time Web" (blue line) during the last 12 months. Two surprises:
  1. "Real-Time Web" started to be relevant at the end of August (about 1 month ago), where previously there was nothing. Probably it is because the promotion the guys from are doing, in order to publicize their "ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit", which brings me to the conclusion that on-line marketing, and the creation of "semi-artificial" concepts is at its best.
  2. The increase of the previous term is parallel with the raise of (my beloved) "Internet of Things". To which extent does that correspond to the fact that real world objects may be major actors in the Real-Time Web? (therefore, the term "Internet of Things" has also appeared in "Real-Time Web" articles).
My bet is that this sharp raise corresponds to the First International Workshop on the Web of Things (WoT 2010) to take place in Mannheim (Germany) in March 2010.

Finally, for those of you searching for Web 3.0, you may want to take a look at Web Squared...
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