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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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