Sigfox Building 900 MHz M2M Silicon Valley Network

Sigfox, a startup based near Toulouse, France, hopes to raise more than $70 million to build a national network in the US for the Internet of Things. SigFox picked the Bay Area to demonstrate their IoT wireless network that promises to link anything to the Internet, from smoke detectors to dog collars and bicycle locks.

Sigfox will cover the San Francisco peninsula, from its urban tip to Silicon Valley, some 40 miles to the south. It will use the unlicensed 915-megahertz spectrum to provide connectivity. Sigfox hopes to close funding early next year. Sigfox technology already covers the whole of France, most of the Netherlands, and parts of Russia and Spain.

They now cover 420,000 square miles in Europe with ranges that run from a couple of kilometers for underground water meters to 500 km for connected billboards run by Clear Channel.

Four companies now make Sigfox base stations using 800-900MHz transceivers. The base stations can run for 5-20 years on batteries, but are limited to data rates of 100-600 bits/second, sending a maximum of 140, 12-byte messages a day and receiving no more than four eight-byte messages a day. Sigfox charges operators a subscription rate of $1-16 a year per node based on volume. That’s a fraction of the $1-2/day a cellular link would cost, said Castonguay of Machina Research.

It also has an unnamed partner with whom it hopes to put base stations on satellites for a future IoT network with global coverage.

Around the world cities are beginning to deploy a diversity of M2M sensors to improve the efficiency of transport, lighting, irrigation and refuse collection.

Technology competitors include Neul, recently bought by Huawei, and chip firms such as Broadcom and Qualcomm, who are also tracking the opportunities with the 900MHz version of WiFi.

The upcoming .11ah standard, using the 900 MHz band, is expected to cover many home uses at 10-20 Mbits/s. It will also help WiFi vendors extend into large building networks supporting up to 8,000 connections. Chips are expected to hit the market starting in 2015. NEC is the first company to deploy the new oneM2M service layer standard in a live smart city control center.

The Sigfox standard is proprietary. Competitors include the Z-Wave Alliance, a consortium of leading companies in the home technology space and operates in the sub-1GHz band. It supports data rates up to 100kbps, with AES125 encryption, IPV6, and multi-channel operation. Z-Wave utilizes a mesh network architecture, and can begin with a single controllable device and a controller. Additional devices can be added at any time.

Intel, Broadcom, Samsung, Dell, Atmel and others have joined forces to launch the Open Interconnect Consortium. The intention of the OIC is to create specifications for interoperability. It will encapsulate various wireless standards to enable secure device discovery and connectivity across different devices.

Apple and Google, two of the biggest players in the Internet of Things market, may go their own way.

Google acquired smart thermostat company Nest for $3.2 billion and WiFi-enabled camera company Dropcam for $555 million. Google also announced it partnered with Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool and light bulb maker LIFX to integrate their products with Google’s Nest.

Meanwhile, Apple announced a smart home framework called HomeKit, which can be used for controlling connected devices inside of a user’s home. Apple’s connected car infotainment system is called CarPlay.

IDC expects the installed base of the Internet of Things will be approximately 212 billion “things” globally by 2020. This is expected to include 30.1 billion installed “connected (autonomous) things” in 2020.

Related Smartmeter articles on Dailywireless include; Qualcomm Buys Silicon Radio, Huawei Buys Neul, Internet of Things: Divided or United?, Wispapalooza: Jim Carlson on White Spaces, Ofcom Announces White Space Partnerships, 802.11ah: WiFi Standard for 900MHz, Facebook Promotes Internet for Next 5 Billion, Super Wi-Fi Summit, FCC Supports National White Space Networking

Internet of Things: Divided or United?

Intel, Broadcom, Samsung, Dell, Atmel and others have joined forces to launch the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), an organization that will set standards for connecting billions of household gadgets and appliances. OIC intends to initially target the smart home and office.

The Internet of Things (IoT), aka Machine to Machine (M2M) or the Internet of Everything (IoE) adds internet connectivity to the billions of devices that are now ubiquitous in our environment. Some M2M applications will deliver and process information in real time, or near-real-time, while other nodes will have to be extremely low-power or self-powered.

The intention of the OIC is to create specifications for interoperability. It will encapsulate various wireless standards to enable secure device discovery and connectivity across different devices.

“Our goal in founding this new consortium is to solve the challenge of interoperable connectivity for the Internet of Things without tying the ecosystem to one company’s solution,” said Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Software and Services Group Doug Fisher.

But the OIC is not the only consortium to focus on the Internet of Things, notes Forbes.

Microsoft, Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, and others announced the AllSeen Alliance in December, which now has a total of 51 members. The organizations involved in AllSeen will work off of Qualcomm’s AllJoyn open source project initially.

OIC said it will share specifications and code with other groups to establish a common Internet of Things interface. The OIC added that its platform will emphasize security and authentication.

Apple and Google, two of the biggest players in the Internet of Things market, may go their own way.

This year, Google acquired smart thermostat company Nest for $3.2 billion and WiFi-enabled camera company Dropcam for $555 million. Last week, Google announced it partnered with Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool and light bulb maker LIFX to integrate their products with Google’s Nest. The Nest thermostat will turn your heat up and LIFX will turn your lights on when your Jawbone wristband detects that you’re awake.

Last month at WWDC, Apple announced a new smart home framework called HomeKit, which can be used for controlling connected devices inside of a user’s home. Apple’s connected car infotainment system is called CarPlay.

Today, Ubiquiti Networks is launching electrical outlets with remote switching (over Wi-Fi) and energy monitoring. The in-wall design allows users to replace existing wall outlets and light switches/dimmers. Unlike traditional switches, the light switches come with touch panels which can be controlled via Wi-Fi for energy monitoring.

IDC expects the installed base of the Internet of Things will be approximately 212 billion “things” globally by 2020. This is expected to include 30.1 billion installed “connected (autonomous) things” in 2020.

Smart City Unwired

GSMA will showcase the Connected City at Mobile World Congress with partners, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, KT and Vodafone. Solutions from Accenture, Ericsson, General Motors, IBM, Huawei, Samsung and Synchronoss Technologies will also be shown.

Synchronoss Personal Cloud is an industry-leading white-labeled personal cloud solution. It claims to enable any device to simply and quickly activate on the network, providing subscribers with storage and sync capabilities.

AT&T’s Digital Life is an all-IP, all-wireless platform solution that employs AT&T’s software-as-a-service model to deliver turnkey capabilities to Service Providers.

Other Mobile applications include:

  • Smart Sensing Shirts with a team of connected basketball players wearing the smart sensing sportswear to monitor and optimise performance.
  • Connected Cars – Explore the possibilities of automotive services through the use of augmented reality. Clear Channel will showcase its iHeartRadio app inside the connect car display.
  • Security including lock your house, opening car doors, and entering office buildings.
  • Home control and monitoring enabling your alarm system, thermostat and security cameras to work together.
  • Healthcare to improve patient follow up as well as enable monitoring devices and video calls.
  • NFC – highlighting applications in payment, retail, transport, mobile identity and access.

Korea Telecom’s NFC Media Pole combines NFC with digital signage to provide videos, coupons, tickets, music and advertisements on NFC enabled smartphones. There will be 65 KT NFC Media Poles deployed at MWC 2014 on the Fira Gran Via.

Vodafone will demonstrate remotely controlled street lighting and water storage monitoring, among other functions enabled by the Smart City.

Visitors at MWC will be able to place food orders and make payments using a mobile app, and check in to restaurants via NFC or QR or collect their meal from a dedicated pick-up point.

AT&T, Cisco and Accuris Networks will provide Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi connectivity along with major carriers as soon as people walk through the conference doors.

Vehicle to Vehicle Communications: Moving Forward?

Obama administration officials said today that they will propose requiring that automakers equip new cars and light trucks with Vehicle to Vehicle communications.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the technology holds the potential to significantly reduce crashes, injuries and deaths on the nation’s streets and highways.

Safety officials said the government will issue a report later this month outlining its research on the new systems, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will “begin working on a regulatory proposal” that will be issued before the end of the Obama administration.

A transponder would continually transmit the vehicle’s position, heading, speed and other information 10 times per second in all directions using the 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) band. A related technology, V2I, links vehicles to infrastructure like traffic signals.

The V2V network would contain two types of nodes; vehicles and roadside stations. Both use DSRC devices which work in 5.9 GHz band with bandwidth of 75 MHz and approximate range of 1000m.

The vehicle would receive the same information back from other vehicles and a vehicle’s computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems could automatically brake to avoid an accident.

Once automakers start adding the technology to all new cars, it is estimated to take 15 years or more for half the cars on the nation’s roads to be equipped, according to Qualcomm.

Drivers would also be alerted to a possible collision with a pedestrian or bicycle carrying a smartphone that continually sends out information to cars in the vicinity, even if it’s too dark to see the person or if the pedestrian darts suddenly into traffic.

Vehicular communications is usually developed as a part of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) which integrates communication between mobile and fixed nodes, using both wired and wireless communications.

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Bill Ford, executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company, proposed partnering with the telecommunications industry to create cities in which “pedestrian, bicycle, private cars, commercial and public transportation traffic are woven into a connected network to save time, conserve resources, lower emissions and improve safety.”

Here’s My Proposal for self-driving cars in Portland. See Dailywireless stories on World Congress on Talking Cars, and 5.9 GHz Hits the Road

AllSeen Alliance formed for Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, where objects connect themselves to the internet, got a boost today from the AllSeen Alliance, a new open source consortium overseen by the Linux Foundation (FAQ).

The All Seen Alliance, looks to expand upon the “Internet of Things,” which Gartner predicts will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020.

The software runs on popular platforms such as Linux, Android, iOS, and Windows, including embedded variants. It will add more functionality and interaction across various brands and sectors, such as the connected home, healthcare, education, automotive and enterprise.

The AllSeen Alliance is based on a piece of Qualcomm technology, AllJoyn, which lets devices automatically pair over different wireless protocols and collaborate across product catagories.

Instead of dictating that devices have to connect with each other over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or Zigbee and having users painstakingly pair those devices, AllJoyn automatically discovers devices and negotiating connections with whichever protocols are available.

The new initiative has attracted major supporters including Qualcomm, LG, Panasonic, Haier, Cisco, D-Link, Fon, Harman, HTC, Cisco, Sears, and Wilocity. The members of the AllSeen Alliance will contribute software and engineering resources, enabling hardware manufacturers, service providers and software developers to create interoperable devices and services.

One company conspicuously absent from the list is Intel. Intel has its own Intelligent Systems Framework, designed to enable connectivity, manageability and security across devices. The embedded ecosystem has been used in more than 50 products in the communications, transportation, medical, mobile, industrial and retail industries.

While Machine-to-Machine provides the plumbing between devices, the Internet of Things, such as the AllSeen Alliance, aims to add smarts to seamlessly connect and do stuff.

According to ABI Research more than 30 billion devices will be wirelessly connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. Most will connect via wireless technologies including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Cellular, and RFID.

Fitbit: Force

Fitbit is adding a wrist-worn The Force fitness tracker to its line of fitness trackers which includes the popular Flex, Fitbit’s other wrist-worn tracker. Force offers an OLED display and altimeter on top of the features included in the Flex, says Engadget. It’s similar to the company’s One tracker, but with a wristband so you don’t have to clip it to your pants.

The Force is available in black or bluish-gray for $129.95, slightly more than the $99 Flex, which is remaining in Fitbit’s lineup.

The new OLED display on the Force is more informative than the Flex’s blinking lights, without having to look at the app. The Force has a proprietary charging port and can sync with your computer wirelessly with the new USB dongle. It can also still sync with your Android or iOS device over Bluetooth 4.0. Fitbit also recently revamped its apps for Android and iOS, offering a cleaner design that’s easier to use

Self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors and wearable computing, is also known as The Quantified Self.

Devices that support it include Jawbone UP, Nike+ FuelBand, Pebble and others.

The Best Wrist Fitness Trackers of 2013 can quantify your fitness (for better or worse).