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).

DASH7 Alliance Announces M2M Standard

The DASH7 Alliance, a non-profit industry consortium that promotes wireless sensor networking standards, today announced the public release of the DASH7 Alliance Protocol.

DASH7, an open source wireless sensor networking standard, competes with Zigbee (900MHz/2.4GHz), Z-Wave (900 MHz), Bluetooth (2.4GHz), WiFi (2.4/5 GHz), and Low Power UWB for machine to machine communications, but features multi-kilometer range, excellent penetration of walls, floors, and water, operates on extremely low power and features multi-year battery life with a maximum bitrate of 200kbps.

Operating in the license-free 433.92 MHz spectrum, DASH7 offers multi-kilometer range, multi-year battery life, sensor and security support, as well as tag-to-tag communications, achieved through ad hoc-synchronized communications. The new protocol is built on the IEC 18000-7 standard and provides seamless interoperability.

“A distinct capability of the protocol provides for both infrastructure to endpoints (RFID tags) and endpoint-to-endpoint communications, while operating from a battery and maintaining low power operation”, said Michael Andre, chairman of the Dash7 Alliance.

Near Field Communication is a short-range wireless technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimeter (around 4 inches) distance using globally available and unlicensed 13.56 MHz, with a bandwidth of 14 kHz.

Contactless payment systems use RFID for making secure payments. Phones featuring Near Field Communications combine the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device. They have been used in Asia for many years.

According to the independent wireless analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of cellular network connections worldwide used for M2M communication was 47.7 million in 2008. The company forecasts that the number of M2M connections will grow to 187 million by 2014.

The risk inside a credit card with RF-ID may be real, according to this report. A tinfoil hat for your credit cards might be a good idea.

Other RFID articles on Dailywireless include; DASH7 Begins Certification Program, DASH7: Sensing On The Move, Phones Become Wallet, Tires Hacked, GSM Broken, RFID Distance Record Smashed, Tracking al-Qaeda, Tracking Soldiers, Satellite RFID Tag, Adidas MiCoach Vs Nike+, Inmarsat: $1B for New Sats, Social Bicycles: Cheaper Bike Sharing