|Wireless remote data
Technologies and sample systems that gather sensor data across distances, usually via radio links. This includes general telemetry and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), especially for gathering data about wildlife, natural resources, and distributed energy systems.
Friday, March 16, 2007
"Researchers at MIT have designed a rechargeable lithium-ion battery
that assembles itself out of microscopic materials. This could lead to
ultrasmall power sources for sensors and micromachines the size of the
head of a pin. It could also make it possible to pack battery materials
in unused space inside electronic devices." Earlier related story: Batteries That Assemble Themselves
"Biology may be the key to producing light-weight, inexpensive, and
high-performance batteries that could transform military uniforms into
power sources and, eventually, improve electric and hybrid vehicles.
Angela Belcher, an MIT professor of biological engineering and
materials science, and two colleagues, materials science professor
Yet-Ming Chiang and chemical engineering professor Paula Hammond, have
engineered viruses to assemble battery components that can store three
times as much energy as traditional materials by packing highly ordered
materials into a very small space." 3:08:44 PM
Researchers convert heat to electricity using organic molecules:
"Arun Majumdar, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering was principal investigator of the study.. [His team] successfully generated electricity from heat by trapping organic molecules between metal nanoparticles, an achievement that could pave the way toward the development of a new source for energy." While it's a long way from marketable form, it would have implications for energy, nanomaterials, and sensors (which need small amounts of energy to function). 3:03:52 PM
Friday, January 26, 2007
Wireless Telemetry Growing to $25.3bn by 2009, as Enterprise Wakes up to Real-Time Efficiency Savings:
"wireless telemetry (or AMR – Automated Meter Reading) will [grow] -
according to industry analysts Juniper Research - with revenues rising
from $11.6bn in 2006 to $25.3bn by 2009. According to Juniper, the substantial rise in revenues - expected to
quadruple by 2011 to $40.8bn - will contrast with limited growth in
telematics from $6.4bn to $11bn in the same period – owing to current
widespread usage in many commercial vehicles due to legislation. Other
outlets including security and surveillance, highway and public
transport signs, and health care will show encouraging signs rising
from a cumulative low of $2bn in 2006 to over $9bn by 2009." 11:59:01 PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Biofuels via cellphone: "More people would be likely to refuel with biodiesel if
they knew where to find a filling station .. NearBio delivers a
database of more than 1,000 biodiesel sellers to mobile phones via WAP
(wireless access protocol) or text messaging. The free applet and
service from WHDC of Nevada City, CA, provides driving directions, the
phone number and the blends available at the five closest locations.
Since most of the diesel engines in the U.S. are inside of trucks,
truck drivers who can factor biodiesel stations into their routes are
the most likely beneficiaries of this service. The number of biodiesel
stations is increasing rapidly and NearBio says it will add new
locations within a day. " 11:01:21 AM
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Taking the Measure: IT and Energy:
I've heard these numbers verbally before, but not online; I've asked the author for the reseach citation. "According to researchers at MIT, less than 1 percent of all commercial and industrial companies use advanced technology to measure and manage energy spend. On the other hand, nearly 100 percent of companies use advanced technology to measure and manage telecommunications spend. Now consider that, according to the MIT researchers, the U.S. spend in electricity is about $270 billion per year while the U.S. spend in telecommunications is about $125 billion per year.
Does your company know down to the fraction of a minute how your telecommunications bill is derived? Probably, and you can probably produce pages of reports showing spending by person, department and project. .. Can you also break out by building, department, project and individual worker how your electrical bill is derived? Or your heating bill? Or your air-conditioning bill? I doubt it, but that is where your next round of cost savings resides." 3:21:11 PM
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Windows XP Multiuser Remote Desktop:
With a couple file renames and a registry change, XP can run three remote desktop sessions (normal desktop plus 2 more).
Combined with the $20-30 terminals that are available from outlets like www.surpluscomputers.com, and the $150-250 LCD screens, you can extend an ordinary PC to multiple users (with very low power and zero noise to boot). 9:55:29 PM
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Linksys courts Linux hackers with WRT54G"L"
: The ubiquitous Linksys wifi router is now manufactured with a non-Linux O/S (Vxworks) with half the flash and RAM. The "new" linux version is the unmodified old one, that has been modified
for new features. Some instructions
tell how to route from wireless to wired (though I think the latest WRT's may do that without modification just by using their non-gateway router mode). 10:09:28 PM
Powerline Ethernet Adapters:
Current (Sept 06) situation appears that residential powerline standard is around 14 mbps, but that different vendors extend it up to 200 mbps max. Carrying HD signals at 28 mbps is an important threshold, with conventional digital video of 20 mbps also important. Netgear does well, as does Zyxel.
Both are $100-120 per adaptor. Linksys has older models at 14 mbps only selling for $65 per adaptor or used down to $30. Both Linksys and Zyxel have adaptors for USB at about the same price as Ethernet. 9:59:39 PM
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
: Wireless soil moisture and micro-climate montoring system. 9:11:28 AM
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
New HazMat Detection for Super Bowl XL
: ""In past years, security personnel have walked around Super Bowls and reported in regularly by radio," said Jeffrey Ricker, CEO of Distributed Instruments
, the Sterling Heights-based company that has developed and supplied the software and servers that enable this sensor fusion system to integrate all data in real time. "This year the very small computers they carry will instantly communicate any suspected materials to all members of their network instantly." " 11:00:51 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Industrial Telemetry demos wireless compost network: "The BioMESH System includes radio-equipped temperature probes that enable operators of large composting facilities to monitor and regulate the internal temperature of compost. .. ITI has field trials of the BioMESH System underway at multiple compost facilities across the country. ..
The temperature probes integrate temperature sensors with radio modules in sealed, weather proof, caustic proof housings. The radio modules utilize a patented wireless mesh communications protocol to support connectivity to the temperature sensors. The probes operate on battery power and feature a scheduled "sleep" mode to provide extended battery life. The BioMESH housing is made from heavy-duty PVC and stainless steel components." 12:47:30 PM
Sensors watch Barrier Reef coral: Cairns, Australia: "The Australian Institute of Marine Science (Aims) is working with James Cook University on a project called Digital Skins. Smart sensors, developed originally for use in nuclear power stations, are placed in the ocean and also in water catchments on the mainland. They are able to communicate with each other to monitor events such as coral bleaching as they happen. ..
Each sensor in the skin has its own numerical address and operating system. Using a global position system, the sensors know exactly where they are. Parameters such as salinity, temperature and nutrient levels are measured.
Communicating with the sensors is a challenge, particularly for those sensors located out on the reef. Using a technique that was discovered by the British during World War II, microwave signals are sent along the surface of the ocean. Initial tests have seen data sent as far as 70km (43.5 miles) in one hop.
The final link in the chain is grid computing. All these sensors create terabytes of data every day. High-speed links allow the various institutions to share their computing power. " 12:42:57 PM
Thursday, December 01, 2005
San Diego Night
: With cameras that take pictures up to 4000 megapixels, The Gigapixl Project makes amazingly detailed images. The images expand the scope of "plain sight," and thereby reduce our zone of privacy
. [Thanks, Scott
] 2:27:39 PM
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Mobile Comms Satellite Launches Into Orbit: Inmarsat bGAN broadband network nearly complete. "The second step in a $1.5 billion program to create a mobile broadband communications network spanning the globe for users at sea, in the air and on land roared into space today. .. When [The Inmarsat 4-F2 satellite] enters service from geostationary orbit 22,300 miles (35,888 kilometers) above Earth next year, the craft will join the Inmarsat 4-F1 satellite that was successfully launched on Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 rocket in March from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Together, the two craft will deliver broadband communications to 85 percent of the world." Connections are expected at around 400 kbps in each direction.
Also interesting is how it got there. It was launched SeaLaunch, a private company using a floating platform and Ukranian and Russian rockets. 8:07:35 PM
Monday, October 03, 2005
U3 USB Devices Launch at DEMOfall: Sept 2005: "Several device manufacturers on Monday unveiled the first USB drives based upon the U3 standard, a method that enables users to carry, store and launch applications directly from a USB flash drive without installation. The U3 technology was first introduced at CES 2005 in January, supported by a host of software and hardware vendors. However, missing from the list is Microsoft, which has not committed to backing the standard.
In the United States, SanDisk, Kingston, Memorex and Verbatim will be launching smart drives for U3 and several popular applications are announcing software support for the standard. .. Software support includes AOL's Winamp, Cerulean Studios' Trillian, McAfee Antivirus and Skype among others. This support by high profile vendors is helping U3 to gain momentum and spur possible widespread adoption, according to Gartner Senior Analyst Joseph Unsworth. ..
U3 drives will begin to ship from various vendors beginning on October 15 in sizes ranging from 256MB to 2GB. The U3 group also announced it had signed a deal with I-O DATA of Japan to begin producing drives for that market beginning early next year." 11:41:56 PM
Friday, September 09, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
New projects at Sun
: "Sun's Squawk project was noted by Gage. Written in Java, Squawk is intended to provide multiple virtual machines and treat an application as an object, Gage said. Squawk would provide more efficient use of memory and power, according to Gage. Squawk was described on Sun’s Web site as a compact, high-performance Java environment. "This is perfect for wireless sensor devices," Gage said." 7:54:50 PM
Friday, August 12, 2005
"The Project Puffin seabird camera is now beaming live-streaming video from Matinicus Rock—Maine’s largest colony of Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills. Matinicus Rock is located 22 miles south of Rockland, Maine. .. The robotic camera was funded by grants from MBNA Foundation
and the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
. The video signal is beamed by microwave 25 miles to Rockland .. When the [visitor] Center opens, visitors will be able to operate the camera. The camera is an invention of Daniel Zatz of SeeMore Wildlife Systems
of Homer, Alaska.
The camera is set to move every two minutes on an auto tour of 20 preset locations that show seabird habitat on Matinicus Rock. The auto tour includes the murre attraction program that is using decoys to encourage Common Murres to nest on the island.. The camera turns on automatically at 5AM and runs until 9PM- at which time viewers will be able to see the light sending its powerful beams. .. The auto tour also includes two minutes of observation within an underground puffin burrow. Using infrared lighting, viewers will be able to see the growing chick and its parents. This is the first underground video of nesting puffins to be shown on the Internet. " 11:17:36 AM
Sunday, August 07, 2005
When Pigs Wi-Fi: Free WiFi works in rural Oregon: "this chunk of arid farm country appears to be the largest Wi-Fi hot spot in the world, with wireless high-speed Internet access available free for some 600 square miles. Most of that is in eastern Oregon, with some just across the border in southern Washington .. Morrow and Umatilla Counties in eastern Oregon are far ahead of them in providing high-speed Internet coverage to residents, schools and law enforcement officers - even though all of Morrow County doesn't even have a single traffic light. .. [WiFi] is free for consumers and has been up and running for more than a year and a half.
One reason it sprang up here is that a nearby Army depot contains chemical weapons, so there is special concern about what would happen if a cloud of nerve gas escaped from the depot. That fear helped provide a pot of federal money to underwrite safety systems. Usually, the police and fire agencies communicate just by radio, but Hermiston decided to go with a public-private partnership that established a Wi-Fi network. .. all police officers now carry [wireless computers that] download data and receive images from video monitors - and, if nerve gas ever escaped, display the cloud's direction and speed.
Fingerprint readers are now being added to these portable devices so a police officer can almost instantly run a person's fingerprint through a multistate database. And if there's a report of a burglary, the police rushing to the scene can download floor plans of the building, live images from video monitors and information about the alarm system. ..
Hermiston is already starting to introduce WiMax, the next generation of technology after Wi-Fi, offering much higher speeds and greater range." 10:56:41 AM
Friday, August 05, 2005
MP3300 Tekkeon myPower ALL Universal Rechargeable Battery: Extender battery kit with multiple plugs and power levels. 11.8 oz (330g), 3.28” (W) x 6.80” (L) x .92” (D), lithium polymer battery, 3 hour charging time, claims 5 hours of play time for portable DVD players or 3 hours for notebook computers. $ 99. 8:56:35 PM
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
France Telecom offers ''Big Screen'' Video EyeWear to Mobile Phone Users: "MicroOptical's video eyewear contains two Kopin full-colour, QVGA-resolution (320 x 240) CyberDisplay 230K microdisplays. The sleek eyewear allows users to privately view large-size video or pictures equivalent to a 12-inch screen as seen from three feet away, yet simultaneously view their surroundings thanks to the small size of the frame and MicroOptical's patented optics which allow the user to see around the screen. ..
Orange SA, one of the world's leading wireless companies with 52 million customers in 16 countries, will bundle a MicroOptical binocular video eyewear with Samsung's SGH-D600 cell phone as part of its new "Orange World" wireless multimedia service. The bundled package, unveiled at the recent European Research and Innovation Exhibition in Paris, will be made available to Orange subscribers in October 2005. ..
Built with nanotechnology, the CyberDisplay 230K .. operates at traditional video speeds and consumes only five milliwatts of power." I find the power figure amazing. Display size and power consumption are big limitations to many applications. Looking geeky is a small price to pay for portability. 4:08:11 PM
Saturday, June 18, 2005
FreeNX and NoMachine: Fast and secure remote desktop system, like VNC or LTSP but faster and with many features:
- Runs single applications remotely
- Carries sound as well as screen and keyboard
- Has many clients - Linux, Solaris, Windows, Mac OS/X, PXE, Mozilla
- Can servers for several OS and can proxy to extend VNC and Windows Terminal Server
- Tight compression for fast service over dialup
- Uses SSL for end-to-end encryption
- Easy to install and demo in Knoppix
(As always, John's got the scoop...) 8:32:47 AM
Friday, June 10, 2005
Wireless reef monitoring: Five senior engineering students at UC Santa Cruz are trying to push the limits of low-power wireless transmission to facilitate the monitoring of remote natural environments. The apparatus they are building will track conditions on coral reefs in distant locations and beam information back in real time to a land-based station. The students named their creation SEA-LABS, short for "Sensor Exploration Apparatus utilizing Low-power Aquatic Broadcasting System." SEA-LABS was originally designed to help UCSC biologist Donald Potts track environmental changes that affect the reefs of Midway, a remote atoll of the Hawaiian archipelago. But SEA-LABS also has the potential to become a low-cost tsunami-warning device, said Matt Bromage, a computer engineering student who acts as SEA-LABS team manager. ..
Now entering its final testing stages, the project should culminate this summer with a trip to the Midway atoll, 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu, where the students will install and test their waterproof and salt-resistant prototype. .. The core of SEA-LABS is a Programmable Ocean Device (POD), which consists of a processor, a memory storage component, and a battery that can last up to two years, all housed in a waterproof casing about the size of a small wastebasket. The POD can be bolted to the seafloor near a reef. .. The POD has cable connections to sensors that independently record pressure, light, salinity, and temperature. The sensors are small enough to fit in any desired location on or within a reef and can be placed right next to plants, corals, and other reef inhabitants. .. The POD connects to a receiver/transmitter attached to a surface buoy. The transmitter broadcasts the data recorded by the sensors from the POD to a base station on land via a radio antenna. ..
The students use off-the-shelf components and develop nonproprietary open-access software. Depending on the number of sensors attached to each POD, SEA-LABS should cost between $500 and $1,000 per POD." 11:43:37 PM
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Samsung Builds Flash Based Disk Drive: "Samsung says it has developed a way to store up to 16GB of data using Flash memory, a development that could lead to extended battery life for notebook and tablet PCs. Flash memory has a power consumption that is five percent of today's hard disk drive, according to the company. These solid-state disk (SSD) Flash-based drives will also provide faster access to data, at about two-and-a-half times the speed of current notebook hard drives. In tests, Samsung was able to read data at 57 megabytes per second (MBps) and write at 32MBps." That's 2-3 GB/Min, comparable in my experience to desktop HD.
"Flash drives also offer the benefit of less noise and heat emissions. They are also less temperature- and humidity-sensitive, meaning Flash-based drives can be used in a wider array of applications and environments. The disk drive itself will look much like a regular 1.8-inch hard disk drive, meaning manufacturers will have to make minimal adjustments to PC designs in order to incorporate the new drives. .. SSD Flash drives based on the new technology are expected on the market by August of this year." They would be useful in off-grid locations, in developing countries or in sensor apps. I wonder if the price will remain at today's $30-50/GB or will be lower. 8:11:30 PM
Monday, May 16, 2005
Soros funds mesh nets:
"The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute, funded by the Soros Foundation, to develop wireless technology to be used around the globe, with a focus on developing nations. The result will be the most advanced community wireless technology in the world. " OJC Technologies
is doing the implementation under contract. CUWIN
has released an open source beta: "Imagine a free wireless networking system that any municipality, company, or group of neighbors could easily set up themselves. Over the past half-decade, the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has been developing an open source, turnkey wireless networking solution that exceeds the functionality of many proprietary systems. CUWiN's vision is ubiquitous, extremely high-speed, low-cost networking for every community and constituency." More background:
"To set up a CUWiN network, you burn a CD with the 0.5.5 software later this week and use it to boot a computer with a supported wireless card. The system finds nearby nodes, creates tables, and establishes itself as part of the network. The software is free and open source. " 8:21:32 AM
Friday, May 06, 2005
Hackers attack IT conference:
Clever, nasty, and far too easy. "Hackers infiltrated an IT exhibition last week and attacked delegates' computers with a new type of wireless attack. Security experts attending the Wireless LAN Event in London last Wedesday found that anonymous hackers in the crowd had created a Web site that looked like a genuine log-in page for a Wi-Fi network, but which actually sent 45 random viruses to computers that accessed it.
Spencer Parker, a director of technical solutions at AirDefense .. said that the hackers walked around the exhibition carrying a Linux-based laptop running software that turned it into a wireless access point. Initially, they labelled the hotspot "Free_Internet_Access", then "BTOpenzone" and then "T-Mobile". .. . "It downloads 45 different randomly generated viruses, worms and keyloggers so antivirus software doesn't protect it. It doesn’t recognise the signatures." .. Parker, whose computer was infected by the attack, believes that the Web site was up for half an hour." 1:45:58 PM
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Cellular Internet relayed to Wi-Fi: "Enter a little green box, about the size of a videocassette, called the Junxion Box. It grabs a wireless cell connection and turns it into a Wi-Fi signal (it also outputs Ethernet). The result: instant high-speed network." Applications: trade shows; client visits by consulting teams; workers at construction sites; wifi access on public transport. Takes a PC card to adapt to different cell networks. Cost: about $600. 8:47:04 PM
Thursday, April 07, 2005
How SMS Could Save Your Life: Cell phones are being used "to manage the treatment of HIV/AIDS in [South Africa] where health care systems are overburdened and doctors are scarce. ..
Therapeutic counselors fill a crucial gap at the Gugulethu clinic, where 525 patients taking ARV drugs are served by just two doctors and two nurses. They visit patients at home and count pills. They take note of conditions that interfere with treatment, such as the absence of food in the house. In short, they are the first line of defense against problems with side effects and drug resistance that can develop if treatment isn't managed properly. In the past, this job involved writing out the cumbersome details of each home visit by hand. But as the clinic data accumulated and the number of patients on treatment grew, the system became unmanageable..
They [now] use SMS to send all of this information to a central database, where Sister Mtwisha can instantly view it on her computer screen. With all of the relevant information compiled neatly in front of her, the irregularities stand out. .. "I used to pick up some faults in the system after a week or a month," she says. "Now I send a message and things are sorted out on the spot, without having to wait." ..
The system, which runs on open-source software, is inexpensive and can easily be managed remotely and adapted for various projects. ..
"If a patient in Gugulethu goes to the Eastern Cape and gets sick and goes to a clinic, they would need to know what drug regimen he's been on, what side effects he had, whether he was hospitalized," she says. "We need to get a system like an ATM where you can get money from every bank. We need something like that for HIV." The Cell-Life project, started by civil engineering faculty and students at the University of Cape Town and the Cape Technikon, has enlisted engineers and computer programmers to provide just that.
Meanwhile, a number of other clinics have expressed interest in using the system, but it has been difficult to raise funds to expand the program. Most donors would rather buy drugs than spend money on systems for distributing them, Rivett says. Instead of donating money, however, she maintains that large companies like Coca-Cola could make an even greater contribution by sharing their knowledge in areas like distribution and product management. "You find Coca-Cola in rural villages everywhere, but you don't find drugs," she says. "The Coca-Colas and the Unilevers can make sure their products get to these places. We need to use these guys to help us get drugs into every single clinic." 2:33:50 PM
Monday, April 04, 2005
U3 - New USB memory/device standard: "U3 makes the promise of anywhere, anytime, any PC computing a reality. By combining the widely adopted storage capabilities of today’s UFDs (USB Flash Drives) with the ability to transport and run applications from a small UFD, U3 ensures truly personal and portable computing. The U3 standard enables developers to create easy to use applications that minimize the complexities of today’s digital life. From your own email folders to healthcare history to fully functional work applications, U3 makes everything available anywhere without having to access multiple devices or lug around a laptop."
Memorex, Kingston, and Verbatim have promised products: "Called a smart USB flash drive, these drives enable consumers to carry all of their personal computer settings, applications and data for use on any PC wherever they go. The new Verbatim smart Store ‘n’ Go USB flash drives will be availabe worldwide [in 2005]. .. The U3 platform includes three components. U3’s hardware specification gives manufacturers the core technology to build their smart USB flash drives. The U3 software developer kit includes sample code, a standard set of application programming interfaces (APIs), and thorough documentation. The U3 Launchpad is a friendly graphical user interface that is used to access and run applications."
This could improve the utility of internet cafes: users can keep an offline personalized environment and secure information store for a small purchase price. Many of today's UFDs play and record sound; with U3, they could rapidly download and upload voice mail at an internet cafe to extend VOIP services (e.g., in developing countries). The U3 could be added to an entertainment device, like an MP3 player, radio, game machine or camera, making the net cost per user negligible. 9:58:25 AM
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Solar SeV Finetex Shell
: Updated geek jacket, now with solar charger: "The Solar SCOTTEVEST (SeV) combines the benefits of our signature jacket and removable solar panels. The solar panels enable you to recharge most USB compatible devices on the go, either while wearing the jacket or with the panels removed. When attached, the solar panels compliment the jacket’s design. The solar panels charge a small battery - about the size of a deck of cards. The battery powers your device almost immediately after the solar panels are exposed to sunlight. Once the battery is fully charged, the panels can be removed and your portable electronic device can tap into the stored power.
Typical charge times in direct sunlight range from 2-3 hours, but direct sunlight is not required." Geek cargo pants
also available, teflon coated (but no solar panel...). 10:55:10 PM
Friday, March 18, 2005
AnywhereUSB - USB Over IP
: "AnywhereUSB [can] connect USB devices anywhere on a wired or wireless LAN, while eliminating the need for locally-attached host PCs. AnywhereUSB/5 provides five USB ports, which deliver the same Plug and Play user experience as onboard USB ports. Software drivers are loaded onto a host PC or server, enabling remote devices to communicate with the host, without changing existing application software. Peripheral devices can be centrally managed and monitored from a remote server or PC via an IP address." $300 list, $250 through resellers, $200 under advertised developer demo program. 11:40:43 AM
Watchport USB Sensors
: "The Watchport Series is the first complete line of Plug and Play USB devices for 24/7 environmental monitoring. Choose from sensors for proximity, distance, acceleration/tilt, humidity/temperature, water and temperature. The Watchport Series also includes the Watchport/V
USB camera. .. Watchport Manager application software provides centralized device status and historical data logging, and allows the easy integration of multiple Watchport devices without additional software development. The customizable software can send email, beeper or phone alerts when undesirable conditions are detected.." Devices are small and USB-powered, $200 list, $150-190 through resellers, $130 under advertised developer demo program. 11:36:36 AM