Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ZDNet: Smart cities, sensors and their potential side effects

An interesting read about possible privacy issues in smart cities

Your future city will be networked to the hilt with sensors that will enable new “urban actors”—think bridges, bricks and traffic signals—that will communicate with its inhabitants. But as cities become more networked there are risks to their evolution.
The argument: Cities have evolved because they provide the opportunity for reinvention and ability to be anonymous. A networked city fabric is a threat. To wit: Do you really want to know everything about your neighbor? If you did know your neighbor’s religion, thoughts and social circle you may know too much. Simply put, sensor-laden cities may become decidedly less comfortable. Greenfield’s talk highlighted how cities evolved with neighborhoods, landmarks and “legibility.” If technologies—think RFID—remove those boundaries it’s hard to model a city.

More: Link

Monday, November 30, 2009

6LoWPAN WG meeting and 6LowApp BOF covered by ISOC newsletter

ISOC’s Rough Guide to IETF 76’s Hot Topics summerized the 6LoWPAN WG and 6LowApp BOF at IETF 76 as follows:

6lowpan (IPv6 over Low power WPAN)
The 6lowpan WG deals with the use of IPv6 over low powered networks (such as sensornets). This is protocol development for devices on “the Internet of Things”. The basic concept in 6lowpan is that IP may become a unifying layer for low powered devices for interoperability, potentially over the Internet.
6lowpan is intensely focused on developing the protocols to enable this to happen.

Full charter: http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/6lowpan-charter.html

Some progress should be made in closing on standardization of a couple of documents (specifically the Neighbor Discovery document).This working group has been going on for some time and has a sense of urgency now due to the SmartGrid efforts currently gaining a lot of attention in the United States.

Agenda: http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/09nov/agenda/6lowpan.txt
(10 November, 13:00-15:00)

6lowapp (Application Protocols for Low-power v6 Networks) BOF
6LOWAPP is a BOF considering whether different protocols, or modifications to existing protocols, are needed for very low power devices that may proliferate for sensor type networks. There is a great deal of enthusiasm not just to define the work of a potential working group coming out of this BOF but also to start defining problems and protocols. The mailing list for this BOF has a lot of traffic and the BOF promises to be vigorous.

Agenda: http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/09nov/agenda/6lowapp.txt
(9 November, 13:00-15:00)

More: ISOC’s Rough Guide to IETF 76’s Hot Topics

DCOSS 2010: The 5th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems

The 5th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS)
Santa Barbara, California, USA
June 21 - 23, 2010,

Submission Deadline: 11:59PM EST Feb 2, 2010
Notification: March 26, 2010
Camera Ready: April 7, 2010

Distributed sensor systems have become a highly active research area due to their potential for providing diverse new capabilities.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Self-powered diaper monitor system automatically detects wet diapers

A research laboratory at Japan’s Ritsumeikan University has developed a monitoring system for wet diapers that consists of a self-powered sensor/transmitter and a receiver and is supposed to assist staff in hospitals and nursing homes in performing diaper checks with elderly patients. The sensor kit has to be placed inside the diaper and sends signals to the receiver unit, which was co-developed in collaboration with Seiko Epson.

Both the sensor and the accompanying wireless transmitter are powered by a built-in battery that can generate electricity following a chemical reaction in the presence of urine. Once this happens, the sensor kit can transmit signals to a receiver located as far as 3 meters away.

The university lab says their wet diaper monitoring system is still in prototype mode. One possible area for improvement is to add circuitry to the sensor system so that a single system can monitor a group of people, for example in a nursing home.

Source: Crunchgear
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