Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for June 11th, 2010

Remote Kickoff

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World Cup 2010 kicked off in Johannesburg, South Africa, this afternoon (our morning here in Texas).

I’m out of the office for a few days, but I couldn’t let the first game between Mexico and South Africa go unheralded, so hence this quick post.

It was an exciting first match that (don’t read any further if you don’t want to know the score!) ended in a 1-1 draw.

Later today, it’s France and Uruguay, and tomorrow the U.S. and England play their first match (as do Argentina-Nigeria and Korea Republic-Greece).

As mentioned in a prior post, there’s plenty of means by which to follow the action in the digital realm.

And if you don’t care anything whatsoever about following the beautiful game in 2010…well, I just feel sorry for ya!

Meanwhile, back at the remote sensing ranch, I also wanted to share some news emerging from the 2010 Sensors Expo & Conference.

IBM announced a new software development kit called “Mote Runner” there that’s going to provide an open and programmer-friendly platform to connect sensor and actuator motes within a wireless sensor network.

Motes, which are also known as wireless sensor nodes, gather sensory information like temperature, movement, or light and then communicate that data across a network of wireless sensors.

With the cost of transistors ($0.00001 each) plummeting as density increases, companies and governments are working to take advantage of transistor-rich wireless sensor networks and analytics to:

  • Enhance understanding of the internal and external systems that support and impact their businesses
  • Improve the behavior and performance of business and societal systems
  • Make better, more informed decisions in real-time by applying analytics to data captured from sensors
  • Learn about situations occurring in business and societal systems as quickly as they happen

However, many wireless sensor networks used to monitor and react to physical or environmental conditions are proprietary and difficult to program.

This ultimately limits the ability of companies, governments and universities to take advantage of them, and Mote Runner was designed to address these challenges.

For example, Mote Runner could help a building management company deploy sensors throughout a high rise building. The technology would:

  • Enable the company to develop applications for the sensors that provide the ability to monitor equipment, room temperature, water systems and more
  • Allow the company to simulate where the sensors would be positioned throughout the building and test how they would communicate
  • Provide the company with the ability to reprogram the sensors remotely once they have been placed throughout the building


Dr. Thorsten Kramp, computer scientist at IBM Research in Zurich, holds a MEMSIC IRIS wireless sensor mote programmed with IBM Mote Runner

“Sensors play an important role in interconnected systems and are critical to helping business leaders understand both what is happening in a system, and what will happen next,” said Charles Lickel, vice president for IBM Software Research about the Mote Runner technology.

“IBM is focused on empowering our clients to use sensors to instantly monitor constantly changing dynamics and apply analytics to understand and act upon these dynamics. Enabling clients to easily program and use sensor networks is core to creating smarter systems, and the new developer tools we are unveiling today will advance our clients’ ability to drive new intelligence into their businesses.”

Software systems are the centerpiece of smart grids, for example, integrating multiple independent products and complex systems to perform their critical functions.

Smart meters, smart appliances and smart homes, all containing embedded software, will be interconnected with numerous back-end software applications to create significant new value for consumers, businesses, and the public.

Available on IBM alphaWorks

To encourage exploration, the Mote Runner software development kit is available free of charge for non-commercial use to universities and students and available as a 90-day evaluation trial for corporate users on the IBM alphaWorks website at www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/moterunner.

Free support is provided on the IBM alphaWorks website.

Written by turbotodd

June 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm

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