Powercast and ioBridge Partner to Create Cloud-connected Wireless Sensor Networks

Powercast met ioBridge last year at the Remote Monitoring and Control Expo and we quickly hit it off.  Powercast saw pairing their wireless sensor technology with ioBridge’s web gateways as a complete solution they could deliver to customers.  ioBridge’s cloud service gateway for professional applications was a great fit to connect their wireless sensor network to the cloud.

Last month Powercast put a live demo of their remote monitoring in the cloud solution on their website.  The layout below displays various Temperature, Humidity, Light and Carbon Dioxide sensors at different locations throughout the Powercast headquarters.

Powercast Sensors and ioBridge demo

This is a great example of how ioBridge technology can be the missing piece of the puzzle in someone else’s solution.  We are seeing a growing level of interest from solution providers like Powercast that have their own existing technology, customers and applications.  We love these types of partnerships where our cloud connecting technology makes their solutions better and easier to manage.

Stormwater Management and Why it’s Big for the Internet of Things

ioBridge and one of our partners Geosyntec has had a lot of buzz lately.  Geosyntec has been using ioBridge’s “Internet of Things” platform of hardware and software to solve BIG problems in the area of stormwater and rain water management.

The article in Scientific American and Fast Company titled How the “Internet of Things” Is Turning Cities Into Living Organism talks about how this solution is a great example of using “Internet of Things” to immediately affect the environments we live in. I especially enjoyed the analogy of the sensors in the city being the “virtual nervous system”.

“By using the Internet to connect real-world sensors and control mechanisms to cloud-based control systems that can pull in streams from any other data source, including weather reports, these efforts enable conservation and money-saving measures that would have been impossible without this virtual nervous system.”

(Even Chris Anderson of Wired / The Long Tail gave this definition of the Internet of Things a ringing endorsement.)

Why this is BIG for the Internet of Things

I feel like this is all just the tip of the iceberg for the “Internet of Things”.  Solving problems like stormwater management are proving that the “Internet of Things” has a big part in solving real world problems, not just tweeting toasters.

Here’s a recipe:

1) Existing data / trends / models (i.e. weather, tides, sunlight)

2) Real time data (i.e. temperature, pressure, humidity, light)

3) “Things” that need to be controlled (i.e. fans, valves, motors)

4) Platforms for the “Internet of Things” (like what ioBridge makes)

Take a few parts real-time data analysis with existing data / trends / model, decide how and when the things that need to be controlled should function, then mix moderately with a platform for the “Internet of Things”.  What can it be used for?  This recipe goes well with agriculture, infrastructure, energy, water…   In the end you’ll have a way to solve many large real-time problems.

As you can see, most of the components 1-3 have already existed for years.  It is the recent emergence of platforms for the “Internet of Things” that provides that last mile to connect it all together and makes  automatically solving real problems in real-time a reality.

Yeah… It’s kind of a big deal.

[via Scientific American / Fast Company / Wall Street Journal ]

Successful Internet of Things DCWEEK Workshop

First I’d like to give a thank you to all the attendees of ioBridge’s DCWEEK Internet of Things Workshop.  It was a great turnout even though it was one of the last events of a long week.

We accomplished all of our goals:

  1. Explain to people what the “Internet of Things” is
  2. Have everyone realize where it is in their everyday lives
  3. Understand just how BIG it is going to be
  4. Get people to experiment first hand with IoT
  5. Get involved with the Washington, DC tech scene and contribute to DCWEEK 2011
  6. Get people giddy like school children when they are controlling their own “Things” on the Internet!

All the attendees were very involved in the presentation.  It was great to see the wheels start to turn as they learned about basic digital and analog inputs/outputs.  Once they understood those concepts they started to see how seemingly complex devices like a touch screen could be broken down in to it’s basic inputs and outputs.

The hands on part of the workshop was very rewarding and we thought everyone had a lot of fun.  We brought ioBridge Dev Kits that include IO-204 and multiple buzzers, temperature sensors, buttons, servo motors and LCD screens for the attendees to play with.  Four separate groups got to go through the module setup process and begin interacting with their items through the Internet.  Once they got that down, it started to get a little creative.

One group used a combination of the temperature sensor and the buzzer to have a buzzer go off when a certain temperature was reached.  They monitored all the inputs and outputs right from the Internet.  Another group took it a step further and had their IO-204 tweet once a certain temperature was reached.  Once they got that down, they used a simple button to trigger a tweet.  Sort of like a motion detector tweeting when someone came into a room.

Here are some of the photos of everyone in action:


Learn to “Script Things” during Perl Workshop at Carnegie Mellon University

The 5th Annual Pittsburgh Perl Workshop (PPW) will be held October 8-9, 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University. PPW will feature great coffee, workshops, and talks all relating to the Perl programming language created by Larry Wall in 1997. ioBridge is one of the community supporters and sponsors of the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop and Perl Foundation.

Pittsburgh Perl Workshop Sponsored by ioBridge

Perl + CGI changed the Internet back in the mid-90′s. This combo was the catalyst for the creation of dynamic web applications and paved the way for the “Web 2.0″. The next big movement is the Internet of Things. This is where web applications mash-up with sensors, devices, appliances, power meters, mobile phone, and social networking to form new applications. Perl sits in a great spot to “Script Things”. Perl is a high-level language that has the ability to interface with any API, server, back-end, and new things that come its way. This is often why Perl gets called the “Duct tape of the Internet”. Last year, Hans Scharler, of ioBridge, created a thermostat that regulates itself based on his location on Google Latitude. The scripting was all done in Perl and interfaced with ioBridge’s API to control the thermostat. A lot of new applications are possible.

Hans will return to PPW and hold a new session called Scripting Things. The idea behind this session is to start with the basics. You will learn about Digital I/O, Analog Values, Serial Data, and Web APIs. All of these topics are things that we take for granted and assume that everyone knows about. You will also learn how to pull everything together with Perl and scripting languages. The target audience is anyone looking to learn how to get started with the Internet of Things and create mashups with real-life things with virtual things.

Injunction with PPW, ioBridge will also be hosting an all day long Hardware Workshop at CMU on October 8, so you can apply your new knowledge right-away. The only thing you need to bring is your imagination. Everything else will be provided — sensors, hardware, Arduino boards, ioBridge modules, buttons, and LEDs. The location is on the 6th Floor of the Gates Hillman Complex right on the Carnegie Mellon Campus and is open to everyone. We look forward to seeing what you will create and/or inspire for the future of the Web of Things.

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop
October 8–9, 2010

Carnegie Mellon University
Gates Hillman Complex
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

ioBridge at Remote Monitoring and Control 2011 [video]

The ioBridge team is back from Nashville, TN where we had the privilege to be part of the Remote Monitoring & Control 2011. The Remote Expo featured the latest solutions for professional applications in the fields of remote monitoring, remote control, site management, M2M, and SCADA. Also, as we found out, there were many product companies looking to add remote monitoring and control capabilities to their products or looking to add cloud-services to their already connected devices. Working with manufactures and licensing our technology is a big part of our business, so the conference was a perfect fit for ioBridge. As one attendee stated after demonstrating ioBridge technology, “Our product plus ioBridge equals a revolutionary step forward for our business“.  It seems like the Internet of Things is on everyone’s radar these days.

While at Remote Expo, we were able to grab some bits of video so that you could see our booth setup and see one of our consumer product demonstrations. One of our exhibits was a web-enabled garage door opener, designed for one of our customers, that features real-time control, integrated video feedback, and mobile and web application control. Here’s a quick video from Remote Monitoring & Control 2011 with introduction and demonstration by our CEO, Dr. Robert Mawrey.

Thanks to everyone that stopped by and thanks to the organizers for such a successful event! We enjoyed our visit to Nashville and look forward to working with the many people that we met at Remote 2011.