Category: Industry


Abstract

The applications built on wireless sensor networks are becoming increasingly attractive for monitoring and control applications in various domains such as smart building, home automation, smart transportation.  However due to characteristic of heterogeneous wireless network in terms of wireless network standards and application protocols, actuation in wireless sensor networks are still largely confined in isolated and constrained intranets, increases more complexities as the heterogeneous wireless networks grow bigger.  While standing in contrast to the concentrating the application logic on the sensing level,  solutions based on IP web will provide convergence for heterogeneous wireless networks, and more semantic interoperability in time and location, facilitating monitoring, control and automation. And furthermore authentication with both user and devices’s access to the web becomes even more significant in security concern. I will present the concept and web service architecture of our semantic sensor web by complying with multiple wireless sensor network standard and sensor web standard.

Introduction

Internet of things, which is the vision of a world where all electronic devices are connected together to form a single, coherent network of heterogeneous devices, is rapidly approaching to a reality, reshaping our world by collecting, processing, analysing huge amounts of real-time data produced from the physical world, thereby notifying users or actuating the devices according to application logic and domain contexts.

Over a long time, large volumes of environmental and personal health information created naturally through our surrounding physical world has been lost or confined in small scale constrained network environments. That is how wireless sensor networks comes to play, connecting a large set of wireless low cost, small size,low power nodes to sense all various of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, imminence in our physical space. However merely putting application logic on the wireless sensor networks leads to many limitations and weakness.

First of all, the mote is generally resource constrained environments in terms of power,computation capacity and memory, putting application logic takes much space of resource. Booting and updating the software in that environment is also becoming a complex issue. Moreover the implementation of commercial WSN involves, in many case, wireless sensor standards,  and moreover proprietary application programming interfaces and protocol. The use of different proprietary data formats and protocols constitutes a bottleneck for the expansion of these networks, especially on the actuation. In general,  the price of converting different protocols gets higher as more heterogeneous networks are getting involved on the sensing level. For example, Zigbee and 6lowpan are both wireless sensor standards both adopting 802.14 standard who defines the Physical layer and Mac layer, but differs on the networking layer and application layer.

flat_smart_home

This should give you a idea of how this could look like!

Therefore shifting the control from resource constrained environment to the IP based web gains enormous advantages over the disadvantages. First of all, with the existing robust Internet infrastructure in terms of standards, scalability, security, web can provide a more powerful environment in the storage, computation, and analysing , concurrently executing process, analysis, which in most circumstances are complex application logic, and invoking the notification and actuation simultaneously on the web service level. Various wireless network applications can be built on top of web instead wrapping the logic inside resource-constrained environment,  the radio-specific wireless network like zigbee should be less about processing application logic, but more on transporting the information. Historically, a network is likely to be more successful if the majority of its logic is pushed to the edges.
Moreover, web addresses the limitations of heterogeneous wireless networks by hiding the underlying layers, the network communication details, and heterogeneous sensor hardware.  In that sense, web offers the convergence of heterogeneous wireless networks through IP standards.

And the emerging concept of semantic web allows semantic information such as location, time to be added to  the sensor data, making raw sensor data meaningful to the web applications and naive users.. Semantic sensor web helps naive user to discover, access and search sensor data on the Web, building context – awareness applications.

Lastly, billions of users has been and will continue relying on the web for growing and reliable information. Obviously over years, web has evolved to be a inter-connecting platform that allow billions of users contributing, sharing, socializing, various applications and services are built upon it, serving the purpose of bridging the user and our digital world. Likewise, thought the web ecosystem, users can get access to exploding amounts of device-generated content in the similar experience, And this time, web serves as mediator building the gap between users and wireless network environment, the long term divide between virtual world and physical world is about to set change.

In going forwards from heterogeneous wireless network to semantic sensor web, several critical issues should be further discussed, including wireless sensor network standards, sensor meta data, sensor web ontology, a uniform solution of semantic sensor web is going to combine 3 of them for the further actuation and monitoring applications. While pushing the application logic to the web for monitoring or significantly controlling and automation, security becomes a critical issue that nobody wants his device to be maliciously accessed or controlled by people who have no authentication. Therefore authentication on the web for user getting access to his device is a pressing emphasis particularly.

 

The pros of zigbee is about its application profile agreed on by vendors, therefore the command identifiers and attributes defined in the public application profile work smoothly though the overall zigbee sensor network .

The cons of zigbee is mixing application logic with networking security methnizthm, and works slowly on its compatiability with IP6.

Recently watched NHK ‘s documentary about China, taking three special episodes respectively into China ‘s  rapid growing movie production and  market,  the massive influence into African on the investment and infrastructure,  and lastly China ‘s public and private investment into all corners of world.

It is quite interesting to see different perspective looking into China’s the spreading influence into the world, not only because the perspectives are rarely deeply known by Chinese, but also specially because the viewpoints from Japan, who was once in the same glorious position in the 1980s, yet stuck in the long term economy crisis and going down.  Anxiety from Japan? maybe a bit because it is much losing the sprites of Entrepreneurship, but the documentary is positively, largely reflecting what is going on in China on world platform, hopefully going stronger and stronger in the next few decades.

Concerning about the investment in African,  one typical example is the ZTE  – one multinational telecommunication company, who is leading a massive initiative in  telecommunication infrastructure in Ethiopia, and further efforts on the telecoms services, ended up very successful in that project.

Another cases is Enterprise’s mergers and acquisitions, the Chinese companies with huge wealth are intending to buy the good assets such as technology, management skills, mature existing market. As opposed to 10 or 20 years ago that the foreign companies investing in China, it is now many Chinese native companies going out to invest, a huge difference.

The success is depending on many keys such as the great capability in manufacturing, abundance of money and capable engineers,  labor force, and most significantly China government  ‘s huge backup in finance and policy, in which China public bank is given more flexible permissions to support and collaborate closely with Chinese public and private companies in efforts going out to the world into all various of investment. Investments like natural resources and technologies are reasonably high priorities.

Although there is always a debate and controversy about Chinese government on several issues, I am still convinced China’s strength will be far more powerful in next few years because of its long term successful strategies on the culture, African and support of Chinese native companies going out for the next multinational. After all these strategies is just get going in the first beginning.

Going back on the emerging long-term strategy on the Internet of things, I envision it will bring more significant changes inside China, and will flourish soon.

 

China power 1:  striking power of movie

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China power 2:  dragon in the Africa

ed2k://%7Cfile%7CNHK%E7%89%B9%E9%9B%86.%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E5%8A%9B%E9%87%8F.%E7%AC%AC2%E9%9B%86.%E9%A9%B0%E9%AA%8B%E9%9D%9E%E6%B4%B2%E7%9A%84%E5%B7%A8%E9%BE%99.2009.HDTV.MiniSD-TLF.mkv%7C337554529%7Cc6e8a1ed498aaf9399da47fed7b2f74c%7Ch=c2t3keb7f2is6mbnpibqmyldkjckxamp%7C/

China power 3:  buying the world

ed2k://%7Cfile%7CNHK%E7%89%B9%E9%9B%86.%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E5%8A%9B%E9%87%8F.%E7%AC%AC3%E9%9B%86.%E5%90%9E%E8%B4%AD%E4%B8%96%E7%95%8C%E7%9A%84%E5%B7%A8%E9%BE%99.2009.HDTV.MiniSD-TLF.mkv%7C336407674%7C8d706bc427f200605225b8a027a6fbe5%7Ch=7m734t7cjlsebjpnkwwldoculinreegu%7C/

http://www.automatedbuildings.com/news/dec10/articles/sinopoli/101119034404sinopoli.html

Dashboards are meant to convey essential information quickly and clearly on one screen.

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”  Henry David Thoreau

Overview


Building systems can provide a lot of data through BAS points, sensors, meters, databases and measurements with a subset of that data being the foundation for energy management. However, lots of data does not necessarily mean lots of actionable information. Data is “raw” material and its real value is being transformed into useful information where some intelligence has been gleaned from analyzing or studying the raw product. The final link in this chain, and probably the most important, is the user interface (UI) or the human-machine interface (HMI), where the actionable information is presented to the person who will act upon the information. For years the user interface was the typical BAS graphics, which generally looked like something designed in the 1980s. Today the more advanced integrated building management systems use the increasingly popular browser-based dashboards to present information to users.

What follows are some tips and guidelines on creating dashboards for facility and energy management covering what information is needed, how that information should be presented to a user, and a couple of industry examples.

What to Present


Dashboards can provide relevant and timely information to several organizational levels or groups involved with a building’s performance. These different users can be facility technicians, managers, C-level executives and even tenants, occupants or visitors through kiosks or a web page. The information provided may cover the specifics of particular building systems such as HVAC, electrical or specialty systems, but they tend to focus on energy usage, costs, KPIs, trends, alarm management, comparisons with similar buildings or building uses, etc. So the first and probably the most important steps are determining the right information for the intended viewer of the dashboard.
Facility technicians have different information needs than C-level executives or the general public. For example, a facility engineer may be interested in subsystem alarms and alarm management. In this case the dashboard needs to display alarm priority, escalation status, alarm acknowledgment, repetitive alarms, “out-of-service” alarms and sub-system communications or component failure, etc. C-level executives, such as Directors of Facilities, Sustainability or Procurement may want information on energy usage and cost. In this case the dashboard should display the usage and costs of a building’s comprehensive and individual utilities, budgeted versus actual utility costs, budget deviations, comparisons with other similar buildings, meter output for alternative energy sources such as photovoltaic and wind energy, etc.
In developing a series of dashboards, you need to identify what decisions or insight each user or group hopes to gain by using the dashboard and what information at what time interval is needed to support their decision process.

Dashboards will be fed from data and that data will probably need to be collected from several sources: building automation systems, specialty systems, business systems, etc. For example, if it’s an energy dashboard you’re creating, energy usage may be generated in a BAS, whereas the cost of the energy may be in a database in the company’s accounts payable system. If you’re a healthcare organization you may be interested in metrics such as energy use of an MRI machine per patient and need patient counts from business systems; or, if you are a retail company it may be energy use per customer or per sale and you need customer and sale data from the business systems.

To gather all the information needed for a dashboard you may need a middleware platform to normalize and standardize data generated from several sources in possibly different database formats. This would allow a flexible and consistent platform for the dashboard but also could potentially trigger additional data management with large amounts of data. Dashboards in general are typically used for high-level performance summaries with some dashboards such as analytical dashboards needing to “drill down” to specific data, so data management can depend on the specific use of the dashboards.

How to present the information

Dashboards are meant to convey essential information quickly and clearly on one screen. Most importantly they do so based on their visual design. Visual design is much more than nice graphs and spreadsheets. It involves how human beings perceive and act upon visual information, a science in the realm of “human factors” and “cognitive psychology”. Although this may sound like you’ll need a PhD to understand it, it actually is somewhat intuitive.

It all starts with something known as “pre-attentive variables”; these are the attributes of the dashboard that humans subconsciously pay attention to before they consciously know they are paying attention; thus pre-attentive attributes. This innate perceptual and cognitive capacity to pay attention unconsciously evolved in human centuries ago. So if you’re designing a dashboard to quickly display information, you take into account the pre-attentive variables to essentially get the user’s attention before they know they’re paying attention. Here are a couple of the major pre-attentive variables:
The position of the information on the dashboardThe position of the information on the dashboard
Information can be emphasized or de-emphasized by its position on a display. The visual dominance is the center of the screen (gold). Depending on the culture and how the culture reads (left to right, or right to left) the other area of dominance will either be the top left or top right of the screen. The other corners are neutral (blue), or in the case of the bottom right, actually de-emphasized. So the most important data, such as key performance indicators, has to go in the center or the top left of the dashboard – this is especially true if other data on the dashboard can only be understood after an understanding of the most important information.

Color

ColorColor is another pre-attentive variable that can aid in the clarity and quickness of understanding information. Here’s an example of how easy it is to pick out data based on the blue color. In fact, if there were many more data points, the time to scan and quickly pick out the blue data points would be about the same.
Our perception of color is relative and dependent on the color or context that surrounds the colored object, so selecting the color of the object and a contrasting and consistent color for the background is important. There are variations of the use of color as a pre-attentive means, such as color hues, brightness and color saturation.

Shapes and SizesShapes and Sizes

Shapes are also a pre-attentive variable that like color can assist the user in quickly differentiating data sets. The size of a shape may be used to convey quantities or magnitude. Enclosing a set of data in a border or using icons to provide meaning or draw attention are also positive uses of forms and shapes.
The reason pre-attentive attributes are important is simple. Dashboards should quickly and almost instantly allow the viewer to grasp the information important to the user. Pre-attentive features are just a head-start on that process, providing information to the viewer before the viewer consciously knows he or she is paying attention.

 

Industry Examples
Here are a few industry examples of well –executed building and energy dashboards:

Enernoc Dashboard

This is an Enernoc dashboard. It’s one of several screens, with the most important information in the most-emphasized screen position.
Viewers can also interact with the dashboard to calculate and change timelines.

Lucid Design

Lucid Design is best known for their work in higher education and this dashboard addresses electrical use in a dormitory.
Note the positioning, the colors, the user options and the clarity.

Prophet Suite

This is a dashboard for Prophet Suite, developed by Controlco and DG Logik that provides a building overview.
This is a great use of color with the presentation of all vital information; temperature, loads, costs, labs versus building, cooling and electrical, etc..

IBS Intelligent Building Interface System

Part of the IBS Intelligent Building Interface System (IBIS®), this module provides you with real-time data and LEED Point information
based on Power (Gas and Water optional) Metering sources as well as pre-selected key performance indicators for your Enterprise, Site, Buildings, Systems and Equipment. 3D is optional.

Sensus MI

Sensus MI utilizes its EnergyWitness to benchmark each building’s performance against an established benchmark. 
Users can compare more operating parameters such as weather independent base load or set energy consumption goals and benchmark other buildings in the portfolio against it.

Of course, there are many more dashboards to consider.  Dashboards are the end result of a lot of work that has to take place to identify, gather and standardize data and to clearly understand the roles and the needs of people involved with facilities and energy. If they succeed in providing actionable information in a timely fashion, dashboards have a positive effect on managing a building’s performance and operation.

source : http://www.webofthings.com/2011/02/04/lift11-talk-transcript/

The transcript of my talk at LIFT this afternoon. Thought it would be a good intro to WoT (although very high level), so I shared it here. Thoughts & feedback more than welcome! Yeah, it’s a lot of text, and it’s ugly to read on a blog, so I also made a pretty PDF you can print or read later.

As a PhD student at ETH Zurich and SAP, I have been exploring the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the vision of a world where all electronic devices are connected together to form a single, coherent network of heterogeneous devices. In theory, such a large network could collect real-time data from the physical world that can be used to solve all our problems, improve traffic in large cities, reduce pollution and energy consumption, take better care of the elderly and so on.

All this sounds nice in theory, but the reality is unfortunately different.

Early in my research, I realized that the Internet of Things is merely a scam – it is a leaky concept. On the one hand we have academic research that is not really concerned with standardization issues, therefore many incompatible solutions/projects have been explored by diverse research groups pretty much in isolation. On the other hand, we have the industry which is very interested by standards, as many companies that want to lead the IOT, so hundreds of protocols to communicate with devices have been created, proposed, even standardized. But are these standards really used? I mean by more than a few thousands IT experts in a very specific domain?

standardization is always a big issue, going beyond the standard is not possible, therefore choosing a right standard is much significant

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Let me illustrate this with a small sample of such standards commonly used in home automation and machine-to-machine communication. How many of you know and can develop using one of these protocols? Humm… yeah… This is exactly what I mean by leaky concept. Such a messy world where all of these protocols – or non-standard standards as I like to call them – co-habit, cannot become a unique Internet of Things. The reality today is that we have built many Intranets of things. Yes they work and do the job, but they remain isolated islands of a few connected devices. These islands have practically no way to interact with each other, and this observation reduces the classic vision of Internet of Things to merely an utopia. The status quo, makes it hard to share and reuse solutions, as for each new deployment tons of things need to be developed over again from scratch.

Obviously many underlying wireless network protocols, makeup launage, web standard will co-exist for a long time.

Connecting the heterogeneous and isolated intranets seems quite challenging, yet IP convergence is no doubt the best solution bridging the gaps of various heterogeneous wireless networks.

If we think another way around,  web based on IP protocol, the most successful invention of human kind,  is already paving the way for future applications and heterogeneous networks since it is the open, easy , scalable experimenting platform  for everyone.

it, also bridges sensing level (wireless sensor network) and mobile application level (mobile internet).

Reuse the existing mature web expertise, protocol, standard, tool is one big reason.

Some reason of reuse of web is by working on its massive open data with more advanced artificial intelligence techniques, it facilitates the further understanding of how our world functions in depth

This is a huge waste of time and resources.

In fact, there is already a single standard out there to bind them all. We all know it and use it everyday: the Web.

It is efficient and works well, and the reason the Web has become so successful is because it was free, open, flexible, and designed to be massively scalable. But above all, the main reason it has worked is because it was so simple, open, free, so anyone could use it. You became part of the Web by designing your first Web page using Frontpage and cheesy animated GIFs. Anyone could be part of it. All you needed was a computer, a modem and a text editor. This aspect is so fundamental that with my colleague Dom, we have explored how to adapt this magic recipe for electronic devices. They have a right to be part of the Web too, and as I will explain in this talk there are many reasons why they should be. Beyond obvious business opportunities by web-enabling devices, we have accumulated two decades of knowledge in building massively scalable, secure, and efficient Web sites. We have built a wealth of expertise for distributed caches, replicative DBs and so on. Why not reuse all that for devices too? Why do we need to reinvent wheels?

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My argument here is that there is not a single world wide web, but 5 of them. We can see them as various trends, or facets of the Web as we know it today, and we all know and understand them. But, at the intersection of these 5W, when all these pieces are put together, a whole new, unknown territory emerges, and brand new possibilities to solve old problems are unlocked. This design space there is what we call the Web of Things. But first, let’s first focus a little more on the physical Web and programmable Web.

Once upon a time, electronics and programming was reserved to the highest social class of our civilization, geeks. However, one day processing and Arduino appeared. This explosive cocktail has revealed to the world the conspiracy nerds were setting up, by demystifying our virtues and showed to the world how easy it actually is to program. Since then, countless designers and other people who were not meant to touch technology were suddenly empowered to create digital artifacts easily, on their own.These tools are an incredible example of how simple tools can democratize programming, by lowering the barrier for fast prototyping physico-digital artifacts.

openness spreads from the web to the device, invoking a further evolution of internet of things

How many of you can program processing/arduino?Not enough.

We want more people to be able to access and use real-time data. Not just raw sensor readings. I’m talking about data people care about. Data that can make our lives easier. Data that could make us happier. We believe the Web of Things to be the next evolution of the Web by enabling the democratization of programming and active citizenship. We believe this because the Web offers the lowest possible access barrier to simply create something that you can share with the world. Now how many of you have already made a Web page? Or setup a blog? Get my point? Everyone is a potential developer for the Web of Things. And you will be able to access and integrate real-time data from all kinds of sensors, simply by pasting someHTML code on your web page.

reuse and put the web 2.0 concept into internet of things

I would like to share the vision of a large ecosystem of ubiquitous digital services roaming around, freely accessible. Imagine an ecosystem of reusable and shareable sensors, devices, and services that can be accessed simply via a Web API, using simply your facebook login information. Just by sending HTTP POST/GET request to a device, you read a sensor, you open a door. There are two ways to interact with this ecosystem: 1) “READ”: collect data they record automatically and analyze it, or 2) “WRITE”: pop up your phone, browse the space you’re in for example query for an empty restaurant, call a cab, turn on lights, music or AC.

MOBILE AD-HOC INTERACTION

Let’s start directly the WRITE aspect first through an example. Imagine you go to a hotel in Japan, it’s freezing and you’re handed a remote like this. Chances are the accompanying translation such as this one is not included. What do you do? Why can’t you just pop out your phone and control the AC directly with it? Or setup your alarm or book a tennis course offered by the hotel? Or even better, discretely ordering some champagne and caviar for your lady and play some romantic music while dimming the light? In a hotel room in Japan you’ve never been!!

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Now… what if I told you that for less than 10 dollars, you can buy a simple chip with a Wi-Fi antenna that could turn anything into a Web server? This means, any electronic thing can be connected to the Web and can be controlled via a Web API, and you would literally browse around the “physical” page of your room and find about the things in the physical world you could control? And just like most Websites in the world, it would recognize the language your phone and give you the room page in this same language.

Niwea is a term coined out by my friend hannes gassert, and stands for Native Interoperable WEb Apps (I wrote a bigger post about this earlier). If you’re in the software industry, chances are a client or your boss told you “we need an iphone/symbian/windows mobile/android app”. Of course, many self-respecting developers might reply “no, you don’t really. You can do this apponly need a simple HTML/Javascript app that uses CSS style sheets to render your applications on these diverse mobile phones”. So you only develop once a Web app, and it’ll run on many devices. After this simple suggestion, the contra-argument generally goes along the lines of “bla bla want iphone app bla bla!!”. Sencha, jQTouch, iui are some of those frameworks. They are not great yet, but it’s only the beginning. Think about it: how many of you have made an iPhone app? Should I ask again about Web apps? iPhone developers: few and expensive (won’t even mention code maintenance), Web developers: cheap & easy (and we got lots of ‘em).

If you need performance or support for the native platform (GPS, camera, audio, etc), the N of niwea kicks in. Using phonegap, you can transform your Web app into a real, native app that will look, feel, and work just like the real thing. Only that it took you a few hours and $$ to make.

I do believe many more frameworks for fast prototyping Web apps (especially mobile) will appear and mature in the next years. Hopefully, more complete IDEs such as Flash) for developing interactive mobile Web apps with a few clicks. There is so much potential there!

REAL-TIME CITIES

Now let’s look at the other interaction mode, the “READ” aspect. O’Reilly has just organizedSTRATA, a conference that looks into data science – that is how to address this big question: how to efficiently analyze tons of raw data to extract meaningful information that could improve business process, marketing, etc.

But what if the data in question is physical data? I spent the last couple of months exploring this possibility with the Senseable City Lab at MIT, on a project called LIVE Singapore! Let’s take a city, for example Singapore. Lot of digital data traces are generated there every second via cameras, sensors of all kinds, radars & electronic road pricing, people with mobile phones, etc.

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All this data represents a goldmine for everyone, if only it were to be used. Unfortunately, different companies collect it only to ensure everything works fine, and that’s it. It’s then stored behind closed doors – or worse, deleted – but rarely thoroughly analyzed. If only one could access it, so much valuable information could be extracted from it – valuable both for the company who could improve their processes or optimize their operations and citizens at large.

Optimizing water used to irrigate parks, managing the lighting in a smart way, providing an information system of free parking spaces or water leaks in pipes are problems common to most cities: they all could be treated with an intelligent monitoring system that would help in the daily management of resources.

There is a lot of information there that could be used to build a more efficient city, and using new technologies to collect this data represents a massive potential to build more efficient cities. In the LS project we are building a massively scalable platform that allows to collect hundreds of streams of raw data from various agencies in real-time and process all that to infer higher-level information that can be dispatched to various agencies to optimize joint efforts.

I do believe a company that is very active in this area is IBM, via their Smarter Planet initiative. I am not affiliated to IBM and the ideas I express here are only mine. But they are a great case study because they are a global company that embrace the internet of things not just as a gadget or research topic, but as a concrete product that can solve major challenges our civilization faces. Recently they partnered with the city of Rio de Janeiro to build a new operations center that operates independently of any agency while receiving data from several of them, running it through a battery of algorithms to monitor, predict, and visualize vital information in real-time to decide how best to respond, and answer optimally things such as:“Which streets will require the most troops? Which hills are most prone to mud slides? Are there shelters that have vacancies? Which hospitals have beds available? What is the best way to exit from a soccer match at the Maracana? How should officials direct traffic coming from the Copacabana Beach? Where are police cars, emergency, ambulances? Where they should go?”

WATER MANAGEMENT

Drinking water is an increasingly valuable resource throughout the world, and as cities get bigger, efficiently distributing water is becoming a major issue. Current infrastructure is aging, pipe failures are fairly common (leaks, bursts) and various reports show that on average 30% of drinkable water is lost during transmission, the system operation and management itself is often inefficient, water can be contaminated biologically or chemically. These problems have tremendous effects! First, financially it’s a lot of investments and profits that go down the drain… literally. Besides, an exploding pipe in downtown costs lots of money to repair and degrades public image. Finally – and most importantly – it is a major public health concern, as in case of water shortage the energy costs to keep up with water demand will explode. Today, we know what comes in and what comes out, but the spatial and temporal resolution of data collected within the system is very low: we just know there’s a leak but we don’t know where and when exactly it happened.
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New water management strategies and technologies are a major challenge we need to address, and the sooner the better. This is another project my colleagues from CENSAM are working on in Singapore. Called Waterwise, this project aims to monitor continuously the drinking water distribution systems using sensors distributed throughout the water distribution system. Connected via a 3G connection, they are able to monitor in almost real-time the various conditions inside the pipe system such as pressure temperature, and analyze the chemical and biological composition to detect abnormalities. Firstly, the ability to quickly detect, localize leak/burst, and react quickly can reduce the amount of water lost through leakage, reduce customer disruption and minimize the extent of pipe repairs. Secondly, on-line hydraulic modeling and calibration of a water system gives an accurate, up-to-date picture of the hydraulic state of a system (flow and pressure) and the estimated consumption/demand patterns within a water distribution system.

REAL-TIME LOGISTICS

Some people might still wonder “Ok great, but can I actually make money with this WoT thingie”? The answer is yes, and tons of it. A use case we have worked on while at SAP was how to build much more flexible BI application that tap the power and flexibility of the Web. There are many important bits of information in an RFID-based supply chain, the 5W (what, when, where, who, which), and we need to integrate them efficiently and in real-time in other operations.

  • The “what”: what tagged products (EPCs) were read.
  • The “when”: at what time were the products read.
  • The “where”: where were the products read, in terms of Business Location (e.g. “Floor B”).
  • The “who”: what readers (Read Point) recorded this trace.
  • The “which”: what was the business context (Business Step) recording the trace (e.g. “Shipping”).


The EPCIS network (stands for Electronic Product Code Information System) is a set of tools and standards for tracking and sharing RFID-tagged products. It is there and used by many companies, and built by many global vendors such as SAP, oracle, IBM sell, or even the open source implementation, called Fosstrack. However, much of this data remains in closed networks and is hard to integrate. Obviously the existing products are pretty expensive and not for the average consumer.

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Dominique has been exploring how to make it easier to use all this data, to integrate it into various applications, and especially how to build more flexible, scalable, global application for better logistics. We create an EPC appliance in the cloud (Amazon EC2) and we we build WebAPIs for accessing every standard in the cloud. With this, one can create:
1) a scalable, distributed DB for the RFID events (readings),
2) Business intelligence widgets using the EPCIS REST API,
3) Mobile Web Apps that can be used to monitor readers in-situ (HTML5 push for the actual implementation),
4) RFID / Sensors / Business apps (e.g., ERP) Web mashups (even people can do that, e.g., what to do when an object gets stolen?)

FEARS

Over the years, we have received much criticism about building such an Orwellian society where everything is interconnected, tagged, tracked, monitored. I can’t deny these fears are justified, but just like with any other technology it’s not good or bad. It’s essential to put in the place not only the technical, but also legal barriers to minimize misuse of all this data. So let me ask you something: Are your e-banking transactions publicly available over the web? no. Are your emails publicly available online? No, unless you hit the notorious “reply all” button. Can I access your company’s intranet? Of course not.

We have been building sufficiently secure websites for almost two decades, and in the Web of Things, these well-known mechanisms would come for free. I’m not insinuating these are perfect, but that they are good enough for most use cases. So why not just leverage them for physical devices?

CONCLUSIONS
  1. WoT is here and it matters, but it is not the best solution for everything.
  2. Think about niwea when you think mobile
  3. Stop talking, start prototyping

I hope that I’ve been able to explain what is the Web of Things, why is it different from the Internet of Things, and in what this difference matters. Hopefully, as more people understand the value and potential of sharing data for not only themselves, but for all of us, we’ll see more such projects emerge. This in turn will accelerate innovation and allow us to build more efficient and sustainable cities, without sacrificing the quality of life.

We would like to thank once more here all the people who helped and supported us (financially and psychologically) throughout our research. Of course our professor Friedemann Mattern and our colleagues and students at the distributed systems group at ETHZurich. Then SAP research and the EU projects socrades and sensei that have funded half of our phd. Then you all, the community that inspired us and reminded us that what we do actually matters, you’re all great!

Individual ‘s sense and perceptions of our surrounding world comes from the visual of eye, the hearing of ear, the feel and touch of skin, all of them are telling the information to our brains about what is going on right there. Look how wonderful gifts  that the god has given to all living creatures in the world, from which we  learn how to deal with our world, we can tell the good from bad,  know the danger and risk  in time, do and not do…

we can say, human is standing out in this world, surviving and evolving  for tens of thousands years, that has reached  a point of balance between ourselves and our nature world,  by functioning with these bunch of sensors to receive information, processing them with brain to make decision,   speaking them out with mouths or handwriting to deliver them to the rest of our peers…

we human are acting in this pattern like always, with sensing, processing, and networking. Apparently in most circumstances,  we are inferior in many ways compared with other creatures, not  sharp eyes like eagle, not acute ears like dolphin, not sensitive nose like dog. However, why human are considered to be a higher level creature is largely because that we bring all three things together in a perfect manner, convergence.

Human is evolving, so is the rapid changing nature world and human world accordingly. We are not very optimistic about the current situation of this world we are living in, with growing population, declining nature resources, degrading environment and various social problems caused by these. All things are pressing us, each one to think seriously, to move forwards, come up with solutions.

A solution with a better world we envision, what it could be, countless answers, but the question is how to bring it about, how can we proceed to fulfill that.

It is the point to do that, with the ability to combine the existing capabilities together,  sensing that gathers data in all corners of world,  networking that transforms and stores the information, artificial intelligence processes information automatically, mobile that gives the visibility of every changes of world that we concerns..

Convergence is starting in a large scale in between human society and nature world, equally like human body

sensor networking, sensor web,  semantic web , mobile web

More and more to be continued..

Earl Bellinger

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