IoT News Roundup

Open Interconnect Consortium releases IoTivity platform; new sensor platforms for developers, do-it-yourselfers; U.S. Congress launching an IoT Caucus; Google shuttering consumer Google Glass product; shipping Cloud Beacon.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jan 16, 2015

Open Interconnect Consortium Announces Its IoTivity Platform
The Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), an Internet of Things standards and certification organization formed last summer that aims to enable various IoT devices to communicate wirelessly with each other seamlessly, has announced its software framework, known as IoTivity. The software will serve as middleware, using open standards to enable various IoT devices to communicate with each other regardless of whether they transmit data via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other established protocols.

Fifty companies have already become members of the OIC, with representatives from Intel, Samsung, MediaTek and Cisco Systems acting as board members. Last week, the AllSeen Alliance, another open-source consortium focused on enabling an open, interoperable Internet of Things, released its own software framework, called the AllJoyn Gateway Agent.

Tarts, Sony Back Entrepreneurs, Each Launching Sensor Platforms for Developers and Hobbyists
Monnit Corp., a Utah-based manufacturer of wireless sensor networks for commercial applications, has spun off a new company, Tarts Sensors, that sells wireless gateways (based on Arduino, Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black hardware platforms). The firm also offers a range of 20 different types of wireless sensors, along with example program code and library files to help developers and hobbyists create and deploy their own wireless sensor networks, customized to track or measure a wide range of factors, such as movement, tilt, temperature, speed or voltage.

All sensors are certified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Industry Canada (IC) and Conformité Européenne (CE), and operate at either 433 MHz (for use in Asia, Australia or the Pacific Rim), 868 MHz (in Europe) or 900 MHz (in the United States and Canada). According to the company, the sensor batteries have a five-year lifecycle. The gateways range from $45 to $49 apiece, while the sensors range from $25 to $30 each. One could use the devices to create a bespoke smart-home application with sensors for tracking movement, alerting a user to an ajar door or window, for instance, or tracking temperature levels—all using smartphone applications.

A group of engineers involved in Sony's Seed Acceleration Program, a technology incubation project, have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to bring MESH (a platform derived from the words "Make, Experience, SHare") to market. The MESH components include pressure sensors, LED sensors, accelerometers and general-purpose input-output devices, all encased in colored blocks that users can program via a simple touch-screen drap-and-drop application on a smartphone or tablet. The sensors communicate via a Bluetooth connection. The campaign has raised nearly half of its $50,000 goal so far. Funders will receive a basic MESH kit, including three sensors and the application software, for $105. Other packages are also available.

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