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  • 热度 20
    2015-10-12 12:14
    1253 次阅读|
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    The world of IoT fascinates me for its potential to impact everyday life by extracting the immense power hidden within data and inference based actions. IoT infrastructure is a complex dynamic network of diverse intelligent devices, leading to interoperability and privacy issues. Data could be very privy and the implications of misuse so high that this disincentivizes users. The scale of deployment and diversity of devices, data types and infrastructure demands a strong standard for effective deployment and economics. As a solution architect, I would like to discuss the security risks and maturity of existing standards and possible solutions for a meaningful IoT solution. IoT solutions comprise of data collection, analysis and inference based actions. The value IoT brings is through the scale of solution, something like economies of scale in a business sense. A set of sensors monitoring human lives might help in reducing health care costs through early warning, or a set of sensors inside vehicles can help reduce traffic jams and create an efficient transport system, thereby reducing fuel costs. Two concerns that stand out among others for IoT implementation are data security and inter-operability. Who among the entrenched solution provides contributes how much to provide the required data security? Is it the silicon vendor, network infrastructure provider, or data aggregator and analyzer? How much between hardware and software? Does the cost of security displace the value of IoT? These questions are only partially answered today. Silicon vendors provide security solutions like AES encryption, dedicated security controllers, secure boot, turnkey authentication solutions etc. Network infrastructure providers provide security solutions like reputation analysis, malware protection, and cyber security across network, endpoints, web and email. Additional security solutions include secure booting, access control, device authentication, firewall and deep packet inspection, secure updates and patches. Research anticipates that there will be 212 billion connected devices by 2020. Whatever the numbers, this scale requires strong standards and process for a meaningful implementation without cacophony. Some of the questions that need to be addressed are how deep should the standard go? Should the inter-operability be at the physical layer or upper layers? There are multiple consortia backing different standards and technologies. AllSeen Alliance backed by Microsoft, Qualcomm and Panasonic provides a secure, programmable software and services framework for applications with connectivity over WiFi, WiFi-Direct, Ethernet, Powerline, Bluetooth LE, 6LoWPAN, ZigBee, and Z-Wave for platforms like Android, iOS, Linux, OpenWRT, Windows, and OS X. It also backs the AllJoyn open source alliance. OIC lead by Intel, Broadcom, Dell and Samsung drives standards for interoperability across all IoT devices. OIC releases open source frameworks like IoTivity and reference implementations. Thread driven by Google's Nest, Samsung, ARM, Silicon Labs and Freescale is driving towards a standard for smart homes based on 6LoWPAN. Apple's HomeKit is driving a "Made for iPhone" standard based on Zigbee or Z-Wave. In addition to these, there are consortiums like IIC, IETF, ETSI, IEEE and ITU that are contributing to standardize IoT. Proprietary visions of IoT from Apple, Google, Cisco etc. also does not help. We need to find the right mix of security and standards for a feasible and fool proof IoT implementation. We should discuss this in the context of deploying IoT solutions for real life problems like irrigation and traffic congestion from an Indian context where value for money is important. Finally, it looks like a mix of open source standards and industry standard technologies will enable a stable solution. IoT brings a lot of hope, but has the technology matured to deliver a solution and make money for the entrenched while bringing value to the user? Why do silicon vendors seem to be backing out? This is what we need to explore.   Can we answer these questions? 1.) A gauge of complexity of IoT implementation and possible solutions. 2.) How much is a silicon vendor geared to the task? 3.) How much can a solution provider bet on the existing technologies? 4.) IoT implementation from an Indian perspective.  5.) Does IoT make true sense? Article by: Avinash Babu, Senior Project Manager, PES-HW, Mistral Solutions Original Post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/challenges-mass-adoption-iot-security-avinash-jois?trk=prof-post    
  • 热度 11
    2014-7-14 19:07
    3118 次阅读|
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    Sensors form the edge of the electronics ecosystem, in which the physical world interacts with computers, thereby providing a rich array of data to be available at a click of a mouse. We have had sensors, actuators and RFID tags around for a couple of decades now which has made our lives easier to a great extent. From identification and tracking of objects while managing inventory to even the miniscule sensors present in our cell phones, gaming consoles and automobiles, Sensors have become quite ubiquitous. With the “Internet of Things” era being ushered in, the potential of sensors have grown multi-fold. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the networked interconnection of objects through identifiers such as sensors, RFID tags and IP addresses. The Internet of Things aims to interconnect all things around us and ensure intelligence. There are several reasons why the IoT has become the flavor of the day; Internet Protocol Version 6 extended the number of unique Internet addresses making it possible for trillions of objects to connect to the net. This along with the ascent of cloud computing and the depreciating cost of sensors, have contributed to making the world a much connected and smaller place to live in. Some of the standard sensors include movement (via accelerometer), sound, light, electric potential (via potentiometer), temperature, moisture, location (via GPS), heart rate, GSR (galvanic skin response/ conductivity) and more. These sensors are included in a variety of devices and solutions. The trend is moving towards multi-sensor platforms that incorporate several sensing elements. Here is a look at how sensors are relevant in our day-to-day life: Sensor and Medical Electronics: Advanced development in sensors has enabled the design of miniature, cost effective smart medical devices. Medical professionals today require real-time, reliable and accurate diagnostic results which are provided by devices that are available either at hospitals or with patients at home being monitored remotely. There are developers constantly working towards incorporating sensors into the lives of patients which can capture both beneficial and detrimental health factors. Imagine physiological data being collected without your realization. Sensors embedded in the floor mat can measure your weight and gait; an arm patch can detect heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar, while sensors in your toothbrush can detect cavities that would require attention or early signs of ulcer. Though these examples seem surreal, there are several of these sensor embedded devices already available in the market. The medical sensors in wearable devices are being used to build applications which can detect panic or medical emergency and which will notify friends, family or emergency services for help. Approved in 2011, digestible sensor is another interesting development in healthcare. A digestible sensor is a sensor (similar to a pill) that transmits information about a patient to medical professionals to help them customize the care to the individual. Digestible sensors will monitor your bodily systems and wirelessly transmit what’s happening in your body to another device like your smartphone or computer for your own review or the review of your doctor. With the advent of IoT, health records are getting networked and vital information can be made available to patients and his/her practitioner at any point of time and location. The various sensors that find application in healthcare include pressure, temperature, chemical flow, level, position and image and biosensors.   Sensors and Home Automation: Smart buildings or homes are now the order of the day for those looking at convenience, security and a green environment. Networked homes automatically dim or turn off lights when people leave and adjust energy use based on physical presence. Such networked homes depend on a network of sensors to determine people’s usage of resources along with environmental factors like temperature, humidity and the time of the day. One of the most popular use of sensor technologies is the motion detector. These sensors can sense when there are people entering or leaving the room. The benefits are two-fold – to switch lights on and off when entering or leaving a room or to trigger a burglar alarm when the house is empty. Light sensors or photosensors as they are commonly called monitors ambient light levels and reports them back to the automation controller. These are used in conjunction with motion sensors to switch lights on automatically when someone enters a room. They can be also used to ensure few lights only operate after dark. Temperature sensors are usually embedded into a thermostat unit or radiator actuator valve, but there are sensors that can be easily embedded into walls as well. Combined with a humidity sensor, these sensors can be used to automatically control air conditioners or de-humidifiers or even to control windows (automatically open or shut).   Sensors and Industrial Automation Sensors play a very important role in the Industrial automation segment by making products or systems highly intelligent and automatic. This allows one to detect, analyze, measure and process various changes occurring in the system. These sensors also play an important role in predicting and preventing future events. The type of sensors used in Industrial automation include proximity sensor, vision sensors, ultrasonic sensors, position sensors, photoelectric sensors, temperature sensors, inclination sensors etc. At the heart of industrial automation is a new generation of advanced intelligent sensors and motor drives which are connected through low-latency and real time networks to high performance performance programmable logic controllers (PLC) and Human-Machine Interface (HMI) systems. In order to be beneficial, sensors must be fast and reliable to be able to monitor or measure conditions in a fast paced industrial environment. The network should then be able to communicate this information with minimum latency and interruptions to ensure response in real time.   Sensors and Wearable Electronics: A few years ago, it was difficult to integrate sensors with wearables because of the size of the sensors. With the advent of miniaturized, high-quality sensors, wearables can now be easily deployed for gathering physiological and movement data (gesture and voice recognition). Most wearables use multiple sensors that are typically integrated into sensor networks. In the case of body-worn sensors for medical purposes, data can be gathered and uploaded to a remote site such as a hospital server. Sensors in wearables allow continuous physiological monitoring with reduced manual intervention and at a low cost. The explosion in Internet-connected sensors means that new classes of technical capability and application are being created. Seeing how sensors have progressed in the last decade, it is exciting to think of the new sensing capabilities that will become widely available in the future. Authored by: Sachidananda Karanth, Lead Architect, Mistral Solutions
  • 热度 12
    2012-6-15 13:45
    1366 次阅读|
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    A few days ago, I received a photo of the Transit of Venus from "Down Under" (Australia). The interesting thing is that in this image (see below) the dark spot that is Venus appears toward the bottom of the Sun (the way you typically seem to see it in photographs), whereas when I saw it with my own eye it appeared toward the top of the Sun (see my blog ). Of course I'm in the Northern Hemisphere while they are in the Southern Hemisphere, but I'm not really sure why this would affect the way we see things like the Transit of Venus ... maybe someone can explain it to me (using simple words so that I can understand). Anyway, the photograph below was accompanied by the following cheery message: G'day to the famous Max. I thought I'd send you a photo of the event taken at about 10:30 in "The Land Downuder", in particular Brisbane. I didn't have all the correct gear but managed to catch this anyway. Brief technical info, Nikon D700, 70-200mm f2.8 VR, exposed and developed Fuji graphics film (we use it for our PCB manufacturing) was used as a neutral density filter – unfortunately not a good as proper photographic filters but did the trick well enough, ISO 200, 1/200th second, f8. The other spots on the sun are sunspot activity. Hope you enjoy it and keep up the excellent writings!     Well, this message certainly captures all of the really important information I like to see (thing like "Famous Max" and "Excellent Writings" :-) So thanks to Steve Barrett from Down Under – I really, REALLY want to visit Australia one day and blow the froth off a few cold ones (Crocodile Dundee certainly had the right attitude). GOOD GRIEF!!! I've just discovered that there really once was an Ancient Order of Froth Blowers . This was a charitable organization whose mission (in addition to raising charitable contributions) was "To meet regularly in pubs or clubs to enjoy 'beer, beef, and baccy'" (where "pubs" means public houses or bars, and "baccy" means tobacco). Sadly this organization folded in 1931. This makes me sad. Now, this may be a tad presumptuous of me, but I feel that we should keep the name and spirit (pun intended) of this organization alive, and as far as I can see no one else has "stepped up to the bar" as it were (sorry, I can't help myself). Obviously I would feel a little silly leading an organization with a membership of one (also I'm already the head of several such organizations) ... so would anyone else be interested in joining me on this enterprise? The duties aren't onerous – all you have to do is quaff a few beers whenever you get the chance (quaffing is like regular drinking except you tend to spill more down your chest) and donate something to charity when the opportunity arises and you have some disposable cash to hand. Maybe this will take off and become a worldwide organization (stranger things have happened), in which case we will, at some stage, need a committee in charge of perfecting a secret handshake, another in charge of designing the official T-Shirt, and yet another tasked with creating our official club song (things like tattoos and official undergarments can wait until our membership passes some predefined number ... say three people). We also need official titles. Since this is my idea, I call dibs on Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Froth Blowers Worldwide . And since all of this was (unbeknownst to him) sparked by Steve Barrett, I think it only "fair do's" to offer him the title of Commander, Antipodean Froth Blowing Legions . What say you? Are you with me?  
  • 热度 14
    2012-6-14 19:34
    1457 次阅读|
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    As soon as I first learned about this year's Transit of Venus (I heard this several weeks before the event), I immediately ordered a bunch of special glasses to share with my family and friends (see my blog on it). All this past weekend and all day Monday, the skies here were really overcast. Similarly, on Tuesday morning – the day of the great event – the sky was covered in thick, gray clouds. As you can imagine, I actually wore my sad face a day before the event. When I arrived home, I went into the back garden with our two dogs ( Henri and Lili – or stupid dog #1 and #2 as I tend to think of them in my own mind) and two cats ( Rocket and Skitty – or stupid cat #1 and #2 as I tend to refer to them when my wife is out of earshot :-) On the bright side, bits of blue sky were visible here and there. On the down side these bits of blue sky were not in the same place as the setting sun as shown below:     We must have looked quite a sight – the animals and I – all looking hopefully at the sky, each of us wearing our protective glasses. I'm joking of course. I had thought that this would make a wonderful photo-opportunity, and I did have some spare glasses, but the beasts were having nothing to do with it (Henri indicated that the glasses clashed with his Hawaiian shirt and Rocket is simply too cool to be seen in anything less than designer shades). I was starting to lose hope, when ... could it be ... dare we hope... YES! ... the clouds started to part and the sun began to appear:     Just at this moment I noticed that our neighbor Sammy was sitting on his back porch watching me watching the sky, so I called him over, explained what was going on, and gave him a pair of glasses. I was actually amazed just how dark the glasses were – you couldn't see anything through them at all apart from the sun. I was also amazed by just how clear the sun was through the glasses. The picture below was taken using my iPhone looking through my protective glasses:   At first we were looking for Venus at the bottom of the sun, because that was how I had seen it depicted in all of the photographs I had seen. Also, there were still wisps of cloud passing in front of the sun, so we couldn't see anything apart from the sun itself. But then.... HURRAY ... the final vestiges of cloud disappeared and the dark spot of Venus was plain to see. If the truth be told, the image below is the same as the one above. I added the dark spot myself using Paint.net , but "cross-my-heart" this is just what it looked like with my naked (protected) eye.   I was worried that Gina was going to miss the occasion because she was working late, but she just made it in time to join me and Sammy and see Venus for herself. I know that – in the larger scheme of things – it wouldn't have mattered if we had missed seeing this Transit of Venus. One can find wonderful images of it on the Internet. But having said this, it was a real thrill to see it for myself, especially knowing that no human will see this sight again for more than 100 years...  
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