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IOT News Roundup

March 20th, 2015
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Smart-MEMPHIS Consortium developing energy-harvesting sensors for medical, industrial applications; Recon Instruments, APX Labs join forces for workplace smart glasses; Numerex launches SmartGuide global tracking offering; Linear Technology announces SmartMesh IP development kit for developers.

Smart-MEMPHIS Exploring Energy Harvesting for Minimally Invasive Pacemakers
Representatives from universities, research groups, and medical and industrial commercial partners, as well as a manufacturer of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices, have begun work on two distinct projects that will leverage energy-harvesting techniques. The consortium, dubbed smart-MEMPHIS, was launched in December 2014 and is expected to run for 3.5 years. Its funding, 8.2 million ($8.9 million), is being provided by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Framework program.

One project is focused on making pacemakers small enough to be implanted inside (rather than wired to) the human heart, and to be powered by the heart's electrical pulses. Life sciences industry consultancy a Spinverse is helping to lead the project.

The goal of a second project is to create a wireless sensor network for structural health monitoring in materials, which would allow the early detection of very small cracks in aircraft wings, for example. Currently, this type of monitoring is carried out via many discrete sensors, but the smart-MEMPHIS project is devising a means of consolidating multiple sensors used to monitor structural integrity into sensor modules that would harvest acoustic energy.

Recon Instruments, APX Labs Partnering to Develop Smart Glasses for Workplace
Recon Instruments, a maker of eyewear for sports and high-intensity environments, is partnering with APX Labs, which sells enterprise software for smart glasses.

Through the collaboration, Recon's new smart eyewear, the Recon Jet, will enable workers in industries such as manufacturing, field service, and oil and gas to obtain hands-free access to information or applications, which will be displayed on the surfaces of the glasses. It will also allow them to access remote experts via an integrated voice communication module. The Jet glasses were developed to withstand harsh outdoor environments. Pricing information has not yet been released.

Numerex Launches SmartGuide Satellite-Based Global Tracking Solution
Numerex, an Atlanta-based provider of interactive and on-demand machine-to-machine (M2M) enterprise solutions, has announced a satellite-based solution for tracking fleets or other critical and high-value assets at nearly any location worldwide. The product, known as SmartGuide, combines tracking software that offers a fleet-management dashboard, reports on mileage and driver behavior, and routing information.

A mobile version of the software is available for drivers. The cloud-based software collects data via an SX1 sensor, which is mounted in each vehicle and transmits GPS location data, along with information related to the asset's security or performance, through Globalstar's Low Earth Orbit (LEO) simplex satellite data network, in near-real time. Fixed monthly fees for the SmartGuide service start at $60. According to Numerex, the SmartGuide service can report as frequently as every five minutes.

Linear Technology Offers SmartMesh IP Development Kit
Linear Technology, a California-based manufacturer of analog integrated circuits, has announced the availability of a software development kit (SDK) designed to help companies create wireless sensor networking products, based on the 6LoWPAN SmartMesh IP mesh-networking protocol, for industrial Internet of Things applications. The SDK negates the need for a separate processor dedicated to sensor interface functions and edge-data analytics. This is meant to reduce the cost, footprint and power consumption of the integrated wireless sensor node. The kit comes with a library of reference-code and source-code examples, which can accelerate the time required to develop applications.

The On-Chip Software Development Kit, provided with the LTC5800-IPM (system-on-chip) and LTP5901/2-IPM (PCB modules), has been architected to ensure that developers can stably run both the pre-compiled SmartMesh IP networking stack and their applications simultaneously.

Additional information regarding the SmartMesh IP protocol, as well source code, software reference designs and detailed documentation for the SDK interactive forum for developers building applications using the protocol, is available through the DustCloud developer community.