Internet of Things on this blog, but where are actual use cases (I hear you ask)? Part of the reason there have been few documented use cases is that the Internet of Things has yet to make a splash in the consumer market. I believe it will come to the consumer market soon - but that doesn't mean there aren't sophisticated Internet of Things products on the market right now.You've read a lot of theory about the
Crossbow's eKo PRO system of sensors is a case in point. But first, here's the exciting big picture!
Now the less exciting, but crucial to our understanding, product.
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In January this year MEMSIC - a sensor technologies company from Andover, Massachusetts - acquired a Californian company called Crossbow Technology. Crossbow had developed an agricultural monitoring system called ?Ko PRO, a wireless platform for outdoor sensors.
These sensors are used for crop monitoring, microclimate studies and environmental research - for example they've been deployed in vineyards. The sensors measure a range of things, such as soil moisture, ambient temperature and humidity, leaf wetness, soil water content, solar radiation.
The main components of eKo PRO are a node, sensors and a base station. Each node can support up to four sensors. Crossbow's system also comes with a browser-based Web interface, called eKoView. This service allows users to manage and make decisions based on the real-time data collected. It features sensor network data visualization and a map view of sensor nodes. eKoView can be used on PCs as well as smart phones.
A recent project shows how eKo PRO is being used. The Mebius Sensor Project aimed to enhance awareness of the natural environment at the Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC) in Japan. 15 wireless sensor nodes were deployed around the circumference of the campus, each embedded with a temperature, humidity and an illuminance sensor. One of the outputs was a Twitter account that tweeted out the temperature at SFC every 30-60 minutes.
While eKo PRO may not be as relevant or exciting to many of you as Facebook or Twitter, keep an eye on sensor technology. Because as the video about a trillion nodes shows, sensors are literally going to change the world.