Next Iteration Bluetooth set to quadruple the wireless range and double the speed

Bluetooth’s prime-time may well now be imminent, with the Internet of Things and the happy marriage of smart devices in smart homes set to sidle into people’s lives incrementally, connected gadget by connected gadget.

Bluetooth is one of those smart, helpful technologies that has been around for years, patiently waiting for its time to shine. A bit of wireless communication here, some short-wave connections there, it’s been a reliable and promising technology since the late 1990s.

Whilst at CES 2016, held during the first week of January in Las Vegas, E&T attended the Discover Blue event, organised by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The Bluetooth SIG is the body that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and the licensing of the Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to manufacturers. Discover Blue was the SIG’s official pre-CES event, showcasing the latest products and innovations from its member companies and developers.

The cavalcade of Bluetooth-connected products on display covered pretty much every aspect of modern human existence, such as healthcare, body awareness, medication, self-improvement, entertainment, nutrition, sports, fashion and home security. The technology is turning up everywhere, in ever-more intriguing ways – as The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper says in a 2009 episode of the TV sitcom, “Everything is better with Bluetooth”.

Stepping up to meet the challenge and demands of its wireless standard becoming a star player in an increasingly connected world, the Bluetooth SIG recently laid out its road map for 2016. Addressing some of the key concerns about Bluetooth, the intention with the next iteration of the technology is to quadruple the wireless range and double the speed. Sounds like a fine plan.

See full E&T interview with Mark Powell, Executive Director of Bluetooth SIG here

Iknaia’s Director of Technology works as Technical lead on ViBus project

vibusMatthew Poole, as Technical Lead, Architect and Electronics Engineer for this project, is developing a custom-designed Bluetooth wristband and control system infrastructure…

Run by the Transport Systems Catapult on behalf of the Department for Transport, the ‘All Aboard’ competition invited students aged 14-18 to come up with innovative solutions to make buses more accessible for people with visual or hearing impairments. Daria Buszta, an AS-Level student at Nottingham’s Bilborough College, was named the competition’s winner after impressing an expert panel of judges, headed by the Transport Minister.

Daria’s “ViBus” design involves Bluetooth-enabled wristbands that can be handed out by bus drivers, and which vibrate when a passenger approaches his or her stop. The wristband will now be developed into a working prototype. The plan is to trial the proof-of-concept prototype at the beginning of 2016 on a bus with volunteers.

We specialise in taking Bluetooth, wireless and IoT products from idea to prototype and commercialisation, and this is once example of how we can make ideas become a reality.

Building a Home Security System with Raspberry Pi

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Matthew Poole, Iknaia’s Director of Technology, Connector of Objects and Systems Architect, has published his first book.

Written in an easy-to-follow conversational manner, it will show you how to build your own sophisticated modular home security system using the popular Raspberry Pi board.

 

 

 

About This Book

  • This book guides you through building a complete home security system with Raspberry Pi and helps you remotely access it from a mobile device over the Internet
  • It covers the fundamentals of interfacing sensors and cameras with the Raspberry Pi so that you can connect it to the outside world
  • It follows a modular approach so that you can choose the modules and features you want for your customized home security system

Who This Book is For

This book is for anyone who is interested in building a modular home security system from scratch using a Raspberry Pi board, basic electronics, sensors, and simple scripts. This book is ideal for enthusiastic novice programmers, electronics hobbyists, and engineer professionals. It would be great if you have some basic soldering skills in order to build some of the interface modules.

What You will Learn

  • Understand the concepts behind alarm systems and intrusion detection devices
  • Connect sensors and devices to the on-board digital GPIO ports safely
  • Monitor and control connected devices easily using Bash shell scripting
  • Build an I/O port expander using the I2C bus and connect sensors and anti-tamper circuits
  • Capture and store images using motion detectors and cameras
  • Access and manage your system remotely from your mobile phone
  • Receive intrusion alerts and images through your e-mail
  • Build a sophisticated multi-zone alarm system

In Detail

The Raspberry Pi is a powerful low-cost credit card sized computer, which lends itself perfectly as the controller for a sophisticated home security system. Using the on-board interfaces available, the Raspberry Pi can be expanded to allow the connection of a virtually infinite number of security sensors and devices. The Raspberry Pi has the processing power and interfaces available to build a sophisticated home security system but at a fraction of the cost of commercially available systems.

Building a Home Security System with Raspberry Pi starts off by showing you the Raspberry Pi and how to set up the Linus-based operating system. It then guides you through connecting switch sensors and LEDs to the native GPIO connector safely, and how to access them using simple Bash scripts. As you dive further in, you’ll learn how to build an input/output expansion board using the I2C interface and power supply, allowing the connection of the large number of sensors needed for a typical home security setup.

In the later chapters of the book, we’ll look at more sophisticated topics such as adding cameras, remotely accessing the system using your mobile phone, receiving intrusion alerts and images by email, and more.

By the end of the book, you will be well-versed with the use of Raspberry Pi to power a home-based security system that sends message alerts whenever it is triggered and will be able to build a truly sophisticated and modular home security system. You will also gain a good understanding of Raspberry Pi’s ecosystem and be able to write the functions required for a security system.

Building a Home Security System with Raspberry Pi, is now released and available to purchase on Amazon and also on the publishers Web Site.

 

Iknaia Launches Airscan with Colas

AirScan-App-and-HardwareOne of Highways England’s key objectives is to provide road users with information that is relevant to their journeys. Smart motorways are an obvious example and now, thanks to pioneering work from leading transport infrastructure specialist Colas Limited, information on travel times through roadworks is also available in real time. This means drivers are better informed, improving their experience and thereby reducing the risk to road workers of hazardous driving.

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) can often be utilised to track the progress of vehicles, but with diversion routes that may vary in location and route on a nightly basis, its use is not always practical nor cost effective. Colas has worked with wireless systems technology experts Iknaia to develop a system that allows the real time active management of diversion routes without recourse to ANPR technology.

Airscan is a new system developed jointly by Colas and Iknaia which uses anonymous Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals transmitted by visible devices in passing vehicles. Data is collected by sensors and relayed to variable messaging signs (VMS) which then advise road users in advance of potential delays and allow for strategic checks by maintenance teams. As part of the system, Traffic Management (TM) teams are also issued with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags that can be used to monitor the location of teams by checking in staff as they pass sensors on their route.

26.10.2015_prRyan Wood, Colas Technical Manager, is key contact for the project and has been responsible for its initial trial at Highways England’s M3 smart motorway upgrade, for main contractor Balfour Beatty. “We are committed to delivering innovation on our highways projects and, through our work with Iknaia, we believe that Airscan is a solution that will not only benefit road users through real-time updates on traffic, but will also assist in improving the safety of our road workers.”

This approach to active management of diversion routes will continue to operate on the M3 smart motorway project and will be rolled out across other Highways England schemes to complement Intelligent Transport Systems strategies across the UK.

Iknaia is Recruiting!

Front End Developer

We are looking for a Front-End Web Developer who is motivated to combine the art of design with the art of programming.  Responsibilities will include translation of the UI/UX design wireframes to actual code that will produce visual elements of the application.  You will work with the UI/UX designer and bridge the gap between graphical design and technical implementation, taking an active role on both sides and defining how the application looks as well as how it works.  Not only will you be working on Iknaia projects, you’ll also have the opportunity to work across our group of companies on some great projects.

Are you interested?
You can view and download the Job Description here.
The Job Description contains a link to our online application form.

Sensors Increase Live Births & Farm Profitability

home-left-right-image-2It’s refreshing to see how beacons and sensors are evolving in market sectors that are mostly invisible to the general public, but have far-reaching impact on specialized industries. And one such application that we love here at Beacon Blog is the creation of Moocall.

Moocall noninvasively hooks onto the tail of a pregnant cow (unlike more invasive cow birthing monitors) and sends a text message to the farmer when the cow’s about an hour away from giving birth. It was designed to free farmers from keeping vigil over pregnant cows and to help increase live births and farm profitability. The device, which the company says can be shared among 50 to 60 cows, uses 3-D motion sensors, algorithms, and an embedded roaming M2M SIM card that claims it can pick up even weak network signals.

After losing a heifer and her calf back in 2010, Niall Austin, one of the founders of Moocall, came up with the idea of using sensors to monitor births and alert farmers when cows are in labor.

“The heifer was calving outdoors, unfortunately the calf died, and the heifer was paralysed and ended up being put down. There was no system available that would work outdoors as well as indoors. It was a very big loss to us.”

Having realised this was a common problem, Niall researched to see if a solution could be worked out. And thus, Moocall was born. Getting the product to market has taken 3 years and a significant capital investment.

Moocall was launched commercially in January 2015 and since then thousands of units have been sold and the general reaction from customers has been phenomenal. We reckon this fantastic gadget will have far-reaching impact on farmers of the world.

For further information visit : Moocall

Bluetooth Buses in Bucharest Will Guide the Blind

iBeacon BusFive hundred buses in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, will soon receive Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. The beacons will serve to guide blind passengers on and off buses, without the need for any assistance. So far, forty of the BLE beacons have been installed already, with the rest expected to be in place by the end of August.

How does the system work?

A visually impaired user would set up the app on his or her phone before leaving home. The phone application would then allow the user to follow whichever bus lines he or she needs to complete the trip. Each bus in this system has a unique ID in the form of an iBeacon, which alerts the phone of the visually impaired person as to the fact that the bus is arriving. The alert is sent when the iBeacon-equipped bus is 50-60 meters away from the station. Once the bus actually arrives, it will also be informed by iBeacon of the fact that there’s a blind passenger in the station. The bus will begin to beep repeatedly so as to inform the app user of its location even if there’s multiple buses in the station at the time. The beeping stops once the passenger has boarded.

BLE system will simplify travel for tens of thousands of blind in Romania.

Now, thanks to the system, tens of thousands of blind people will be able to easily access any area of Bucharest. They will be able to board, leave, and also transfer buses with ease, since the mobile app will help users find connecting buses easily. By the start of September, the whole Bluetooth system will be up and running, and available for free to anyone in Bucharest.

Who came up with and funded this program?

The program is the result of a project known as Smart Public Transport (SPT). It was organized by Onyx Beacon, provider of the bluetooth beacon technology, RATB (Bucharest’s public transportation agency), and visually impaired project coordinator Tandem Association. The SPT is one of eight projects that received funding by aVodafone Romania Foundation called “Mobile for Good.” The Mobile for Good program is meant to promote the use of mobile technology for social causes.

Read more at Clapway: http://clapway.com/2015/06/08/bluetooth-buses-in-bucharest-will-guide-the-blind-890/#ixzz3cbDTeLV1

Onset’s Bluetooth Smart Data Logger Protects the Magna Carta

Onset’s Bluetooth Smart Data Logger Protects the Magna Carta

Onset, a world leader in data loggers for building performance monitoring, today announced that the HOBO MX1101, the company’s first data logger that measures and transmits temperature and relative humidity data wirelessly to mobile devices via Bluetooth Smart technology, is helping to protect a copy of the Magna Carta.

Originally issued by England’s King John in June 1215 to prevent civil war between the king and his barons, the Magna Carta is a world-famous symbol of justice, fairness, and human rights. Having inspired and encouraged movements for freedom and constitutional government for hundreds of years, the four remaining copies have been awarded ‘Memory of the World’ status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The best-surviving copy of the Magna Carta, currently on exhibition in Britain’s Salisbury Cathedral to commemorate the document’s 800-year anniversary, is stored in a glass display case along with an Onset HOBO MX1101 Bluetooth Temperature/Relative Humidity data logger.

“Preserving the text is of paramount importance,” said Emily Naish, Archivist at Salisbury Cathedral. “Excessive humidity can cause parchment to buckle as it tries to revert to its natural shape. The parchment can expand while the ink remains static, causing ink to lift from the text. As the room in which the Magna Carta is displayed has large glass windows, it is prone to these kinds of damaging fluctuations in humidity.”

Because the display case is sealed and protected by alarm systems, there was no way to constantly monitor temperature and humidity without going through the time-consuming and complicated process of switching off the alarms and accessing the case.

To address this issue, the Cathedral’s exhibition team installed the HOBO MX1101 data logger, purchased through Onset’s UK distributor, Tempcon Instrumentation Limited. The self-contained wireless data logger, which works with Onset’s free HOBOmobile™ app for logger setup and data management, enables staff to use a smart phone or tablet to access the environmental data at any time from a distance up to 100 feet, without having to open the display case – making the HOBO MX1101 the perfect choice for use in the restricted-access conditions of the Cathedral.

“The HOBO MX1101 is an ideal solution for us to protect such an important historical artifact as the Magna Carta,” said Naish. “It’s great that I can check the current conditions at a glance, and have the ability to access historical data without interfering with the exhibit.”

To learn more about the HOBO MX1101 Temperature/ Relative Humidity data logger, visithttp://www.onsetcomp.com/mx.

Indoor Positioning System (IPS)

Motorola RadioLocate Your Staff Indoors or Underground using existing Two-Way Radios

GPS technology has made outdoor positioning highly successful, but due to the signal attenuation caused by the construction materials of buildings and the lack of mobile signals underground, indoor positioning systems cannot rely on GPS technology.

Iknaia has developed an Indoor Positioning System (IPS) that will help you locate your staff using Bluetooth technology embedded into two-way radios and other Bluetooth enabled devices. These devices can be tracked using their Bluetooth ID, to give real-time location information on the whereabouts of your staff, anytime, anywhere.

Julia McNally, Founder of Iknaia explains, “Using Iknaia Beacons we can track and monitor workers and assets as they move around a construction site, tunnel or mine, but we can now add registered devices to our platform using their ‘always discoverable’ Bluetooth option. Clients who have already invested in two-way radios and other devices to communicate to their workers, need not invest in further tracking Beacons.”

Iknaia uses Bluetooth Smart or (Bluetooth 4.0) technology to continuously scan for any Bluetooth enabled device that repeatedly broadcasts its presence to nearby Bluetooth Detectors. The server then calculates the position and reports its whereabouts in real-time onto a web management console.

McNally continues, “This is a flexible and standardised technology allowing the ability to add any Bluetooth enabled device to be ‘discovered’.  So Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, Two-Way Radios and DECT phones can be configured to work with our platform. Using Bluetooth wireless connectivity also won’t affect or interfere with any radio or mobile network performance”.

The benefits and opportunities provided by using Iknaia IPS are extensive, inexpensive and ever expanding.

You can contact the team at Iknaia for a free demonstration by emailing them at info@iknaia.co.uk