Tag Archives: connected

Unlocking value from the Internet of Things (IoT)

Analysts at Gartner have identified four fundamental usage models to help unlock value from the Internet of Things (IoT).

“As the Internet of Things grows rapidly, it is linking millions of assets, including devices, people and places, to deliver and share information, enhancing business value and competitive advantage, and creating new business opportunities,” explained Hung LeHong, VP and Gartner Fellow.

“In this early and emergent phase of development, entrepreneurs are experimenting across such a diverse range of sectors, applications, business models and technologies in their efforts to uncover value. This creates confusion and makes it difficult for others to easily identify the potential in their own geographies, industries and business sectors.”

Although the Internet of Things offers wide applicability across multiple spaces, some enterprises may be too quick to dismiss the value of the IoT in their companies because the examples of what others are doing don’t precisely match their own environments.

“A recycling company or vending machine operator, for example, may not find any applicability for the Internet of Things when reviewing how a hospital is connecting its patient-monitoring equipment to the Internet of Things. However, on closer inspection, these companies will discover that the reason the hospital has connected its equipment is to cut costs on nurses’ rounds to monitor patients,” said LeHong.

“Any company operating remote devices has opportunities to use this same model. Remote assets that require manual rounds for the purposes of emptying or replenishment, such as recycling bins or vending machines, can benefit from the same approach the hospital took. The underlying commonality is the business case to reduce the costs from doing the rounds by connecting assets to monitor status.”

Despite their diversity, Gartner analysts believe all current examples can be categorized into four basic usage scenarios: manage (e.g. multiple sensors reporting real-time streams of data), monetize (“pay as you drive” vehicle insurance), operate (regulating complex water supplies or irrigation systems) and extend (provision of advisory information such as imminent vehicular part failure).

“Although much of the spotlight today is on the Internet of Things, the true power and benefit of the Internet comes from combining things with people, places and information systems,” LeHong added. “This expanded and comprehensive view of the internet is what Gartner calls the Internet of Everything.”

Interested in learning more? You can access Gartner’s detailed IoT usage breakdown here. Readers may also want to check out two recent Bits & Pieces Atmel IoT articles: “Sullivan Says the IoT is Becoming a Reality” and “Making the Internet of Things a Reality.”

Video: The connected IoT ‘fridge concept

Timesys is a Pittsburgh-based company that helps software developers build and maintain custom Linux platforms for embedded processors.

Recently, Timesys showcased its futuristic IoT fridge concept at Embedded World 2014. The prototype platform is powered by an ARM-based Atmel microprocessor (MPU).

As you can see in the video above, the next-gen ‘fridge concept is designed to keep track of food, reporting both missing and expired items. 

It also offers a live link to an Epicurious app, allowing users to quickly check what can be cooked with the ingredients available in the ‘fridge.

Last, but certainly not least, users can also leave messages to each other on a built-in whiteboard.

In related news, the folks at Berg recently debuted Cloudwatch, an Arduino Mega-based (ATmega1280) prototype Zanussi washing machine connected to a web platform.

The futuristic washing machine allows users to remotely program wash loads and even purchase detergent – all with a simple mobile app. Currently, Cloudwash offers three basic customizable options, which can be configured using the smartphone app. Although Cloudwatch is still only a prototype, it does show both the industry and the masses a glimpse at how the Internet of Things (IoT) is capable of significantly changing our daily routine.

Indeed, as we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the IoT comprises a combination of multiple market segments, tens of thousands of OEMs and hundreds of thousands of products. To be sure, the IoT is seen by many as the next wave of dramatic market growth for semiconductors and is expected to be worth trillions of dollars for a wide range of industries.

Praise the Lord!!! A New Sub-1GHz RF Transceiver Supporting 4 Major Regional Frequency Bands

Your prayers have been answered!  Atmel has just released its 2nd generation Sub1GHz IEEE 802.15.4-compliant RF transceiver, the Atmel® AT86RF212B.  Not only does it work in Europe (863-870MHz) and North America (902-928MHz), like some of the sub-1GHz RF transceivers you see in the market today, it also works in China and Japan compatible with the 779-787MHz and 915-930MHz regional frequency bands, respectively.  


The device is a feature-rich, extremely low power Sub1GHz RF transceiver designed for industrial and consumer ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4, IPv6/6LoWPAN and high data rate Sub1GHz ISM band applications. The RF transceiver offers a true SPI-to-antenna solution, integrating all RF-critical components, except the antenna, crystal and decoupling capacitors.

It is designed specifically for these applications in mind:

  • Lighting control
  • Gas and water meters
  • Thermostats
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Remotes
  • Toys
  • Doorphones
  • Proprietary wireless systems up to 1000kb/s

To help with your design and prototyping needs, we have a slew of software and hardware tools at your disposal, such as the Wireless Composer for providing a performance analyzer application and contains easy-to-understand displays to configure, command, and monitor information coming from the performance test application running on the target, which is available through the Atmel Gallery app store (available in Studio 6).  Additionally, we also offer the Atmel BitCloud® ZigBee® PRO stack, the Atmel IEEE 802.15.4 MAC, and the Atmel Lightweight Mesh software stack

From the H/W side, we offer an evaluation kit that is shipped preprogrammed with the Atmel Radio Performance Analyzer application for easy evaluation of the RF transceiver’s key features and performance.

AT86RF212B eval kit

Please stay tuned on upcoming posts about why sub-1GHz is preferred over 2.4GHz in some designs and tips/tricks on how to use the Wireless Composer.