Tag Archives: IPv6

Calling all Makers, visionaries and innovators up for a (IPSO) Challenge!


How do you IPSO? There are many problems in everyday life that can be solved by collecting data thru sensors, or by controlling smart objects based upon inputs from a variety of sources.


Once again, the IPSO Alliance has initiated its annual challenge, whose deadline for proposals is quickly approaching!

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The IPSO CHALLENGE was launched as a way to show what is possible utilizing the Internet Protocol (IP) and open standards in building the Internet of Things. Enter this global competition by submitting a proposal before July 15 2015 for a working prototype that is innovative, marketable and easy to use.

Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a potential group of IPSO CHALLENGE participants in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This meetup was created to enable potential participants to learn about the challenge, mingle with like-minded individuals, find team members with the skills needed to implement ideas that are already being considered or to find those with like interests and come up with an innovative project proposal.

As a proud sponsor of the IPSO CHALLENGE 2015, my goal on behalf of Atmel was to describe how our wireless and MCU solutions can be used to form the basis of the hardware and software platforms that should be considered for a number of innovative IP-based challenge entries.

The incentive? Over $17,500 up for grabs in prizes with first taking home $10,000, $5,000 for the runner-up and $2,500 for third. There are many problems in everyday life that can be solved by collecting data thru sensors, or by controlling smart objects based upon inputs from a variety of sources. The Internet of Things and the Internet Protocol are a smart choice as the means to publish and subscribe to  sensor information, and make this available for processing in the cloud, or to deliver this information to mobile devices for viewing or notification anywhere in the world.

One of the development kits that is being promoted for use in the IPSO CHALLENGE is the ATSAMR21-XPRO evaluation board. This kit supports the ATSAMR21 (IEEE 802.15.4-compliant single-chip wireless solution) wireless “system in package” device.

SAMR21_XPRO

The device contains both an ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller plus the AT86RF233 2.4ghz 802.15.4 radio. This combination makes the perfect solution where a low power wireless sensor or actuator is required ,as an element of the hardware platform needed to implement your CHALLENGE entry.

The SAM R21 is the ideal platform to support a 6LoWPAN wireless mesh network, with sensors that can be used to measure and collect  data, or control outputs, while also having the ability to transfer this information to the cloud, or to any PC or mobile device, that has an internet connection anywhere in the world.

SAM R21 device IO assignments:

SAMR21

Atmel recently released its SmartConnect 6LoWPAN, a wireless stack firmware package that provides an IPV6 6LoWPAN implementation running on the SAM R21 evaluation kit, among a number of other Atmel platforms. Additionally, there are a number of example applications for SmartConnect 6LoWPAN that are provided in the free Atmel Studio 6.2.

AtmelStudio6

The example that I demonstrated during the IPSO meetup was the MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) example. MQTT is a publish/ subscribe protocol that allows the SAM R21 SmartConnect 6LoWPAN solution to implement topics like /Atmel/IoT/temperature or  Atmel/IoT/LED and then subscribe to, or publish to these topics while also allowing other devices to also subscribe  or publish to these same topics. This enables all these devices to work together in collecting and processing the content of many distributed sensors.

This is a very simple protocol that needs only a small amount of memory resources, and allows one to create a very effective distributed processing solution, where IP is used to enable communication and data transfer between all of the elements contained within the network.

SmartConnect 6LoWPAN, as with most 6LoWPAN solutions, makes use of the RPL mesh networking routing protocol. This lets these low power SAM R21 (15.4) radios to have the ability to transfer data over longer distances thru the wireless mesh. Because one only has to transfer the data to its nearest neighbor or its parent, in  the network that was formed.

Let’s take a look at a simplistic example of a problem, with a 6LoWPAN wireless mesh network solution: Your children take a school bus to school every morning, and if you could know when the school bus was in the neighborhood, or approaching the nearest stop, life would be a lot easier in inclement weather.

So you gather together a few SAM R21 kits and battery packs, and start to think about a solution.

Since you would need to know where the bus is at some distance from your home, this would eliminate “wired’ solutions, and since you probably would not have access to “mains power” at many of the sensing locations, the solution would require low power battery operated wireless sensors.  As it just so happens, the SAM R21 would make a perfect low power battery operated “wireless” sensor.  The SmartConnect 6LoWPAN wireless mesh network firmware would allow you to cover an extended range, by placing additional routing sensors where needed to keep track of the bus, and to relay or route similar data from other sensors that are too far away by radio, to get all the way back to your home base unit.

Given that you will need access to a fence post, a mailbox or telephone pole on your neighbors property in order to mount your small wireless sensors, you can tell them that they also can access this data to keep track of the school bus, or just about anything in the neighborhood that has a mobile tag  placed on it, whether it’s a young child’s backpack or jacket, a pet’s collar, etc.)

There needs to be one root location where all of the sensor data is transferred to, and this location will act as the  border router ( or dag root ) of the 6LoWPAN network. This is also implemented using the SAM R21 evaluation kit along with an Ethernet 1 XPRO interface board. This border router hardware would be located in your house, and plugged into a spare Ethernet port of the home access point that provides internet service to your home. Future options could also allow using Wi-Fi instead of Ethernet to make the connection to your home Wi-Fi access point.

A mobile sensor/tag will need to be placed on the bus (hopefully you can get permission, to place a small sensor using double sided tape inside the bus, or maybe ask the nice bus driver if he/she would carry it, or have one of the kids that gets on the bus early in the bus route for our neighborhood,  clip the mobile sensor to their backpack or belt .  How and where to place these mobile tag sensors, may actually be one of the most difficult parts to solve for this solution.

Once you have the mobile sensors in place on the bus, kids, dogs,  and cats, now you need to set up the sensor mesh around the neighborhood.

Atmel provides a tool call Atmel Wireless Composer.

WirelessComposer

This free tool  has a very nice feature that allows range testing to be done by one person.  Place one SAM R21 device in a fixed location and then take a battery operated remote node for a walk in your neighborhood.  You can  use this method to determine the typical range that you can achieve and  check potential mounting spots within the neighborhood. This can be used to insure that you can establish reliable wireless communications, and to find the location of where to place the  nearest neighboring node.

Remember to ask permission, before you mount the sensor node on someone else’s property.

As you turn on the remote nodes they will make their presence know to the network, and a route will be discovered back to the root node at your home.

mesh

Once you have established your network, a number of SmartConnect 6LoWPAN Example applications can be used to move the data around the network. By using the MQTT example previously mentioned, units can publish information as to which “mobile” tags are within wireless range of the sensor, thus providing a coarse location system, to notify those that are subscribing to a particular topic, as to the current location of the bus, child, dog or cat.

You can find the Example projects within Atmel Studio 6 as shown below:

ExampleProj

ExampleProj1

The power of  The Internet Protocol and the Cloud in this system is that each individual sensor has its own IPV6 address, and the data collected by the end sensor nodes is packaged into an IP frame, and  transferred thru the wireless network, and then thru the border router to the wired Internet. Then finally to the Cloud without having to convert or change protocols.  Today, there are so many devices that can make use of this data, including devices such as smartphone’s, tablets, laptops, and home automation hubs and gateways, What you can do with this data has endless possibilities.

Applications for these internet connected devices can be created to show the location of the bus or pet on a map, or maybe just send a simple notification of “School bus currently at the Smith family residence”….  Again the possibilities are endless.

Maybe you would also like to turn on your house lights or open your garage door when you approach your house from your car with a sensor mounted in the car. The info in the cloud can be integrated with your home automation system to control the lights and garage door.

Now that you have completed the proof of concept using  the Atmel | SAM R21 evaluation boards, or hopefully now that you have won the IPSO CHALLENGE!, you will want to turn your prototype into a deploy-able product.

Atmel has the solution for you.  SAM R21 “modules” are being developed in a small form factor that will allow the creation of a small battery operated mobile tag or sensor unit, and these modules come with an FCC certification ID, and a proven RF design, to eliminate the challenge, cost, and time required to develop a wireless product from scratch.

Feeling inspired? Submit your idea today before time runs out!

Thread Group grows to 50-plus members

The Thread Group — an industry alliance chartered with guiding the widespread adoption of Thread, the new IP-based low-power wireless networking protocol designed specifically for the home — has revealed that the consortium has grown to more than 50 members since membership opened up back on October 1, 2014.

Thread1

The initiative was launched earlier this year by industry heavyweights Nest, Samsung and ARM to accelerate the adoption of its IPv6-using networking protocol. The announcement followed the formation of the Open Interconnect Consortium, another group backed by major industry players to advocate and help spur development of the Internet of Things.

Atmel, who was a founding member of the Open Interconnect Consortium, now joins a growing Thread Group roster of IoT companies, including Energizer Holdings, Whirlpool Corporation, Keen Home, Kwikset, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, SALTO SYSTEMS, UL, and WigWag.

Aside from its newest members, the Thread Group is now working with UL to manage the process of certifying Thread-based products and Granite River Labs to develop hardware test services, ensuring that developers have the tools necessary to build, test and certify their IoT solutions. The Thread product certification process is expected to be available in the first half of 2015, officials shared in its recent press release.

“In a matter of months, we launched the Thread Group, selected UL to run our product certification lab and on-boarded more than 50 new member companies,” said Chris Boross, president of the Thread Group and technical product marketing manager at Nest. “This momentum paves the way for the first Thread-enabled products in 2015. Additionally, the strong interest in Thread underscores the industry’s excitement for Thread’s benefits and the future of the connected home.”

samsung-thread-group

UL will manage the product certification process, working closely with Granite River Labs to develop the test harness. This combined effort will ensure that product developers have a seamless experience building, testing and certifying Thread-enabled products. Thread product certification is expected to be available in the first half of 2015.

“After a thorough review process, we selected UL because of their strong reputation as a leader in safety testing and validation as well as their wireless testing expertise,” explained Skip Ashton, Thread Group VP of Technology. “With our test house in place, we can start the thorough certification process for Thread-enabled products and enable our members to deliver reliable, interoperable connected devices to homes as quickly as possible. Our priority is to ensure that consumers consistently have a very positive experience with Thread-branded products right out of the box.”

Thread technology was originally designed to bypass the technical roadblocks that have prevented the widespread adoption of the IoT in the home. The IP-based low-power wireless networking protocol enables product developers to create — and consumers to enjoy — products that easily and securely connect to a low-power wireless mesh network, with direct Internet and cloud access for every device.

Using proven standards such as IPv6 technology with 6LoWPAN and standard 802.15.4 radios as its foundation, Thread offers product developers numerous technological advantages over existing wireless standards. Specifically, it gives them a reliable low-power, self-healing, and secure network that makes it simple for people to connect more than 250 devices in the home to each other and to the cloud for easy control and access from anywhere.

Interested in learning more? You can access the entire press announcement here.

RIOTing with the Internet of Things

RIOT is an open-source operating system (OS) designed to power the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT).

Licensed as LGPL, RIOT was initially developed by FU Berlin, INRIA and the HAW Hamburg. 

Indeed, the origins of RIOT can actually be traced back to FeuerWare, an operating system for fire crews and their wireless sensor networks.

The operating system — which is based on a microkernel architecture — supports both C and C++, as well as full multi-threading and real-time capabilities. RIOT provides utilities like cryptographic libraries, data structures, or a shell, different network stacks, and support for various microcontrollers, radio drivers, sensors, and configurations for entire platforms.

RIOT_network_architecture_dark_updated

The RIOT runs on both 16-bit and 32-bit hardware, with a native port allowing RIOT to run as a Linux or MacOS process. This helps facilitate the use of standard development and debugging tools such as the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), GNU Debugger, Valgrind and Wireshark. RIOT runs on several platforms including embedded devices as well as common PCs, and supports multiple drivers, which offers out-of-the-box usage. The hardware dependent code is reduced to a minimum and abstracted from the kernel itself.

Among the architectures RIOT supports are ARM Cortex-M0, -M3 and -M4, as well as the ARM7. Subsequently, the IoT operating system is compatible with a number of boards like the Arduino Due (SAM3X8E), the Atmel ATmega2560 and the Nordic nRF51822 (ATSAM3U2C). RIOT also provides multiple network stacks, including IPv6, 6LoWPAN and standard protocols such as RPL, UDP, TCP and CoAP.

ArduinoDue_Front

Simply put, RIOT is free software, meaning Makers and engineers can redistribute and modify the OS. Software developed by the RIOT community is available under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 2 (LGPLv2).

Interested in learning more? As a community project, you can find RIOT’s source code on GitHub as well as download its latest release here.

Internet of Things will generate 400 zettabytes of data by 2018

The Internet of Things will generate an astonishing 400 zettabytes (ZB) of data per year by 2018, according to a new report from Cisco. To put things into perspective, a zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes.

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The company’s annual Global Cloud Index study reveals that data from connected devices will reach 403ZB each year by 2018, up from 113.4ZB in 2013. In particular, Cisco cites a number of real-world business examples that will drive this rise in data, including a Beoing 787 aircraft which generates 40TB per hour of flight or an automated manufacturing facility that produces approximately 1 TB per hour (of which 5 GB is transmitted to a data center).

As the report highlights, cloud-based services are essential for most Internet of Everything (IoE) applications, which increases the ability for people, data, and things to communicate with one another over the Internet. Despite this huge growth in data from IoE devices, only a small amount will actually be sent to data centers for storage and subsequent analysis.

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Moreover, the company notes that data created by connected devices worldwide will be 277 times higher than the amount of data being transmitted to data centers from end-user devices, while 47 times higher than total data center traffic by 2018.

Another key component of the Internet of Everything and cloud services adoption will be the growth of IPv6 capability among users, devices, network connectivity, and content enablement. Globally, 24% of Internet users will be IPv6-capable by 2018, while nearly half of all fixed and mobile devices will be IPv6-enabled.

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According to Google, the percentage of IPv6 global users on in late September 2014 was 4.54%, up from 1.82% the same time last year — an increase of nearly 150% in the last year alone.

Explore the latest predictions by reading the Global Cloud Index in its entirety here.

What will smartphones look like in 2020?

Thanks to Moore’s Law, electronic devices are increasingly packed with more power and functionality, improving our life qualities with more convenience, productivity, and entertainment. Just to put things in perspective, Steve Cichon of Trending Buffalo shows that an iPhone (assuming an iPhone 5S at the beginning of 2014, when his blog was written) can replace $3,054.82 worth of electronics sold in Radio Shack in 1991, according to a flyer post in The Buffalo News.

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“It’s nothing new, but it’s a great example of the technology of only two decades ago now replaced by the 3.95 ounce bundle of plastic, glass, and processors in our pockets,” says Steve Cichon.

As cool as we think our smartphones are today, I dare to say that two decades later by 2035, when people compare their personal electronics (assuming they don’t use the term “smartphones” anymore!) against the current smartphone features, they would be amazed by how big, heavy and slow these electronics are today. If you still don’t get what I mean, take a look at this 1991 Sony Walkman Commercial, and try to recall how cool the Walkman was in 1991.

While I certainly do not have the crystal ball that tells me what kind of personal electronic devices people will be using by 2035, I would like to make a few guesses of what smartphones would look like in just 5 years, say 2020.

User Interface

I believe touchscreen [with touchscreen controllers] will still be the main user interface for smartphones by 2020. While Generation Z are called “digital natives,” I think kids who are born after Generation Z would be “touch natives.” Toddlers and young children playing with iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad today will attempt to touch all display interfaces as their way of interacting with electronics in the coming years. I also believe smartphone interfaces would expand beyond just touch, and there are two possible expansions within five years: gesture controls and voice commands.

Gesture control refers to hand or facial interactions with the smartphone.  Samsung’s Galaxy S4 (with Air View) and Amazon’s Fire Phone (with 4 corner cameras) made interesting attempts for enabling hand and facial gesture recognition, but unfortunately, these features were not very successfully adopted by consumers because they were hard to learn, limited by hardware capabilities, and unreliable or inconsistent to use. But smartphone OEMs will continue improve their designs, and smartphones will eventually be capable of reliably recognize our intentions by tracking our hand or eyeball motions, or facial expressions.

Voice command is widely popular today, but will become a lot more useful in five years. Think of Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana, as cloud computing becomes more artificial intelligent with more data and computational power, they will become more dependable for average consumers to adapt. I hope that by 2020, my daily commutes with Apple’s Siri will no longer be worse than talking to my 2-year old son — Siri will help me change FM radio channels or launch a Podcast via Carplay in my dashboard. I will also be able to ask Google Now to order a pizza for me (topped with bacon, pepperoni and sausage, of course) without directly talking to the pizza-shop guy. Google Now will tell me when the pizza might arrive (based on the traffic congestion conditions), and open the door for me through my Nest, which as a Bluetooth connection to my front door’s electronic lock.

Integration

Needless to say, smartphones will be further integrated come the year 2020. Smartphone integration will follow a much similar path as the PC’s integration, except it will take place A LOT faster. Integration doesn’t always mean electronic components will disappear; rather, it can also mean that more hardware performance is integrated into the device. Today’s leading smartphones are packed with a Quad- or Octa-core Application Processor, running between 1.3 to 2.5GHz. By 2020, I’m guessing that smartphone CPUs will be 8 to 16-cores, running between 2.5-4.0 GHz range, (they probably will eat today’s Intel Core i7, designed for high-performance PCs, for lunch.)with 8-10GB RAM and 500-750 GB of storage.

I also believe smartphones will integrate more hardware components for better “context-awareness.” Today’s leading smartphones are easily packed with 10 sensors — gyro, ambient light, accelerometer, barometer, hall sensor, finger scanner, heart rate monitor, among a number of others. I think more microphones (today’s camera usually has at least two microphones) and cameras (again, at least two today) will be packed into the devices to enable improved awareness — 4, 6 or even 8 microphones and cameras are quite possible by 2020. For instance, having multiple microphones enables listening from different positions inside the phone and at different frequencies (i.e. not only voice commands); in addition, it will allow the smartphone to determine its location, its surroundings (whether inside or out) how far it is away from the voice command and even how to improve noise cancellation. Also, having multiple cameras will allow the device to better track facial expressions (Amazon’s Fire Phone is a good example), to capture better 3D and panorama images, or to refocus photos by post-processing (hTC One M8 is a good example).

Further, component-level integration will continue to happen. With increasing applications processor power, the A/P will be able to take over many digital processing from discrete components inside the phone, although I think Sensor Hub will continue to drive low-power, context-awareness tasks while the A/P sleeps.

Display Technology

Do you envision 4K displays (i.e.3840 x 2160) on your smartphone? Today, Apple’s “Retina Display” in the iPhone 5S offers a 326 pixel-per-inch, and many new smartphone displays exceed that pixel density. Smartphone displays are increasing in sizes, moving from 3.2″ and 4″ just a few years ago to 4.7″, 5.2″, 5.5″ and even 6.4”. As the screen sizes increase, as will the display resolution, while keeping the high PPI density.

I think both LCD and AMOLED displays will continue to exist in 2020, as both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages for smartphone applications. From a consumer perspective, I would expect both types of displays to improve on resolution, color accuracy (for example, Xiaomi’s latest Mi4 display has a color gamut covering 84% of the NTSC range, and that’s even better than Apple’s iPhone 5S display), power consumption and thinner assembly allowing for slimmer industrial design.

As smartphones with 2K displays be introduced by the end of 2014, it isn’t unreasonable to say that 4K displays would be used in smartphones, perhaps by or even before 2020.  However, everything has a cost, and the extra pixels that our human eye cannot resolve will consume power from the graphic engine. Would you prefer to trade off some pixel densities with longer battery life? Personally, I think we do not need a 4K smartphone screen. (And yet, I may laugh at myself saying this when we look back five years from now.)

Battery Technology

The thirst for more power is always there. With increased processing capabilities, context-awareness and better display technologies, we can only assume that future smartphones will require more power than what they are carrying today. Today’s top-tier smartphones can package a battery around 3000 mAh. That’s plenty of juice for a day, but consumers always crave for longer battery life or more powerful smartphones with longer video streaming time. Luckily, research on new battery technologies have been increased, thanks to the explosion of portable electronics. I believe there are two types of technologies that will be available and improve our smartphone experiences by 2020:

Battery with higher density: Forbes recently reported that a group of researchers at Stanford University designed a new solution to increase the capacity of existing battery technology by 400%. This is just one of the promising researches we’ve seen in recent years that could one day be deployed for mass production in just a few years. For the same size of battery that lasts for a day of use in 2014, we can expect that smartphones will last for a week without charging by 2020. On the other hand, smartphone OEMs can also select to use a smaller size battery in the smartphone, and in exchange, use the extra room inside the smartphone to integrate other components and features.

Battery with rapid charging capabilities: A gadget-lover’s dream is to get a full-charge of their smartphones within 5 minutes of charging. Today, UNU’s Ultrapak battery pack can deliver a full charge to devices after just 15 minutes of charging itself up. This isn’t to say the technology is ready for smartphone integration, due to various reasons; however, we’re seeing smartphones adopting rapid charging technologies today (such as Oppo’s Find 7) and we should expect that smartphones will have a much shorter charge time thanks to various rapid-charging standards, such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0. Several smartphone models have adopted this standard, including Xiaomi’s Mi3, Mi4, Samsung Galaxy S5 and hTC One M8.

Smartphone Camera

Last but certainly not least, I think smartphone cameras will certainly undergo many improvements by 2020. In fact, the smartphone camera performance is one of the features driving smartphone sales. A safe and simple prediction is that camera’s pixel density would continue to increase as CMOS sensor technology advances. Today, Microsoft’s Lumia 1020 has 41 megapixels, yet I don’t see an average consumer needing that many pixels even by 2020. Personally, I would be very happy with a camera that offers 15-20 megapixel — good photographers understand that pixel isn’t the only determining factor for a good camera, as it is only one of the key aspects.

I am not expecting the camera in a smartphone is capable of optical zooming. Instead, I’d much rather have a smartphone that’s light and portable. In fact, today’s smartphone cameras are pretty good by themselves, but there are always improvements can be made. I think the iPhone 5S cameras can be better with image stabilization, the Galaxy S4 camera can be better with faster start-up and better low-light sensitivity, and the hTC One M8 camera can be designed better with more pixels and improved dynamic contrasting.

Here is a my wishlist for a smartphone camera that I would carry around in 2020, and it’s perhaps not the “2020 Edition of Lumia 1020” camera:

  • 20 megapixel with Image Stabilization, perhaps a wide, f/1.0 aperture
  • HDR, Panorama view
  • Excellent white balance and color accuracy
  • Excellent low-light sensitivity
  • Full manual control
  • Extremely short start-up latency, and fast and accurate auto-focus
  • 4K video recording @ 120fps (with simultaneous image recording)

I may not be a fortune teller, but there you go… that’s my prediction for what a smartphone will look like in the year 2020. Would you be interested in spending your hard-earned dough in 2020 for a smartphone with the above spec? Everyone has an opinion on what the future entails, and my idea of a smartphone five years from now are as good as those of the readers of this blog. I think we would all agree that the advancements in technology will continue to improve the quality of lives. As smartphones become more personal and depend ended upon, we’ll all reap the benefits from the smartphone evolution.

 


Designing IoT devices with Thingsquare and SAM R21



As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, a number of recent Thingsquare demos have been powered by Atmel’s versatile SAM R21 Xplained PRO evaluation board – illustrating the seamless integration of Thingsquare’s software stack with Atmel’s new SAM R21 ultra-low power wireless microcontroller (MCU).

According to Atmel Product Marketing Director Magnus Pedersen, the SAM R21 allows Atmel’s customers to easily develop connected lighting, smart metering and wireless sensor network systems based on true Internet-connectivity and open standards such as IPv6 and 6lowpan.

“Our customers are demanding complete, easy-to-use IoT solutions that can quickly bring a full system to market,” said Pedersen. “Our cooperation with Thingsquare is an example of that, with a web-based toolchain and open source firmware to offer our customers a fully integrated hardware and software solution for various IoT applications.”

Recently, a Thingsquare rep told Bits & Pieces that a number of engineers and Makers are choosing the SAM R21 and the Thingsquare system to build secure and future-proof Internet of Things (IoT) applications and connected devices.

“The Thingsquare system and the SAM R21 SoCs follow you throughout the entire process from idea to market,” the rep explained. 

”The system supports IPv6 / 6lowpan, wireless mesh networking, firmware updates and end-to-end encryption. You can also easily build smartphone applications to interact with your SAM R21-powered devices.”

Interested in learning more? To quickly set up a prototype, you can use the Thingsquare system with SAM R21 Xplained Pro boards, as described here. Of course, Thingsquare can also help with your entire software project as well.

For additional information, contact sales@thingsquare.com. For hardware-related questions, contact Atmel.

Open source IoT with Contiki

Contiki – an open source OS for the IoT – is developed by a world-wide team of devs with contributions from a number of prominent companies such as Atmel, Cisco, ETH, Redwire LLC, SAP and Thingsquare.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Essentially, Contiki provides powerful low-power Internet communication, supporting fully standard IPv6 and IPv4, along with recent low-power wireless standards: 6lowpan, RPL and CoAP.

With Contiki’s ContikiMAC and sleepy routers, even wireless routers can be battery-operated. 

Contiki facilities intuitive, rapid development, as apps are written in standard C. Using the Cooja simulator, Contiki networks can be emulated before being burned into hardware, while Instant Contiki provides an entire development environment in a single download.

Recently, the open source Contiki was featured by Wired’s Klint Finley, who describes the versatile OS as the go-to operating system for hackers, academics and companies building network-connected devices like sensors, trackers and web-based automation systems.

“Developers love it because it’s lightweight it’s free, and it’s mature. It provides a foundation for developers and entrepreneurs eager to bring us all the internet-connected gadgets the internet of things promises, without having to develop the underlying operating system those gadgets will need,” he writes.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

“Perhaps the biggest thing Contiki has going for it is that it’s small. Really small. While Linux requires one megabyte of RAM, Contiki needs just a few kilobytes to run. Its inventor, Adam Dunkels, has managed to fit an entire operating system, including a graphical user interface, networking software, and a web browser into less than 30 kilobytes of space.”

Unsurprisingly, consumer technology companies are beginning to embrace Contiki as well. To help support the burgeoning commercial usage of Contiki, OS founder Adam Dunkels ultimately left his job at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science and founded Thingsquare, a startup focused on providing a cloud-based back-end for Contiki devices.

“The idea is to make it easy for developers to connect their hardware devices with smartphones and the web,” added Finley.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

“Thingsquare manages the servers, and provides all the software necessary to manage a device over the web.”

It should be noted that Thingsquare recently showcased various Internet of Things (IoT) applications at Embedded World 2014 in Nuremberg, Germany.

Indeed, a number of Thingsquare’s demonstrations were powered by Atmel’s recently launched SAM R21 Xplained PRO evaluation board – illustrating the seamless integration of Thingsquare’s software stack with Atmel’s new SAM R21 ultra-low power wireless microcontroller (MCU).

Interested in learning more? You can check out Contiki’s official page here and read about Thingsquare’s use of Atmel tech here.