Recording Venue: OOPSLA 2006
Guest: Steffen Schaefer, IBM
In this episode we discuss sensor networks with our guest Steffen Schaefer, who is the Technical Thought Leader for Sensors & Actuator Solutions at IBM. The discussion resolves around the TREC device, which can be mounted on containers to track them on their journey over seas, railway tracks and roads. The TREC is a small embedded device developed by Steffen’s employer, IBM, that has various sensors and communications channels.
In the episode we first talked about container transport in general, and then looked at how the TREC device works – specifically, it’s hardware, software and power management. We then looked at the necessary backend infrastructure. The main part of the discussion covered the communication between the device and the backend, using technologies such as Zigby, GSM and satellite communications. We also looked at the middleware infrastructures used, such as the MQtt messaging tool.
We closed the episode with a little discussion of the “Internet of Things” and some discussion about embedded software development in general. Note that SE Radio will feature more embedded topics in the future – an introduction to embedded development will be put online soon.
- Sun Spots – small wireless Java programmable devices from Sun
- Sensor Network solutions from IBM
- Information on intelligent utility networks
- flash demo on How the EPC Network works
- epcglobalinc.org – cross-industry RFID standards
- rfidjournal.com – great source for any kind of information regarding RFID
- interesting workshop papers from OOPSLA06 workshop on Building Software for Sensor Networks. The paper ‘Secure Trade Lane: A Sensor Network Solution for more predictable and more secure container shipments’ contains details on technology and architecture
- information on a pilot project IBM did on tracking containers stuffed with Heineken beer
- MQ Telemetry Transport – Messaging infrastructure for mobile and embedded devices
- Zigbee Alliance – information on the Zigbee standard