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This Week in the Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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Throwback: Machine Pours A Drink Every Time the U.S. Wins a Medal
Andrew and his team are active members in the maker community and huge fans of the Olympic Games, both of which motivated them to create the Patriotic Party Machine. Watch how this system is able to pour a victorious drink using Digi XBee.

Digi’s DIY Restroom Monitoring System
How many times have you walked all the way to the restroom only to find out it is being occupied? Well, a few Digi XBee experts collaborated to create a door sensor and a web app monitor system to verify the vacancy of the restrooms. Check out below the humorous, yet very practical use of technology. 20160805_155409 - Sized

Ben Heck’s Hackbot Wars Part 1: Assembly
Ben, Felix, and Karen are preparing for a Nintendo Mario Kart-like battle on this week’s episode of The Ben Heck’s Show. In this first episode, each robot is meticulously assembled and a customized remote controller is created. Watch the video below to learn how ‘The Kitten’ operates with Digi XBee during Flex’s Conner (12:30).

Do you have #FridayFavorite content you would like to share? If so, comment in the section below, tweet at us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, or like us on Facebook. Always be sure to use the hashtag #FridayFavorites in your post.

What Makes Thread a Secure Wireless Protocol?

With XBee Thread soon arriving, we’re fielding a lot of questions regarding the protocol’s touted security benefits. Not only does Thread provide a robust network with no single point of failure, but it also offers businesses and developers extremely secure wireless communication. Let’s look at a couple reasons why.Web

IP-based Security Protocols
Yes, it’s a low-powered network, not unlike ZigBee and other 802.15.4 radios, but it’s also IP-based. This is important because with an IP-based networking protocol, developers can tap into security protocols used when you’re browsing the internet. Some of the common ones are DTLS, TLS and SSL. These IP-based security protocols provide the network with secure end-to-end communication.

Commissioning
Another benefit of the Thread protocol is the commissioning process. Commissioning is the process of joining a new node to the Thread network. Previously, this could lead to network vulnerabilities and be overly complex. But, the creators of Thread have made it a straightforward and user-friendly experience by leveraging mobile technology and passphrases. This ensures no rogue nodes are able to join the network without being overly complex.

There are three ways to add a node to a Thread network, out-of-band commissioning, discovery, and through a commissioning application on a mobile device.

Out-of-band commissioning mode configures a node with the network credentials of the desired network. This makes the node behave like a partition of the network.  When it comes in range of the network, it will be like two partitions joining into a larger network creating a secure handoff.

When commissioning via discovery mode, the node searches for a network with matching credentials. For this, the security is simple, the network must be in range of the the node, the network must allow joining, and the node must be told to expect a node to be joining, identified by its EUI 64, or unique IPv6 MAC address.

Lastly, Thread introduces a third method, and arguably the easiest new way to commission a device, through a commissioning application installed on a device such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.  Thread describes this process as petitioning and joining.

Petitioning is the process of authenticating and authorizing the commissioning device (like your phone or laptop), which will run the Thread commissioning app. The device can then communicate with the Thread network either locally or via the internet through the network’s Border Router. This forms a secure TLS connection between the network’s Border Router and the user’s commissioning device.

So now that we’ve got our commissioning device authorized, how do we add a new node to the network? It’s pretty easy.

When a node wants to join the network it will send a request to the commissioning device where the user will be prompted to enter a key to authorize the node(s) to join the network. Once the key is entered, there is a secure DTLS handshake between the joining node and the Commissioner. The new node receives the network parameters and is all ready to function with the necessary rights and privileges.

This is just a brief look at why many IoT experts consider Thread a more secure wireless protocol based on its security features and commissioning process. Check out these resources to learn more about the Thread wireless protocol:

And, if you have any Thread-related questions send us a tweet at @digidotcom or @XBeeWireless. You can also visit the official Thread website for more information.

This Week in The Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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This Temporary Tattoo Monitors Your Alcohol Level and Informs Your Phone
Discover more about the unique sticker tattoos designed at the University of California that cold help raise alcohol awareness to you (and your phone!)

Breaking Through the RF Clutter: Innovations in Spread Spectrum Technology
Wireless communication systems provide speedy and extraordinary advantages to staying on top of mission-critical situations in less than ideal environments. Read Digi Punch2 Technology to compare long-range vs. traditional radios in interference immunity over long distances in highly congested and noisy environments.

Introducing the Dig ConnectCore® for i.MX6UL
The saying ‘big things come in small packages’ remains true with the new Digi ConnectCore® 6 UL, a versatile and industrial-grade system-on-module the size of a postage stamp. Watch production manager Mike Rohrmoser introduce the characteristics this system-on-module holds to bring your projects and products to market faster, smarter, and more secure.

This Smart Pen Lets You Scan the World for Color and Custom Mix Any Ink Shade
M2M is one thing, but M2M with an artistic twist is another. Take for example smart pens, an incredible tool that could allow artists to choose any color it contacts simply by scanning it with the tip of the pen. Can you imagine what George Seurat or Claude Monet would have done with these tools during the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism eras?!

Do you have #FridayFavorite content you would like to share? If so, comment in the section below, tweet at us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, or like us on Facebook. Always be sure to use the hashtag #FridayFavorites in your post.

Rube Goldberg Wireless Controller Network

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By Jon Freeman

At face value, the project deals with a Rube Goldberg-style vending machine. In reality, it is designed to provide a wireless controller sandbox that can be used by someone to refine their building, programming and communication skills. The use of wireless makes it relatively easy for anyone to add, extend or replace modules.

Build your own with the project files on Dropbox!

Posted in XBee Projects, XBee | Comments Off on Rube Goldberg Wireless Controller Network

This Week in The Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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Smart Stitches Send Doctors Information on Wounds as They Heal
Modern medicine has come a long way thanks to IoT, and researchers at Tufts University who are working towards pushing the limits even further with the development of “smart stitches”. Learn how these “smart stitches” are designed to close wounds while simultaneously updating doctors on the healing progress.

7-Eleven delivers by drone in Reno including, yes, Slurpees
Are you thirsty but it’s too hot to walk to the nearest 7-Eleven? Well, read how you can have slushies, donuts, and more delivered to your door step courtesy of the first delivery drone built by tech company, Flirtey.

Developing Blockly for Propeller: Our Team Includes Three Student Interns Who’ve Progressed Quickly
In addition to helping develop the Blockly for Propeller demo system; these teenage geniuses have been working hard on a few projects of their own. Check out Blake’s Intruder Alert system he made using Digi XBee, Roxy’s M&M Color Identifying robotics project, and watch Carson’s 0.95” OLED in action.

BuzzCloud Wants to Take the Sting Out of Urban Beekeeping With Its iBuzzHive
With Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) on the rise, even the honeybees are taking to IoT in hopes to make beekeeping possible (and painless) in Urban environments. Watch how BuzzCloud plans to use 3D-printing and IoT to save the troubled population of these important pollinators:

Facebook’s Internet-Broadcasting Drone Takes to the Skies for the First Time
In effort to increase internet access across the world, Facebook built a solar powered, lightweight, 42 m wide drone named Aquila. See for yourself how Facebook designed Aquila to stay airborne for 90 consecutive days.

This Week in The Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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GRAB THINGS WITH AN ARDUINO ROBOTIC GRIPPER
The robotic gripper built by high school graduates, Sam Baumgarten and Graham Hughes, use Digi XBee for transmitting singles from the control glove to the gripper. Watch below the impressive robot gripper in action.

DIY Sleep Apnea Monitoring
With hundreds of people suffering from sleep apnea everyday, we can all appreciate Marc Merlin’s Sleep Apnea Monitoring rig that collects data through Digi XBee. Although we do not endorse Digi DIY projects, we are very impressed with Merlin’s dedication and research.

Vodafone IoT Barometer: 76% Of Businesses Say Internet of Things Will Be Critical To Future Success
Studies show IoT is even more significant to business success with these seven key insights to prove it.

Connected Healthcare: Internet of Things Examples in Health Care
The IoT influence in the healthcare industry is not only changing lives but saving them as well by adjustable patient monitoring, enhanced drug management, augmented asset monitoring and tracking, early intervention and so much more. Visit Cardiauvergne to learn more about how the remote healthcare monitoring system came to life with Digi ConnectPort.

Digi Int’l XBee SX RF Module | Digi-Key Daily
Digi-Key created this informational video to highlight how Digi XBee SX makes long range communication possible by using low power consumption. Visit the official Digi XBee SX product page to learn more about the design and software.

Demystifying PCI Compliance

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As a leading supplier of communications solutions for POS, kiosk, banking, and ATM markets for three decades, Digi knows the criticality of safeguarding credit and debit card transactions.Demystifying PCI Compliance

Still, confusion on how to meet the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) remains. For example, for the most part, there are no specific PCI certifications for network devices. This begs the question: what is PCI compliance and how is it achieved?

To find the answers, Digi offers the PCI-Compliant 4G LTE Networking with Digi Enterprise Routers white paper. This paper demystifies PCI certification and addresses meeting compliance with the Digi TransPort® family of 4G LTE routers. It presents an overview of PCI-DSS and the standard’s 12 key technical and operational requirements that merchants, processors, and service providers must satisfy.

It then introduces Digi TransPort 4G LTE Routers and how they comply with all 12 requirements, making them the world’s most secure commercial cellular routers.

Using Digi solutions, you can build PCI-compliant applications that protect credit card data processing and transmission.

Reading PCI-Compliant 4G LTE Networking with Digi Enterprise Routers, you’ll understand what’s needed for PCI-DSS compliance and how Digi offers the industry’s strongest support for this rigorous standard.

Read the white paper here >>

Is Your JTAG Debug Port Vulnerable to Hackers?

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In most Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, it’s good practice to authenticate anyone trying to access your device – typically through the Ethernet, WiFi, or other network protocol. But there’s a more subtle, and dangerous, way to get into your device: through a JTAG debug port. If someone gains physical access, he can create much more havoc because JTAG takes you to the low-level heart of a board or chip, where an expert hacker can take complete low-level control of the system – even replacing firmware with a rogue code.

System Blog Diagram

In this contributed article for Embedded Computing Design, Digi’s Mike Rohrmoser explains the pluses and minuses of the use of Secure JTAG keys. Regardless of the approach you choose, Digi TrustFence™ security framework includes tools for manufacturing and maintenance, including Secure JTAG.

FULL ARTICLE IN EMBEDDED COMPUTING DESIGN: DON’T LET HACKERS IN THE JTAG PORT >>

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