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This Week in The Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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

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.

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 >>

Powering the World’s First Zero-Emission Cab

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Frazer-NashThe zero-emission taxicab of the future will soon be on the streets of London – and Digi is playing a key role in making it happen. That’s because Frazer-Nash, the electric-car pioneer founded in 1922, has selected Digi’s ConnectCore 6 system-on-module to create a complete digital experience for driver instrumentation and touchscreen passenger infotainment inside its range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) Metrocabs. The ConnectCore 6 will also enable wireless connectivity to in-cab Internet, GPS navigation, and revenue-producing interactive displays.

The ConnectCore 6 is less than 2 inches square and includes all the power and connectivity you would expect from a PC, including a cellular adapter, 1080p graphics, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and up to 64GB of flash memory. The decision to utilize ConnectCore 6 was a change for Frazer-Nash, which traditionally develops all technologies in-house. In fact, the ConnectCore 6 is the only component in the Frazer-Nash Metrocab that was not designed and created by the company itself.

In this new Frazer-Nash “cab of the future,” drivers can monitor the cab’s key systems as well as optimize routes, fuel, and battery efficiency. What’s more, Digi offers secure remote management and web services capabilities through the scalable Digi Device Cloud™ so Frazer-Nash can monitor all of its cabs remotely and deploy updates over cellular networks.

Frazer-Nash has been in the forefront of electric powertrain development and designs and builds all of its own components. By using the ConnectCore 6, Frazer-Nash reduced costs and accelerated its time-to-market while offering new services and deliver a connected cab. The Metrocab is just one example of the incredible development opportunities for Digi customers and partners, brining computing power to new classes of innovative applications.

Visit the ConnectCore 6 product page to learn more.

Digi XBee® S2C 802.15.4 – Let Your Imagination Run Wireless!

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Digi XBee® is the world’s #1 RF module because our common footprint is shared across protocols and frequencies. Anything is possible with Digi XBee – from the small science project in the lab to NASA monitoring payloads on a rocket, Digi XBee gives you the tools and flexibility you need to rapidly innovate. The latest example in this broad line of modules is the Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 which is now available with the Silicon Labs Ember® EM35x transceiver.

This latest module is ideal for applications requiring low latency and predictable communication timing. The Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 is also ideal when your application requires robust multipoint wireless connectivity with reduced power consumption, support for the over-the-air firmware updates, and an upgrade path to DigiMesh® or ZigBee® Mesh protocols.

New Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 Offered in Through-Hole & SMT Form Factors

Anyone deploying Digi XBee can swap one Digi XBee for another. You don’t have to design a printed circuit board to take advantage of Silicon Labs’ latest chip – Digi has done it for you on the Digi XBee platform saving you time and giving you the confidence to get connected quickly and easily. Providing quick, robust communication in point-to-point, peer-to-peer, and multipoint/star configurations, Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 products enable robust end-point connectivity with ease. Whether deployed as a pure cable replacement for simple serial communication, or as part of a more complex hub-and-spoke network of sensors, Digi XBee 802.15.4 modules maximize performance and ease of development.

Digi XBee is a special product because of our customers: the innovators, the hackers, the problem-solvers — whatever you call yourself, Digi is dedicated to providing you with everything you need to quickly create wireless connectivity solutions. Let your imagination run wireless!

Click here for a “Digi XBee 802.15.4 Protocol Comparison” Technical Brief>>

Interview with Embedded Computing Design: Connected Device Security

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With the rapid growth of the Internet of Things, devices have become more vulnerable in recent years. Even with highly publicized security breaches (medical devices, web cams, vehicles, building automation equipment, etc.), it seems like security is still on the lower end of awareness and focus. And for those device manufacturers who are security-minded, implementation is not trivial.

Mike Rohrmoser, Digi’s Director of Product Management for Embedded Systems, spoke with Embedded Computing Design at NXP FTF 2016 about concerns surrounding connected devices. He emphasized that security requirements will change over time, so it’s imperative that device manufacturers make sure their products have a chance to support those changes.

Listen to the full interview to hear Mike’s thoughts on the state of connected device security and how Digi is addressing these deficiencies with a secure software framework and security architecture called Digi TrustFence™.

Full interview: Is the hysteria around connected device security warranted?>>

Small-Footprint Remote-Sensor Monitoring: The Future Is Now

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When you’re working for a major petrochemical company, inventory control isn’t merely a financial matter. That’s because a slow, undetected leak of a dangerous chemical substance can ultimately lead to significant safety concerns, and environmental/regulatory issues that can cost millions of dollars.

A major metro’s DPW team might be responsible for ensuring thousands of streets are operational on a 24×7 basis. Outages translate into lapses in public safety and unnecessary taxpayer expense. But how can they keep tabs on all of those fixtures?

Unfortunately, for organizations like these – and thousands of others facing the same dilemmas – the only feasible recourse has been to put technicians and repair teams on the road, logging thousands of miles each year to remote sites to manually check simple metrics like air quality, tank levels, pipeline pressures, valve statuses, light fixtures, and more. It’s a cost and headache that they’re eager to avoid – but the data is too important to avoid or ignore. In fact, the more difficult the data is to capture, the more valuable it often is.

Remote-sensor monitoring through wireless networks is the obvious – and long-sought – alternative, but too many barriers have prevented wide-scale adoption. Chief among these roadblocks: power consumption. Solar-powered wireless gateways are still not cost-feasible for industrial applications. Battery-powered cellular devices are another option, but until recently the costs of carriers’ rigid consumer-focused data plans (and the expense of the devices themselves) made them suitable for only a small subset of applications. Low-power WiFi networks and internal batteries can provide some coverage, but they require RF and network engineers to design, install, and maintain – expertise that is in high demand.

The Tide Is Turning

Fortunately, we’re seeing important changes that are making low- or no-power remote monitoring easy and cost-effective. First, cellular operators are recognizing that $30-50/mo. consumer data plans are a non-starter in the industrial space. Some carriers are now offering data plans of as little as 250 KB and compelling configurations and bundles that have driven prices down to $1-3/mo. High-volume customers are even seeing sub-$1 pricing.

Device costs have also plunged. Cellular gateways are now less than $20 for 2G and 3G modules. Similar dynamics are likely in the LTE space soon. And as M2M-friendly LTE CAT standards take hold in the coming years, we’ll see lower device costs, lower operating costs, and longer battery life – all with no need for a local wireless network to carry backhaul traffic.

Ultimately, it means we’re now able to deploy the small-footprint, no/low-power remote-sensor network that skips the truck rolls, cuts the costs, and increases visibility across the company’s entire asset portfolio. The new Digi Connect Sensor battery-powered cellular gateway lets companies and agencies finally deploy a no-infrastructure remote monitoring solution in virtually any harsh or remote environment.

Here’s more about the features of the Digi Connect Sensor:

  • Flexible power sources – Use a long-lasting (two to three years), non-rechargeable battery, power-saving sleep mode, and the option to draw power external sources (including solar) while using the internal battery as a backup.
  • Cellular choice – For global connectivity, Connect Sensor supports 3G HSPA+ with 2G fallback. North American users can also choose an LTE CAT 1 version.
  • Supports LTE CAT 1 – With support for LTE CAT 1, the band specifically created for IoT and M2M communications, Connect Sensor devices are highly efficient, consume less power, and are optimized for data transfer.
  • Sensor variety and flexibility – Connect Sensor can work with virtually any 4/20mA, Analog Out, Digital Out, or Pulsed Output sensor, and can power multiple external sensors, eliminating the need for external supplies or batteries.
  • Enterprise-grade security – You can implement security at the device, transport, and platform level.
  • Appropriate for harsh environments – A weatherproof NEMA 4 enclosure protects your sensors from the elements. It also features ATEX Group 2 and UL Class 1 Division 2 ratings.

Interested in learning more? Here are a number of resources to get you started:

Are You Ready to Migrate to 4G?

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4GThe move to 4G is underway in North America, Europe, and much of Asia. The drivers are clear, such as greater upload and download speeds and spectral efficiencies, which lower ownership costs.

But what does this mean for engineers and designers of IoT networks and devices? Do you know the differences between 2G/3G and 4G LTE? Are you prepared to adopt 4G LTE?

Digi’s paper, Any-G To 4G, summarizes the process by presenting the five core considerations for migrating from 2G/3G to 4G LTE. You’ll learn about key factors that will impact your long-term adoption strategy, such as SIM cards, antennas, bandwidth selection, and assessing both the strength and quality of signals.

In Any-G To 4G, you’ll discover that by addressing these variables from the start, you can successfully move to 4G LTE networks and capitalize on their speed and capacity.

Read the white paper >>

Contact a Digi expert and get started today! Contact Us