Sep 11, 2014

Is the IoT Secure?

posted by Dick Selwood

A new report has said that the emerging standards for the Internet of Things (see IoT Standards: Is the Time Right to Calm the Chaos? http://techfocusmedia.net/archives/articles/20140908-iot/) are failing miserably in not considering security.

The concern of the authors of the report, from Beecham Research, is that while a number of bodies are looking at CyberSecurity generally, the architects developing devices and systems are generally ignoring the issue and this could have dire consequences.

A virus in your PC is a nuisance, but a hack of your central heating system in the depths of winter could be life-threatening. And when you start looking at other elements of the IoT things could get seriously worse. The report is issued to mark the start of a longer term study by Beecham on the issue, which will involve work with standards bodies, the Cybersecurity people, and all levels of the IoT chain, from IP developers to Governmant on international organisations.

http://www.beechamresearch.com/

Tags :    0 comments  
Sep 09, 2014

PowerByProxi Eval Kits

posted by Bryon Moyer

A while back, we took a look at a couple of new resonant wireless charging approaches, including PowerByProxi. Their charging pad consists of multiple coils, allowing them to energize only the coils underneath a device being charged, and allowing multiple devices to charge independently and aiding efficiency.

To help drive adoption, they’ve released an evaluation kit consisting of a transmitter and two receiver modules. It will allow testing of device charging up to the rate of 7.5 W.

PbyP_eval_kit.jpg

Image courtesy PowerByProxi

It’s also interesting that I’m seeing more announcements of new wireless technology, some of which resembles the PowerByProxi approach. I’m checking on these things to see whether they’re independent (and therefore possibly clashing) or simply one company licensing the technology of another.

I’ll be following up once I get that all sorted.

One thing’s for certain, though: there’s a lot of activity in this space. Much of it is premised on the promise of a build-out of infrastructure so that folks going to coffeeshops and pubs and the like will be able to charge their phones while there without packing a charging cord. The real battle will heat up when that starts, unless someone finds an efficient solution blending the two leading standards. If that doesn’t happen, then, unless one side capitulates, then there will be phones for Qi and phones for the A4WP solution, and where you can charge your phone will depend on which phone you have.

You can find more on PowerByProxi’s eval kits in their announcement.

Tags :    0 comments  
Sep 04, 2014

Enabling CSR… or… Microchip?

posted by Bryon Moyer

This was originally going to be simply an update on something we discussed before. But it may be slightly more than that.

You may recall that, when it comes to local wireless for the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s largely a battle between WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee (not counting proprietary networks). And that WiFi and Bluetooth have an edge, being in phones.

But Zigbee, despite its detractors (which seem legion), has one feature that can be useful for extending the range of a network: meshing. It’s something rival Bluetooth can’t do.

That is, until CSR introduced CSRmesh to lay a meshing capability over Bluetooth.

So this was largely going to be an update to say that CSR has also introduced an enablement kit to make it easier to get going. It includes dev boards, a USB programmer, and a software development kit (SDK) that initially targets the lighting market, with others coming later in the year.

CSRmesh_kit_550.jpg

 

Image courtesy CSR

But then came news of a more unusual sort: Microchip is in talks that may result in Microchip’s acquiring CSR. Not that an acquisition like this would be unusual, but, ordinarily, you would hear about it when the deal is done; not when talks start. Heck, you’re practically inviting your competitors to come help drive the price up!

Slightly closer review (OK, not that much closer – just reading boilerplate at the bottom of the release that would ordinarily be ignored) provide clues as to what’s up: we’re not in Kansas anymore. In the gray print at the bottom of their website you’ll find that, “CSR Plc is a company registered in England and Wales.” And the UK has a “Takeover Code” that requires more disclosure than what we’re used to this side of the pond.

So… if you’re engaging with CSR’s technology, it might someday come with a Microchip logo. Then again, it might not.

You can get more info on CSR’s enablement kit in their announcement, [Editos note: updated to fix a press release issue.]

Tags :    0 comments  
Get this feed  

Login Required

In order to view this resource, you must log in to our site. Please sign in now.

If you don't already have an acount with us, registering is free and quick. Register now.

Sign In    Register