Thursday, October 29, 2009

IoT2010 - Announcement of 2nd International Conference on Internet of Things, 2010 in Japan

Finally, here is the announcement of IoT 2010 (find the CfP here):

Tokyo — Internet of Things (IoT 2010), a three-day public conference, gathers leading researchers from academia and industry to elaborate on the major themes of the emerging Internet of Things. On November 29, 2010 focused workshops and tutorials feature in a pre-conference program. On the two following days, researchers and industrial practitioners meet and present talks and keynotes in front of an expected audience of 300 visitors.

The 1st International Conference on Internet of Things 2008 in Zurich discussed the fundamental challenges of interconnected objects forming an Internet of Things (IoT); from consumables to assets, from food to high-value items. The Internet of Things Conference 2010 ( will explore the technical requirements and business challenges to address today’s societal challenges with IoT technology: health monitoring systems to support the aging society, distributed awareness to help predict natural disasters and react more appropriately, track & trace to help reduce traffic congestion, product lifetime information to improve recyclability, transparency of transportation to reduce carbon footprint, and more insights into various kinds of processes to improve optimization. This conference will continue the success of the International Internet of Things Conference 2008 in Zurich and will put a dedicated focus on the IoT infrastructure and applications, facilitating environmental responsibility, an "IoT for a Green Planet".

Today, connectivity and increased bandwidth of the Internet have borne a huge number of services such as email, e-commerce, e-banking, VoiP – many of those have become a commodity. However, the World-Wide Web today still only represents a fraction of information about our real-world. To foster the automatic integration of a larger fraction of the 100 trillions of physical items crafted by 6.5 billion people per year into today’s Internet, the infrastructure of the IoT will have to be heterogeneous: besides the 2 billion computers and 4 billion mobile phones additional objects will connect, some of which will have their own Internet Protocol addresses, others may even run web-services (sometimes to referred to as ‘Web of Things’), use sensors to perceive their environment (e.g. food logging its temperature along the supply-chain) and use actuators to interact with it (e.g. chemical explosives warning staff from close collocation).

“In the recent years, we have gained a rough understanding of what the Internet of Things really is and how likely unfolds in nature", says Elgar Fleisch, professor at ETH Zurich and the University of St. Gallen, co-chair of the Auto-ID Labs, and co-chair of IoT 2008 and IoT2010. "However, we still lack some of the essential global standards and infrastructures that would drive adoption on a broader scale". The goal of IoT 2010 is to gather the stakeholders in order to continue work on technical requirements and business needs to build the Internet of Things.

Thanks to the recent advances of miniaturization and the plunge of costs in RFID devices, sensor networks, NFC and wireless communications, the technologies and applications around the concept of the IoT became increasingly relevant for industry and end users. Detection of the status of physical things through sensors, collection and processing of item-level data allow us to respond to real-world changes instantly. This fully interactive and responsive network yields immense potential for consumers and businesses.

"The existing Internet is just an infrastructure for the Internet of Things”, says Jun Murai, professor at Keio University, chairman of the board of directors of the Auto-ID Labs, and conference chair of IoT 2010.“The Internet of Things is the key to solving many real-world problems. That is why we decided the conference theme to be IoT for a Green Planet at this time.”.

Clearly with the close interlinking of physical objects and cyberspace also privacy and security have to be answered properly. “There will be areas where user acceptance is essential: The possibility to locate and trace objects is certainly much welcome if you have lost your keys, but it will not be accepted if the government uses it to snoop on its citizens”, says Friedemann Mattern, professor at ETH Zurich and co-chair of IoT 2008.

Keynote speakers, researchers and industry experts will discuss the immense potential for consumers and industry, how items can be integrated with the internet to sense, check, and act to fulfill known and latent consumer and business needs. Practitioners will report on latest real-world implementations, applications, and experiences.

In addition to the main conference on November 30 and December 1, a pre-conference program on November 29 will feature several workshops focusing on dedicated topics such as standards, prototyping, social and organizational aspects, and specific applications of the IoT for interconnected and interoperable vehicles. Furthermore, there will be tutorials putting across fundamentals on today’s core technologies of the IoTsuch as sensor networks, RFID and corresponding software frameworks.

For more information on the Internet of Things Conference 2010 visit or contact

Friday, October 23, 2009

Towards a Do-it-yourself-Internet of Things

I'm quite happy about my recent purchase of Sonos, an always on network stereo, that streams music from any source (NAS, internet radio, etc.) to my home without requiring a computer. For me it's the first embedding of streams into my physical home.
Simultaneously, I'm quite proud about the doll's kitchen I build for my daugther from standard components you can get in a hardware store.

I also have a couple of ideas concerning improvements of the Sonos interace, coupling of my Sonos with location information and alike. I'm wondering how long it still takes until laymen can build and extend Internet services embedded in physical environments using standard components and tools - similarly, as I could for building the doll's kitchen. Probably still along way to go - that's why we're submitting a project proposal about that to the EU today...

Who am I?

In the old days of the web I used altavista and all that other crawlers and was excited to find out what the web knows about me. Today, there are more sophisticated solutions, such as people search engines (123people, pipl). Just recently, I tried Personas:
It does not matter so much about whether this is right or wrong, it matters that others can find this information. I probably should stop publishing papers about Anti-Counterfeiting in order to lower my hits in the categories of legal/illegal...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Korea Visit: Auto-ID Labs meeting and conferences

I was invited to give two talks one on the status of European research in RFID and sensor networks and another one on our current research in St. Gallen and ETH Zurich. When I was talking about our new iphone app Peaks (which I was proud to test successfully in Korea!) I received an interesting comment“…there is no iphone in Korea.”.

In conjunction with the conference there was also a fascinating exhibition about RFID. I must admit I ‘ve never visited interesting RFID exhibition so far mostly showing reader gates and tags, but this one was really exciting. Obviously, “green” is an important topic also in Korea which was reflected by at least four high-tech bicycle renting systems providing access to public bikes through RFID cards in combination with sophisticated locks. Slightly over-engineered but exciting indeed. I noticed green-ouse monitoring, sensor-augmented Taek-Wondo gear and the usual stuff, such as smart shelfe and military apps. Finally, the electronic colorful price tags gave a good impression about the opportunities of display information in our supermarkets of tomorrow.

As part of the conference we got access to the running Incheon Expo displaying technology and future vision of living of tomorrow, again with a dedicated focus on “green technology”. Due to the fear of the H1N1 virus we first had to pass a disinfection gate before entering the site – pretty strange experience. Among others, I enjoyed the art pieces showing how to sweep the ground off virtually leaves (once all trees have died but to maintain the tradition;) and the auto-transformation of textual news into graphical icons. In the exhibition I noticed the quite different notion of responsibility: instead of the rather individual share as we practice in Europe meaning everybody tries to contribute his share by his individual behavior, I understood that in Korea this is rather centralized and delegated to institutions, government and companies taking care of you.

Finally, I got the chance to travel South to the another event, the Koala 2009 RFID USN conference where I gave another talk on my favorite topic of building an Internet of Things for everyone. I took the chance of a train ride in order to enjoy the country-side from a window seat. Korea consists of countless hills – in order to gain culture land land is often reclaimed at the sea side.

After several conservations I was amazed about the huge funds of Korea provided for research and education, the huge percentage of academics of the population ( was told over 80% would study – though I haven’t verified), and tremendous attitude of almost living at the work place. I guess we’ll hear more from Korean rather soon…