SAN JOSE, Calif. — In the Internet of Things, Mark Noworolski knows where the rubber meets the road -- literally. The co-founder and chief technology officer of Streetline Inc. has his smart hockey pucks embedded in the pavement of several thousand parking spots.
Mark Noworolski is one of a handful of top execs who will talk about their real-world experiences the first week of April at the IoT Engineering Summit, part of EE Live! 2014 in San Jose. Other speakers include Alicia Asin, co-founder and CEO of Libelium and Clifford Federspiel, founder and CTO of Vigilent.
The venture-backed startup is raising funds now as it tries to grow its profile beyond use in 50 cities, including in a fifth of all metered parking spots in Los Angeles. It believes when it comes to IoT it has followed the money.
"A lot of IoT apps are struggling to understand their business case," said Noworolski. "But parking lots have money associated with them -- half a billion dollars a year in New York City, for example -- but lots are often poorly managed or managed in the blind. We shine a lot of sunlight on that," he said.
Keeping the sun on is no easy job. Streetline in Foster City, Calif., designs its hockey puck nodes, repeaters, and aggregation points and maintains a cloud service hosted on Amazon's servers. The system generates a lot of questions about "where do we do what processing," he said.
Currently, Streetline uses nodes from Linear Technology based on the 802.15.4e mesh network running the Wireless Hart protocol. But it's kicking the tires on its options.
Cellular M2M alternatives still consume too much power and have costs an order of magnitude too high. The LoRa technology from Semtech uses a star topology that would eliminate repeaters and runs on a sub-gigahertz band that "gets reliable connections a kilometer away -- that’s compelling," Noworolski said.
But Streetline has unanswered questions about the maturity of the LoRa protocol as well as bandwidth and interference issues it might face in a star topology. So for the moment, the startup is staying parked with its mesh network.
EE Live! 2014 also features the Embedded Systems Conference, along with the Black Hat Embedded Security Summit, the Hardware Startup Engineering Summit and special two-day intensive courses on C++ and Embedded Android. The three-day expo features 200-plus vendors. For more information and to register, go to www.eeliveshow.com.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times