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rick merritt
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Can this work?
rick merritt   7/17/2013 2:01:09 PM
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...and can it be applied broadly to IoT devcies beyond those of WigWag?

Bert22306
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Re: Can this work?
Bert22306   7/17/2013 3:00:34 PM
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Only if the IoT product developers want it to work, would be my answer. This quote kind of says it all:

"Home automation is almost a dirty word among some technophiles because it's been tried and tried again and hasn't taken off."

I would say "home integration" rather than "home automation." I have PLENTY of automated appliances in my home already, including a fancy new toaster oven, but I have no need or inclination to integrate them. Even creating an IoT, for some of these home appliances, does not necessarily mean that there's any need to integrate among them.

This discussion is somewhat related to the one about automobile hacking. Next thing you know, we'll see a frenzy about the potential security holes that COULD emerge in homes, IF your kitchen faucet is tied to your washer, drier, and power meter.

Although parenthetically, it might make sense to tie your cold water kitchen faucet to the garbage disposer, to prevent the latter from being switched on in the former isn't open. Whether the Internet and your Facebook page need to know about this is something else again.

Net_chief
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Re: Can this work?
Net_chief   7/17/2013 10:15:46 PM
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1 saves
It could be useful if used in a two-stage development. Initial prototype implementation is done using the libraries. Then, following market validation that there is a significant market, start stage 2 - code, resource, cost, performance optimized implementation.

The catch is not getting caught up in release/update cycle, and allocating sufficient time and resources for State 2 development.

junko.yoshida
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China connection
junko.yoshida   7/17/2013 6:14:24 PM
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The small startup like WigWag already has a team in Wuxi, China, and the software runs on Allwinner's chip, aside from that of Freescale, speaks volume for the anticipated IoT pickup in the Chinese market. 

mcgrathdylan
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Re: China connection
mcgrathdylan   7/17/2013 8:07:13 PM
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Seems its a prerequisite nowadays for a chip company of any size to have team in China.


I thought it was an interesting design win for Allwinner. My perception of that company is that it makes relatively inexpensive apps processors for tablets, but it seems as though there is more to it than that.

junko.yoshida
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Re: China connection
junko.yoshida   7/18/2013 9:23:40 AM
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@mcgrathdylan, Allwinner is by far the number one tablet apps processor company in China. The company has big ambitions. Obviously, Allwinner wants to get into the smartphone business (and automotive). But it is interesting to learn that it appears to keep an eye on IOT. 

More on Allwinner, please go to the following link. It's based on my visit to the company located in Zhuhai.

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1264667

rick merritt
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Re: China connection
rick merritt   7/18/2013 2:45:32 AM
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Junko: I would LOVE it if you could make a stop in Wuxi on your next trip and profile this IoT center. The Zigbee folks told me about it last year. Sounds interesting!

jpnKevin
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Re: China connection
jpnKevin   7/18/2013 3:29:50 AM
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Wuxi city center is long taxi ride from the train station, about 40 minutes as I recall. 

DMcCunney
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Yet Another JavaScript Library.
DMcCunney   7/17/2013 7:08:43 PM
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What interests me is the use of a JavaScript library for the implementation language.  JavaScript is beginning to creep in everywhere, but it's a "batteries not included" language, forcing the developer to to concerned with low-level details.  A plethora of JS libraries have been spawned to encapsulate low-level operations and provide a high-level API for the developer to use, and this is yet another example.

I'm less concerned about the possibilities for home integration, and more with the industrial applications possible using this approach.  JavaScript is cross platform - as long as a JavaScript interpreter/compiler exists for the platform, you can run it - and JavaScript runtimes are available for just about everything. 

As we are moving to a world where just about everything can have an IP address and be connected by TCP-IP, I see all sorts of potential beyond the stated use case here.

 

 

 

Susan Rambo
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
Susan Rambo   7/18/2013 12:30:22 AM
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DMcCunney, do you think Javascript will be a good longterm solution for industrial M2M and IoT? I'm not completely clear. What other concerns do you have? This WigWag technology is for home automation, but will it find a home in industrial applications, too?

DMcCunney
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
DMcCunney   7/18/2013 11:28:13 AM
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I don't see why not.


Part of the problem with the IoT is the wide variety of protocols, like 6LowPAN, CoAP, DASH7, EnOcean, Insteon, Zigbee, and Z-Wave mentioned in the article.  Any grouping of IoT devices will likely be heterogenous, with each one possibly needing to be addressed and controlled in a different way.

In this case, a JavaScript library run on the controller encapsulates those differences, and provides a standard API for a programmer.  The programmer doesn't need to be concerned about the details of the devices, because the library abstracts that.

What's the difference between home and industrial applications?  For the purposes of what is being done, nothing.  They are simply seperate instances of a general problem: addressing and controlling a network of IoT devices.


The nice thing about JavaScript for this usage for this usage is that it's ubiquitous and cross-platform, and a large number of folks already know it. There is nothing tying it to the specific hardware WigWag is using.


The other possible languages I can see being used are Java and Python, which are also available for a wide variety of platforms.  And there is a well developed toolchain for working in JavaScript, starting with support in every major browser.


Developing DeviceJS might have been the single biggest part of WigWag, but once done, many things are possible.  And WigWag stated plans to make it open source, so developers encountering things the library doesn't support can contribute updates to add them.

The underlying notion - abstracting the underlying IoT devices behind a JS library - strikes me as broadly applicable beyond what WigWag is doing.


Susan Rambo
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
Susan Rambo   7/19/2013 6:42:24 AM
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Thanks for your response, DMcCunney. Have you heard of Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) (see http://mqtt.org/) I heard about it on a press junket a few years ago. Arlen Nipper, the co-founder of MQTT (he's with Eurotech, which is using MQTT in its M2M systems), was talking about Java and how it can produce less buggy products than other frequently used languages. I remembered how Java was a popular topic for embedded systems design about 10 years ago, and then it faded. Eurotech sent me a short primer on MQTT for publication.

DMcCunney
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
DMcCunney   7/19/2013 9:21:52 AM
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Yes, I'd heard of it.

Java is one of the languages I thought of as appropriate for this sort of usage.  The main reason is the cross-platform nature.  Java is "write once, run anywhere".  Java compiles to tokenized bytecode, interpreted by the Java Virtual Machine, and the bytecode is the same regardless of the machine you compile it on.  JVMs exist for almost everything.  (I have one IBM created for PalmOS devices.)  You can write Java code and compile it, and run the compiled code on a completely different architecture or OS.  I have Eclipose, written in Java, here. The same binaries run on Windows and Linux.

Note that Java and JavaScript are two very different things, whose only similarity is Java in the name,  Java was created by Dr, James Gosling at Sun Microsystems.  JavaScript was originally written by Brendan Eich for Netscape Navigator 2, and called LiveScript.  Calling it JavaScript was a Netscape marketing decision to capitalize on the popularity of the then new Java language, and has caused endless confusion since among folks who conflate them.  (These days, Brendan is Mozilla's CTO, and leads their JS development effort.)

 

cver65
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
cver65   7/26/2013 9:05:26 AM
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Susan, the issue with MQTT is that it is focusing on the wrong issues : while it _can_ be used between two IP devices, ans looks neat for implementing publish/subscribe mechanisms in lightweight clients, in practice it has no real additional value as compared to HTTP. The reason is that mainly when you have IP, you also need DHCP, DNS, etc. so HTTP additional weigth is a non-issue. OTOH, there are millions of web servers available with published APIs, but very few MQTT public sources of information. And all the presumed specific features of MQTT (QoS, etc.) are pretty useless because there is for example no good coverage of broker discovery or authentication.  After some research, I think I understood why some people push it so hard for M2M (closed) systems : it is simpler than the legacy AMQP protocol used before, and also in hands of OASIS. But M2M and IoT are different beasts.

Susan Rambo
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
Susan Rambo   7/29/2013 2:32:13 PM
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@cver65, thanks for your comment on MQTT. Do you think M2M moves over to HTTP more and more? Are you in agreement with this keynote that M2M is Dead

cver65
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
cver65   7/30/2013 4:08:48 AM
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Actually, I don't ;-)  Why would IoT differ from telematics ? Quoting that article, "It was typical to see projections of $40B industry in just three years."

If the only difference between IoT and M2M were the use of HTTP, then it would be true. But it isn't.


M2M is far from dead because it is vertically integrated, and limited to valuable niches, with carefully crafted ways to exchange information. Sadly, 90+% of IoT discussions are still about "connecting everything". That makes no sense. My TV is "connected". My game console is connected. Still most of the time I look at broadcast and play games locally. And I guess I'm not the only one.


Another myth in that is "since the Internet of Things allows us to measure everything, it now allows us to manage everything". This assumes someone paid for 50B sensors without any RoI calculation ? If that's a private network, then IoT is simply a slight cost reduction by replacing some legacy network technology by IP? But which, GPRS? it's also IP ! If the target is a truck, today, There Is No Alternative !


So no, M2M is not the father of IoT. Rather a cousin. Sure in the future there will be more Bluetooth than RS485. So what ? You'll have more batteries to replace !


About standards, of course they are needed. But there are too many, and not the right ones. Only the real market can decide which standard is good. Today it's more of a Real vs WMV vs Quicktime situation. Then Flash came and eat them all, only to be eaten by HTML5 (almost Quicktime ;-).


Platforms ? There he's right. Look at Linux/Android, or ARM/cortex.


Patents ? Can be good or evil. I think mostly evil though, even if I wrote some ;-)


Only my own opinion, of course, Hope this Helps.

Susan Rambo
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
Susan Rambo   7/30/2013 5:44:09 AM
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@cver65: Sadly, 90+% of IoT discussions are still about "connecting everything". That makes no sense. 

Our favorite marketing campaign. As you point out, common sense gets in the way: not everything should be connected. Thanks for your response. I enjoyed reading it.


TomWags
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devicejs.org
TomWags   7/18/2013 12:08:17 PM
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The devicejs.org site is now live. 

As per previous comment... yes, devicejs.org is not glued to WigWag per se. You will be able to take it, run it on other hardware, and build custom systems. WigWag uses it as the basis of their platform - but it is a layer underneath their services.

rick merritt
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Re: devicejs.org
rick merritt   7/18/2013 12:32:41 PM
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Thanks for chiming in Tom.

I would love readers to check out the devicejs.org site Tom mentioned and provide some thoughtful evaluation of what WigWag is doing.

DMcCunney
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Re: devicejs.org
DMcCunney   7/18/2013 1:01:27 PM
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Thanks for the pointer.  The code isn't up on Github yet (that's promised for November), but they're using Google's V8 JavaScript engine (which is used in Chrome), along with the widely used Node.js library, and a real-time JSON database.  JSON is also widely employed, with a simple and easily parsed structure.

So this effort rests on top of already well understood and widely deployed components.  There are all manner of possibilities beyond WigWag's initial uses.

V8 is using JiT compilation techniques to compile JavaScript to native machine code before execution, so there shouldn't be an efficiency penalty in using JavaScript for this purpose, either.  (The issue faced by both V8 and Mozilla's IonMonkey JS engine is determining when it's faster to just interpret the JavaScript instead of compiling first, and lots of work has been done on that.)

mholdmann
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Working with JXMPP clients in IoT
mholdmann   7/24/2013 10:19:34 AM
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Coversant, a platform provider is currently engaged with aicas and thier java based Jamacia products.  XMPP is now being standardized as the federsation and communications protocol for IoT in the ISO/IEEE/IEC 21451-1-4 WG as well as other data protocol standards groups.  Many of the data protocols have java implementations, OPC UA for example, or you can easily place an XMPP client on the device, amount of device memory usually dictates client.   There are controller products such as i.LON from Echelon (this is usually used in legacy buildings that have current devices that run BACnet, LonWorks, Modbus, OPC ect) which transforms/translates all the disparate protocols into XML which can then be wrapped in XMPP and sent to the endpoints applications and humans that have interest in the data or state of presence of the device, oBIX is also an alternative to an external applicance.  There is much more on the subject of IoT at mholdmann.wordpress.com.



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