Article: Mesh Networks and the Future of the Smart Home

Autonomous Internet, Hardware

Mesh Networks and the Future of the Smart Home

When this burden on existing home networking infrastructure is increased five-fold or more, the pressure will become too large and smart home devices rendered useless. For example, an unreliable internet connection could prevent security cameras from recording an intruder or triggering an alarm notification to go off.

Fortunately, all is not lost. A new networking paradigm is already here in the form of mesh networks. Mesh networks are designed to replace complicated router-and-extender setups with multiple identical nodes being placed around the home to create a large cloud of Wi-Fi coverage. The nodes are designed to be used in tandem and don’t build separate networks – so wherever you go within the cloud, you’ll always be seamlessly and automatically connected to the nearest node.

The mesh network nodes allow data to be routed directly the where it needs to go within the network without having to be sent to the router and back. This reduces the burden on the router; furthermore, if a device is in proximity to more than one node, it can connect to all those nodes in range and benefit from the improved bandwidth the multiple nodes provide.

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Article: Measuring strain using low-cost Bluetooth technology

Autonomous Internet, Cloud, Data, Operating Systems

Measuring strain using low-cost Bluetooth technology

One key feature of the B24 is the ability for multiple transmission. By tapping into the advertising data channels of Bluetooth Low Energy, it allows multiple transmitters to transmit to one device, and one transmitter to be viewed by multiple devices. This one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one and many-to-many capability really opens up the access to data.

However, the hardware technology is only one half of the story. Being able to use your phone to take a reading is only valuable if the app offers the same kind of flexibility and customisation as a dedicated HMI or control system. To achieve this, we’ve developed an app for both iOS and Android that features dashboards that can be customised to your own preferences.

So, what implications does this have for industry? These breakthroughs in Bluetooth technology and app customisation mean that engineers have more flexible options available to them, with Bluetooth offering a cost-effective option in between — proving that strain measurement doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking.

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Article: Solving Family Internet Demands With A Mesh Network Is Easier Than It Sounds

Autonomous Internet, Hardware

Solving Family Internet Demands With A Mesh Network Is Easier Than It Sounds

The benefit is that you still only have one WiFi network and one password. As you move around the home, your device gets data from which ever satellite it is closest to. With loads of devices this makes it so much easier to set-up than other ways of extending the signal that have to be logged onto separately. This much I knew, what I hadn’t anticipated was how far a Mesh network could reach.

A particular challenge in my home is that my office is a good 20 meters from the house. I had tried other ways of extending the WiFi to reach without success. I’d also opted to send Internet down the power cable for a while, but this suffered from interference from other electrical devices.

By placing one Mesh satellite unit in the house and one in the office I’ve had no trouble connecting to the WiFi and getting excellent speeds. As you can see it’s quite a distance.

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Article: Military researchers ask industry to create secure networking software to connect sensors to shooters

Autonomous Internet, Hardware

Military researchers ask industry to create secure networking software to connect sensors to shooters

MINC seeks to build and demonstrate software that creates a secure network overlay with control mechanisms that enable distributed management of agile, self-healing networks of networks to support multi-domain kill webs in contested dynamic environments.

The program is a vital part of mosaic warfare, which seeks to assemble individual warfighting platforms like the ceramic tiles in mosaics to make a larger intelligence picture and a larger force package. The idea will be to send so many weapons and sensors at the enemy that its forces are overwhelmed.

MINC seeks to capitalize on networking advances in software-defined networking; network function virtualization for decoupling network functions from hardware; information-centric networking to discover and retrieve data securely; and intent-driven networking for autonomous mapping of user objectives to network management policies.

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Article: Brilliant Lighting Rolls Out Smart Bluetooth Lights

Autonomous Internet, Hardware

Brilliant Lighting Rolls Out Smart Bluetooth Lights

Smart home automation manufacturer Brilliant Lighting has launched a Bluetooth mesh system that allows control over large numbers of smart lights at once.

The system uses a many-to-many broadcast structure which connects devices to each other using Bluetooth to form the network. According to Brilliant Lighting, this creates a low-maintenance automation solution that reduces the load on home wi-fi networks

Brilliant Lighting has rolled out several products that work with the mesh system via a mesh gateway or through a phone’s Bluetooth connection, including smart dimmer modules compatible with existing switch plates such as HPM, Clipsal, and Vynco. The dimmers incorporate on/off as well as dimming functions, and can use schedules and timers for greater automation.

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Article: Mesh Communication Offers A New Way to Connect the Construction Worksite

Autonomous Internet, Hardware

Mesh Communication Offers A New Way to Connect the Construction Worksite

The site may be miles long. Radios work well over these distances. Bluetooth communications are limited to about half a mile, but Mesh Bluetooth technology enables each headset to act as a node, relaying the signal to the next headset, extending the range. Mesh network adapters can act as repeaters, extending the range farther, and connect to mobile phones beyond the worksite. If a driver leaves the coverage area, the headset will automatically reconnect when the driver reenters.

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Article: Throwing a light on Bluetooth

Autonomous Internet, Hardware

Throwing a light on Bluetooth

At the heart of these device network solutions is Bluetooth Mesh which looks to maximise the value of operating tens, even hundreds, of devices alongside one another.

“Critically, Bluetooth Mesh was originally designed as a commercial grade solution,” explained Sabin, “so while it can be scaled for home deployment it was designed primarily for commercial implementation and deployments.

“It operates where mandatory layered security is required. It’s one thing to deploy a light build in your home, but another when you are looking to deploy a sophisticated network for control, monitoring and access in a commercial environment. There you need the assurance that all the devices in that network and ecosystem have security in mind.

“In turn, Bluetooth Mesh has been designed as a distributed architecture that is able to maximise scalability, reduce the cost of implementation and eliminate points of failure by operating without the need for gateways. It’s a truly standalone network.”

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Article: Interoperable connected LED lighting remains a pipe dream — for now

Autonomous Internet

Interoperable connected LED lighting remains a pipe dream — for now

The Bluetooth mesh community has made more progress indoors than I foresaw as possible. We recently covered an indoor Bluetooth mesh project covering a 22-story office building with one network — no gateways or servers required. EMC, Silvair, and McWong combined on the project. And additional energy savings beyond LED installation covered the ROI. That’s progress. But the project was based on the use of McWong sensors/controllers throughout and uniformity came based on the fact that the mainly commercial-use office space was served by identical troffers throughout.

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Article: DALI Alliance defines gateway specs to Bluetooth and Zigbee wireless networks

Autonomous Internet

DALI Alliance defines gateway specs to Bluetooth and Zigbee wireless networks

“The standardized gateway between DALI lighting products and Bluetooth mesh lighting control networks will further accelerate the adoption of advanced IoT-enabled intelligent lighting systems,” said Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth SIG. “Providing valuable energy efficiencies and a more comfortable and productive experience for occupants, these sensor-rich lighting systems will also enable more efficient operation of other building systems, including HVAC and security.”

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