Webinos and IOT applications

As already known, webinos aims at the definition of a platform to enable web applications to be used within several domains such as mobile, PC, in-car units and home media.

webinos partners have recently turned their attention towards the IoT world and all these scenarios which involve the interoperation between Web applications and real life objects.

Not too far from IoT there is the concept of Machine-to-Machine (M2M). M2M represents a future where billions to trillions of everyday objects are connected and managed, without the user intervention, through a range of devices, communication networks, and cloud-based servers. Typical problems of scenarios related to the M2M world are for example the discovery of devices, security in the communication, the lack of a common set of APIs for interacting with very heterogeneous devices such as sensors and actuators.

webinos platform can face some typical aspects of IoT and M2M applications. In particular, webinos provides specific APIs to develop applications which use Sensors and Actuators placed inside user’s Personal Zone or belonging to other PZs exploiting the PZH-to-PZH communication. Also the discovery mechanism and security management offered by webinos can successfully meet the majority of M2M issues. About this topic, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting at the IEEE iThings 2012 conference, the paper “A Novel approach to Web of Things: M2M and enhanced Javascript technologies” which was written together with other webinos partners. The paper proposes webinos as a valid platform to enable both development and execution of M2M applications. However, sensors and actuators can’t be connected directly to a PZP (such as a PC or a smartphone) but they require a kind of “proxy” who mediates the communication. Arduino board could give the answer to these kind of problems.

Arduino is an Italian prototype board which is gaining more and more success in recent times. The main factors which have encouraged Arduino’s success are low cost, a community of developers around it and a wide set of available shields to extend its base capabilities.

Recently webinos platform allows a user to extend a PZP with a series of sensors and actuators using an Arduino board as a proxy. For the end user it is transparent if the sensor he requested through an application is directly exposed by the PZP or through an external board. Now webinos platform provides drivers for the communication between Arduino boards and a PZP using HTTP or Serial protocols. The next step will be implementing also drivers to allow wireless communication PZP-Arduino such as Zigbee and Bluetooth.

The following picture shows an example of a feasible topology.

 

 

 

Currently it is possible seeing webinos and Arduino in action through a demo application called IoT Dashboard. This application allows user to interact with sensors and actuators placed inside their PZ and also with those owned by other users according to security policies. User can attach on the fly an Arduino board to his PZP (for example a PC) directly through USB or Ethernet wires or through a router.

In particular the application allows users to show a list for all available sensors and to display a graphical representation for each one. For each actuator instead, it is possible to set the current value choosing among a set of eligible values. Finally, through the rules’ page, a user can set some relationships between sensors and actuators, specifying the value the actuator should assume when the current value for a sensor exceeds a certain threshold.

Below there are some screenshots of IOT Dashboard application.

 

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