Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, Wearables

@ThingsExpo: Blog Feed Post

Meet the Sensors By @PSilvas | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #Wearables

It’s all the various sensors inside the devices that are doing the actual measuring, calculating, tracking and reporting

I often write about the Internet of Things, or the soon-to-be-cliché IoT. You know, the smart-fridges, smart-cars, smart-thermostats, healthcare devices, wearables and any of those connected devices that have a sensor, gathers data and reports back to some entity. You are able to control these devices (and see the data) with mobile apps or even your own voice and gestures. They are all the rage and sitting at the top of the Gartner Hype Cycle.

But it’s all the various sensors inside those devices that are doing the actual measuring, calculating, tracking and reporting. Each has its own specialty providing specific functionality. I’ve always wondered about what’s inside some of the wearables so let’s take a look at a few.

What-is-an-Accelerometer-sensorHave you ever wondered what spins the screen so you’re not looking at an upside down picture? That’s an Accelerometer. It measures orientation and movement. The iPhone was the first to use this back in 2007 and amazement ensued. It can tell the difference between running away from a charging buffalo in Yellowstone verses making faces with a chimp at the zoo. It can also tell if you’re sleeping simply by the fact that you haven’t moved for a while. These are typically used to track step count and how well you’ve rested.

I noted that the accelerometer measures step count but what about those steps up a flight of stairs? Well, that would be the Altimeter. Altimeters measure altitude so it can sense changes in height. In conjunction with the steps the accelerometer counted, the altimeter will add its bits and give you a more accurate calorie count for those fire escape runs. Instead of asking how tall someone is, next time ask ‘What’s your alti?’

DROUGHT ridge 011414And if you’re going to step out for a run, you might want to know if it’ll be sunny or sprinkles during the trek. Often seen as a smaller dial on an outdoor clock but now on wristbands, a Barometer measures atmospheric pressure – the weight of air in the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s used in forecasting the weather and you often hear meteorologists note, ‘There’s a high ridge of atmospheric pressure keeping the rain away.’ At least that’s what they’ve been saying in California about the drought.

So you thought of attempting an Iron Man competition but wondered if your device could differentiate between the swimming, biking and running. You’re in luck if your device has a Gyroscope. Using the Earth’s gravity, it can help determine orientation. The big difference between an accelerometer and a gyroscope is that a gyroscope can also measure rotation or more specifically, the rate of rotation around a particular axis. Gyroscopes take into account the Earth’s gravity and rotation while the accelerometer does not.

gpsIf tracking stars for navigation and location like the early Polynesians is not your style, then the ever popular GPS is your tool. Using three satellites to ‘triangulate’ your location, the receiver measures distance to the first satellite. Based on that, you are in a certain sphere location on the planet. It then measures the distance to the second satellite to get another sphere location. Therefore, you must be somewhere on the circle where these two spheres intersect. By using a third satellite reading, the sphere that cuts through the circle of the intersection of the first two spheres narrows your location even more. Now our position is narrowed to two points in space. One of those two points is so absurd and instantly tossed, thus leaving you with an exact location.

There are a bunch of other sensors like Optical Heart Rate Monitors, typically worn on the wrist and it shines a tiny light against your skin to measure the blood pumping through your arm veins. And the various Gesture Tech things that use a little camera to see your hand and body movements to translate that into action on a gaming device, or a drone following your Snake River Canyon jump or even turning up the volume on the TV. It’d be cool to move something out of the way by effortlessly swiping your hand in the air, huh?

Sensors have been all around us for a while but now they are becoming close confidants. We should get to know our new Ohana.

ps

Related

More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...