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Internet of Things in five words: sensor, monkey, radio, cloud, Paris

Patrick Thibodeau | Jan. 30, 2014
If you want to build your own Internet of Things, try the toy monkey hack.

Silver Spring Networks, a company that develops networks for utilities, is working to reduce the cost of streetlights in Paris, the "City of Lights," by about 30% over the next decade. This week the company announced a sensor network for broad use.

The intent of its new network, the SilverLink Sensor Network, is to provide common networking architecture and security provisioning to readily enable the addition of new sensors and applications, said Eric Dresselhuys, executive vice president of global development at Silver Spring, and one of its founders.

Dresselhuys said governments everywhere "are increasingly worried about the livability of cities." Communities want to improve traffic management and better use their resources.

Creating connected devices is getting traction in the Maker Movement community, but the IoT components that Digi sells also appeal to IT shops in industries and governments that are "trying to build quick solutions and rapid prototypes to show what's possible," said Joel Young, Digi's CTO and SVP of research and development.

Digi, which has been building machine-to-machine connected systems since 1985, makes systems used in a wide range industries. It also offers cloud services that connect devices to applications and enable, for instance, a traffic light to call for its own repair.

When he looks at the changes coming via the IoT, Young said people may not even notice. "It's the kind of thing that sneaks up on you," he said.


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