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GCN : March 2015
SUPER SENSORS 28 GCN MARCH 2015 • GCN.COM you need to deploy something,” he said. “I suggested that if we could de- ploy a network of secure enclosures with power and Internet in Chicago then we could essentially host the development and prototyping and research associated with next- generation technologies.” The city agreed to place and deliver power to 500 of the boxes produced by Catlett’s team. Even before fully deploying the first set of boxes, the team is pre- paring to expand the reach of the Array of Things. “Right now we are in a six-month force march to be able to produce these things in quantity – going from handmade prototypes to mass-manufacturable design,” said Catlett. “At last count, we have 11 other cities that expressed interest in them.” Eventually, the sensor boxes will be solar powered. And Catlett’s team is working to make them smaller and more intelligent. “We want to be able to do as much data processing at the node as we can before we transmit data,” he said. “Part of the strategy is to reduce the amount of communication you need. If you can process right and on the node you can actually get much more bang for your buck out of these kinds of sensors. That’s where we are headed. We view this as a programmable device, not just a set of sensors to deploy.” According to Catlett, data collected by the Array of Things will be open to the public. Data will also be available through Plenar.io, a centralized hub for open datasets from around the world that was created by the Urban Center for Com- putation and Development, a joint project of Argonne and the University of Chicago. 5D SMART SAN FRANCISCO 2030 DISTRICT Another promising federal lab-city gov- ernment collaboration on IoT is the 5D Smart San Francisco 2030 District, a joint undertaking of the city of San Francisco, CityZenith, a SaaS platform provider, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The project has recently moved from pro- totype to the deployment state, according to its developers. The 5D Smart San Francisco began when CityZenith, looking for a pilot proj- ect for its data visualization platform, ap- proached the city. “Our original goal was to work with the Department of the En- vironment to visualize compliance with the city’s green building ordinance,” said Michael Jansen, CEO of CityZenith. The plan was to incorporate the city’s annually aggregated data on the en- ergy consumption of city buildings into CityZenith’s platform for analy- sis and display. But plans quickly grew to include other informa- tion, including real-time data. “Now we’re starting to layer addi- tional sets of relevant data to cre- ate a more complex and dynamic understanding of the scope and breadth of the problems as well as the scope and breadth of the available solutions to the prob- lems,” said Jansen. Among the data providers cur- rently working with the project is EcoMesh, which provides real- time energy usage data, Street- LightData, which combines and analyzes data streams from real- time monitors of traffic and wire- less mobile devices and Helios, which offers an integrated suite of building energy analytics related to energy retrofits. According to Barry Hooper, a private-sector green building specialist, “The city is acting as the anchor by ensuring that we provide basic information about how large commercial buildings are performing, their annual en- ergy consumption. Our starting point is to offer just a clear visual- ization of the annual energy con- sumption data and then to invite in other players who have more detailed information.” Hooper envisions the project as a way to increase awareness on the part of planners and building own- ers and to encourage the adoption of best practices and best-in-class energy man- agement solutions. “Cities have generated more data in the past couple of years than they have in the previous hundreds,” added Jansen. “And the vast majority of that is unstructured and therefore either unused or under- used. We’re now working with ways to make that data more useful, visible and interactive.” The initial model of 5D Smart San Fran- cisco was expected to be released by the end of February, with additional datasets to be linked in over the following weeks. • SECURITY AND STANDARDS FOR THE IOT As is not uncommon with emerging technologies, adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), especially in government, is being slowed by concerns about security and a lack of standards. With respect to security concerns, the Federal Trade Commission in January released a report, “Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World,” that noted that connecting a wide array of insecure devices presents potentially major risks. According to the report, “Unauthorized persons might exploit security vulnerabilities to create risks to physical safety in some cases.” The report cited one instance in which a hacker was able to access two different connected insulin pumps and change their settings so that they no longer delivered medicine. In another case, a hacker was able to access a car ’s telematics unit and take control of the vehicle’s engine and braking systems. “Although the risks currently may be small, they could be amplified as fully automated cars, and other automated physical objects, become more prevalent,” warned the report. As for IoT standards, the major push is by the Industrial Internet Consortium, a non-profit group formed by AT&T, Cisco, General Electric, IBM and Intel in March 2014. Already the group has more than 150 members, including a handful of major universities. In response to both security and standardization concerns, NIST launched a public working group in June 2014 to explore the array of related issues facing those working to implement IoT projects in both the public and private sectors. — Patrick Marshall 0315gcn_028-028.indd 28 3/5/15 12:45 PM