Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Speck Trek

The future of computing is all about getting everything on the Net to create an era when computers can automatically monitor and control all sorts phenomena once beyond the reach of digital, networked technology. Today a spinoff from the University of Spain is taking one small step toward that future of ubiquitous computing with the release of Squidbee, an open source hardware mote for sensor networks.

Libelium consists of about seven researchers who have developed a sensor network control point and a gateway suitable for Zigbee and Wi-Fi mesh nets. The products are available as schematic circuit designs and source code for the programs that are running inside the mote. As far as I can tell the design is available for free under a Creative Commons license. You can also buy the products from Libelium if you prefer.

There are plenty of other companies making sensor network systems and software, but none I am aware of providing the designs free of charge. This is an important direction that I have been watching out of the corner of one eye. Please chime in if you have any insights to add about Libelium's move or what's going on in sensor nets generally.

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