Internet of Things

Carnegie Mellon To Lead Internet of Things Expedition

Google has selected Carnegie Mellon University to lead a multi-university project to create new technology for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Internet of Things involves adding sensors and network connectivity to everyday objects so people and other devices can interact with them. Google funded the Open Web of Things expedition "to encourage universities to explore various aspects of system design that could help enable the Internet of Things," said Maggie Johnson, director of university relations for Google, in a prepared statement. Google will provide Carnegie Mellon with $500,000 to launch the expedition.

As part of the project, researchers from Carnegie Mellon will collaborate with colleagues at Cornell, Stanford, University of Illinois, and Google to create GIoTTO, a new platform to support IoT applications. According to a statement from Carnegie Mellon, "initial plans for GIoTTO include sensors that are inexpensive and easy to deploy, new middleware to facilitate app development and manage privacy and security, and new tools that enable end users to develop their own IoT experiences."

Google chose Carnegie Mellon to lead the project because of its plan to turn the Carnegie Mellon campus into a living laboratory through the large scale deployment of IoT technology. One of the first milestone's in CMU's Open Web of Things expedition will include the development of an app store, "where any campus member and the larger research community will be able to develop and share an IoT script, action, multiple-sensor feed or application easily and widely," said Anind K. Dey, lead investigator of the expedition and director of CMU's Human-Computer Interaction Institute, in a prepared statement. "Because many novel IoT applications require a critical mass of sensors, CMU will use inexpensive sensors to add IoT capability to 'dumb' appliances and environments across the campus."

To help ensure the privacy of users, a second team of CMU researchers is creating personalized privacy assistants "that help users configure the many privacy settings necessary to ensure that they retain adequate control over their data," said Norman Sadeh, a professor of computer science at CMU, in a prepared statement.

CMU researchers have already created new IoT technology, including Snap2It, which lets users connect to a printer or projector by taking a photo of it with their smartphone, and Impromptu, which accesses apps as needed, such as a public transit app when the user is at a bus stop.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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