Recent articles

Deutsche Telekom at CeBIT 2015

CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, is the world’s largest exhibition and conference for IT and digital business. In this post we would like to share some pictures of the Deutsche Telekom booth at CeBIT 2015 and some M2M use cases displayed there.

This year’s booth was dedicated to the motto Wirtschaftswunder 4.0 – Digitization made in Germany.

CeBIT-M2M-use-cases

 

The industrial displays on the booth were a special eye-catcher.

CeBIT-industrial-automation

 

There were several M2M use cases that displayed the wide array of possibilities how Machine-to-Machine is a value to areas like engineering and production.

CeBIT-connected-industry-platform

 

One of the highlights was the “Industrie 4.0 Paket,” a starter kit for connected industry. The package contains hardware for machines to go online, a SIM card, as well as access to the “Cloud der Dinge” platform, which is hosted in data centers in Germany.

CeBIT-industrie-40-paket

 

 

CeBIT-industrie-40-paket-wall

 

The showcases on the booth were varied and versatile. Seen below is the Connected Canyon Bike.

CeBIT-connected-canyon-bike

 

On a large screen visitors could monitor sewing machines by Dürkopp-Adler, which showed a connected sewing machine solution.

CeBIT-connected-sewing-machines

 

An electro scooter by Kumpan shows the battery status of the vehicle in real time.

CeBIT-kumpan-scooter

 

Just like at the Mobile World Congress, the app myKIDIO was another highlight on the booth, as displayed here in a BMW with BMW ConnectedDrive.

CeBIT-mykidio-bmw

Comments (0)

Recent comments on this article

Impressions from Mobile World Congress 2015

In the past week experts from the mobile and communications industry gathered in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress to learn about new innovations.

At the Deutsche Telekom booth, myKIDIO was on display, showing how the app can entertain children from the ages of three to 13 during a car ride.
The innovative in-car entertainment app made its debut at Mobile World Congress, being shown to the public for the very first time.

MWC-myKIDIO-BMW-booth

 

The app also offers a special “BMW Kids Cockpit,” with which the little ones can gather information on the trip’s length or speed travelled.

MWC-myKIDIO-Demo-iPad

 

A screen at the booth also showed how parents in the front seat get to see the entertainment their children are enjoying in the back seat.

MWC-myKIDIO-BMW-close-up

 

 

Here is a video in German language explaining the app’s functionalities.

 

At the GSMA Innovation City the Global M2M Association (GMA), which Deutsche Telekom is also part of, displayed their Multi-Domestic-Service solution at the Mobile World Congress.

DSC_0020

 

The connectivity management service offers a GSMA-compliant embedded SIM, instant product life-cycle management, SIM localization, real time-connectivity management, and powerful administration features all on one platform.

DSC_0014

 

Together with its members the GMA aims to enhance service quality by eliminating borders and delivering seamless M2M services globally.

MWC-GMA-1

Comments (0)

Recent comments on this article

Three Things that Raspberry Pi Puts on the Net

Few innovations have caused such a stir among the makers in recent years as Raspberry Pi. Since it was launched a large number of projects have taken shape, including in the Internet of Things. All about M2M presents three of them.

 

While I was studying for my Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, I also worked for the university as the Director of Studies, organizing undergraduate studies. Every year we got fewer people applying to study computer science, and every year the sorts of things incoming students knew how to do got less impressive.

 

That is how Eben Upton described his motivation to construct Raspberry Pi in a Wired interview.

In 2006 today’s Executive Director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation began to develop the single-board computer with his colleagues. Six years later they launched the first model on the market. More than five million have been sold so far. They can be connected in the normal way with a display and a keyboard and used as a computer, as a media center, or to realize ideas for the Internet of Things. All about M2M has taken a look around the scene and here presents several exciting projects:

The Smart Doorbell

Classic doorbells have a serious drawback. Residents must always be within hearing distance. If, say, they are in the garden or turn up the volume of their music, the visitor will have to wait. For people with impaired hearing or who are deaf the situation is even more difficult – and that is why Daniel Garden has connected his doorbell to his smartwatch. Here is how he outlines the project on Twitter:

Project doorbell complete. + @adafruit PiPlate + @cammakespace lasercutter + + PC speakers = :-D

 

If somebody rings the doorbell Raspberry Pi automatically sends a message to a terminal device. Garden used his Pebble smartwatch, which draws attention to itself by vibrating and emitting a message sound and indicates on the display that somebody has rung the doorbell. This is how it looks in practice.

If you now feel interested in connecting your doorbell by means of Raspberry Pi, take a look at the instructions on Garden’s blog.

The Magic Mirror

What most people see when they look in the mirror is their own mirror image, but the Dutch hobbyist Michael Teeuw sees more. His connected mirror shows the latest weather forecast, the day’s news headlines, and his upcoming dates.

To convert the mirror into a connected display Teeuw removed a flat screen from its frame and mounted it behind a “spy mirror,” a one-way mirror that lets light through in one direction only. Teeuw has published a detailed description of the design process in his blog. A slight challenge that he faced was to find a monitor that did not have its connections on the back. He needed one to keep the distance from the wall to a minimum.

Teeuw connected Raspberry Pi to the monitor by HDMI and a USB WiFi adapter provides the connection with the Internet. The single-board computer boots Raspbian automatically (Raspbian is a Linux-based operating system based on Debian Linux), and once it starts it automatically shows a browser in full-screen mode. The target website is stored on an Apache Web server that also runs under Raspberry Pi. The website retrieves the data requested via various APIs and arranges them in an attractively designed interface.

Internet of Toilets

It may sound made, but the digital revolution has even made its mark on the bathroom. Visit instructables.com, for example, for instructions on how to connect your toilet to the Internet. A user by the name of e024576, for instance, documents automatically on a Google Drive spreadsheet significant events such as flushing the toilet or changing the toilet roll. Why does he want to know all of that in such detail? Because it can be done, he explains on instructables.com.

To record the toilet flush the user repurposed the filling-level sensor of an aquarium. A photocell in the holder registers the changing of a toilet roll. The two sensors’ signals are relayed wirelessly to a Raspberry Pi that uses the Python API gspread to enter the event data in a Google Drive spreadsheet. On this basis, for example, the consumption of water and toilet paper is easily calculated. Interested? Then listen to this 31C3 lecture by Tobias Preuss.

Comments (0)

Recent comments on this article

Camping Goes Online With Moving Hotspot

Deutsche Telekom together with Eura Mobil displayed Internet connectivity on the go at CMT 2015.

Vacationing in a caravan can be a fun family experience. Imagine soothing nature and a relaxing atmosphere, dinner under the stars, and breakfast in the sun. But sometimes it is also good to be connected to the outside world, like on rainy days, when leaving the camper is not an option and the kids can’t go and play outside. Deutsche Telekom’s mobile hotspot solution – Moving Hotspot – for in-vehicle use provides vacationers with a dependable Internet connection, anytime, anywhere, to make boring days inside a thing of the past. Moving Hotspot allows for activities such as uploading vacation pictures, sending greetings to loved ones at home, or staying up to date with the latest news.

At CMT, the world’s largest public trade fair for tourism and leisure, this offering was displayed together with Eura Mobil. Today, we would like to share some impressions from the fair, which took place in Stuttgart, Germany.

Moving-Hotspot-CMT-2 Moving-Hotspot-CMT-3 Moving-Hotspot-CMT-4 Moving-Hotspot-CMT-5 Moving-Hotspot-CMT-caravan-1

Comments (0)

Recent comments on this article

Home Automation: “When you collaborate, it takes the world further forward”

When 12-year-olds experiment with switchable kreuzer_portraitpower sockets, most parents will probably break out into a cold sweat, but Kai Kreuzer’s parents weren’t scared. Today, Kreuzer is a developer evangelist at Deutsche Telekom. In this interview with ‘All about M2M’ the Connected Home expert talks about the development of home automation and the advantages of open source projects.

 

Mr. Kreuzer, you gained your initial experience with home automation when you were young. How did you go about it?

I was interested in computers from an early age. My first was a Commodore VC 20, followed by a C64. I burned my own EPROMs for it, plugged devices into the parallel port and fixed small contacts to the door of my room. When the door was opened, music was played automatically.

Where did you go from there?

I mounted my first touch screen on the living room wall in 2000. It consisted of a 15-inch monitor and an an industrial touch panel. The uses to which I put it included media control.

A few years later I and my family were looking for a house. My preference was for a newbuild because I wanted to install as many cables as possible. In an existing building the cabling would have been much more difficult. Before the construction work began I looked into what was available in the area of home automation. We then used the KNX system. Amongst other features it made all shutters, lighting and heating switchable. What we lacked was a good control device. In those days it was usually a monitor firmly attached to the wall. But the monitors available at the time were very expensive. Two thousand euros each was pretty well standard. Apple launched an optimal and relatively low-cost control device, the iPod Touch, in 2007. What I needed was the right control software for it.

And it had to be open source?

I didn’t want a commercial solution because I couldn’t be sure that support would be available for the system for the next 20 to 30 years. What was more, it was not yet clear which provider would go on to integrate features that I felt to be important. So open source was the best solution.

Are there other reasons why the Smart Home or the Internet of Things harmonize well with open source?

Many manufacturers simply lack the market clout and size to take on the top dogs – Google with Nest and Apple with HomeKit – and establish a proprietary system in the market. Many alliances have been set up to try and challenge the top dogs, but they often have a strong business-driven and therefore a political focus. AllSeen and OIC, for example, have positioned themselves as separate camps even though both of them are effectively pursuing the same objective. So an open source project that is managed by a neutral organization is a very sensible alternative.

You said that you needed the right control software in 2007. Did you find it?

Yes. In the home automation sector, for example, there was MisterHouse, a Perl-based project. It could already do quite a lot and even had a Web UI for the iPhone. I used it for the control software that ran on my iPod Touch. To begin with, I really liked MisterHouse and its functionalities, but after six months the problems came to light. The huge Perl scripts could not be kept clean in the long term because, for instance, there were no good developer tools for debugging it. There was also nobody to keep the project together. There were many different forks with different further functional developments, but they were not merged and brought together again.

I then tested another project with OpenRemote. There too I was strongly involved and led architectural discussions. But the project would have had to be rebuilt from scratch to implement the modular architecture I had in mind. So in 2010 I decided to launch an open source project of my own, openHAB.

And that was where you then implemented your modular architecture?

Yes. I relied from the outset on OSGi, or modularization for Java applications, because with OSGi you can create clean interfaces via which developers can simply expand the system. openHAB developers can largely circumvent problems such as overlapping classes or merging code.

Does that mean the developers involved work mainly on individual modules?

Exactly. By and large, most active developers have their own area – usually links to another system, or bindings, but there are graduations. There is a core of around ten to 20 people who take part almost daily on the mailing list and answer queries submitted by others. Then there are developers who wrote a part of the initial code but then no longer had enough spare time and no longer do very much. Others use the system and hit on a bug that they analyze and suggest fixes or even supply a bug fix themselves.

How are decisions made within the community? Does the group deliberate or do individuals tend to take matters forward?

Core decisions are now made at Eclipse SmartHome because we transferred the core framework of openHAB to the Eclipse Foundation last year. It is a non-profit organization with well-defined processes for holding discussions and making decisions. A fundamental aspect is that all discussions must be conducted in public. New ideas and proposals may not really be rejected unless there are good reasons for doing so, such as because they would interrupt downward compatibility.

You realized with your project that there was a demand for the right home automation software. Why did you not set up a company of your own?

I first wanted to solve my own problems rather than develop a product, and commercial solutions were already available. I personally benefited from the form of an open source project. It was clear at an early stage that the project would go on to become so large that I would not have had the time to implement everything myself. And I would also be able to make use of developments by other developers.

Furthermore, I had always felt that the concept of open source software was very attractive. When you collaborate, it takes the world further forward than if many proprietary mushrooms spring up that then each try to do their own thing.

In addition to your role in openHAB you are a project manager for the Eclipse SmartHome projects and take the QIVICON platform forward at Telekom. How are these projects related?

The Eclipse SmartHome project was launched last year on the basis of the openHAB core framework. As a neutral organization the Eclipse Foundation is a good place for establishing common interfaces for extensions, for example.

At QIVICON it was realized that openHAB has many active developers who contribute and develop good ideas. Now that QIVICON is also based on Eclipse SmartHome, QIVICON has gained access to this large developer community. Many extensions implemented for openHAB 2.0 can in future be ported to QIVICON at no great effort or expense, and QIVICON’s variety will increase considerably as a result. Conversely, the developer benefits from being able to cover with a single implementation all platforms that are based on Eclipse SmartHome.

Who are openHAB and QIVICON intended to reach?

openHAB is aimed at technically experienced users who, for example, can set up a Raspberry Pi of their own and install the operating system, Java and, finally, openHAB on it. QIVICON in contrast addresses the mass market, meaning people who buy an all-inclusive package and expect it to function by plug and play.

Is this liaison between an open source community and commercial enterprises a viable model?

Many companies are marketing a simple version as an open source variant and a more comprehensive one as a commercial variant. Others provide the open source software and earn money by, for example, providing commercial support. The Eclipse Foundation’s general objective is to enable companies to collaborate in open source projects to which all concerned can then add proprietary extensions for their own purposes. In addition to Eclipse-IDE, the best-known example, that works very well in automotive or aviation industry projects. So Eclipse SmartHome is continuing to write a success story.

In connection with Heartbleed there has been much public discussion about the security of open source projects. How is openHAB dealing with it?

In much the same way as other well managed projects do. We have mandatory code reviews. In other words, every contribution is reviewed and commented on by another member of the team. That relates not only to possible vulnerabilities but also to abiding by syntax and architectural standards. Nevertheless, software can still contain bugs that can serve as a potential loophole or back door. That can never be ruled out entirely.

In the final analysis, however, that is a general software problem and is not limited to open source. Bugs like Heartbleed are just as feasible in closed, commercial solutions. It is just that vulnerabilities are harder to identify, if at all, in the latter – not to mention intentional back doors. So open source’s transparency is a definite added value where security is concerned.

Comments (0)

Recent comments on this article