Hotels and the IoT: A Smart Home Away from Home

Hotels and the IoT: A Smart Home Away from Home

The hotel and travel industry is poised for a wave of innovation. Emboldened by a strong global economy, consumers are booking more excursions as they seek experiences over goods and services. To remain competitive, established industry players are seizing the opportunity in the upswing to invest in technology that keeps them nimble in the face of a changing market.

Lab Notes: Augmented Reality with the Microsoft HoloLens

Lab Notes: Augmented Reality with the Microsoft HoloLens

While wearable technology usually calls to mind devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, one exciting new avenue of research is augmented reality glasses. Virtual reality (VR) takes the user to a whole new virtual space, but augmented reality (AR) instead aims to enhance the real world by providing software interactions with physical things, through mediums like phone screens or glasses. This allows for a whole new approach to user interfaces, because programs can now interface with the real world in more meaningful capacities.

Lab Notes: Exploring the AWS DeepLens

Lab Notes: Exploring the AWS DeepLens

In the last two months, Amazon released their new machine learning camera to the public, the AWS DeepLens. The DeepLens is a unique video camera because it carries an onboard Intel Atom processor, meaning that not only can it run a full OS (it runs Ubuntu 16.04 by default), but it can also process video in real time using a machine learning model deployed to it over Amazon Web Services.

Conference Recap: IEEE LANMAN

Conference Recap: IEEE LANMAN

I recently had the opportunity to attend a research conference focused on projects related to computer networking, the IEEE LANMAN conference hosted at George Washington University. Researchers travelled from all over the world to showcase their projects, resulting in a three-day experience comprised of six speaker sessions, a panel, and a demo/poster session. I was particularly drawn to speaker sessions that shared new research in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT), given how much work we do with IoT at Mission Data.

Supply Chain Logistics in Margaritaville

Supply Chain Logistics in Margaritaville

As the weather heats up for summer, those of us that enjoy an adult beverage every now and then might find ourselves thirsty for a crisp summer cocktail, like a minty mojito or a frothy margarita. Most likely, we’ll sip away at the drink while perched at our favorite bar, not giving much thought to how this little luxury arrived in front of us. And no, I’m not talking about the techniques the bartender used to make the drink—while captivating, no doubt—but rather the journey of all the ingredients, from farm to glass.

Lab Notes: Data Collection with Bluetooth Thermometers

Lab Notes: Data Collection with Bluetooth Thermometers

The advent of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices has allowed for the addition of wireless capability to low-powered devices, and expanding the possibilities for the Internet of Things. Because BLE was part of an update to the Bluetooth Standard in 2011, new code had to be written to support devices that utilized the technology. The Generic Attribute Profile (GATT) specification allows for a standardized method of accessing data from BLE devices, and libraries have been written to support this data collection in various languages. By using this technology, we explored the possibility of creating a “smart” kitchen, such that we could wirelessly receive temperature readings from a variety of Bluetooth thermometers.

Lab Notes: React Native for Android Things

Lab Notes: React Native for Android Things

With the explosion of the Internet of Things in recent years, it is no surprise that Google would want to get developers involved using the Android OS. The resulting product is Android Things (first released in May 2018), a version of the Android OS specifically designed for IoT devices. Based on the same operating system as Android phones, Android Things simplifies the development process and makes creating IoT programs the same procedure as a phone or watch app, but the available libraries are different depending on the IoT hardware.