A smart label is an item identification slip that contains more advanced technologies than conventional bar code data. The most common enhancements in smart labels are QR codes, Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags and specially configured RFID tags.
QR codes are a type of 2D bar code that provides easy access to information through a smartphone or other device equipped with a barcode reader. 2D bar codes can store up to 7,089 characters, significantly greater storage than is possible with the 20-character capacity of a unidimensional barcode. QR code smart labels are often used to facilitate package shipping.
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tag-based smart labels are commonly used to prevent theft of library books and merchandise in stores. When the item is checked out or purchased, the tag is deactivated. If someone tries to leave the premises with an item with an active tag, an alarm sounds.
RFID tag-based smart labels are commonly used in manufacturing. They consist of a flat configuration of an RFID tag inserted into an item identification slip.
A smart meter is an Internet-capable device that measures energy, water or natural gas consumption of a building or home.
Whereas traditional meters only measure total consumption, smart meters record when and how much of a resource is consumed. Power companies are deploying smart meters to monitor consumer usage and adjust prices according to the time of day and season.
The smart meter acts as the network termination point, an ingress router between the utility’s network and the building it is monitoring. When connected to a building automation system, a smart meter will allow the building administrator to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) based on real-time energy costs.
A smart meter is one component of a smart grid, an approach to managing energy distribution and consumption that uses Internet technologies to create bi-directional communication, coordination and control.
smart grid sensor
A smart grid sensor is a small, lightweight node that serves as a detection station in a sensor network. Smart grid sensors enable the remote monitoring of equipment such as transformers and power lines and the demand-side management of resources on an energy smart grid.
Smart grid sensors can be used to monitor weather conditions and power line temperature, which can then be used to calculate the line’s carrying capacity. This process is called dynamic line rating and it enables power companies to increase the power flow of existing transmission lines. Smart grid sensors can also be used within homes and businesses to increase energy efficiency.
A smart grid sensor has four parts: a transducer, a microcomputer, a transceiver and a power source. The transducer generates electrical signals based on phenomena such as power-line voltage. The microcomputer processes and stores the sensor output. The transceiver, which can be hard-wired or wireless, receives commands from a central computer and transmits data to that computer. The power for each sensor is derived from the electric utility or from a battery.
Companies like GE, LG and Whirlpool have already announced their commitment to building home appliances that are smart-enabled. Smart grid sensors will link these appliances with smart meters, providing visibility into real-time power consumption. Power companies can use this information to develop real-time pricing and consumers can use the information to lower their power consumption at peak times.
smart home or building
A smart home or building is a home or building, usually a new one that is equipped with special structured wiring to enable occupants to remotely control or program an array of automated home electronic devices by entering a single command. For example, a homeowner away on holiday or business can use a Touchtone or Smart phone to arm a home security system, control temperature gauges, switch appliances on or off, control lighting, program a home TV or entertainment system, and perform many other tasks.
The field of home automation is expanding rapidly as electronic technologies converge. The home network encompasses communications, entertainment, security, convenience, and information systems.
A technology known as Powerline Carrier Systems (PCS) is used to send coded signals along a home's existing electric wiring to programmable switches, or outlets. These signals convey commands that correspond to "addresses" or locations of specific devices, and that control how and when those devices operate. A PCS transmitter, for instance, can send a signal along a home's wiring, and a receiver plugged into any electric outlet in the home could receive that signal and operate the appliance to which it is attached.
One common protocol for PCS is known as X10, a signaling technique for remotely controlling any device plugged into an electrical power line. X10 signals, which involve short radio frequency (RF) bursts that represent digital information, enable communication between transmitters and receivers.
In Europe, technology to equip homes with smart devices centres on development of the European Installation Bus, or Instabus. This embedded control protocol for digital communication between smart devices consists of a two-wire bus line that is installed along with normal electrical wiring. The Instabus line links all appliances to a decentralized communication system and functions like a telephone line over which appliances can be controlled. The European Installation Bus Association is part of Konnex, an association that aims to standardize home and building networks in Europe.
Home automation is the use of one or more computers to control basic home functions and features automatically and sometimes remotely. An automated home is sometimes called a smart home .
Home automation can include the scheduling and automatic operation of water sprinkling, heating and air conditioning, roller shutters, security systems, lighting, and food preparation appliances. Home automation may also allow vital home functions to be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world using a computer connected to the Internet. Besides the functions already mentioned, remote control can be extended to telephones and answering machines, fax machines, radios and other communications equipment, and home robots such as automatic vacuum cleaners.
The fundamental components of a well-designed home automation system include a computer (or computers) with the appropriate programming, the various devices and systems to be controlled, interconnecting cables or wireless links, a high-speed Internet connection, and an emergency backup power source for the computer, its peripherals, and the essential home systems.
Smart grid is a generic label for the application of computer intelligence and networking abilities to a dumb electricity distribution system. Smart grid initiatives seek to improve operations, maintenance and planning by making sure that all components of the electric grid can seamlessly exchange data.
Smart Grid vocabulary is about electricity and power management, but it's also about networking, data management, data analytics, storage, security, customer communication and privacy.
pervasive computing (ubiquitous computing)
Wireless LAN Implementation
Wireless and mobile
Pervasive computing (also called ubiquitous computing) is the growing trend towards embedding microprocessors in everyday objects so they can communicate information. The words pervasive and ubiquitous mean "existing everywhere." Pervasive computing devices are completely connected and constantly available.
Pervasive computing relies on the convergence of wireless technologies, advanced electronics and the Internet. The goal of researchers working in pervasive computing is to create smart products that communicate unobtrusively. The products are connected to the Internet and the data they generate is easily available.
Privacy advocates are concerned about the "big brother is watching you" aspects of pervasive computing, but from a practical standpoint, most researchers feel it will improve efficiency. We describe it as being "the stage when we take computing for granted. We only notice its absence, rather than its presence."
An example of a practical application of pervasive computing is the replacement of old electric meters with smart meters. In the past, electric meters had to be manually read by a company representative. Smart meters report usage in real-time over the Internet. They will also notify the power company when there is an outage, reset thermostats according to the homeowner’s directives, send messages to display units in the home and regulate the water heater.
Autonomic computing is a self-managing computing model named after, and patterned on, the human body's autonomic nervous system. An autonomic computing system would control the functioning of computer applications and systems without input from the user, in the same way that the autonomic nervous system regulates body systems without conscious input from the individual. The goal of autonomic computing is to create systems that run themselves, capable of high-level functioning while keeping the system's complexity invisible to the user.
Machine to machine (M2M) is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans.
M2M communication is often used for remote monitoring. In product restocking, for example, a vending machine can message the distributor when a particular item is running low. M2M communication is an important aspect of warehouse management, remote control, robotics, traffic control, logistic services, supply chain management, fleet management and telemedicine. It forms the basis for a concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Key components of an M2M system include sensors, RFID, a Wi-Fi or cellular communications link and autonomic computing software programmed to help a networked device interpret data and make decisions. The most well-known type of M2M communication is telemetry, which has been used since the early part of the last century to transmit operational data.
Pioneers in telemetrics first used telephone lines and later on radio waves to transmit performance measurements gathered from monitoring instruments in remote locations. The Internet and improved standards for wireless technology have expanded the role of telemetry from pure science, engineering and manufacturing to everyday use in products like home heating units, electric meters and Internet connected appliances. Products built with M2M communication capabilities are often marketed to end users as being “smart.”
Currently, M2M does not have a standardized connected device platform and many M2M systems are built to be task or device specific. It is expected that as M2M becomes more pervasive, vendors will need to agree upon standards for device-to-device communications.