Ed Silverstein: European Union Appears Committed to Advancing 'The Internet of Things'

27/06/2012 - 16:34

Ed Silverstein: European Union Appears Committed to Advancing 'The Internet of Things: "Many industries are increasingly employing intelligent, network-connected applications. As technology and systems advance, a new level of technology will be reached -- in Scandinavia, Europe and elsewhere --which is being called the "Internet of Things" (IoT).

Here’s the idea: Smart devices will be linked with buildings, construction equipment, medical devices, and oil and gas machinery. This will mean people and the places in which they live will be super-connected. Products will have an IP address and communication capabilities. Practically, this means technology and devices – via chips and sensors – will be able to talk to each other or talk through the Internet, according to a report from ScienceDaily.

This new technology will help lessen climate change, and improve energy efficiency as well as human health. Dave Evans, of Cisco (News  - Alert), has estimated that there are now some 10 billion units connected to the Web. By 2020, that will jump by five times.

Sintef chief scientist, Ovidiu Vermesan is working on the field via European Union projects. Vermesan is coordinating the EU Internet of Energy (IoE) project and working with 40 European partners so energy suppliers and consumers can interconnect. Also, Sintef’s, Frode Strisland is researching small, portable wireless medical sensor systems for at-home use.

In addition, there is more of a need for smart, flexible energy. Distributed energy sources from multiple suppliers will be the new approach. Hydro, wind and solar power will be among the ways to provide energy. The new smart grid will mean every device will have its own IP address. It can be monitored and controlled via the Internet, Science Daily said. It will be a two-way system. You can sell excess energy to the grid. Electric cars, too, will be able to connect to the smart grid.

In addition, Sintef ICT is developing two-way communication between vehicles and infrastructure. The goal is to have a charger transfer energy from the grid to the vehicle, and from the vehicle back to the grid, Science Daily reports.
As of last year, Sintef is the largest independent research group in Scandinavia. It performs research in technology, natural sciences, energy, health and social sciences sectors, according to TMCnet.

According to available data, Sintef’s operating profit was NOK 139 million (about $23.1 million) in 2010 compared to NOK 107 million (about $17.8 million) in 2009. As of last year, Sintef invested over a half a billion kroner in labs and equipment over five recent years, according to an organization press release."