Tiny sensors make it possible to track life’s little detail
Source: The Boston Globe
Do you happen to know, offhand, how  much REM sleep you get per night,  or how much electricity your home’s water heater consumes while you are  vacationing in St. Thomas? Have you calculated the fuel costs of making  three trips to the grocery store each week instead of one?
A number of Boston start-ups are  developing and selling technology that makes it possible to monitor  life’s minutiae, and to try to do better. Tapping into the American urge  for self-improvement, and leveraging increasingly inexpensive sensors  and wireless connectivity, some companies aim to make us healthier,  others to save us money. Many enable you to share progress reports with  friends via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
But can monitoring and measurement go mainstream?
Of  the local start-ups, Zeo Inc. has probably attracted the most  attention, with articles in The Wall Street Journal and a mention by  morning show host Regis Philbin.
The  Newton company sells a $200 “personal sleep coach’’ system, which  consists of a bedside alarm clock that communicates wirelessly with a  headband worn at night. The system tracks how long you sleep, and how  long you spend in various phases of sleep. It calculates a “ZQ’’ score  to capture the quality of your sleep, and can even wake you in the  morning at the moment you are least likely to feel groggy.

Tiny sensors make it possible to track life’s little detail

Source: The Boston Globe

Do you happen to know, offhand, how much REM sleep you get per night, or how much electricity your home’s water heater consumes while you are vacationing in St. Thomas? Have you calculated the fuel costs of making three trips to the grocery store each week instead of one?

A number of Boston start-ups are developing and selling technology that makes it possible to monitor life’s minutiae, and to try to do better. Tapping into the American urge for self-improvement, and leveraging increasingly inexpensive sensors and wireless connectivity, some companies aim to make us healthier, others to save us money. Many enable you to share progress reports with friends via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

But can monitoring and measurement go mainstream?

Of the local start-ups, Zeo Inc. has probably attracted the most attention, with articles in The Wall Street Journal and a mention by morning show host Regis Philbin.

The Newton company sells a $200 “personal sleep coach’’ system, which consists of a bedside alarm clock that communicates wirelessly with a headband worn at night. The system tracks how long you sleep, and how long you spend in various phases of sleep. It calculates a “ZQ’’ score to capture the quality of your sleep, and can even wake you in the morning at the moment you are least likely to feel groggy.

IBM launches sensor data analysis software | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com
IBM on Tuesday launched software that navigates data from sensors and triggers automated business responses. The software, dubbed WebSphere Sensor Events, aggregates data from sensors that monitor air quality, traffic, water flow, energy usage and other items via RFID tags. IBM reckons that there will be six billion RFID tags in circulation by 2010. These sensors throw off a lot of data—too much in fact. IBM’s software aims to capture the data and run it through an enterprise’s business process and analytics systems. Once the data was analyzed an enterprise could react to incoming data and adjust accordingly.

IBM launches sensor data analysis software | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

IBM on Tuesday launched software that navigates data from sensors and triggers automated business responses. The software, dubbed WebSphere Sensor Events, aggregates data from sensors that monitor air quality, traffic, water flow, energy usage and other items via RFID tags. IBM reckons that there will be six billion RFID tags in circulation by 2010. These sensors throw off a lot of data—too much in fact. IBM’s software aims to capture the data and run it through an enterprise’s business process and analytics systems. Once the data was analyzed an enterprise could react to incoming data and adjust accordingly.

Wireless communication companies are particularly happy with all the attention focused on the smart grid, since wireless networks can be tapped to help both utilities and consumers monitor and control energy consumption. That will benefit firms that are building wireless sensor technology, too — and Monday morning wireless sensor network startup Arch Rock plans to debut its own energy management software service, called Energy Optimizer. (via Wireless Sensors to Tackle Energy Management)

Wireless communication companies are particularly happy with all the attention focused on the smart grid, since wireless networks can be tapped to help both utilities and consumers monitor and control energy consumption. That will benefit firms that are building wireless sensor technology, too — and Monday morning wireless sensor network startup Arch Rock plans to debut its own energy management software service, called Energy Optimizer. (via Wireless Sensors to Tackle Energy Management)

A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn’t just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet’s global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility. (via The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google)

A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn’t just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet’s global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility. (via The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google)

SynapSoft 4.0 is the first wireless sensor network solution for energy benchmarking and complete data center monitoring. (via SynapSense)
LiveImaging Maps (above) display thermal, humidity, and differential pressure trends happening in your data center.

SynapSoft 4.0 is the first wireless sensor network solution for energy benchmarking and complete data center monitoring. (via SynapSense)

LiveImaging Maps (above) display thermal, humidity, and differential pressure trends happening in your data center.