February 2015 Newsletter – Link Round Up

 

Putting User Interface at the Start of Your IoT Design Process – How are your buyers going to interface with your product? This is one of the toughest aspects of Internet of Things (IoT) product design right now. Today’s consumers and business owners expect multiple ways to access and control the world around them and options for connected devices are numerous. > Read More at GridConnect.com

Going the Distance: How Range Affects IoT Design – The network range required for IoT devices plays a surprisingly important role even in the smallest design decisions. After all, the transmission of data is at the core of IoT devices. Transmission range depends on the type of network used, the environment it will be used in, and the types of data being communicated. > Read More at Remote Magazine

Upcoming Event: What You Need to Know About the Internet of Things – When: March 20, 8:30am-12:00pm | Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV – Room N259 – IoT applications have the potential to transform every sector of business by allowing enterprises to take informed decision, optimizing the process, and supporting innovative business models. The combination of ‘low-cost’ connected devices with the need for data drives Internet of Things. Examine business opportunities in everything from M2M to green buildings to smart devices, explore how to create a wireless business ecosystem with IoT platform, and what limitations IoT might have technologically. > Learn More at IWCE Expo

Companies Help Animate Naperville North Robotics Projects – What is 6-foot 5-inches tall and can haul recycling totes and bins to the curb? For members of the Huskie Robotics Team at Naperville North High School, the answer is obvious. It’s their new robot. More than 70 students from Naperville North, as well as a handful of Naperville Central students, are building a tall, 120-pound robot as part of this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition. The Huskie Robotics Team would not be able to function without the assistance of corporate sponsors such as Grid Connect. > Read More at Naperville Sun

What Do You Do When You’re 100,000 Miles Away and Your Basement is Flooding? – Earlier this year, Perry Marshall, a revolutionary in sales and marketing, took a trip from Chicago to India. He had just gotten to his destination when he received a text from his ConnectSense Water Sensor that his basement was flooding. So what do you do when you’re 10,000 miles away and your basement floods? Here’s what Perry did. > Read More at PerryMarshall.com

IWCE Panel: What You Need to Know About the Internet of Things

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When: March 20, 8:30am-12:00pm
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV – Room N259

Session Title: What You Need to Know About the Internet of Things

Whether you call it the Internet of Things, machine to machine, Connected Devices, the Social Web of Things or the Networked Society, it is hard to deny that more and more “things” are being connected every day. The Internet of Things has exploded! From light bulbs to automobiles to buildings, things are getting a digital makeover as the IoT connects people, devices, and applications wirelessly, turning them “smart.” IoT applications have the potential to transform every sector of business by allowing enterprises to take informed decision, optimizing the process, and supporting innovative business models. The combination of ‘low-cost’ connected devices with the need for data drives Internet of Things. Examine business opportunities in everything from M2M to green buildings to smart devices, explore how to create a wireless business ecosystem with IoT platform, and what limitations IoT might have technologically.

Panelists:
Adam Justice, VP and General Manager of Grid Connect
Hassan Bawab, Author and CEO of Magic Logix
Sudhakar Marthi, Vice President Global Business Development of ZOHO Corporation
Barry Einsig, Global Transportation Executive, Internet of Things Group at Cisco

About IWCE:

Since 1977, the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) has been the authoritative annual event for communications technology professionals in the working world. IWCE features over 350 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends in the industry. Over 7,000 individuals attend from a diverse group of industry professionals including government/military; public safety (law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical & 911); utility; transportation and business enterprise. This year’s show will be held March 16-20, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Conference Website: http://www.iwceexpo.com

The Internet of Things Starts Here: Wireless Modules

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Being part of the Internet of Things starts by getting your product connected to the internet. Getting connected is easy with High-Flying wireless modules from Grid Connect.

High-Flying Electronics Technology Corporation is a leader in Internet of Things enabling solutions. Their products are used in industrial, smart metering, smart home, government, consumer and education markets.

As the North American Partner and Master Distributor, Grid Connect provides High-Flying customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico technical support, customized product engineering and the local inventory of all products.

> Click here to view all High-Flying wireless modules
> Click here to view wireless modules from all manufacturers

Support:
The knowledgeable and experienced engineers at Grid Connect provide complete technical support for the High-Flying line of embedded WiFi modules. We offer phone support and on-line chat support during regular business hours.
For questions or volume pricing, call +1 (630) 245-1445.

New Product Alert: NET232+CC Serial to Ethernet Adapter With Cisco® RJ45 Console Port

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Part Number: GC-NET232-PLUS-CC
MPN: GC-NET232-PLUS-CC

YOUR PRICE:  $99.95

The NET232+CC is a serial to Ethernet device server, especially designed for use with equipment following the Cisco® RJ45 console port pinout. The NET232+CC provides remote access over Ethernet TCP/IP to routers, switches, servers, and other equipment that have a serial RJ45 console port or management port. Any Cisco equipment that uses the Cisco 72-3383-01 (DB-9 to RJ45) Console Cable can use the NET232+CC.

Examples of Cisco products that use this type of console port are the Catalyst® 2350 Series switches, Catalyst 6500 Series switches, and the Cisco ASA 5500-X Series firewalls. Other manufacturers use the same RJ45 pinout as the Cisco console port. For example, the IBM® Power 710, Power 730 and Power 8 Servers have a system port that can be used with the NET232+CC.

The NET232+CC is a fully featured device server supporting multiple TCP connections (up to 4 TCP or a mixture of TCP and UDP), DNS, email serial triggers, email authentication, and 256-bit AES encryption at no-additional charge. Serial data rates up to 921K and auto-sensing 10/100Mbps Ethernet are supported. The NET232+CC also features an industrial grade temperature range, detailed LED status indicators, and a factory reset button (accessible through a pin-hole with a paperclip)

The NET232+CC is simple to configure using the provided installation software and web page. Just connect the adapter to an RS232 based RJ45 Serial port and to the local Ethernet network and then run the free software to find and set up the NET232+CC. The NET232+CC is typically used to connect the console/management/system port over the network to a TTY console terminal program such as Hyperterminal. “Virtual” COM ports can also be created on a PC using the included Comm Port Redirector software.

The NET232+CC can be powered from a nearby USB Port by using the optional “USB to Barrel Jack” cable. This cable simply takes the 5VDC power from the USB Port to power the NET232+CC. Power can also be optionally provided by a wall supply (US 110V or Euro 220V).

Features:

  • Advanced RS232 Serial RJ45 to Ethernet (RJ45) Device Server
  • 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX Ethernet (auto-sensing)
  • Serial baud rates up to 921K
  • Simple Web Page Configuration
  • Supports Multiple TCP Connections (up to 4) or a Mixture of TCP and UDP
  • Secure 256-bit AES Encryption and Email Authentication with User Name and Password
  • Email Serial Triggers (Supporting up to 6-byte Match Sequence or Embedded Modem Dial Commands)
  • Push Button Factory Default Reset
  • Industrial Temperature Range -40ºC to +85ºC
  • Powered by USB to Barrel Jack Cable or Wall Adapter
  • Compact Size (63.5 x 42.7 x 20.2 mm)
  • RS232 Serial Cable 15 inch with RJ45 Male Plug
  • UL, CE, RoHS Compliant

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> More Information

Putting User Interface at the Start of Your IoT Design Process

How are your buyers going to interface with your product?

This is one of the toughest aspects of Internet of Things (IoT) product design right now. Today’s consumers and business owners expect multiple ways to access and control the world around them and options for connected devices are numerous.

User interface options for IoT design range from using a smart home panel or gateway to an on-product LCD/LED display. The LCD/LED display can then be paired with LEDs or push buttons. In addition, apps to monitor and control connected devices can be web-based or available for on-the-go consumers with smart phones.

To determine what kind of user interface your product design needs, you must consider two things:

  1. The type of product
  2. The use-cases for this product

For example, is this product going to be used strictly in one location or on the go? Will it need to by physically touched to work or will it need to be operated remotely or both? Where will the user want to see the information that the device is collecting and how are they going to use that data?

Wi-Fi-enabled IoT devices may also have the ability to act as a soft access point (soft AP) to allow a user to “join” its network locally with a smart phone, laptop or tablet. Soft APs make product LED/LCD displays unnecessary since the screen of the connected device will serve the same purpose. Using a soft AP does not preclude the module from also connecting to the Internet and cloud-based services with some Wi-Fi modules though. This dual-mode is very attractive because the user can access the product remotely and locally, depending on the features and use-cases for the product.

So, what interface will provide the best user experience for your buyers? This needs to be one of the first questions you ask when designing a product for the IoT in order to provide the easiest and overall best experience for your customers.

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10 Internet of Things design considerations

Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. When designing your first IoT device, there are 10 things to keep in mind…

Read more at Embedded Computing Design or download the PDF now.

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Congrats to Adam Justice, Grid Connect’s 2014 Ping-Pong Champion!

 

Every winter, Grid Connect has a singles ping-pong tournament among some of the best players in our office.

This year, we are excited to announce Adam Justice, VP of Grid Connect, as the 2014 champion!

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Our runner-up was Mike Justice, President and last year’s winner of the annual ping-pong tournament.

New Product Alert: CAN USB FD Adapter (PCAN-USB FD)

pcan-usb-fd_webPart Number: GC-CAN-USB-FD
MPN: IPEH-004022

YOUR PRICE: $399.00

Connect CAN FD and CAN networks to a computer via USB with the CAN USB FD adapter. A galvanic isolation of up to 500 Volts decouples the PC from the CAN bus. The simple handling and its compact plastic casing make the adapter suitable for mobile applications.The new CAN FD standard (CAN with Flexible Data Rate) is primarily characterized by higher bandwidth for data transfer. The maximum of 64 data bytes per CAN FD frame (instead of 8 so far) can be transmitted with bit rates up to 12 Mbit/s. CAN FD is downward-compatible to the CAN 2.0 A/B standard, thus CAN FD nodes can be used in existing CAN networks. However, in this case the CAN FD extensions are not applicable. > More Information
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10 Internet of Things (IoT) Design Considerations: Interoperability and Security

9. Interoperability

As more manufacturers enable their products for the IoT, consumers will be introduced to many different cloud applications due to lack of cooperation between difference devices and companies. This is where the emerging IoT standards can help. Device manufacturers who support these standards will be able to ensure their products will be able to work and communicate with other manufacturers’ products that support the same protocols. This makes operating many IoT-enabled devices together much more simple and convenient. This also opens up new business opportunities by allowing for new features that the original manufacturers never dreamed of. For example, interoperability means that one day it might be possible for a consumer to simply say, “good night, house” to their app, and the app will programmatically turn-off all of the main house lights, TV’s and appliances and turn on the outside lighting, set the alarm clock for the morning and set the coffee pot to start brewing when the sun rises. In this example, each device could be from a different manufacturer, but since they all support the same standard, the application knows how to talk to them all and create new service offerings.

Some of the emerging interoperability standards include: Thread (supported by the likes of Google/Nest, Samsung and more), HomeKit (supported by Apple), AllJoyn (supported by Microsoft and Sony, part of the AllSeen Alliance), IETF (an internet standards body) and ETSI (a European-based standards organization – primarily in Telecom). The standards landscape is changing rapidly and manufacturers need to adapt their products to work with these standards as they are consolidated and settled in the future.

10. Security

Building a secure IoT-enabled device comes at a cost. As the IoT continues to grow, there is an increasing focus on its security and how safe the claims of end-to-end solutions really are. While security threats in the news have scared away some manufacturers and consumers from entering the IoT space, others view it as an opportunity for added value to their products. Implementing high-cost security into every product a company has is ideal, however not very economical. Manufacturers must find proper security for each of their IoT solutions while keeping costs down for them and their end-user.

This process must start at the time of a product’s conception. Proper due-diligence is required from each manufacturer to find a way to secure their devices, protect their consumer and ultimately, the rest of the IoT world as well.

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>  For more information, please call Grid Connect Inc. at +1 (630) 245-1445, or email us at iot@gridconnect.com.