Feeds

Wanna put your toaster and fridge online? Over to you, Ofcom

New wireless spec for 'Internet of Things' awaits rubber stamp

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A blueprint for connecting up toasters, kettles and toys, and popping them onto the internet, has landed on the desk of the UK watchdog Ofcom.

Version 1 of Weightless SIG's specification describes how devices can comfortably communicate over White Space - a collection of unused gaps in the radio spectrum. Gadgets can access an online database to discover locally available frequencies and use those slots to send and receive data between themselves. The system is awaiting approval by Ofcom.

Hardware using White Space spectrum should be declared legal in the UK later this year, but it will compete with rival communications standards that plan to shift into the same frequency bands - not to mention the licensed frequencies already squeezing in machine-to-machine chatter: for example, smart electricity meters and the like using 2G mobile networks to phone home data.

We're told Weightless SIG's spec is designed to work on cheap and simple electronics, and offers unprecedented battery life, a long connectivity range, 128-bit encryption, low packet overhead, and data transfer rates between 1kbps and 10Mbps. It's aimed specifically at the radio bands that were allocated for analogue TV transmission but are soon to be vacated by broadcasters. However, 2G networks are already here and Weightless SIG won't be alone in filling the White Space.

As well as companies planning to simply shift existing Wi-Fi standards down the frequency dial to take advantage of the empty space, there's 802.11af, an IEEE standard for using Wi-Fi in unused bands. Other standards, such as 4G/LTE, have been successfully demonstrated carrying machine-to-machine communications; software and chips supporting those standards are obviously already available.

Weightless SIG's technology is also in silicon: Cambridge-based Neul wrote the first version of the standard and spun out some chips earlier this year in the confidence they will be compatible with the officially endorsed version.

It's no surprise that the photograph accompanying the Weightless SIG spec announcement shows staff lined up on the stairs at Neul's UK offices: Neul is the main driving force behind the standard despite endorsements from Vodafone-owned Cable & Wireless Worldwide and processor designer ARM. More international backing will be needed if the standard is really going to connect up everything, but having a standard to endorse is an important step along the way. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.