Feeds

Whoa, hold on, Earth: Wolfram's discovered the 'Internet of Things'

Your Panopticon starts here

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Wolfram Research likes big datasets, and there's a growing number and variety of Internet of Things connected devices, so it's a natural pairing really: the company ha announced a project to create what it calls a “definitive, curated, source of systematic knowledge about connected devices”.

In fact, the company's ultimate hope is to have an in-and-out-of-the-cloud interaction with your Fitbit or smart watch, a hospital's patient monitor or someone's burglary sensor.

The Wolfram Connected Devices Project is just the starting point for what Stephen Wolfram says is his long term aim: to have “every type of connected device to be seamlessly integrated with the Wolfram Language”.

The company is launching with an impressive list and range of devices it says it's already had some kind of interaction with, including smart watches, cameras, wearable health devices, GPS, home automation, various types of Arduino-based kit, sensors, hospital and lab kit and so on.

However, Stephen Wolfram says the company is aware that its list might not be comprehensive, so this first-step into the Internet of Things is designed to find out what kinds of connected devices are out there.

“In the end, we want every type of connected device to be seamlessly integrated with the Wolfram Language. And this will have all sorts of important consequences. But as we work toward this, there’s an obvious first step: we have to know what types of connected devices there actually are.

“We have a couple of thousand devices (from about 300 companies) included as of today—and we expect this number to grow quite rapidly in the months ahead,” he writes.

Information collected about devices depends on the device type, naturally, but includes type and manufacturer, communication capability, power source, form factor, size, weight, price, data storage capacity, operating system compatibility, and so on. For each device, the company is also crowd-sourcing additional information.

All up, the company says, it has thousands of characteristics already built into the Wolfram Data Framework (WDF) to describe connected devices, and more than 10,000 units of measurement applicable to devices.

The initial output of this immense data-Borg will be that device information becomes searchable with (the company hopes, at least) more granularity and accuracy than Google could offer. As an example, the project points to searches the ability to specify a smartphone search based on both retail price and weight.

Wolfram Consumer Products Search

Wolfram product search example

The WDF is designed to work hand-in-glove with the Wolfram Langauge, with suitable drivers available for all devices – and instead of the user having to understand what's going on with the device, “the appropriate driver is just automatically retrieved from the Wolfram Cloud when it’s needed”.

Applications he envisages in the blog post include “storing computable versions of data in the Wolfram Data Repository. Or doing analysis or reporting through the Wolfram Data Science Platform. Or creating dashboards. Or exposing the data through an API. Or an app. Or producing alerts from the data. Or aggregating lots of data. Or, for that matter, combining data from multiple devices—for example in effect to create 'synthetic sensors'.”

To give the program a kick along, he says, the company is also planning a series of hackathons to let people connect their own, or others', devices to the framework. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.