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Wireless sensor networks now accessible via the web

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Sensicast Systems is launching SensiNet Services, a 'hosted application services' offering for industrial and commercial enterprises. SensiNet Services lets plant/facility managers and operators gain access to Sensicast's award-winning temperature and energy monitoring applications over the internet, without having to locate the applications within their own network infrastructure.

Enabling secure access to data captured by Sensicast Smart Sensors (measuring temperature, electrical usage, pressure, and other essential operational levels) that are operating within industrial or commercial environments, SensiNet Services lets users remotely receive data on any web-enabled device (eg a PDA or laptop), then track and act on the information.

SensiNet Services extends the reach and power of wireless sensor networks beyond the enterprise - to the internet. This offering continues Sensicast's "Zero-IT" footprint approach to streamline machine, process and environmental monitoring while adding utility and ensuring accuracy. Sensicast calls this approach Pervasive Sensing.

"SensiNet Services is a key step in the evolution of our end-to-end offerings for Pervasive Sensing", says Gary Ambrosino, CEO of Sensicast. "By eliminating the boundaries between wireless sensor networks, industrial and commercial physical infrastructure, and the ubiquitous web, sensor network information is now securely available for actionable use from anywhere there is a web connection."

Available in the fourth quarter of 2006, SensiNet Services includes the following features and benefits:

  • Hosted applications for temperature monitoring, and energy monitoring and analysis
  • User-configurable alarms and alerts, customisable data analysis and reports
  • Secure, automatic, real-time M2M connectivity with SensiNet Wireless Sensor Networks
  • 'Zero-IT' footprint requiring no change to security policies or firewall configurations
  • Plug-and-Play deployment and interoperability with popular industrial and commercial automation software applications

In September 2006, Sensicast started shipping SensiNet 3.0, which it described as the industry's first end-to-end, wireless sensor network solution that can be tailored to specific applications using a self-configuring building block approach. The company also announced its new SensiNet Services Gateway, a fully self-contained network appliance with embedded connectivity and data-reporting functionality that manages the SensiNet network and integrates it with: legacy systems (eg Iconics, Intellution, Wonderware); built-in Web 2.0 data visualisation applications; and industry-standard communications protocols (SOAP, OPC, ODBC, XML).

The SensiNet Services offering extends the power and capability of SensiNet 3.0 by providing hosted applications that communicate over an M2M link with the SensiNet Services Gateway. They are designed as an alternative for customers that do not have existing industrial automation software or who lack an extensive IT infrastructure and/or a large internal IT support team. Customers already using one of the many industrial automation software packages can easily connect to the SensiNet system through SensiNet's ModBus and OPC software interfaces.

SensiNet Services and 'Pervasive Sensing' are representative of 'The Pervasive Internet', a term coined by Glen Allmendinger, founder and president of Harbor Research. Allmendinger defines 'The Pervasive Internet' as "a global technological and business phenomenon of unprecedented proportions: it ushers in an era in which all manufactured objects (buildings, vehicles, appliances, medical devices, etc), and thus people themselves, will be connected and be communicating constantly."

In its recent 'M2M/Pervasive Internet Market Forecast', Harbor Research predicts "shared and secure internet access for device interaction" as well as "network-based services such as status monitoring, usage tracking, consumable replenishing, and automated repairing. These new services are based upon the convergence of networks, embedded computing, control, and content."

 
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