White space standard group aims to kickstart internet of things growth

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Weightless, the open standards group aiming to kick start the internet of things via the use of white space communications, has promised it is on course to deliver its first complete specification in the opening quarter of 2013.

The group, which is backed by the likes of ARM, CSR and UK start-up Neul, has just issued version 0.9 the Weightless Specification and expects to make further progress early next year.

It aims to create the blueprint which will allow machines to communicate with other machines, paving the way for the internet of things, where low-power sensors can be placed on all manner of objects, from building lights, or road-side pollution monitors to offshore wave monitors or museum objects.

This could provide an unparalleled opportunity to collect data, and understand and interact with the world around us.

Those behind Wireless believe it will allow devices with a chipset costing less than $2 and with a battery life of 10 years to be internet-enabled, and capable of using white space spectrum to communicate across distances of up to 10km.

The latest version of the specification has added detail on the handling of alarm events, network selection and improved encryption.

The group believes that the use of white space technology is fundamental to the emergence of the internet of things, providing the best way of ensuring devices can communicate without needing dedicated wireless networks.

In the UK, communications regulator Ofcom has said it expects the first examples of white space technology to come online in 2013, having ruled that it would not seek to license access to the spectrum.

Meanwhile, the International Telecommunications Union has predicted there will be 25 billion M2M devices online by 2020, dwarfing the number of human internet connections.

13 Nov 2012

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