Google I/O Features Sensor Network - InformationWeek
Cloud // Platform as a Service
02:26 PM
Connect Directly

Google I/O Features Sensor Network

Hundreds of sensors will measure environmental conditions at Google I/O, and the hardware designs will be available as open source.

Google Nexus 7, Take Two: What To Expect
Google Nexus 7, Take Two: What To Expect
(click image for slideshow)
Having closed the books on its 2010 data collection from open Wi-Fi networks with fines, organizational changes and contrition, Google is once again ready to revisit permission-less data gathering.

This time, however, the company won't be vacuuming personal information: At its Google I/O developer conference on Wednesday in San Francisco, Google plans to deploy a series of sensors to collect data about environmental conditions in the Moscone West conference center over the course of the event.

"Using software built with the Google Cloud Platform, we'll be collecting and visualizing ambient data about the conference, such as temperature, humidity, air quality, in real time," explained Michael Manoochehri, developer programs engineer at Google, in a blog post. "Altogether, the sensors network will provide over 4,000 continuous data streams over a ZigBee mesh network managed by Device Cloud by Etherios."

[ For more Google news, read Google Combines Storage For Gmail, Drive, Photos. ]

In addition, said Manoochehri, the sensors will detect noise-level fluctuations and count footsteps in certain locations to provide a picture of how attendees move about the conference area.

Conference attendees might have their own real-time biological systems to detect and respond to temperature, humidity, air quality, noise and crowds, but Google's goal isn't to graph the obvious; it's to promote the development of software and hardware for its Cloud Platform. Having constructed a set of cloud services, Google would like to see more tenants move in.

Google's approach to working with developers is notably different than Apple's. Apple, in keeping with its preference for control, requires third-party developers to join its MiFi program to develop authorized accessories for iOS hardware. In the context of Android, Google has opted for a more open road: It offers an open Accessory Development Kit, based on the Arduino open-source electronics prototyping platform, to help developers come up with Android-compatible hardware without the need for a license.

Google is taking a similarly open approach with its Cloud Platform: The Cloud Platform code for the sensor project, the Arduino sensor hardware designs, and the data collected will be open source and publicly available after the conference, according to Manoochehri.

Google is working with O'Reilly Media's Data Sensing Lab to deploy some 525 sensors at the conference. Although Google is pitching its Cloud Platform as a foundation for potential sensor-oriented innovation, Data Sensing Lab is participating to promote the sensor hardware on a broader level: Generating interest in the Internet of Things contributes to O'Reilly Media's publishing, events and DIY hardware businesses.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Michael Endler
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
5/16/2013 | 7:57:54 PM
re: Google I/O Features Sensor Network
This is very interesting. Cisco is making its own push for certain standards and approaches to Internet of Things-type technology, such as pervasive sensing, and Intel, GE and others have stakes in this sort of stuff too. There are a lot of machines just sitting there, surrounded by useful data, and companies are about to start figuring out what they can do once they tap into that information.

Michael Endler, InformationWeek Associate Editor
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Success = Storage & Data Center Performance
Balancing legacy infrastructure with emerging technologies requires laying a solid foundation that delivers flexibility, scalability, and efficiency. Learn what the most pressing issues are, how to incorporate advances like software-defined storage, and strategies for streamlining the data center.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll