CDAIT opens new doors

Photo by John Nakano

Tech’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies (CDAIT) aims to play a large and important role in developing the technology needed to make communication between different electronics easier, according to Dr. Alain Louchez, the Managing Director of CDAIT.

Recently, Airwatch, AT&T and Samsung Electronics, which are all internationally operating companies, have made investments in CDAIT. According to Louchez, this is a result of each company’s desire to get involved with the research occurring at Tech.

According to Louchez, the applications of CDAIT may involve a normal household product such as a washing machine. Hypothetically, the washing machine would come equipped with sensors that will notify the supplier that one of its parts is about to break. Then, the consumer would have the option to request that someone be sent to preemptively fix the part.

Louchez addressed some of the current obstacles preventing some of CDAIT’s technology from being implemented. There are a number policy boundaries, and on July 29, a debate in the United States House of Representatives took place dealing with privacy and regulatory concerns related to Internet of Things technology.

A technological barrier that CDAIT is working to overcome is how to power these sensors.  Sensors, some of which must be plugged into the wall or supported by a battery, are ultimately impractical in this many situations, so methods for harvesting energy that already exists in the immediate surroundings of the relevant device are being explored, according to Louchez.  An example of this in action would be utilizing the vibrations of a bridge as cars drive over it in order to power a device.

According to Louchez, creating a successful Internet of Things involves a complex value chain, with links that go from the sensors and actuators that capture data to how that information is eventually extracted. At Tech, such collaboration is currently occurring between a number of experts from all different parts of the chains, creating a uniquely productive experience.

According to Louchez engineers will be able to collaborate with experts on policy through utilization of CDAIT and its capability to bring expertise in different areas together.

In some situations where expert collaborations are necessary, CDAIT will endeavor  to facilitate such work from the beginning, rather than forcing the parties to attempt to mesh their respective work together later down the road.