For those that were under the impression that Sensors Expo was limited to simple input hardware, you should put the 2016 Sensors Expo in Silicon Valley on your calendar now. A perfect example of the intricacies of the sensor ecosystem is Olea Sensor Networks, a 10-year-old company based out of Sunnyvale, CA, that specializes in sophisticated sensor algorithms and data analysis software for the Internet of Things (IoT), automotive, and medical markets.
During our briefing at the show, Frank Morese, Chairman and CEO at Olea explained that the growing amount of IoT data demands a new approach to resource utilization that can more efficiently manage power consumption, cost, and network bandwidth. In signal processing applications, for example, the most logical way of achieving this is by identifying the specific information sets required for a particular application and then limiting the data flow across the network based on those needs – in other words, transmitting 1 sample per second as opposed to 160 samples per second can help amortize power, performance, and network expenses. Morese calls this concept, and technologies that enable it such as fusion analytics, “intelligent partitioning.”
To facilitate intelligent partitioning, Olea has introduced the OS-3001 Intelligent Multi-Sensor Platform, a smartphone-sized wireless DAQ solution and sensor hub that incorporates a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA and 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 core, along with six on-board sensors (magnetometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, temperature/humidity, and GPS). What makes this offering unique besides Olea’s proprietary on-board data acquisition firmware and custom display software is the integrated Olea HeartSensor, which is in essence a 5.8 Ghz Doppler radar sensor. Why a Doppler radar, you ask?Recall that earlier in this post I mentioned that, in addition to IoT, Olea is involved in the automotive and medical verticals. The Olea Heart Sensor is able to detect an individual’s vital signs and broadcast them to the cloud, where their recently released HeartSignature authentication technology can precisely and continuously identify a person. Check me out below. These technologies may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the IoT, but in my book they have the potential to solve two very big IoT challenges – data overload/analytics and identity management. When paired with technologies like Olea Vision that can detect presence (in the dark and through walls!), these solutions could find a home in a number of verticals, even if at times they are a little too “personal.”