Category: Blog


The internet of things is not just hype – it’s happening


How life is enhanced and simplified by connecting our possessions to the Cloud – The Connected Devices Laboratory at Brigham Young University .


You can find sensors here and development boards here that you can use to build your IoT Project.



Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of devices and in general things that are connected together and communicating with each other to perform certain tasks, without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. These IoT systems are networked together usually by a wireless protocol such as WiFi, Bluetooth, 802.11.4, or a custom communication system.

The concept wasn’t named until 1999, the Internet of Things has been in development for decades. The first internet connected appliance was a Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University in the early 1980s. The programmers could connect to the machine over the Internet, check the status of the machine and determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them, should they decide to make the trip down to the machine.
The phrase “Internet of Things” was first coined by technologist Kevin Ashton way back in 1999, when he used it to describe how data captured by humans would lead to a revolution once computers started generating and collecting data by themselves without any human input. Since then, the vision of the Internet of Things has evolved due to a convergence of multiple technologies, ranging from wireless communication to the Internet and from embedded systems to micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).

What exactly is the “Things” in “Internet of Things”?

Any device that can be embedded with electronics, software, sensors to communicate with other device is “Things”.

Thing, in the Internet of Things, can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low — or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an Internet Protocol address (IP address) and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network. These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices.

The Internet of Things is already making its presence felt. Most of us own smartphones these days, quite a few of us have Smart TVs. Soon, we’ll have other connected devices in our lives – smart watches that can tell us how many calories we burn off, cutlery that can tell us when to stop eating, ovens that we can turn on remotely, whilst wrist bands, streetlights washing machines, pills and even bridges will all become connected.

Internet of Things is very quickly becoming a reality. We can see the proof of it around us, as an example Audi, automaker continues to introduce more and more automated driving features for its cars. The next step, says the company, will be machine learning-powered driver assist features that work in constrained situations like driving in traffic and parking. They’ll be available in the new generation of Audi A8 saloons in 2017.


Our devices are getting smarter each day from smartphones to smart TV to smart car to Smart kitchen. Everything is now getting connected to Internet

Each year, we’ll see a greater number of everyday devices that suddenly become “smart”. In fact, it won’t be long until there are more connected devices than there are people.  Analysts predict that there will be 30 billion connected “things” by 2020, while the population of the Earth will climb to a mere 7.6 billion by 2018, according to the UN.

As the rapid expansion of devices and sensors connected to the Internet of Things continues, the volume of data being created by them will increase to a mind-boggling level. This data will hold extremely valuable insight into what’s working well or what’s not – pointing out conflicts that arise and providing high-value insight into new business risks and opportunities as correlations and associations are made.

IoT will produce a treasure trove of big data – data that can help cities predict accidents and crimes, give doctors real-time insight into information from pacemakers or biochips, enable optimized productivity across industries through predictive maintenance on equipment and machinery, create truly smart homes with connected appliances and provide critical communication between self-driving cars.  Big data produced by IoT is the fuel to allow people and organization to make better decisions. The possibilities that IoT brings to the table are endless.



Are you thinking of building your IoT device, you can find sensors here and development boards here that you can use to build your IoT Project.


Cashless Payment Sytems RFID Vs NFC

                              RFID based payment system in Kigali Bus Service Picture from Hope magazine
If you have been recently in Kigali you might have heard of Kigali public transport are going to cashless payments, There are many technologies used in Cashless payments, some of them are Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near-Field Communication (NFC), All of these devices can be found here,
RFID has been around for a while. It has spun off a newer technology: near-field communication (NFC). The emergence of NFC seems to have also sparked confusion.What’s the difference between RFID and NFC


RFID is a one-way process. Information is transmitted from an encoded memory chip (known as a “smart tag”) via an antenna to an RFID reader. There are two types of RFID tags: active and passive.

Active RFID tags contain a power source, so they can broadcast a signal, up to 100 meters away. This capability makes RFID a strong choice for asset tracking.

Passive RFID tags have no power. They’re activated by an electromagnetic signal sent from the RFID reader. The signal doesn’t travel as far as active RFID, so they’re used for short read ranges. Passive RFID falls into one of three frequency ranges:

  • Low frequency: 125-134.2 kHz
  • High frequency: 13.56 MHz
  • Ultra-high frequency: 856-960 MHz

NFC is based on RFID protocols. The devices run at passive RFID’s high frequency. NFC reads smart tags because, like RFID, it features a read/write operation mode.

But NFC goes farther than RFID. The technology has two-way communication—unlike RFID’s one-directional limitation—using one of two modes: card emulation and peer-to-peer (P2P).

For example, a smartphone enabled with NFC (and many of them are nowadays) can pass information back and forth to another NFC device. Contactless payment is an example of card emulation mode. Any time you redeem rewards points via your phone, you’re also using NFC’s card emulation feature.

P2P comes into play when you “bump” your mobile device with another one to share information. Maybe you’re passing music back and forth, swapping special deals, or playing a game with the friend sitting next to you. You can even tap your device with a router, to get on that network without having to use a password.

NFC will soon likely replace QR codes in some advertisements and promotional materials. Consumers will no longer have to scan a QR code to get to the intended location, but can simply use the NFC mode to instantly get the information that the advertiser wants them to have.

There is still plenty of space across today’s industries—from retail to manufacturing, transportation to healthcare—for RFID’s one-way communication, but NFC is paving another path along the ever-winding information highway.