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$500,000 grant from Google will fund IoT lab at Carnegie Mellon

A $500,000 grant from Google is helping Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to turn its campus into a living sensor laboratory to boost Internet of Things adoption.

Carnegie Mellon researchers will work with colleagues at Cornell, Stanford, Illinois and Google to create GIoTTO, a new platform to support IoT applications. Initial plans for GIoTTO include inexpensive and easy-to-deploy sensors, new middleware to facilitate app development and manage privacy and security, and new tools that enable end users to develop their own IoT experiences.

Maggie Johnson, director of university relations for Google, says that collaborating with universities will accelerate innovation and IoT adoption.

Adrian deFreitas, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon, uses Impromptu, a system that accesses shared apps only when needed, such as a public transit app when the user is standing near a bus stop.

Google, Intel, Impinj and Smartrac were founding members of RAIN RFID Alliance in 2014, which was formed to promote the use of UHF RFID technology, a major component to the Internet of Things. (Click here to read more about RAIN RFID.)

“From the many excellent proposals received, we’ve chosen Carnegie Mellon to lead because of their vision for a living laboratory, validating system design through daily use,” Johnson said in a release. “Cornell, Illinois and Stanford were selected to join based on their unique approaches for tackling critical challenges related to privacy and security, systems and protocols and HCI.”

The mission of the Google expedition is to fulfill the IoT’s promise by creating a complete system of interoperable IoT technology and finding answers to key research questions, such as how to preserve privacy and ensure security in an increasingly sensor-filled environment.

To create the living lab for the IoT, the project will saturate the CMU campus with sensors and infrastructure, recruit students and other campus members to create and use novel IoT apps. Eventually, the IoT use cases developed will be expanded to the wider Pittsburgh community.

“The goal of our project will be nothing less than to radically enhance human-to-human and human-to­-computer interaction through a large-scale deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) that ensures privacy, accommodates new features over time and enables people to readily design applications for their own use,” says Anind K. Dey, lead investigator of the expedition and director of CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

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