Mobile-based and M2M sensing middleware

In 2004, Dirk Trossen and I started developing a mobile-based sensing middleware. The main goal was to use mobile phones for collecting data from various sensors and then send it to a remote server for being used by applications. The idea behind the project was that a mobile phone is perfectly situated to collect user information while on the go and send it away for further consumption. We were also interested in how to minimize the amount of data sent by subscribing only to particular data and also allowing for data interpretation on the device as well as conditional sending of data (e.g., based on thresholds or aggregation requests). We also used M2M (machine-to-machine) devices to create scenarios where phones were not necessary (e.g., remote weather stations). The initial work was also part of the EU FP6 project MIMOSA. The Symbian-based middleware (later called NORS) eventually became open source and was available for downloading in sourceforge. We further used it for collecting user data in our recent research project,  PAL.

The NORS middleware:

  • Has an event-based architecture
  • Allows for collecting & aggregating local sensor data as well as data from attached sensors (e.g., BT-based)
  • Allows for local & remote sensing
  • Allows for notifications and for transferring only relevant data
  • Has a modular design which makes it easy to create handlers for any new sensors
  • Provides support for access control
  • Works on any J2ME-enabled device.

The sensing middleware was also used together with the context-delivery middleware, CREDO, for providing certain information on-the-go.

UPDATE: Starting with 2011, the NORS platform was ported to Android devices by Dirk Trossen and it changed its name to AIRS. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Through the continuing work and experiments performed in MyRoR and the PAL project, the platform has been extended with many new functionalities. For a comprehensive guide on the platform, see here.

Related publications:

  • D. Trossen & D. Pavel, “Enabling Data Sharing Among Dispersed Sensor Deployments Through Participatory Sensing with Mobile Devices”, Workshop on Data Sharing and Interoperability on World-wide Sensor Web (DSI 2007), Cambridge, MA, USA, April 2007.
  • D. Trossen & D. Pavel, “NORS: An Open Source Platform to Facilitate Participatory Sensing with Mobile Phones”, Mobiquitous 2007 conference, Philadelphia, PA, USA, August 2007.
  • Dirk Trossen, Dana Pavel, Glenn Platt, Joshua Wall, Philip Valencia, Corey A. Graves, Myrna S. Zamarripa, Victor M. Gonzalez, Jesus Favela, Erik L?vquist, Zsuzsanna Kulcs?, “Sensor Networks, Wearable Computing, and Healthcare Applications,” IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 58-61, Apr.-June 2007, doi:10.1109/MPRV.2007.43.
  • Dirk Trossen, Dana Pavel, “Building a Ubiquitous Platform for Remote Sensing Using Smartphones,” mobiquitous, pp.485-489, The Second Annual International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Networking and Services, 2005