More than downloading : Toward a scale with wireless connectivity

University essay from KTH/Kommunikationssystem, CoS


Sensors are light-weight, low powered devices that measure some aspect of a physical or virtual environment and transmit this information in some format. This thesis describes how to integrate a sensor onto devices to enable network connectivity.

The phrase “internet of things” suggests that within a few years many devices will be connected to an internet. Devices, including common household appliances, will transmit and receive data over a network. The CEO of Ericsson has stated that there will be more than 50 billion connected devices by 2020[1]. These devices could be microwaves, fridges, lights, or temperature sensors. Devices that are usually not associated with internet connectivity will be integrated into networks and play a larger role in providing information and controlling other devices. Sensors will have a major role in “the internet of things”. These small computers could be integrated in any appliances and transmit data over the network. The sensors’ low power and low cost, as well as their light weight, makes them very attractive to integrate them into many devices. The goal of this thesis project is to build upon this trend toward “The internet of things” by integrating a sensor into a bathroom scale thus enabling the scale to have networking connectivity. The sensor will be low cost and simple. It should wirelessly or via USB transmit the current weight that it measures to a receiver (specifically a gateway). This gateway will forward the message over the network to a website or mobile phone for visual presentation of the data. This thesis describes different techniques and approaches toward developing this sensor. The thesis also evaluates these different choices in order to select one technique that will be implemented. This solution will be evaluated in terms of its cost and ease of integration into an existing commercially produced scale.

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