DATE: Thursday, June 4, 2009
TIME: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
PLACE: Wean Hall 8220

David Wetherall
Intel Research and the University of Washington

Realizing RFID Sensor Networks with the Intel WISP

We argue that passive UHF RFID technology can be combined with low-end sensing and computation platforms to realize sensor network applications that are truly ubiquitous and embedded in the physical world. This is because RFID brings the advantages of small, inexpensive and long-lived nodes to wireless sensor networks. To work towards this vision, we introduce the notion of RFID sensor networks, which consist of RFID readers and RFID-based sensor nodes that we call WISPs. In this talk, I will describe sample applications for RFID sensor networks and the Intel WISP that have been developed over the past few years. The WISP has multiple sensors and an ultra-low power microcontroller, and harvests its operating power from and communicates sensor data to a standard (EPC Class 1 Gen 2) UHF RFID reader. I will highlight the research challenges in realizing RFID sensor network applications, such as running with intermittent power and RFID protocols that are suited to sensor queries.

This is joint work with Joshua Smith, Alanson Sample, Dan Yeager, Michael Buettner, Ben Greenstein, Polly Powledge and Richa Prasad of Intel Research and the University of Washington.

David Wetherall is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington and Director of nearby Intel Research Seattle. He joined Intel in 2006 to lead the Seattle lab in research on computing systems woven into the fabric of everyday life. Wetherall joined the University of Washington faculty in 1999 after receiving his Ph.D, E.E. and S.M. in computer science from MIT; he received his B.E. in electrical engineering from the University of Western Australia in 1989. His research interests are focused on network systems, especially wireless networks and mobile devices, network measurement, and the design of Internet protocols. His thesis research pioneered active networks, an architecture in which new network services can be introduced rapidly using mobile code, and for which he received the SIGCOMM Test-of-Time award in 2007. He was been recognized with an NSF CAREER award in 2002 and became a Sloan Fellow in 2004.

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