Software-Hardware Systems for the Internet of Things
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Abstract: Recently, there has been a huge interest in Internet of Things (IoT) systems, which bring the digital world into the physical world around us. However, barriers still remain to realizing the dream applications of IoT. One of the biggest challenges in building IoT systems is the huge diversity of their demands and constraints (size, energy, latency, throughput, etc.). For example, virtual reality and gaming applications require multiple gigabits-per-second throughput and millisecond latency. Tiny sensors spread around a greenhouse or smart home must be low-cost and batteryless to be sustainable in the long run. Although all these applications are about IoT, their demands and constraints are so diverse that today’s networking technologies are not sufficient. Therefore, they require entirely different solutions.
In this talk, I will describe how we can design a new class of networking technologies for IoT by designing software and hardware jointly, with an understanding of the intended application. In particular, I will present two examples of our solutions. The first solution tackles the throughput limitations of existing IoT networks by developing new millimeter wave devices and protocols, enabling many new IoT applications, such as untethered high-quality virtual reality. The second solution tackles the energy limitations of IoT networks by introducing new wireless devices that can sense and communicate without requiring any batteries. I demonstrate how our solution is applicable in multiple, diverse domains such as HCI, medical, and agriculture. I will conclude the talk with future directions in IoT research, both in terms of technologies and applications.
Biography: Omid Abari is an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, School of Computer Science. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2018. His research interests are in the area of computer networks and mobile systems, with applications to the Internet of Things (IoT). He is currently leading the Intelligent Connectivity (ICON) Lab, where his team focuses on the design and implementation of novel software-hardware systems that deliver ubiquitous sensing, communication and computing at scale. His work has been selected for GetMobile research highlights (2018, 2019), and been featured by several media outlets, including Wired, TechCrunch, Engadget, IEEE Spectrum, and ACM Tech News.