Google, Carnegie Mellon Pair Up for Internet of Things Project


Google has announced its official selection of Carnegie Mellon University for leading a multi-university expedition for the design of new technology for the Internet of Things (IoT). Carnegie Mellon will transform its campus into a living lab filled with internet-connected sensors and accelerometers to enable ‘dumb’ buildings and devices to communicate with each other.

“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,” Anind K. Dey, lead investigator of the project and director of CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute said.

The Internet of Things enables everyday, ‘dumb’ objects with sensors to communicate with each other through the Internet to enable the interaction and control of these objects by humans.

Google is offering Carnegie Mellon University half a million dollars to launch the multi-university expedition. Researchers from Stanford, Cornell and the University of Illinois will collaborate with their Carnegie Mellon colleagues to develop GloTTO, a platform capable of supporting Internet of Things applications. According to a CMU statement:

“[I]nitial plans for GIoTTO include sensors that are inexpensive and easy to deploy, new middleware to facilitate app development and manage privacy and security, and new tools that enable end users to develop their own IoT experiences.”

As Campus Technology reveals, Google selected Carnegie Mellon because of its willingness and intention to turn the campus into a living lab for the large-scale deployment of IoT technology Google sought.

To ensure user privacy, a team of CMU researchers will develop personalized privacy assistants that will help users understand the privacy settings available to them to better control their data.

A priority for the CMU Open Web of Things project is the development of an IoT app store. This will enable campus members and the research community at large to “develop and share an IoT script, action, multiple-sensor feed or application easily and widely,” Anind K. Dey said.

According to Fast Company, the project might lead to the introduction of IoT technology to the larger area of Pittsburgh should the expedition be successful, making Pittsburgh one of the first smart cities in the world. The project could help the city of Pittsburgh better utilize its resources and existing facilities:

“You can examine how people are actually using spaces in the city, which bridges are actually in use every day. I’m sure they have a lot of this information, but [IoT] would be adding to that information, making it much more transparent so everybody has a say in how the city is run,” Dey said.

CMU was the first to deploy the first fully wired university campus in the 1980s and is a leading robotics research institution.