Tom Dietterich gave the plenary address at the IoT Showcase at Oregon State in January 2015.

Smart phones, smart homes, smart cars — the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a major driver for technology, creating new product categories. Research conducted at Oregon State is focused on supporting companies that are looking to create new IoT products or turn existing systems into “smart” systems.

In January, Oregon State’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) shared their vision of a collaborative IoT Research-to-Market Center with 140 industry and government leaders and campus collaborators. The mission of this new Center, outlined at the IoT Showcase, is to form a partnership of industry, academic, and government entities to benefit their common goals of research, education, innovation, and economic impact.

“We want to have an impact for Oregon in educating the next generation of technology leaders and contributing new ideas for products that will grow Oregon’s economy. That’s basically the goal of a land grant university,” said Terri Fiez, director of strategic initiatives and professor for the School of EECS.

Fiez said that many technology companies scaled back their research and development during the Great Recession, and are now looking for innovative technologies to leverage into IoT products or services. In the meantime, researchers at Oregon State have been developing advances in IoT technologies through federal grants that, with industry collaboration, could have significant market potential.

The IoT Showcase featured demonstration projects by Professor John Wager, the inventor of the transparent transistor, highlighting the technology included in the new Apple Retina Display, and Intel’s Christian Le who has been working with Professor Huaping Liu on a revolutionary new highly accurate indoor location technology. In the plenary address, Analytics for IoT: From Sensors to Decisions, Tom Dietterich, distinguished professor, provided an overview Oregon State’s research strengths in data intelligence for IoT. There were also 18 short presentations by Oregon State professors on four key areas of research:

Since the Showcase, several other partnerships are emerging across campus including the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences supporting applications in environmental intelligence, and materials researchers in the College of Engineering and College of Science as part of the thrust in smart goods manufacturing. Underlying all these IoT areas of research is the critical need for robust cybersecurity, in which the School of EECS is actively building expertise.

One of the first steps for the Center is creating an end-to-end IoT open test bed that would allow collaborators from industry and academia to develop research into products. The test bed will include whole system analysis, including sensing technologies, various IoT systems, software infrastructure to handle the IoT system data, and data intelligence and visualization to extract information and act on it.

“When we assessed our research portfolio, we realized that we have all the components needed in IoT systems, but in order to capitalize on the innovations you really have to look at it from a systems perspective. So, we see building this test bed as a critical first step for being able to take this research to a whole different level,” Fiez said.