Internet of Toys
The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) will provide Internet connectivity to a broad variety of objects, such as industrial sensors, home appliances, and consumer electronics including toys. A new standardized IoT protocol software for wireless connectivity will enable toys to interoperate with other toys and smart objects around them. The IoT software will enable toys to be accessed, monitored, and acted on remotely. Our project CALIPSO (http://www.ict-calipso.eu) is partially funded by the research program of the European Commission. As part of this three-year project, Disney Research works together with several industry and academic partners to create an innovative solution for wireless IoT systems. The new CALIPSO communication protocol software enables toys to discover other objects, build mobile ad hoc networks, and communicate in a very energy-efficient way to maximize their battery lifetime. We envision several Disney-related scenarios in which the software will help creating innovative toy play patterns and experience designs.
Disney Research’s main contribution to Calipso is the new Multi-Hop Power Saving Mode for IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN. IoT devices often need to communicate with each other and with Internet gateways over multi-hop links. While most IoT scenarios assume that for this purpose devices use energy-efficient radios such as IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Personal Area Networks, there are scenarios in which IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN is preferred. We extend the IEEE 802.11 Power Saving Mode (PSM), which allows WLAN devices to enter a low-power doze state to save energy, with a traffic announcement scheme that facilitates multi-hop communication. The scheme propagates traffic announcements along multi-hop paths to ensure that all intermediate nodes remain awake to forward the pending data frames with minimum latency. Our testbed measurements demonstrate that the proposed Multi-Hop PSM (MH-PSM) improves end-to-end delay and doze time compared to the standard PSM; therefore, it optimises WLAN to meet the networking requirements of IoT devices. MH-PSM is software-implementable since it does not require changes to the hardware and lower layers of IEEE 802.11. We implemented MH-PSM as part of a WLAN driver for Contiki, which is an operating system for resource-constrained IoT devices.