Hundreds of large illuminated balloons will span the width of England in a demonstration of advanced machine-to-machine (M2M) communications powered by the iDigi® Device Cloud™. Digi International’s (NASDAQ: DGII) communications infrastructure for “Connecting Light” showcases technology that businesses use to open new markets, upgrade existing ones and compete in a highly connected world. On Aug. 31, this two-day interactive digital art installation will power more than 400 light-filled balloons communicating in pulsating color across Britain’s greatest Roman monument, the 70-mile-long Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site™.
“Central control of widely deployed assets is the next phase of the Internet and this is a great example of how technology can be used to take control of remote devices,” said Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Digi International. “We created a system that allows anyone with an Internet or cellular connection to easily communicate with hundreds of interactive balloons scattered across England. It’s the same advanced infrastructure that municipalities use to connect street lights and variable message signs along highways, and that forward-thinking power utilities are using to network their entire grid.”
The art project is powered by the iDigi Device Cloud, ConnectPort® X4 cellular gateways and programmable XBee® wireless modules. The iDigi Device Cloud provides the backbone of the project by supplying the infrastructure required to access, control, configure and upgrade each illumination device securely over the Internet.
To connect the balloons to the iDigi Device Cloud, each Connecting Light balloon will include a programmable XBee RF module. Together, the balloons will create a vast ZigBee network. This network will attach to a custom application hosted on the iDigi Device Cloud via ConnectPort X4 cellular gateways. The operators can easily monitor balloon status and manage balloon light patterns remotely through the Connecting Light website, and spectators can control the balloons with their mobile phones.