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Huge Interactive Art Display Across England a Model for Modern Connected Business
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”
“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.
Zachary Lieberman, founder of YesYesNo, the artist group responsible for creating the art, comments on the project: “We realized a symbolic connection between the wall and the 2012 Olympics – the wall represents what was once a border and the Olympics being an extension of borders. So we responded by creating a communications infrastructure with the help of Digi that would allow people anywhere to send messages along the wall. Digi provided a turnkey solution in less than two months that is allowing us to make our vision a reality.”
The iDigi Device Cloud is a secure and scalable platform that meets the highest standards of reliability. With the iDigi® Connector®, a free software download, any device can seamlessly integrate with the iDigi Device Cloud providing instant connectivity.