ESC Boston 2005 is on the books


Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston completed its 14thedition on a positive note at that city’s Hynes Convention Center, Sept. 12-15. ESC enjoys the reputation of a leading educational forum for embedded systems professionals as well as a show-floor display of the latest technologies and tools from leading hardware and software companies. Attendance was expected in the 2,500 to 3,000 range (compared to 2,800 last year).

The conference consisted of nearly 100 technical sessions, classes, and tutorials addressing a wide range of topics, while approximately 160 exhibitors participated on the show floor (versus 139 in 2004). Reflecting a growing concern for security within the embedded systems industry, the Embedded Security Seminar was co-located with this year’s ESC Boston.

Keynote address for the event—“Security and Privacy Issues in RFID Technologies”—was presented by Avi Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University. He discussed the impact of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies on global business, along with security and privacy concerns they raise today and for the future. Rubin mentioned that RFID “could lead to tracking of people” and their activities, citing examples of “tags” in paper money or books/magazines. Proliferation of databases is further cause of privacy concerns. “RFID makes it easier to‘leak’ information about people,” he said. Methods of protecting privacy include “blocker” tags and tin-foil wrapping. “Privacy concerns are legitimate,” Rubin concludes. “Creep” of functions within RFID technology also poses a risk.


“Hot topics” discussed and demonstrated in products at ESC Boston included design of safety-critical systems and networking of remote embedded systems. Among numerous product introductions was WinSystems ’ new EPIC standard single-board computer for machine-to-machine communication (

see Sept. 21, 2005 Daily News



Other product highlights from the show will be covered in October 2005 Information Control Monthly E-Newsletter.


The next annual ESC presentation will be the main event in San Jose, CA (April 3-7, 2006). ESC Boston returns to Hynes Convention Center, Sept. 25-28, 2006.

Frank J. Bartos, executive editor

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