CheerLights: a social network of lights

It’s that time of year to spread some cheer and strengthen our connections. We are all connected on this little planet and our latest projects hopes to prove this. ioBridge introduces  CheerLights - a social network of lights that stay in sync with the rest of the lights linked to a messages from social networks. It’s kind of like following a trending topic on Twitter but with physical objects.

Here is a video introduction to CheerLights:

To join the CheerLights project all you have to is build a controller that subscribes to the “cheerlights” keyword, receives the latest color command, and sets the color on your lights. So, when you see the color change know that the color it is now changing all across the world. Instructions on how to build your own physical controller are based around GE G-35 Color Effects Lights and the ioBridge IO-204, ConnectPort X2, or Arduino Ethernet.

The last color processed by CheerLights is accessed through the CheerLights Channel hosted on ThingSpeak. With that data you could this a lot further and build all sorts of applications that read in that color value and do something with it. Your application could be an Android widget that shows the latest color, a set of Christmas lights, ambient orb, or dynamically setting the background color of a website.

ioBridge has been working on a way to distribute a command from a social network and distribute to thousands of end points in real-time – a many to many issue. The technology behind CheerLights paves the way for an alert system that could cascade across the globe.

[via CheerLights.com]

Voice Activated Home Automation with Siri and ioBridge

[mark] tweeted about his “Voice Activated Home Automation” system that uses Siri on the iPhone sending commands to the ioBridge X10 controller.

If you say, “Siri I’m cold”, the iPhone sends a command to the ioBridge API to turn on the furnace. Siri warmly replies, “Lighting the fire place, this is cozy.” What is really neat is how the interface is voice commands, but the language is natural.

Here are some other home automation commands demonstrated in the video:

  • Siri turn on the Christmas lights
  • Siri turn on the living room lamp
  • Siri turn off everything

Markt makes use of SiriProxy to intercept commands spoken at Siri and reroute them to the ioBridge API to control the X10 widgets connected to the ioBridge IO-204. For more information about the project, visit Mark’s blog for a detailed description and things that you need to make your own voice activated home automation system.

[via MarkHodder.com]

Internet of Things on Big Bang Theory

I was watching a rerun of the Big Bang Theory TV show (my wife and I are big fans) last week and there was a pretty funny clip with the guys experimenting with the Internet of Things.   It was in the beginning clip just before the credits in the episode called “The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization” that originally aired on March 17, 2008.

This made me think back at how far ioBridge has come and where they were at that time.  The funny thing about it is the technology they are simulating could have just as well be using an ioBridge module.  Public access for internet users to control things in their house was something only super geeks could do at that time.  At the time this episode aired ioBridge only had a working prototype of public internet interactivity with Jason’s original fishcam that open and closed a gator’s mouth in his fish tank.

Obviously ioBridge has come a long way since that prototype, but it’s interesting to see how the ideas have been bouncing around for years but only now is it starting to get the attention where the number of Internet of Things devices now and in the future are in frequent conversations.

For your viewing pleasure I was able to find it on my search through YouTube and wanted to share it with all the Internet of Things fans out there.

Breast Milk Storage, Real-time Freezer Monitoring

ioBridge team member, Josh, and his wife recently celebrated the birth of a baby… congrats! After a few months of settling into the sleep patterns and the whims of their bundle of joy, Josh came up with the idea to put ioBridge to work to solve a basic need for the family. They wanted to preserve breast milk in the freezer. With some research, they found that breast milk has precise temperature requirements for long-term storage.

Josh had some clear goals to ensure that the breast milk was stored properly:

  1. Know the real-time temperature of the freezer
  2. Send alerts if temperatures get too warm
  3. Monitor the state of power at our home
  4. Send alerts if power is out

Breast Milk Freezer Monitor with ioBridge

In this case, adding some remote monitoring smarts to the otherwise “dumb” freezer, is the perfect solution. Josh ran a temperature probe into the freezer and connected it to a channel on the ioBridge Io-204 web gateway. On ioBridge.com, he created a data log to monitor the temperature of the freezer and set an email alert for the temperature required to store breast milk for an extended period of time. Josh also connected the Io-204 to the same power source as the freezer, so that if power was lost to the freezer it would also be lost the IO-204. ioBridge tracks whether these devices are connected, so that you can monitor their Online / Offline status. Josh cleverly connected an API call to the device to a site monitoring service and now is able to monitor the up time of his freezer just like monitoring the up time of a server.

The Internet of Things is in its infancy, but it can be very practical despite the recent articles referring to the number of devices to impress upon us just the sheer volume. To us it’s all about finding useful applications and introducing them to consumers to find our early majority product and service. We believe in and see a connected future, but we want it to be so useful that people don’t have to think about the technology. Like when you are using an iPad, are you concerned over capacitive touch technology or that it’s really easy to play games? Maybe by the time Josh’s baby grows up and enters college, the Internet of Things will be as common place and transparent as indoor plumbing.

Check out Josh’s blog for more details on setting up his breast milk monitoring system using ioBridge and a bonus project on using the Edimax Nanorouter to add Wi-Fi to the ioBridge IO-204 Monitor and Control Module.

[via MojoHo.com]

Tide Sensors, Hurricane Irene, and the Internet of Things

As we announced last year, we have been running tide level points around Cape Cod to more accurately alert boaters about high and low tides. Our tide sites are connected to the Internet via the ioBridge platform. We also provide real-time alerts and tweets to boaters in Cape Cod and surrounding marinas.

One of our many TideAlerts.com subscribers had the idea to “watch” the tide levels during Hurricane Irene. After analyzing the data, we observed something interesting. The period of the tides did not change, but the amplitudes (the high tide and low tide marks) were greatly exaggerated as Hurricane Irene passed through Cape Cod.

The ioBridge tide project is another example of how the Internet of Things is emerging. We started this project 3 years ago and it provides an extremely useful service and is only possible by aggregating tons of sensor data and sharing it with users, developers, and researchers. This application is based on open data from NOAA and users monitoring environmental information and tries to find more meaning than just being a collection site of data.

By the way, here is what the tides looked like during Hurricane Irene at one of our public monitoring sites:

Tide Sensor Charts During Hurricane Irene

The good news is that by the time Hurricane Irene made it to Massachusetts, the storm was weak and all of our tide sensor sites survived.

Check out the Technology Review article, Cape Cod is Tweeting, Thanks to the Internet of Things, for more information about our tide project or contact us at support@iobridge.com.