ThingSpeak Plus Third-party Hardware – an Alternative to ioBridge Hardware

In 2008, when ioBridge launched the IO-204 web gateway for the Internet of Things, there were very few hardware devices available to easily and cost-effectively build connected products. The Internet of Things has taken off with a wide array of companies now offering hardware devices to prototype and develop Internet of Things products and solutions.

In 2010, ioBridge launched, an open data platform for the Internet of Things. From the beginning, ThingSpeak was designed to be hardware agnostic and is now used by thousands of people to aggregate data from sensors and to control things using the ThingSpeak App, TalkBack. With ThingSpeak there are many hardware choices and the ThingSpeak tutorials provide examples of hardware platforms that talk to ThingSpeak including the Arduino, Spark Core, and mbed to name a few.

ThingSpeak IoT Platform

ioBridge has sold hardware on our store over the past six years as a means to demonstrate and enable our software. Now that so many hardware alternatives are available that work well with our ThingSpeak service, we have decided to stop selling hardware on our web store to refocus our effort on making it even easier to use third-party hardware with ThingSpeak. Stay tuned for more information.

ioBridge customers who have purchased ioBridge gateways can continue to use the dashboard service, but we recommend that new customers consider using ThingSpeak with a third-party hardware platform of your choice.

Send Data to ThingSpeak with Arduino

Do you already have an Arduino with an Ethernet Shield? Connect some sensors and send the data to ThingSpeak with this simple Arduino Sketch.

Arduino Ethernet ThingSpeakOnce the data is collected by ThingSpeak, we have a number of ThingSpeak Apps that let you do something with it. Use ThingTweet to update Twitter if your Christmas Tree needs watered. Use React and TalkBack to control your thermostat. Use TweetControl to control a global network of lights!

[via ThingSpeak Tutorials]

Christmas Lights Synchronized Around the World to Twitter, Powered by the Internet of Things

For the third holiday season in a row, the CheerLights project is gearing up. The idea behind CheerLights is to show that we are all connected by synchronizing the color of lights around the world. Christmas lights are a staple around the holidays and with Internet-connected lights, the color of your lights matches the color of everyone else’s lights.

It has been a real treat watching this project evolve as more and more people add lights… and other things. Things like Android and iPhone apps that check the latest color of CheerLights, an old Commodore 64, and Christmas trees.

To control the lights around the world, send a Tweet mentioning @CheerLights and a color. The command is processed by ioBridge’s ThingSpeak platform and distributed to all of the lights listening to the CheerLights API.

@CheerLights I am dreaming of a White Christmas

Another powerful aspect of the CheerLights project is that is shows off what is possible with the emerging Internet of Things. With a single message sent via a social network like Twitter, 1000’s of objects around the world are in sync with each other. Lights are connected by many types of controllers, such as Arduino, ioBridge, Philips, and the Raspberry Pi. This project is only possible through the Internet and the coordination of developers around the world.

Learn how to join the project at

We are all connected…

[via CheerLights]

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.


Candy Dispenser is a Twilio, Twitter, and ioBridge Mashup

Halloween would not be complete without some novel electronics to spook the trick-or-treaters. Noel Portugal created a system that allows you to send text messages or tweets to his Halloween Candy Dispenser to drop some treats into your bag. Commands are relayed from the web via the ioBridge IO-204 to his microcontroller controlled candy dispenser. There’s a big red button in case you forgot your mobile phone in your Iron Man costume.

Internet-enabled Halloween Treat Dispenser

Internet-enabled Halloween Treat Dispenser

Noel wrote a web application using Oracle Application Express that connects all the parts together. At the heart of the design is an Arduino-based microcontroller that drives the servo-based dispenser mechanism. The commands are relayed from the web app to the Arduino using the ioBridge IO-204 via XBee radios. The Internet connectivity part is what allows tweets (@tweetfortreats) or text messages processed by Twilio to control the candy dispenser. The web application makes use of the ioBridge Widget API to parse commands from the Internet.

ioBridge IO-204 Module with XBee Radio

ioBridge IO-204 Module with XBee Radio

Just think of where this type of technology can go? Vending machines?

If you are interested in learning more, Noel has put together an Instructables so others can create their own DIY Halloween project this year. There’s also more information on Adafruit, MAKE, Hacked Gadgets, and Noel’s My Web of Things blog. Happy Halloween!