Learn to “Script Things” during Perl Workshop at Carnegie Mellon University

The 5th Annual Pittsburgh Perl Workshop (PPW) will be held October 8-9, 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University. PPW will feature great coffee, workshops, and talks all relating to the Perl programming language created by Larry Wall in 1997. ioBridge is one of the community supporters and sponsors of the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop and Perl Foundation.

Pittsburgh Perl Workshop Sponsored by ioBridge

Perl + CGI changed the Internet back in the mid-90’s. This combo was the catalyst for the creation of dynamic web applications and paved the way for the “Web 2.0”. The next big movement is the Internet of Things. This is where web applications mash-up with sensors, devices, appliances, power meters, mobile phone, and social networking to form new applications. Perl sits in a great spot to “Script Things”. Perl is a high-level language that has the ability to interface with any API, server, back-end, and new things that come its way. This is often why Perl gets called the “Duct tape of the Internet”. Last year, Hans Scharler, of ioBridge, created a thermostat that regulates itself based on his location on Google Latitude. The scripting was all done in Perl and interfaced with ioBridge’s API to control the thermostat. A lot of new applications are possible.

Hans will return to PPW and hold a new session called Scripting Things. The idea behind this session is to start with the basics. You will learn about Digital I/O, Analog Values, Serial Data, and Web APIs. All of these topics are things that we take for granted and assume that everyone knows about. You will also learn how to pull everything together with Perl and scripting languages. The target audience is anyone looking to learn how to get started with the Internet of Things and create mashups with real-life things with virtual things.

Injunction with PPW, ioBridge will also be hosting an all day long Hardware Workshop at CMU on October 8, so you can apply your new knowledge right-away. The only thing you need to bring is your imagination. Everything else will be provided — sensors, hardware, Arduino boards, ioBridge modules, buttons, and LEDs. The location is on the 6th Floor of the Gates Hillman Complex right on the Carnegie Mellon Campus and is open to everyone. We look forward to seeing what you will create and/or inspire for the future of the Web of Things.

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop
October 8–9, 2010

Carnegie Mellon University
Gates Hillman Complex
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

“Internet of Things” talk at Perl Conference

Carnegie Mellon University is the host of this year’s Pittsburgh Perl Workshop (@pghpw). Hans Scharler, software developer at ioBridge and Perl advocate, will be giving a talk about Perl’s relevance in the emerging “Internet of Things”. His talk is titled, “Connecting the Internet of Things with Perl“.

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop will be held at the Carnegie Mellon University on October 9-10, 2010. The workshop is a gathering of Perl programmers from around the world to learn more and discuss the future of Perl.

Scharler discusses Perl and Internet of Things on his blog

Internet of Things applications involve connecting sensors and controllers to the web. Perl is perfect for parsing lots of data, pushing data into databases, and connecting services together, known as “mashups”.

Hans will be demonstrating how to create a location-aware thermostat using off-the-shelf Perl’s CPAN modules. This Perl application is a mashup of the Google Latitude API, Weather APIs from Google and WeatherBug, and the ioBridge API. The thermostat is controlled by the location of a phone relative to the location of the house — shutting down the heating and cooling on the way out and turning everything back on by the time you return home.

Perl creator Larry Wall will also be giving the keynote speech! Join us…

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop
October 9–10, 2010

Carnegie Mellon University
Gates Center
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Weather and Location-based Home Automation

An important part of home automation is automation. The system must be able to automatically react to you and to changes in its environment without your direct control. In order to make better decisions, the automation system needs access to lots of data, for example, the location of the people in the building, location relative the building, the current weather forecast, historical weather information, or current energy costs.

Hans Scharler, of ioBridge, set out to make his thermostat aware of his location and the weather forecast. His project started off simple – adjust the thermostat as he leaves and when he returns. His real goals were to return to a comfortable house despite his schedule and to save money.

Scharler has lots to say about the matter…

A preset heating/cooling schedule only works when you are on schedule. What if you come home late? You have been wasting energy. What if you come home early? You might find a cold house.

Hans taps into location and weather data via an Application Programming Interface (API). He tracks his location using the Google Latitude service on his mobile phone and reads in the weather forecast from WeatherBug. Based on his position and the current weather, the system automatically sets his thermostat which is connected to his web application by the ioBridge IO-204. The IO-204 sits on your home network and what ever is connected to the IO-204 now has access to the web and any of the ioBridge web services.

Google Latitude ioBridge Mashup

Location Aware Home Automation

What’s next for this project? How about multi-person tracking? How about a coffee pot controlled by location? How about an office building regulating its power use considering only the location of its employees!?

ioBridge will incorporate location-awareness as a Plug In to the web services. You will be able to drop in Google Latitude connectivity native to the ioBridge platform. Other APIs that you have access to are Yahoo Financials, Google Calculator, WeatherBug, Weather.com, Google Weather, NOAA, Digg (although the API access is broken at the time), and Twitter. The ioBridge Plug In feature will allow you to connect to any API, even ones that are not prepackaged for you. With access to so much information, plus the ability to monitor and control devices, who knows what you will come up with. We were able to make a real-life Digg counter in about 10 minutes. Stay tuned.

For other coverage of this project, visit ReadWriteWeb, and MIT’s Technology Review.

Hans has all of the project code on his web site and details on how he linked the Google Latitude, WeatherBug, and ioBridge APIs together to create his location-aware thermostat.