Connected Bumblebees: Use Twitter to Follow Bees #buzzisback

Nik Sargent likes to “do things differently”. Nik is a technologist, artist, data collector, photographer, and bumblebee conservationist.

Busy Bees

Nik’s Bumblebee Project started off in 2011 with the goal of getting to know these amazing, social creatures. As he learned more, he found that the bees documented behavioral patterns were different from observed behavioral patterns due to climate change and unusual weather conditions. Nik observed countless hours of camera footage and discovered that the Queen’s hibernation schedule has been completely disrupted leading to disaster of new bumblebees and subsequent pollination which is critical to our food supply. There are many reports of a decline in pollination and is of global significance.

Earlier this year, Nik added sensors and a gateway from ioBridge to help automate and collect more data generated by these busy bees. The bee boxes now monitor temperature, track movement, count bees, and provide real-time feedback from the bumblebees by being connected to the cloud. The project looks to be evolving as new sensors and ideas will be incorporated over time.

“ioBridge is a big step forward in allowing us to automate and correlate environmental and activity data without resorting to manual CCTV analysis,” said Nik in an email interview. “It gives us the freedom not only to view and collect the data from anywhere remotely,  but also share it and tweet it – again helping to raise awareness.”

Nik was able to capture a photo of the first tweet triggered by a Bumblebee.

Video Still of Bumblebees

And, here’s what she said…

Bumblebee Tweet

We were so happy to find out about this project. We didn’t know much about Bumblebees and learned a lot by following Nik’s project. Thanks for sharing and we hope to do our part to help raise awareness of the global impact and never ending curiosity that bumblebees generate.

To get more info about the Bumblebee Project visit and follow the project on Twitter.

ioBridge Provides Web Connectivity Technology and Cloud Services for Pool Control Systems

If you happened to be at the Orlando Pool and Spa Show 2012 last week, you might have noticed all of the buzz around a new product from Zodiac Pool Systems called iAquaLink. Every aspect of managing a pool and spa is possible with iAquaLink by allowing for control from an iPhone, Android device, and any web browser. Users are now able to get the spa ready before leaving work, schedule cleanings, monitor pH, set the solar heater, etc. Pool and spa installers are also able to remotely maintain a user’s pool and provide new services.

Access to iAquaLink on any Device

Here’s a quick video introduction linked by Carecraft pool builders and retailers:

Zodiac contacted us about creating a remote monitoring and control device for their pool and spa control systems. We worked with their engineering and marketing team to create a new product that incorporates Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, and RS-485 connectivity. We also extended our web services, created an API, and provided a streaming interface to monitor and control over 100k pool and spa systems efficiently. All of our combined efforts resulted in a highly secure, real-time, connected product that is targeted to pool professionals and consumers.

iAquaLink System Overview

The pool and spa industry is highly competitive. By adding Internet-connectivity and many new features, companies like Zodiac are able to maintain their competitive edge. “It’s critically important to Zodiac and our Jandy Controls business to maintain our reputation for highly dependable, intuitive pool and spa automation,” said David Goldman, Director of Product Development at Zodiac. “We’re delighted to raise the bar yet again by incorporating ioBridge’s technology.”

And, we are thrilled as well to be working with innovative partners like Zodiac. We have many other projects like this going on under the hood and we love being able to share this one with you.

“We are extremely proud to have been chosen by Zodiac to provide connectivity technology for their new iAquaLink intelligent pool control system,” said Dr. Robert Mawrey, CEO of ioBridge. “The flexibility and accessibility of the ioBridge platform allows companies to enhance the value of their products. We believe that the iAquaLink is a wonderful example of an Internet-enabled product and that it provides a competitive edge that sets Zodiac apart from other pool and spa control system providers.”

Visit for more applications and information on how ioBridge works with manufactures such as Zodiac.

[via ioBridge Press Release]

Powercast and ioBridge Partner to Create Cloud-connected Wireless Sensor Networks

Powercast met ioBridge last year at the Remote Monitoring and Control Expo and we quickly hit it off.  Powercast saw pairing their wireless sensor technology with ioBridge’s web gateways as a complete solution they could deliver to customers.  ioBridge’s cloud service gateway for professional applications was a great fit to connect their wireless sensor network to the cloud.

Last month Powercast put a live demo of their remote monitoring in the cloud solution on their website.  The layout below displays various Temperature, Humidity, Light and Carbon Dioxide sensors at different locations throughout the Powercast headquarters.

Powercast Sensors and ioBridge demo

This is a great example of how ioBridge technology can be the missing piece of the puzzle in someone else’s solution.  We are seeing a growing level of interest from solution providers like Powercast that have their own existing technology, customers and applications.  We love these types of partnerships where our cloud connecting technology makes their solutions better and easier to manage.

Stormwater Management and Why it’s Big for the Internet of Things

ioBridge and one of our partners Geosyntec has had a lot of buzz lately.  Geosyntec has been using ioBridge’s “Internet of Things” platform of hardware and software to solve BIG problems in the area of stormwater and rain water management.

The article in Scientific American and Fast Company titled How the “Internet of Things” Is Turning Cities Into Living Organism talks about how this solution is a great example of using “Internet of Things” to immediately affect the environments we live in. I especially enjoyed the analogy of the sensors in the city being the “virtual nervous system”.

“By using the Internet to connect real-world sensors and control mechanisms to cloud-based control systems that can pull in streams from any other data source, including weather reports, these efforts enable conservation and money-saving measures that would have been impossible without this virtual nervous system.”

(Even Chris Anderson of Wired / The Long Tail gave this definition of the Internet of Things a ringing endorsement.)

Why this is BIG for the Internet of Things

I feel like this is all just the tip of the iceberg for the “Internet of Things”.  Solving problems like stormwater management are proving that the “Internet of Things” has a big part in solving real world problems, not just tweeting toasters.

Here’s a recipe:

1) Existing data / trends / models (i.e. weather, tides, sunlight)

2) Real time data (i.e. temperature, pressure, humidity, light)

3) “Things” that need to be controlled (i.e. fans, valves, motors)

4) Platforms for the “Internet of Things” (like what ioBridge makes)

Take a few parts real-time data analysis with existing data / trends / model, decide how and when the things that need to be controlled should function, then mix moderately with a platform for the “Internet of Things”.  What can it be used for?  This recipe goes well with agriculture, infrastructure, energy, water…   In the end you’ll have a way to solve many large real-time problems.

As you can see, most of the components 1-3 have already existed for years.  It is the recent emergence of platforms for the “Internet of Things” that provides that last mile to connect it all together and makes  automatically solving real problems in real-time a reality.

Yeah… It’s kind of a big deal.

[via Scientific American / Fast Company / Wall Street Journal ]

Successful Internet of Things DCWEEK Workshop

First I’d like to give a thank you to all the attendees of ioBridge’s DCWEEK Internet of Things Workshop.  It was a great turnout even though it was one of the last events of a long week.

We accomplished all of our goals:

  1. Explain to people what the “Internet of Things” is
  2. Have everyone realize where it is in their everyday lives
  3. Understand just how BIG it is going to be
  4. Get people to experiment first hand with IoT
  5. Get involved with the Washington, DC tech scene and contribute to DCWEEK 2011
  6. Get people giddy like school children when they are controlling their own “Things” on the Internet!

All the attendees were very involved in the presentation.  It was great to see the wheels start to turn as they learned about basic digital and analog inputs/outputs.  Once they understood those concepts they started to see how seemingly complex devices like a touch screen could be broken down in to it’s basic inputs and outputs.

The hands on part of the workshop was very rewarding and we thought everyone had a lot of fun.  We brought ioBridge Dev Kits that include IO-204 and multiple buzzers, temperature sensors, buttons, servo motors and LCD screens for the attendees to play with.  Four separate groups got to go through the module setup process and begin interacting with their items through the Internet.  Once they got that down, it started to get a little creative.

One group used a combination of the temperature sensor and the buzzer to have a buzzer go off when a certain temperature was reached.  They monitored all the inputs and outputs right from the Internet.  Another group took it a step further and had their IO-204 tweet once a certain temperature was reached.  Once they got that down, they used a simple button to trigger a tweet.  Sort of like a motion detector tweeting when someone came into a room.

Here are some of the photos of everyone in action: