Connected Appliances at the Connected World Conference

After a tweet from Peggy Smedley, we found a summary of the Connected World Conference on The iMums website – Reviews by mothers of little gadget lovers. In the review, they mention what they saw from ioBridge. Thanks for the note!

On the lighter side on the ioBridge stand I saw a toaster that tweets every time it makes a slice of toast and a coffee maker that you can text to make you a cup of coffee. ioBridge provides products that allow both professionals and hobbyists to connect pretty much anything to the internet.

Here’s a quick video of the @MyToaster exhibit at the Connected World Conference:

This concept of making things tweet lead us to build social and alerting functions for other devices such as washers and dryers at laundromats, and then lead us to create to our ThingSpeak platform specifically designed to allow devices to post status updates and share object data with other users.

And for fun, follow @MyToaster on Twitter to watch its toasting habits.

[via The iMums]

From Toasters to Smart Cities, See How ioBridge is Building the Internet of Things

What is the internet of things?

This might be a question that you have been asking lately as we all keep hearing more about smart things and connected devices. “Internet of Things” concepts were introduced to us over 10-15 years and have shifted from humble object tagging ideas to much more sophisticated concepts. We believe the Internet of Things is an ecosystem of devices and systems interacting with each other using the Internet on behalf of people. This interaction may produce automation systems, social entanglement with our objects, efficiency in systems, brand new product categories, and meaningful analytics.

Claudia Bracholdt of Quartz recently invited Robert Mawrey, CEO of ioBridge, to share our experience and view-point on the Internet of Things. In the following YouTube video, Robert discusses the Tweeting Toaster (@mytoaster) and demonstrates a smart plug that is able to be controlled by a smart phone and social interaction. The smart plug is powered by the ioBridge Iota Wi-Fi Module making anything smart and cloud-connected. Manufacturers use the Iota module or a reference design in many products when they are looking to build scalable, stable, and secure connected products and services.

Using the ioBridge platform, known as RealTime.io (real-time input and output), users are able to build all kinds of interactions among things, people, and apps. RealTime.io provides social context such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare and system context with Email, back-end systems, weather systems, analytic processing, and voice services such as Twilio. Robert mentioned a “tweeting toaster” which tweets when it is in use. This was created over 5 years ago and has stirred up many conversations about connected objects. The idea is not to stop at this humorous example. We ask ourselves, “What does this mean?” and “What else can we do?” Knowing if a toaster is in use can tell us the power consumption of the appliance. What if this was not a toaster but a washer and dryer? You could get notified at laundry mat that your laundry is ready. Instead of a public output to Twitter, how about to sending notifications to phones. This could have been a medical device that is out of spec and alerts you that you need calibration or service and possibly do that calibration remotely.

Social Appliances, Laundry Mats, Powered by ioBridge and the Internet of Things

What else could you do? How about building a smart city. This is exactly what Geosyntec did with the ioBridge platform and devices. Instead of reacting to Twitter, water systems in cities react to weather conditions read in from weather websites, remote locations, local sensors, and now have the ability to make real-time control decisions in determining how water is collected, routed, and used efficiently.

How The "Internet Of Things" Is Turning Cities Into Living Organisms

Again, the idea is to keep pushing the ideas further. With ioBridge, we make it possible to create all kinds of newly imagined ideas. Let’s keep the conversation going… Please contact us and see how we can work together and build amazing new things.

[via Quartz]

Robots Interact on MyRobots, a Social Network for Robots

RobotShop recently introduced their social network for robots called MyRobots. By allowing devices to pass messages to cloud services, MyRobots allows for interesting interactions among things and people. The idea is to make robots social and provide their information in context with how we like to communicate with each other.

“Soon, I will be able connect to the robots in my home, and MyRobots will provide me with their current status such as if all is well, they have a problem or even if they require maintenance. MyRobots will inform me in real-time of any action I need to take, thus facilitating the coexistence and communication between mankind and these increasingly intelligent machines.” -Mario Tremblay, RobotShop CEO

MyRobots Logo

Internet of Things Scale

Social networking services like Twitter process over 200 million Tweets a day and when everyday objects and robots come online in the way that we see it, this number will be crushed. RobotShop built their new platform on top of ThingSpeak which is a highly scalable infrastructure for the Internet of Things created by ioBridge. ThingSpeak is open source and enables devices to interact with social networks, store data, send status updates, and track location all in real-time.

“We are excited that RobotShop selected ThingSpeak as the platform on which to build their innovative MyRobots portal. ThingSpeak is ioBridge’s open source Internet of Things cloud service. This partnership goes hand-in-hand with ioBridge’s vision of helping people benefit from being able to interact with a community of smart things” -Dr. Robert Mawrey, ioBridge CEO

MyRobots Platform

RobotShop’s domain knowledge is robots. By taking their passion for robots and pushing their ideas, they will make it very easy for robot manufactures to add the cloud, add engagement, and draw in consumers. They are well positioned with their knowledge and love of all things robot to create a successful cloud robotics platform that makes it look easy on the outside, while doing the heavy lifting on the inside.

MyRobots Platform Diagram

‘Open’ for Business

MyRobots leveraged ThingSpeak to provide their platform an instant API. APIs are a way that developers can extend and interact with your system and come up with new things that you may not have originally planned for. Opening up APIs, providing source code, and letting others access data, will generate a new crop of users and ideas. And, new ideas are what the Internet of Things needs to be successful or we will see the momentum die out like we saw home automation die out 12 years ago.

In the article, “The Google Rush Toward Internet of Things”, Dana Blankenhorn, says “An open API would enable start-ups like Thingworx, for instance, bring electric utilities to the party. It lets companies like ioBridge bring cloud robotics to the party.” And, we agree. We could not have predicted that Roomba’s and robots would be using our technology to interact with each other. This is the awesome side effect of being ‘open’ for business and we are so thrilled that RobotShop brought a new idea to the table.

[via ioBridge / RobotShop Press Releases]

Socially Aware Lights, Now Wireless with XBee and ioBridge

Check out the iDigi blog for details of a new project involving CheerLights – a network of interconnected lights. In this project, Noel Portugal created a wireless version of CheerLights using Digi’s XBee radios and the ioBridge IO-204 web gateway. Lights, apps, and objects all stay linked together by listening to the Twitter Stream for colors. When a color gets tweeted to @cheerlights, all of the objects change to that color.

“It’s a way to connect physical things with social networking experiences. We are all connected.” -CheerLights

ioBridge Internet Gateway with XBee Radio

Colors from Twitter are processed via ioBridge’s Internet of Things Platform called ThingSpeak. ThingSpeak is a suite of apps to make things social and interact with each other and social networks. CheerLights takes advantage of the TweetControl app. This app can be used to monitor Twitter and then send a control signal to anything that supports HTTP like thermostats, ioBridge X10 Home Automation gear, kid’s toys, interactive trade show displays… and whatever you come up with next.

[via iDigi / My Web of Things]

New Gauge Widgets for Displaying Sensor Data

We have a new option for displaying sensor data on the ioBridge Dashboard or on your webpage. You can now select the Gauge Widget style for analog input widgets, external monitor widgets, and expression widgets. The external monitor widget lets you pull in data from external sites, such as NOAA, WeatherBug, or ThingSpeak, and display their data along side your own data on your secure, private dashboard. Everything works on IE6+, FireFox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, iPhone, Android-based browsers.

Dashboard with New Gauge Widget

To use the new gauge widget, create an Analog Input Widget, External Monitor Widget, or Expression Widget, and select “Gauge” under the style option.