The internet is supposed to be a forum for collaboration and sharing. And the Internet of Holiday Lights contest asks for creative use of Eclipse's IoT offering.


So the two Belgian guys (Frederick and me) decided to team up and use the internet as our platform to work together.
We believe that having our two devices connected to each other - and make them change each other's behavior - ticks the creative use of the Eclipse IoT offering box in an inventive way .

Our gizmos work in isolation. But only when both devices are online they show their full colors.



Frederick's gizmoJan's gizmo
photo 1 (1).JPGIMG_3999_L.JPG



What have we done?


Both Frederick (fvan on element14) and me have reserved part of our Thing's look-and-feel for shared functionality.

And both of us publish an I-AM-ALIVE message to the Eclipse IoT broker every minute. We both subscribe to each other's message.

When we receive a message from the other, we animate some part of our design. When there's no new 'I-AM-ALIVE' arriving within a given period, that animation stops.

You can't get more Christmas compliant than that - and we don't use the internet to talk to ourselves; we use it to enrich the experience.



How did we test it?


You can use the Eclipse Paho MQTT Utility to view traffic, but also to submit test messages. So I can simulate that Frederick's device is online by submitting 'his' message via Paho.

We also use it to monitor if the other gizmo is emitting messages. Ideal to see if our designs are actually reacting on the broadcast.

The screen capture below is me simulating Frederick's broadcast. So the messages are not coming from his device this time:




Here's a capture of both gizmos broadcasting. It's our devices that are generating the messages:


... and what's the effect?


The visual effect when our designs are on-line together:


Frederick's gizmoJan's Gizmo
photo 2 (1).JPG


So that's our creative Internet of Things offer:

"Use the internet to influence, communicate and work together. And use it to let our Thing be More Than a Thing"



The gizmo design


I got a bottle of after-shave for New Year, and used the old bottle as a special effects light filter. I fitted two strings with a random number of green and red LEDSs in the bottle (It's the Infineon RGB shield's duty to manage the current - and it handles that responsibility very well).

In the front of the bottle I made a cut-out of part of one of Frederick's design drawings (the big star from his drawing below). I glued that drawing over the cut-out hole, and gently tapped the inner part of the star with olive-oil to improve the transparency.

frederick ster.jpg gzmo.jpg


Frederick's post: [Christmas Tree] Internet of Holiday Lights - Special Feature




The IoT Team Up is open to all.

Internet of Holiday Lights: Join the secret IoT Service - open for all


We've published the details on how to share your heartbeats. A few members are preparing to add something in their design.

The result will be more exciting than what we envisioned at the start.