Internet of Things (IoT) – It’s in the media. Earlier this year, World Finance reported a $40bn price tag on Songdo – an IoT Smart City purpose-built by the government of South Korea. For our element14 2014 community awards, IoT was voted as one of the top trending technologies in 2014. We often talk about the Gartner prediction of 26 billion IoT-enabled devices in the world by 2020. Well, that’s only 6 short years away. So, need to get started quickly on your own IoT-project? Don’t forget about our top 10 Video Tutorials to help you get started.
I'm new to it, but I’m a fan of IoT applications. I recently had my boiler upgraded. I made sure it was IoT-enabled so I could control my heating from my phone. In particular, I’m interested in Smart Cities and how IoT applications can be used to monitor pollution. IoT devices could automatically send alerts to weather stations (Have you seen our “In the Air Design Challenge?”). Or in the case of Songdo, cities can use IoT applications to automate transport systems. But, at the most basic level, IoT applications are about being connected and accessible. This allows our environment to be reactive and responsive to our needs and live our lives more conveniently.
#Iotdebate around Privacy issues and your data. With all the potential good, there is always the prevailing debate around security. When does something go too far? And who is surprised? With phone hacking scandals, Edward Snowden sharing leaked classified information and Facebook offering you the ability to opt-out of advertising, data privacy is a big issue. Just this summer, I wanted to install an alarm system in my house. I had the option of an IoT-enabled alarm system that I could turn on and off with a phone app. But, I went the old-fashioned route of ripping apart my walls and installing cable. Why? Because if I could even imagine how to hack the app and turn off the alarm, I was pretty sure someone could do it.
So, without further ado, here are my top 5 awesome internet of things project ideas to help you along.
Benjamin Cabe, from the Eclipse Foundation, turns the Rapiro Robot into an IoT device. It’s my favourite: why? When I look at Rapiro, I see R2D2. I envision myself in the year 2016. I’m sitting at a computer and I’m thirsty. I type into my tablet and R2D2 wanders over with my coffee and lightsaber. (yes, I was and still am a massive Star Wars fan). (Photo By Arrt-Gem on deviantart.com)
Project 2: Internet of Things Alarm Clock
You’ve got to be kidding me. I never have to wake up unnecessarily again? That sounds awesome. As I watched Frederick Vanderbosh build his project commissioned by element14, I wished I’d had this clock when I was in university. Can you imagine? I lived in Montreal where the winters are brutal. If my train had been delayed or the weather was horrendous, I could have stayed in bed! Even better would be an alarm clock that tells you when your classes are cancelled or your professor is delayed! Yup – this amazing clock needs to be built.
Project 3: IoT Vehicle Simulation System
Thinking of building an IoT-enabled vehicle? Using a Beaglebone Black, Douglas Wong and the team created an open-source application that gives you an environment to test your potential application. It simlutes a real vehicle. And it’s a MUST HAVE if you are creating one of those 26 billion IoT devices. Because the car that can stop accidents from happening is going to be the must-have car of 2020. Need more information? Watch the google hangout with Douglas Wong, the engineer behind the project and winner of element14 's Smarter Life Design Challenge, Jason Kridner (from Texas Instruments) and Christian Defeo, eSupplier Manager from element14 Community.
Leslie Birch, member and winner of the Get Closer Wearables Design Challenge with her Florabrella project, decided to take it one step further. Her Florabrella tells you if it is going to rain, so you can decide to take the umbrella with you. What does it mean for me? I never have to check the weather station again. I just check my umbrella and it reminds me to bring it along. I live in Yorkshire where it rains a lot. It would be great if my jacket could also tell me if it is too cold out or if my keys magically migrate back to my pocket. But, I’m sure by 2020, it will happen.
Project 5: Don’t Forget!
Speaking about forgetting stuff, there is a list of things that I always forget to do before I leave the house. Feed the pets, turn off stuff and ensure everything is locked up properly. Frederick Vanderbosch created a great project that does all three in one. Check out the Forget Me Not Challenge.