I have a RPi based Hub/Gateway platform that, in a nutshell, includes a configurable rule engine so that users can build out a lot of typical IoT edge infrastructure without doing any programming. One of its major differentiators is that it comes with built-in support for a range of sensors so users basically just pick the sensors and sensor values they want to access using the Rule Engine Configuration Utility. Currently it supports about a dozen or so BLE and ANT sensors (a list is below). Once support is added for a new sensor it just becomes part of the supported sensor library from that point forward, meaning each new release should have an ever growing library of supported sensors. Adding support for a new sensor is a day or two's effort typically.
All of that said, when I started this a few years ago I envisioned a lot more generic sensors coming to the market which so far hasn't happened. Most off the shelf sensors are more meant more for prototyping than building actual systems or applications (e.g. the SensorTag, Thingy:52, etc.). Beyond that many sensors on the market are tied to their own proprietary systems or products and so it's not always easy to get all their characteristic and control/configuration information.
Ideally I'd like to support as many sensors / sensor types as possible. Hopefully (and importantly) the sensors would also be as low-cost as possible. That would make for a completely unique offering where users could really create their IoT edge infrastructure quickly and with minimal technical expertise required. So my questions for those who know about building sensors are -
- How hard is it to build a simple BLE sensor from scratch? Take for instance the Garmin Tempe ANT sensor which simply reports the current temperature, if you wanted to replicate that as a BLE sensor how hard would that be?
- Once you did that how hard would it be to build similar single purpose sensors to do other things, e.g. monitor for gasses, proximity, light, movement, etc.
- How cheap could these types of sensors it be built at scale would you think?
- Have I maybe missed a range of sensors already available that might fit the bill?
- Are there any companies out there that might be open to building a line of sensors if they had a hub to support them?
Any input/observations would be appreciated and if I can answer any questions about my platform let me know (some info and links are below). Note that the main website doesn't reference a lot of new beta functionality, specifically new MQTT support. Info about that (and where it can be downloaded) can be found in a hackster.io project linked below. It'll be incorporated into the main website soon. In the interim, if you want to download the current version be sure to download it from the beta page as the version on the main website does not include any of the MQTT functionality. Anyway, thanks in advance for any replies...
Currently Supported Sensors:
- Texas Instruments SensorTag
- Nordic Thingy:52
- Dialog Semiconductor DA14585
- NXP RapidIoT
- Sensirion Smart Gadget
- Phoenix Sensors WEPS04
- Vernier GDX-TMP
- Generic HRM (BLE)
- Generic HRM (ANT)
- Garmin Tempe (ANT)
Compatible 3rd party MQTT Brokers (tested so far):
- MS Azure PowerBi
- IBM Watson IoT
- Amazon AWS IoT
- AdaFruit IO