I have been working with the Twilio API for a few of my projects. I have used Twilio to call me when disk space is running low on a server or to call my house and request its status. Twilio is a cloud-based communications platform for sending and receiving text messages or placing phone calls. Twilio is wrapped up nicely with a RESTful API so ThingSpeak or MATLAB can use it without a lot of setup.
Tonight, I was following a beginner tutorial that I wrote for using Twilio and ThingSpeak, and I noticed that their voice example plays a friendly greeting and then by surprise Twilio starts playing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”, for the world’s geekiest rickroll.
Often when building IoT projects, you end up wondering what data is being sent to a cloud service like ThingSpeak. The IoT Debugger tool allows you to see the data inside a ThingSpeak channel in a table view. The ThingSpeak Logger shows you data as the channel gets updated. This is an easy way to see if you are sending bad data or null data. The project is open source and available on GitHub.
Features of IoT Debugger
ThingSpeak Data Logger
Particle.io Webhooks Manager
Settings are saved in LocalStorage
Built using HTML5, Bootstrap, and jQuery
Demo and download the source code for IoT Debugger on GitHub.
I got the Particle Photon and Electron working nicely with ThingSpeak. I took the time to document how to connect the Particle.io cloud and ThingSpeak together securely. The tutorial is available now at Hackster.io and the project uses the Particle Photon, ThingSpeak, IoT Debugger, and MATLAB!
@MyToaster introduced the world to the idea of social appliances. This Internet of Things devices led to the creation of ThingSpeak – a service created to collect data from things and analyze it with MATLAB.
My mom asked me to setup a CheerLights lamp in their living room to stay connected with me. I was thrilled that she asked me to do this for her.
CheerLights, BTW, is one of my projects that synchronizes color lights to the same color all around the world by sending a Tweet mentioning “cheerlights” and a color name.
“@CheerLights Let’s go Blue!”
For my mom, I wanted the setup to be easy. I have made @cheerlights with Arduino, Philips Hue, and Particle. But, all of these solutions are very DIY and require some programming to get working. I looked around for an alternative solution. I discovered the LIFX A21 Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Light Bulb. What makes this solution ideal for my parents home is that there is no hub needed – just Wi-Fi. The LIFX bulb is currently $99 at Amazon, but I found it in my local Best Buy store for $59! This means that the LIFX so far is the cheapest way to join @CheerLights and have a really nice display in your house.
Connect your phone to your Wi-Fi network
Install the LIFX mobile app on your phone
Connect the LIFX led bulb to any light socket and turn it on
Open the app and go to “Add Bulb”
Once your bulb is linked to the app, you will be notified that the bulb requires a software update. Once this happens the bulb will be connectable by the LIFX Cloud API. Sign into https://cloud.lifx.com/ and generate your secret key. Make sure to save this key somewhere so you can use it to setup ThingSpeak.
I manage a lot of servers. One of the things that I am always curious about is how much disk space is left on my servers. I know there are a lot of ways to track this, but almost always it seems the service that I am using changes on me or breaks over time.
My super simple solution for tracking server disk space is to use Windows PowerShell and ThingSpeak. I went to the trouble to release the code to GitHub, so that you can try this out for yourself. This can be used on any Windows Server as long as you have the ability to execute PowerShell scripts. ThingSpeak gives you a place to store data from anything. In this case, I am sending my disk free space to ThingSpeak once per day by scheduling a Windows Task.
I have started a new Meetup — Internet of Things Pittsburgh (#iotpgh) — this meetup is open to all steel city innovators looks to explore the emerging Internet of Things. Join me as your host on the first meetup on April 9th at 6pm at the TechShop Pittsburgh.