Introduction to the “Internet of Things” and ThingSpeak

You might have recently heard about the “Internet of Things”. You may even be wondering what things are.  This video provides a quick introduction to the Internet of Things and ThingSpeak features. To get started with ThingSpeak, sign up for a free user account at by clicking Sign Up.

Internet of Things

Things are either sensors or actuators. A sensor is something that tells us about our environment. Think of a temperature sensor, or even the GPS receiver on your mobile phone. Actuators are something that you want to control, things like thermostats, lights, pumps, and outlets. The “Internet of Things” brings everything together and allows us to interact with our things. For example, you could have your thermostat control itself based on where you’re located.

ThingSpeak Basics

ThingSpeak is an application platform for the Internet of Things. ThingSpeak allows you to build an application around data collected by sensors. Features of ThingSpeak include real-time data collection, data processing, visualizations, apps, and plugins.

At the heart of ThingSpeak is a ThingSpeak Channel. A channel is where you send your data to be stored. Each channel includes 8 fields for any type of data, 3 location fields, and 1 status field. Once you have a ThingSpeak Channel you can publish data to the channel, have ThingSpeak process the data, and then have your application retrieve the data.

Here is a live demo of a light sensor publishing data to ThingSpeak in real-time:

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