Celebrate the Holidays by Joining CheerLights, a Global Network of Lights #iot

For the third holiday season in a row, the CheerLights project is gearing up. The idea behind CheerLights is to show that we are all connected by synchronizing the color of lights around the world. Christmas lights are a staple around the holidays and with Internet-connected lights, the color of your lights matches the color of everyone else’s lights.

It has been a real treat watching this project evolve as more and more people add lights… and other things. Things like Android and iPhone apps that check the latest color of CheerLights, Christmas trees, and robots.

To control the lights around the world, send a Tweet mentioning @CheerLights and a color. The command is processed by the ThingSpeak IoT analytics platform and distributed to all of the lights listening to the CheerLights API.

@CheerLights I am dreaming of a White Christmas

Internet of Things

Another powerful aspect of the CheerLights project is that is shows off what is possible with the emerging Internet of Things. With a single message sent via a social network like Twitter, 1000′s of objects around the world are in sync with each other. Lights are connected by many types of controllers, such as Arduino, ioBridge, Philips, and the Raspberry Pi. This project is only possible through the Internet and the coordination of developers around the world.

In the article, “How the Internet of Things Will Change Our Lives“, CheerLights is included to indicate how we are connected and how objects may bring people closer.

Learn how to join the project at CheerLights.com.

We are all connected…

CheerLights: Connecting Lights Together to Bring Us Closer

It’s that time of year… holiday time and family time. I was inspired this time to create a project that brings us a little closer. Lights are a big part of the holidays and with CheerLights you can connect your lights to other lights via Twitter with a little help by ThingSpeak Apps.

Since the project release, there has been much activity. A part from CheerLights being discussed on blogs like MAKE and Lifehacker, the community has created some interesting bits of tech that extend the project further than lights. So if you don’t have a way to connect your lights together with CheerLights, you can connect your mobile phone, browser, and web sites together by subscribing to the CheerLights feed. Right now you can check the latest CheerLights color with an Android App created by @ChrisLeitner. Another really neat thing is a browser plugin for Chrome designed by Josh Crumley. So, in the top corner of your web browser you can see the latest color in an unassuming way. It’s a little reminder that we are connected.

To join CheerLights, all you have to do is build something that subscribed to the CheerLights ThingSpeak Channel or access the data using JSON and XML. You can also use the apps, browser plugins, or web widgets to see the colors. Visit the CheerLights website hosted on Tumblr for details on making a controller with Arduino, ioBridge, or Digi’s ConnectPort.

To control CheerLights, just send a Tweet to @CheerLights and mention a color.

Just think when you send this Tweet that you are updating 1000’s of lights, apps, browsers, and widgets all at the same time.

Spread some cheer…

[via MAKE / Lifehacker / CBC / ioBridge Projects]

Visit to Hack Pittsburgh Maker Space

There’s a lot of activity in Pittsburgh these days. The new Bat Man movie is being filmed and HackPittsburgh is busy making amazing projects. And to top it off, HackPGH has invited ioBridge back to demo our latest gizmos and talk about our open source initiatives such as ThingSpeak. Everyone is invited to the demo at HackPittsburgh, so invite a friend. Power to those who solder!

HackPittsburgh - HackPGH

ioBridge Demo Night

Friday, August 19 @ 7pm

HackPittsburgh Workshop [Google Map]

1936 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

You Can Learn from Sensor Data

Something stuck me today. You can learn from your sensor data. Why go to all of the trouble of logging data without ever taking a look at it and make adjustments? For example, knowing your energy use only helps if you can lower your power use. This is why most power monitoring apps grow stale. In some cases there is little you can do about your power use or you’re not given the tools to make an impact. Our goal with ThingSpeak is to make it super easy to connect things, collect data, share data, and make sense of it all. We wanted to re-confirm our commitment to you. We were spurred on by a recent Tweet from @WaterSim.

[Elad Salomons] of OptiWater noticed that his house water pressure was 9 bars and this set him on a collision course with the Internet of Things. In his research he discovered ioBridge and ThingSpeak. He was able to connect sensors to the web, visualize the data, and come up with a few ah-ha’s in the process.

Gauge showing water pressure

Elad is enjoying the process so much that he wanted to share the learning experience with you. He has created a contest based on some sensor data he has collected. You can look at the data and download historical data over at his Water Simulation blog to see if you can explain the correlations. You have until June 30, 2011 to figure it out. Visit Elad’s blog for more information or look him up on Twitter. $100 to learn something? That’s awesome!

[via Water Simulation / ioBridge]

Wireless Sensors with XBee, Netduino, and ioBridge

[outlet] has created a project that has it all – Netduino! ioBridge! XBee! ThingSpeak! He wanted to use the ioBridge IO-204 as a serial gateway for XBee (ZigBee) wireless sensors connected to ThingSpeak. The XBee radios are attached to a pair of Netduinos that send the data serial data via the IO-204 to the ioBridge Serial Web Services API. At this point, ioBridge relays the data to ThingSpeak, but could send the data to any website.

Outlet has created a detailed Instructables to guide you on how he created the project. This project is at prototype level, but we could see how this could be packaged into an efficient setup and used for many applications that require wireless sensors and remote monitoring and reporting. This is on the same lines as the ioBridge  Tide Alerts product used by many marinas to measure and alert tide levels in real-time.

Wireless Sensors with Netduino,  XBee, ioBridge

Integration with ioBridge Dashboard Applications

ioBridge just added a new feature that allows you to add custom apps and widgets to the ioBridge Dashboard application. This means you can aggregate data from many sources and one of the examples is embedding a ThingSpeak chart. You can also embed ThingSpeak Plugins and external video and truly have a custom dashboard. The new HTML App allows for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create web service mashups without having to run another web server to build applications. SSL is included in both ioBridge and ThingSpeak applications, so everything is secure and ready to go out of the box.

ThingSpeak Charts and Plugins on ioBridge Dashboard

[via ioBridge News and Projects]