Cloud-based People Counter Using MATLAB and ThingSpeak

Over the weekend, I noticed a tweet about a people counter using MATLAB and ThingSpeak being demonstrated at Big Data Spain. They were able to detect over 1,500 visitors at their demo station.

People Counter using MATLAB and ThingSpeak

The project uses MATLAB to create a cloud-based people counter by detecting faces with the Computer Vision System Toolbox™. The raw people count is then sent to the ThingSpeak IoT platform for data collection in the cloud and further data analysis.

Check out File Exchange to learn how to build your own people counter using MATLAB and ThingSpeak.

MATLAB Toolboxes are Now Available on ThingSpeak for IoT Analytics

ThingSpeak offers an easy way to collect data from things, analyze and visualize the data with MATLAB, and act on your data. With MATLAB from MathWorks, you have access to powerful data processing and analysis functions for IoT data. To extend the functionality, we offer toolboxes such as the Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox™ and Signal Processing Toolbox™. These toolboxes need a license from MathWorks. If you have access to these toolboxes linked to a MathWorks Account, you have access to many of the toolboxes on ThingSpeak. All you have to do is to log in to ThingSpeak using your MathWorks Account credentials. With very little code, it is possible to forecast tidal depths using tide data collected by a ThingSpeak channel and the System Identification Toolbox.

Tide forecasting using MATLAB and ThingSpeak

When you are logged into ThingSpeak using your MathWorks Account, you can use functions from the following toolboxes if you are licensed to use them:

We have created many examples showing you how to use MATLAB Toolboxes using ThingSpeak channel data. We have an example using the Signal Processing Toolbox to Visualize and Remove Outliers in Your Data which a common task when you are working with IoT data from sensors. If you want to forecast environmental data by using a feedforward neural network, we have an example using the Neural Network Toolbox operating on weather station data collected by ThingSpeak. In all of our examples, you are able to use the code right on ThingSpeak and allow it to run on a schedule using TimeControl or be triggered to run using React. Many of your licensed toolboxes are now available with your MathWorks Account on ThingSpeak.

The Top IoT Countries (According to ThingSpeak Stats)

2016 has been a huge year for IoT and the growth of ThingSpeak. We are looking at where our users and visitors are coming from and we are seeing some surprising trends. India alone represents 10% of ThingSpeak traffic and usage. The countries of Europe make up over 35% of ThingSpeak. Poland is also a strong IoT country. We have noticed many public weather stations and radiation detectors popping up all around the country. Poland by itself represents 3% of our traffic and usage. The last surprise is Australia dropping out of the Top 10.

Top IoT Countries 2016

The Top 10 Internet of Things Countries*

  1. United States
  2. India
  3. Germany
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Italy
  6. Brazil
  7. France
  8. Poland
  9. Canada
  10. Spain

*According to ThingSpeak Usage Stats

Counting Cars and Analyzing Traffic

The power of any tool becomes magnified when you start combing it with other tools. In this MakerZone project by Eric Wetjen, he demonstrates a powerful project by using a webcam to gather live traffic video of Route 9 in Natick, MA, using Simulink to deploy a car-counting algorithm to a Raspberry Pi, using MATLAB to perform analysis, and using ThingSpeak to collect and share the analyzed data with others.

Car Counting Camera

The project uses a Raspberry Pi 2 and USB webcam acting as a sensor. The webcam picks up traffic flowing in both directions. Once the algorithm for detecting cars is modeled in Simulink, the algorithm gets deployed on the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi sends the raw data to ThingSpeak on regular basis where it is analyzed using the MATLAB Analysis app on ThingSpeak.

MATLAB_car_counting_display

After sending to ThingSpeak, Eric created a MATLAB Analysis app to calculate the daily traffic-volume on ThingSpeak Channel 51671. Now that the data is public, others could use this processed data within apps such as Waze to optimize directions using analyzed traffic flows.

MATLAB Traffic Analysis ThingSpeak Visualization

Check out the MakerZone article for the complete project details and all of the code to get your Raspberry Pi + ThingSpeak analysis project started.

[via MathWorks MakerZone]

Soldering Iron Connected to ThingSpeak with #NodeMCU and #ESP8266 Wi-Fi

[Vegard Paulsen] created a solder iron that reports its usage and temperature to ThingSpeak and alerts him when it was left on. He uses an NodeMCU / ESP8266 Wi-Fi module to collect the data and post it to his ThingSpeak channel. Once the data is on ThingSpeak, he is able to send push notifications to his phone using the ThingSpeak React App.

Soldering Iron IoT ThingSpeak

Hackaday.com wrote an article about Vegard’s soldering iron connected to the Internet of Things. Here’s what they had to say:

The data pushes out to the ThingSpeak server which handles pushing data out to the bigger network, and data representation (like the cool Google gauge…). The best part: [Vegard] gets a phone notification when he accidentally leaves his soldering iron on. How perfect is that?

That looks a lot like our desks… wires, microcontrollers, pliers, cutters, Wi-Fi modules, and soldering irons. And now, the soldering iron is on the Internet of Things.

[via Vegard Paulsen / Hackaday.com]

Let Your Plants Tweet Using Spark and ThingSpeak

Head over to Instructables to learn how to make your plants Tweet using Spark Wi-Fi and ThingSpeak. Gregory Fenton created a project that monitors his plant’s soil moisture and then notifies him via Twitter when it is time to water it.

Spark ThingSpeak Plant Monitor

Greg built the project out of necessity to help his plants suffering from “localized drought”. Let’s hope his plants get proper watering and that other ThingSpeak users can quickly and easily build this project. Thanks for sharing!

[via Instructables]

Database Performance Upgrades #featurefriday

With over 20,000 active streams of “Internet of Things” data, the servers that make up ThingSpeak.com are humming.  We recently made extensive upgrades to the database system that stores all of data generated by things from all around the world.

“We switched to SSD drives for all of our database servers,” said Lee Lawlor, Lead Engineer of ThingSpeak. “All of the upgrades are live and available to the entire ThingSpeak Community!”

The improvements decreased response time dramatically and improved large data set retrieval by ten times.
ThingSpeak Multiple Feed Read_Times

ThingSpeak Used to Track Luggage for Travel Internet of Things Applications

[Chris Forsberg] created an example Internet of Things project to track luggage using ThingSpeak, an Adafruit GSM Module, and an Arduino. He built a simple system to send data to ThingSpeak, such as latitude, longitude, and status data. ThingSpeak exposes a data channel API for any system like this to being able to store data and then process the data.

ThingSpeak Travel IoT Project

The idea is that it is frustrating waiting for luggage at the airport and wondering where it is and why it is not on the baggage carousel. With this project, you can track luggage from start to finish. The advantages are not only for the traveler, the airlines could track luggage as well and get quality statistics for each airport. And, the base system has many applications outside of travel such as the Automotive Industry.

Chris explains the project really well on his blog and with a YouTube video.

Instant TweetControls #featurefriday

We spent some time enhancing our TweetControl App. TweetControl allows you to control things with Twitter. You setup a TweetControl to listen for a keyword mentioned on Twitter and we execute any web service API call that you specify. Developers have created racing cars, political campaign trackers, and we use it for the CheerLights project.

As more and more users create TweetControls, the service started slowing down. We have enhanced how the service works and now you get instant TweetControls!

In an Instragram video sending a Tweet and changing the CheerLights color, you will see that there is little delay between sending the Tweet and executing the control command to change the colors on his Christmas tree.

Learn more about TweetControl on ThingSpeak Docs.

ThingSpeak Launches New Website

Things want to speak…

We keep hearing about how many Billions and Billions of things there will be connected. Just think about how much data that they will create! Yep, it’s Big Data, or even, Bigger Data. ThingSpeak is the only open data platform specifically designed for the Internet of Things available ‘in the cloud’ or on your own network to capture and distribute data from things.

A new homepage for ThingSpeak

When we look out into the Cosmos, we see Billions and Billions of stars and keep a fond memory of Carl Sagan in our hearts. As we connect this planet, we can’t but think of the scale and the magnitude that IoT will bring. Using this inspiration, we launched the new ThingSpeak.com!

ThingSpeak Homepage

Carl Sagan said, “We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean, we are ready at last to set sail for the stars.” We believe the same about the Internet of Things! Let’s get going!