Can Things Tell a Story?

If you look around your house or office, you will see a bunch of things. Things are just sitting there. Things like your coffee maker, toaster, florescent lights, copy machine, alarm clock…

Have you ever noticed that you keep a schedule on Google Calendar, but every night you set your alarm clock? What if the alarm clock was connected to Google Calendar, would that thing be more useful? You always seem to be replace the toner in the copy machine, right in the middle of when you trying to copy your presentation. Thanks for the warning thing! Is someone in your room when I am not there? Maybe your lights could tell you.

We built ThingSpeak from the ground up to give things a voice. If we listen maybe they will tell a meaningful story. ThingSpeak can connect things, log data, track things, and make things social.

Applications are being built by developers from around the world and interesting and unexpected things are about to happen.

Device Registration and MAC Addresses

We just added a new feature called Devices. This allows you to register your home-brew devices and receive a globally unique MAC address. Some devices do not come with a MAC address so often the MAC address used is the one that the example source code is using. If you end up putting two Ethernet or WiFi devices on the same local network with the same MAC address, odd situations will occur and will not be obvious to troubleshoot. The Devices App from ThingSpeak can generate a random MAC address or generate a globally unique address from our address pool. We have a limit to the number of global addresses we can generate, so feel free to jump in and grab one for your Thing.

In the future, we will add more features to the Devices application. If there is interest, we are thinking of setting up a dynamic DNS service. This is so you can use a consistent URL to access your device from the Internet.

For more information, check the Documentation or click the Devices tab when you are signed into ThingSpeak.

ThingSpeak is (Open)

Our things can tell us a story…if they have a voice…if they are connected. What can our things tell us? How about how much power they use? How about if someone is in your house? How about your toaster updating Twitter? A new generation of products and services for “connected things” are being created as we speak. Be a part of the story…

ThingSpeak is an open web of things platform to allow devices to interact with web services, apps, and things. ThingSpeak is open to any type of data from devices and applications.  ThingSpeak is a cloud service…things-as-a-service (TaaS)? ThingSpeak is open now.

ThingSpeak Overview

Features:

  • Open API – connect devices and applications via the Internet to send and receive data
  • Multiple Data Types – numbers (decimal and comma) and alphanumeric strings
  • Real-time Data Processing – time scaling, averaging, median, summing, and rounding
  • Time and Location – localized time, geolocation, latitude, longitude, and elevation
  • Social Context – augment data with status updates
  • Charts – instant visualization and embed tools
  • Apps – built-in apps to connect things to web services
  • Plugins – sandbox to create mashups, visualizations, and apps

Get started by signing up and creating your own channel for your anything you can imagine. We are excited by what you will come up with and the direction that you will take this project.

Things are Heating Up

No, it’s not summer in North America yet but many people are counting down the days till the weather turns warm, especially with the east coast having just endured a snowy drubbing from Mother Nature!

I’ve been following the concept of an “Internet of Things” for a few years now and it’s definitely something else that’s heating up! Whether as citizens as sensors or being able to ‘Google your keys‘ bridging the technology most of us take for granted now, the Internet, into the physical realm holds tremendous promise.

However, we know there’s more to it then running an Ethernet cable to your car, or plugging in your teddy bear. The networks we take for granted now, despite their vast capabilities, weren’t designed for this new wave of connectivity. This is especially apparent with the coming exhaustion of IPv4 (an estimated 5 days remaining at the time of this writing)!

Considering all the new protocols, tools, and interfaces that need to be created, I find it fascinating to watch how people are integrating technology into their every-day lives, and it’s surprising how many cool ways these are put to use. As we increasingly rely on connected devices, or come up with new ways to integrate existing systems, will we truly have control or do we risk being locked into the betamax of our generation?

Guys like Bruce Sterling are famous for tracking the future and guys like Linux Torvalds are famous for creating it, or at least the tools people use to build it. What do you see on the horizon, and what will you invent to make it so?

We’re excited to have you here at ThingSpeak to help us make this reality our own.