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!

EVE Alpha – Raspberry Pi Wireless Development

Kickstarter over the past few months has been the platform of choice for new Internet of Things hardware being developed. Many projects are an Arduino and another thing attached to it. While some of those projects are cool, they are not pushing the Internet of Things forward. Recently, Kickstarter changed their policies about hardware projects and also opened up the platform to the United Kingdom. This is forcing the projecteers to come up with more developed and innovative ideas that help differentiate themselves from rehashed projects and ideas.

One that has piqued our interest is the EVE Alpha for the Raspberry Pi created by Ciseco from Nottingham, United Kingdom. Wireless is a key part of the Internet of Things as with wireless we can connect more things in a more seamless way, then bridge them to the Internet. EVE Alpha aims at giving you a lot of wireless options in a tiny form factor all connected to an integrated computer called the Raspberry Pi.

EVE Alpha - Raspberry Pi Wireless Development

Members of the ThingSpeak team are backers of this project and many others. We love finding new ways to get data to and from web services. This is exactly what we are here to do! We are looking forward to connecting the EVE to a host of web services (and ones we haven’t even released yet). Another key feature is the suite of wireless technologies that we want to prototype with all on one board. At the timing of this writing the EVE Alpha Kickstarter campaign is close to being funded, so there are high chances that Ciseco will deliver the Swiss Army knife of wireless development platforms!

[via Kickstarter]

A Twitter Powered Gumball Machine Built on ThingSpeak + Arduino

Kevin, from the brilliant minds at Philter Communications, created a gumball machine known as the Tweet-a-Tweat. This clever device encourages social media interaction. People who visit your office need to send a Tweet to @tweetatweat to get a tasty gumball. The idea is to stimulate your brand by offering a real-world interaction. The combination of social media+internet of things forms a powerful link and the “web of things” vision emerges. We love working with our partners to enable strong(er) relationships with customers, coworkers, and visitors; and ultimately seeing new ideas take shape.

The technology behind Tweet-a-Tweat is Arduino + ThingSpeak — this is another powerful combination. The Gumball Machine is from Beaver Vending and has an Arduino inside listening to the TweetControl App from ThingSpeak. TweetControl listens to the Twitter stream for keywords that trigger HTTP requests in real-time. The heavy lifting happens in the cloud so that the embedded Arduino only has to focus on moving servos and being ready for web requests.

For more information, visit Tweet-a-Tweat and check out the live video feed of Philter’s Twitter powered gumball machine being operated live.

[via Tweet-a-Tweat]

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]

ThingSpeak visits the Pittsburgh Ruby Users Group

Hans Scharler is stopping by the monthly meeting of the Pittsburgh Ruby Users Group. The topic on the agenda is ThingSpeak, an open source Ruby on Rails application for the Internet of Things. The meeting is scheduled for December 1, 2011 and starts at 7:30pm.

Topics on the agenda:

  • Switch over to Ruby on Rails 3.1
  • ThingSpeak v2.0
  • Active ThingSpeak Projects
  • Adding modularity and tests to the GitHub repository
  • …btw, we’re hiring!

Background on ThingSpeak:

ThingSpeak is an open source web application and API to manage devices, to create device interactions, and to store data. Users can use the hosted version of ThingSpeak or setup instances on their own servers by getting the source code from GitHub. The technology behind ThingSpeak is Ruby 1.9.2, Rails 3.0, EventMachine, Phusion Passenger, Nginx, and Memcached to form a highly scalable infrastructure for the emerging Internet of Things and its data model requirements.

You use ThingSpeak to Send and Receive “data” via simple HTTP requests, much like going to a web page and filling out a form. Data can be from
anything — Blood Sugar Levels measured by a glucose meter, Server Usage and Uptime reported by servers, or Location Info from a mobile phone. Once the data is in ThingSpeak, you can build applications that retrieve the data, use the data for process decision-making, and reporting.

[via Pittsburgh Ruby Users Group]

Web of Things Hackathon

The Web of Things Workshop is Sunday, June 12, 2011 in San Francisco and features the latest research relating to the emerging Internet of Things tied to web services, sensors, objects, and everyday life. The Web of Things Workshop is held in conjunction with Pervasive 2011, the international conference on pervasive computing.

To get the imaginations primed, the workshop is holding a Web of Things Hackathon on Saturday, June 12, 2011 at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. The ideas behind the hackathon are to get a bunch of people together from varied fields, focus their creative energy, and build something. The ioBridge/ThingSpeak team will be providing a complete toolkit to enable any ideas that emerge. We will have sensors, servos, Internet gateways, XBee radios, LEDs (of course), relays, microcontrollers, and early access to our next gen platform. All you have to bring is an idea… and a laptop.

If you are interested in participating, visit the Web of Things Hackathon site for more details and registration info. We look forward to working with you.

Web of Thing Hackathon [info]

Saturday, June 11, 2011 – 9am – 5 pm

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts [map]
998 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Web of Things Workshop [info]

Sunday, June 12, 2011 – 9am – 5pm

Hotel Nikko San Francisco [map]
222 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

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.

ThingSpeak API Source Code on GitHub

The ThingSpeak API is now on GitHub! You can setup the application on your local network or on a web server in the cloud and run the full ThingSpeak API dedicated for your application. With everyone being able to spin their own web of things, we look forward to seeing how the API evolves and the changes you make.

Support for ThingSpeak is available on the ThingSpeak Community site which features a BlogForumDocumentation, and Tutorials. The documentation is the same for the open source release of the ThingSpeak API as the hosted web service on ThingSpeak.com.

ThingSpeak API on GitHub

What is ThingSpeak?

ThingSpeak is an open source “Internet of Things” application and API to store and retrieve data from “things” using HTTP over the Internet or via a Local Area Network. With ThingSpeak, you can create sensor logging applications, location tracking applications, and a social network of things with status updates.

In addition to storing and retrieving numeric and alphanumeric data, the ThingSpeak API allows for numeric data processing such as timescaling, averaging, median, summing, and rounding. Each ThingSpeak Channel supports data entries of up to 8 data fields, latitude, longitude, elevation, and status. The channel feeds support JSON, XML, and CSV formats for integration into applications.

The ThingSpeak application on GitHub also features time zone management, read/write API key management and JavaScript-based charts from Highslide Software / Torstein Hønsi.

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.