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How to learn CoAP in 5 minutes #IoTFriday

Welcome to the new edition of  IoTFriday at thethings.iO. Some customers and personal friends have asked us here at thethings.iO what is the best Internet of Things communication protocol? The answer is complex, because in reality it truly depends on the uses and needs of the developer. Today I would like to take five minutes and explain how to learn CoAP to everyone out there.

In the video I will explain to the listeners what CoAP is and why someone should use CoAP in their particular hardware.

What is CoAP

CoAP is defined as Contrained Application Protocol, and is a protocol intended to be used in very simple hardware. CoAp enables devices to communicate over the Internet. The protocol is especially targeted for constrained hardware such as 8-bits microcontrollers, low power sensors and similar devices that can’t run on HTTP or TLS. CoAP is a simplification of the HTTP protocol running on UDP, that helps save bandwidth.

The Internet Engineering Task Force Constrained RESTful environments (IETF CoRE) Working Group has done the major standardization work for CoAP. The core of the protocol is specified in RFC 7252, which means that CoAP is still not a standard protocol.

Two new features designed specifically for Internet of Things and M2M are:

  • Observe at new events happened on sensors or actuators.
  • Device management and discoverability from external devices.

 

When to use CoAP

Some of the specific cases in which CoAP are useful are:

  • Your hardware cannot run HTTP or TLS: If this is the case then running CoAP and DTLS can practically do the same as HTTP. If one is an expert on HTTP APIs, then the migration will be simple. You receive GET for reading and POST, PUT and DELETE for mutations and the security runs on DTLS.
  • Your hardware uses battery: If this is ones problem then running CoAP will improve the battery performance when compared with HTTP over TCP/IP. UDP saves some bandwidth and makes the protocol more efficient.
  • A subscription is necessary: If one cannot run MQTT and HTTP polling is impossible then CoAP is a solution

 

At thethings.iO we provide a CoAP library to connect your hardware at our IoT cloud solution. Make sure to contact us to try thethings.iO CoAP protocol.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and be sure to check out our #IoTFriday blog!

The Internet Will Disappear Soon

Last week, executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, was asked about the future of the Web; to which he commented “The Internet will disappear.” He was talking about the Internet of Things of course. When Mark Weiser explained what the Ubiquitous Computing, clearly he was talking about the same, 20 years ago.

Ubiquitous Computing (1991)

Ubiquitous Computing (1991)

If you look around, you can see how obvious it is that the world around us is progressing rapidly. Times are changing faster than it ever has before, and the future of technology is in our hands—literally. Think of all of the times you asked yourself,

“Wouldn’t it be cool if _______________ was real?”

Chances are, someone has figured out how to make it real; and it’s really quite incredible what Internet of Things companies are beginning to develop: anything and everything from the Apple Watch, to smart dog tags to track your pup’s whereabouts. So now that we have all this technology at our fingertips, what’s next? What does the future of technology look like?

The answer lies somewhere in the cloud of the Internet of Things, a mechanism for connecting and controlling high-tech gadgets and everyday items via the internet. Here at thethings.iO we are proud to officially launch our very own IoT cloud solution, proving a totally unique connection between your things and the Internet.

thethings.iO – the IoT cloud solution

We offer the total package: back-end support for your cloud solution, a customizable front-end user interface, analytical tools, interoperability, and guaranteed protection of your company’s data- free for developers (as well as more extensive services available to startups for a fraction of the average market price).

Our aim is to make the Internet disappear and cut costs and production time for developers in the process, all while simultaneously improving the functionality of the product as well as the UX. What does that mean? It means hardware companies get to focus on building cool new things, and we focus on providing the connections and all of the support they need.

The future of technology is the Internet of Things. The future of technology is in your hands. Join thethings.iO

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How To Start With Internet of Things #IoTFriday

Welcome to the new edition of IoTFriday at thethings.iO. A lot of people have ask us how to get started with the Internet of Things. Today I would like to talk about what you can learn or do to get into the IoT. It depends on what you do, ideas you have and what you want to learn. Enjoy the new #IoTFriday video.

During this #IoTFriday, we proposed 3 different situations depending on if you are a designer, a programmer, or a business man with a lot of amazing ideas.

If you are a designer our suggestions are to design something useful that solves a problem in your daily life. After that, print your design with a 3D printer. Finally, learn how to code to continue working on your solution.

 

If you are a developer our first suggestion is first to buy electronics such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi or Intel Edison and begin the coding process. Learn how these IoT platforms work;  it’s quite simple and the most important part is to have fun programming things. Finally, developers always need to meet a designer.

If you are a business person, create a nice idea and think of the best way to scale it. If you have a business idea related with the Internet of Things that scales, meet with developers and designers to make it happen.

Feel free to write in the comment area below if you have any questions or comments! We will do our best to respond promptly. If you need to test our back-end solution, write us a message to thethings.iO.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and be sure to check out our #IoTFriday weekly blog!

Xmas lights at theThingsiO #iotFriday

At thethings.iO, we have been working a lot during the last months. We have been connecting things from our first customers and being in involved in awesome projects. We have also had some time to do some internal projects:

 

You are probably wondering, what did I just watch? Well, we were able to connect the Christmas lights and our Twitter handle (@theThingsIO), so that every time someone mentions us on Twitter they blink. We connected them via an Intel Edinson that listens to thethings.iO process.

Developing the Xmas lights connected to @thethingsIO

Developing the Xmas lights connected to @thethingsIO

We would like to use this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year for 2015

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Your data is your data

Jan Chipchase wrote a post where he talked about how some of his Internet-connected devices made him feel guilty when he wasn’t using them anymore. The purpose of this post was triggered by an email from Twine telling him that he wasn’t using his Twine enough.

This type of email is one demonstration of the new source of data generated by the Internet of Things. Most companies are becoming interested in the amount of usage of your device. They want to know where you use your things, when, why, what you are doing when you are using this thing, how many times, and what things you use together.

Canon EOS 500D (Flickr by sindykids)

Canon EOS 500D (Flickr by sindykids)

These companies want to gain an understanding on how we use our devices and therefore will try to market us better from that understanding. For example, imagine that you have a Cannon EOS 500D, a basic camera, but imagine that Cannon could know that you have a normal zoom lent and you have been taking several photos with zoom. With the Internet of Things, this is possible and advertisement will be more focused on what you do and how you do it. Thus, privacy will be more and more complicated with Internet-connected objects around.

At thethings.IO we believe that data made from users is user’s data. Therefore, users have the right to own their own data and give access to this data to third parties which will receive ads and coupons.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and be sure to check out our #IoTFriday weekly blog!

Internet of Things at CES and MWC 2013

After two days at the Mobile World Congress 2013 and reading about CES 2013 at Las Vegas, we strongly believe the Internet of Things will be big in 2013.

CES 2013 at Las Vegas

One of our companions from , had a booth set up and they caught several people’s interest due to their Kickstarter campaign.

The Good Night Lamp at CES 2013 (by todbot at Flickr)

The Good Night Lamp at CES 2013 (by todbot at Flickr)

Experts says that Quantified Self has been the guest star at CES 2013 because they create a lot of expectations with HAPIFork, Fitbit, Jawbone and Withing among other interesting companies.

The Mobile World Congress 2013 at Barcelona

In our opinion, the star of this conference was the Internet connected coffee machines. With an unclear use of companies defended the product saying that people do not want to wait to have coffee prepared when they go to the machine. A coffee takes thirty seconds to one minute to prepare through a machine.

The Cisco coffee machine connected to the Internet

The Cisco coffee machine connected to the Internet

The engineering solution for coffee machines were very intriguing.

On the other hand, the stackable pieces of plastic are ready to send the real-time information to the Telefonica cloud servers.

Thinking things by Telefonica I+D

Thinking things by Telefonica I+D

At the SMA Connected Cities booth, Jordi Corominas was presenting Ecooltra, an electric motorbike connected to the Internet. The system lets the users rent a motorbike using their mobile devices. Then, they could use NFC to start the motorbike at the Ecooltra parkings.

We were very excited to have this opportunity to join in on this conference. We hope that thethings.iO will help users improve the ability to interact with their Internet connected objects through our dashboard.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @thethingsIO and check out our weekly #IoTFriday Blogs!