This is a quick guide to connect your first thing using our platform, thethings.iO. thethings.iO is the Internet of Things platform that enables fast and scalable connection of things to the Internet, allowing you to monitor and manage your devices in real time and get flexible analytic reports.
As you will see, it is easy, and you can do it in less than a minute. You just need to follow a few steps we’re going to quickly explain to you in this post. Ready? Let’s start now, then!
Step 0: Signing In at thethings.iO
If you haven’t registered yet, you need to do it. Go to thethings.iO page, and sign in. Remember that you can connect one thing for free, so it is worth it. Once you have done that, you’ll be signed in to your panel.
Step 1: Planning the thing
Before starting with the code, you should have an idea of what you want to connect to the Internet. What kind of data do you want to store and visualize? Is it going to be temperature? Or better humidity? Or other features like strength, noise, light…?
Step 2: Activating your first thing
When you have planned that and you are in your panel, it is time to start with the code. Let’s activate your first thing at thethings.iO! To do that you will need an activation code. You will be redirect to the Things Manager screen, where you will find directly the Activation Code screen.
As you may know, activation codes are needed to activate things. When you activate the thing, you will get something called ‘thingToken’. This Token can be compared to a personal ID but for things. The Token will enable you to make API calls to thethings.iO from your thing.
To activate the code, you just need to click on the Activate More Things. After that, the next window will prompt you to Activate. Click on Activate to activate one of the Activation Codes.
With all of this done, you will be able to see the thing and the thingToken. You can copy your thingToken, because from now on, all the requests will be done using it. Or you can as easily press Accept and your thing will be activated.
Step 3: Coding your thing
Let’s start with the coding. Right now, your thing is capable of performing 3 types of actions: read, write or subscribe. You need to open the Developers Console to see the messages you will post to thethings.iO APIs.
Now let’s see the actions:
Write: store one or several key-values pairs. To store data, you have to use the next endpoint. Advice: only alphanumeric characters and “.”, “-”, “_” symbols are admitted for the resource named “key”.
Read: your thing reads the last values for a determined key. To read data, use the operation GET/things/ with the thing token and the key that you are using to store the values.
Subscribe: subscribes to the real-time streaming channel of your things. This last method lets you subscribe to the thing channel and get real-time updates from all the thing’s keys. This way, it is created a streaming channel. If you want to know more about the Keep Alive options, click here.
Step 4: Visualizing the data
Right now, you should have your first thing connected. You can see the numeric data you store from thethings.iO Panel. You only need to click at the Things Manager menu and then click on the thing you want to visualize. Check past data on historical tab, or the real-time as the data arrives on the real-time tab.
Step 5: Build your own dashboard
thethings.iO IoT Dashboard is fully customizable with widgets that can show historical or real-time data directly from the dashboard and not going to every thing.
And that’s it! With thethings.iO it’s easy, right?
If you want to learn more about thethings.iO features then you can not miss these posts about Twilio and Sigfox! And make sure you follow us on Twitter to keep you posted about the Internet of Things world and thethings.iO latest news!
Today we want to talk to you about how to connect things to the Internet.
Transcription of the video
Hello thethings.iO friends! This is a new edition of the #IoTFriday! Today i’m going to talk about how to connect things to the Internet with my new Koubachi, a sensor plant that help me to water my plants.
Internet of Things is today a trendy topic. Introduced at 1999 by Kevin Ashton englobes a bigger picture of how to connect anything to the Internet.
The tools that we have today enables anyone to connect cheap and easy to programme hardware inside everyday objects. This new connectivity allows designers, programmers and engineers build different uses for those objects for different industrial or consumer applications.
Below is the whiteboard in which Marc explained how to connect things to the Internet.
Whiteboard of how to connect things to the Internet #iotFriday
We hope you like it and see you at next week’s #IoTFriday. Be sure to use thethings.iO to connect anything to the Internet.
On Saturday, we showed how to connect objects to the Internet using Arduinos and Ethernet Shielts. With the Arduino we were pushing real-time air quality data (with a hacked Air Quality Egg: temperature, humidity, NO2, CO) to Cosm and poll real-time data and embedded that data using D3.js in a map.
Actuators ready to hack chairs
On Sunday, we wanted to show everyone how to connect a chair to the Internet. Sadly, the Wifi at the event went down so we were unable to show off our connected chair, but don’t worry we will explain the use and purpose of the connected chair in a later post.
All around though it was a great event to introduce the Internet of Things and what thethings.iO really is.
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)
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.
Nowadays the Internet of Things is becoming the Internet of Walled Gardens. Most of the IoT projects are vertical solutions that cannot interoperate with other objects or projects. Kickstarter has accelerated this scenario, funding some awesome projects related with the Internet of Things and Quantified Self, nevertheless that has increased the silos existing in the current situation.
Technology experts and big companies do not have a clear idea about the real volume of the Internet of Things in the future, but they are confident that it will be big. That means that we will not be able to deal with one mobile application for each object connected to the Internet. All the things connected will have to have its own experience with the different vertical solutions.
thethings.iO is an horizontal solution built to create an interoperable Internet of Things scenario. Thethings.iO is a platform designed to extend the Web by providing access to real objects in the physical world. Our main goal is to let you manage, share and interact with any thing connected to the Internet anywhere, when you like.
Are you a manufacturer?
We want to make your products interoperable with other existing Internet-connected objects. We would like to offer the end-users the same experience interacting with all the objects and things that they own. And of course we want to give you an extra-value for sharing the access and information of your things. Contact us for more detailed information.
Are you a maker or a developer?
theThings.IO would allow you to create add value on the top of the Internet-connected objects compatible with our platform. I’m sure that you will be interested. theThings.IO is the hub in charge of handling all the communications and the requests to access and interact with them. Let us make the hard part!
theThings.IO for end users
Thethings.iO is built as a social network, seen as an interoperable platform that allows one to interact and remotely manage their Internet-connected objects, such as Fitbit activity trackers, Withings scales or your Arduinos, among other within the same dashboard.
Learn how to connect Internet of Things and Quantified Self with thethings.iO, the new social network for your Internet-connected objects and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and be sure to check out our #IoTFriday blog!