Dumb IoT (Internet of Things)!

Did you notice how the abbreviation of IoT (in the subject of this article) was spelled out in brackets vs. the other way around? That’s how common IoT is becoming but most people don’t even understand it.. IoT is kind of like YouTube, where parents understand that technology is changing and their kids are beyond engulfed in technology (iPhones, youTube, Facebook etc.) that they see their daily processes have changed forever (think of PeaPod and Amazon), they don’t really understand the technology behind the scenes but they accept it because of ease and comfort of use.. For us older readers, think back to when TV remote controls came out, foreign to our parents but the best thing ever at the time!

Anyhow, stepping a step beyond basics and jumping into reality for a second – IoT in the near future is going to impact every aspect of our life if it hasn’t already, young or old. This article is focused more on developer information than consumer information so if you’re not hooked yet you may want to quit reading now!

The High Level steps of IoT are simple, implementing them is alot harder! Here is a summary:

  1. Plug device into a Power outlet – either AC wall socket, insert batteries or solar panel!
  2. Configure Unit or device via your cell phone
  3. Unit communicates to base server (ie. Amazon) to submit it’s order requests

For newbies to this industry there aren’t many options. Let’s say for example that you want to create a black box (ie. an IoT device) that sits in your living room that emails you your favorite sports scores on a nightly basis, or texts your when they score! – anyway, how does this device login to your wifi using your pre-determined password? How do you tell it what your favorite sport and teams are? If there is a social media aspect to the functionality, how do you tell it your email address or your facebook account?

Voila! Welcome to the concept of dumbIoT! dumbIoT.com is intended for anyone who has an IoT idea to support them with a framework that they can build their Thing on. So, for example – let’s use a lightbulb as an example. If you want to build an IoT lightbulb that blinks every time your favorite sports team scores then you could take advantage of a Dumb IoT framework. The Dumb IoT framework will eliminate the need for you to design an interface to your device to connect to your wifi, select your choices (ie. sports teams) and choose your social network configurations etc. So let’s say that you can code the initial configuration process yourself, how do you maintain that code? What if a new version of the hardware comes out and you now need to use different commands for the different operating systems (ie. mail vs. mailx command as an example)?

What if you have 1 or many (say 10%) of your customers complain about their lightbulb not working as expected? How do you support that? With DumbIoT you have the ability to login to that lightbulb and check the error logs if needed. Now logging into a lightbulb may be extreme but it is possible if needed and designed accordingly. A DumbIoT device is configured with a bare bones system to get it onto your wifi network and from there it downloads a set of programs nightly based on a set of rules that are managed on your server!

To dig a bit further into the DumbIoT process, think about having a pin-push-button on your IoT device (similar to what you would find as a factory reset button on your older phones). If you press this button it can put your device into a mode that will automatically download a file from your server, this file can enable SSH access or it can automatically send you error logs if you want as well as many other options. This feature can send you the temperature of your refrigerator on demand or the error logs of failed internet connections and more.  If a new piece of hardware comes out you can control which code gets executed on it within the DumbIoT process.

If this article was confusing we will be including a real life example of a device that we created along with a step by step tutorial for your reference so that you can immediately implement a DumbIoT device!




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