My Connected Coop: Because Chickens Need Gadgets, Too

The coop features a remotely controlled door, temperature and humidity sensors, and a remotely accessible camera so that the conscientious owner can check on their chickens from anywhere in the world. It also allows for automatic feeding and watering, reducing time spent on maintenance.

“People may be intimated by the thought of owning chickens. This is about getting rid of that intimidation factor and making as easy as possible,” said Greg Cullen, creator of My Connected Coop. He hopes that his product will encourage people to try raising chickens on their own in an effort of improving people’s relationship with their food.

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TrackNet Raises $7 Million in Series A Round

On January 18th, TrackNet, Inc. received a Series A investment of $7 million dollars from Gemtek Corporation and Minol Zenner Group. TrackNet, founded by experts from Semtech, IBM, and Cisco, will use the investment to continue developing end-to-end IoT solutions using LoRa and LPWAN for consumers and industries.

TrackNet focuses on ease of use and high scalability to usher in a new era of LPWAN growth in the IoT world. It develops sensors, gateways, and optimized-user-interface apps for targeted LPWAN and IoT applications, with the ultimate goal of connecting the ever growing Internet of Things in a sustainable way.

Gemtek Corporation, a leader in telecommunication equipment manufacturing, has been developing LoRa products to get ahead of an expected surge in growth of the LPWAN market in the next few years.

The Minol Zenner Group, a global leader in smart meter and sub-metering markets, hopes to use TrackNet’s systems to overhaul their business and allow them to branch into new business models. “We believe LPWAN will enable many different high-volume use cases in consumer and industry to create a more sustainable world,” said Alexander Lehmann, CEO and Chairman of the group.

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Sol Chip Pak: The Infinite Solar Battery

The Pak uses a combination of solar cells, a rechargeable battery, and an advanced power management system to provide constant power to small devices regardless of harsh conditions or even a lack of light.

“The company offers the missing technology that will improve batteries’ life or in many cases eliminate the need in a battery as a power source in low power applications,” said CEO and founder of Sol Chip, Dr. Shani Keysar.

This technology has huge potential to provide clean power in hundreds of IoT applications that utilize wireless sensors – using the Sol Chip Pak, sensors would no longer require an external power source or need to have their batteries replaced/recharged at regular intervals.

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Digi International Acquires SMART Temps

On January 9th,

Digi International Acquires SMART Temps

Founded in 2006, SMART Temps began as a system to manage temperature sensitive food and equipment in the school nutrition industry. Now, SMART Temps is used to monitor over 14,000 locations to protect everything from food and beverages to blood samples and vaccines in the healthcare industry with its proprietary cloud-based monitoring.

The acquisition puts Digi International, a global leader in machine-to-machine and IoT connectivity products and services, in an excellent strategic position to both maintain its leadership position in the foodservice industry as well as provide a way to expand into the education and healthcare markets.

“Our two companies together will bring industry-leading technology to market, so that our customers can be assured of the highest level of safety for their food and healthcare monitoring,” said SMART Temps CEO John Miller, whose 50 years of experience in temperature monitoring solutions will definitely be an important asset going forward.

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Web of Things: The Pursuit of Interoperability in IoT

On December 27th, 2016, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) launched the Web of Things (WoT) Working Group to standardize aspects that the WoT Interest Group, launched 2015, believes are mature enough to progress towards W3C recommendations.

The ultimate goal of the WoT is to create standards by which all IoT devices and platforms can communicate and operate with each other, much like the implementation of the World Wide Web allowed for the spread and vast reach of the Internet. It plans to do this through platform-independent application program interfaces (APIs) and ways for different platforms to operate with each other.

Web of Things vs Internet of Things

The WoT Working Group Charter establishes four main goals: Thing Description, Scripting API, Binding Templates, and Security and Privacy. It will work with various other relevant W3C Working Groups as well as relevant external groups.

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Researchers hack Philips Hue smart bulbs from the sky

By Ian Paul

Security researchers in Canada and Israel have discovered a way to take over the Internet of Things (IoT) from the sky.

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but the researchers were able to take control of some Philips Hue lights using a drone. Based on an exploit for the ZigBee Light Link Touchlink system, white hat hackers were able to remotely control the Hue lights via drone and cause them to blink S-O-S in Morse code.

The drone carried out the attack from more than a thousand feet away. Using the exploit, the researchers were able to bypass any prohibitions against remote access of the networked light bulbs, and then install malicious firmware. At that point the researchers were able to block further wireless updates, which apparently made the infection irreversible.

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Bixi: Smart Home Gesture Control

Meet Bixi, the first ultra-portable companion that senses your in-air hand gestures and commands the devices you wish to control.

Bixi commands smartphone Apps (Spotify, iBooks, Youtube, etc), LifX bulbs, Bose Soundtouch Speakers, GoPro, tablets and other Internet of Things devices, allowing users to keep interacting with their smart objects without putting their current activity on pause..

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Control with your smart devices by staring and gesturing

By Arduino Team

As part of a recent Microsoft HoloLens hackathon in San Francisco, Maker Ian Sterling developed a new app that interacts with you smart home via augmented reality. The proof of concept, dubbed “IoTxMR,” allows a user to simply glance at a gadget and control it through gestures.

As you can see in the video below, IoTxMR enables Sterling to connect various Android and Arduino-based devices with the HoloLens to create a customized interdependent network. It also features a mixed reality experience called “virtual zen mode,” complete with calming sounds and light orbs in his surrounding environment.

During a recent interview with Digital Trends, Sterling revealed:

The primary goal of the app is to provide a 3D spatial UI for cross-platform devices — Android Music Player app and Arduino-controlled fan and light — and to interact with them using gaze and gesture control.

The connectivity between Arduino and a mixed reality device is something which holds a huge amount of creative opportunity for developers to create some very exciting applications — be it [Internet of Things], robotics, or other sensor data visualization. Besides this, our app features some fun ways to connect devices. Our demo featured a connection between a music player and a light in order to set a certain mood in your home.

Although just a demo, IoTxMR does highlight the endless possibilities that AR platforms like HoloLens offer in the not-too-distant future.

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Prototyping a smart bulb with JavaScript, Arduino + PubNub

By Arduino Team

In this video, our friends at PubNub are going to create a smart home network that builds upon their previous Johnny Five tutorial. They again hack an Arduino Uno using JavaScript, but this time to create the simplest smart bulb. Because by “smart bulb,” we really just mean an LED.

The tutorial was developed by Tomomi Imura from PubNub and also uses Johnny-Five. No, not the robot from the movie Short Circuit. It is an open-source JavaScript robotics framework that lets you program an Arduino with Node.js. The bulb itself is remotely controlled via a web portal.

To establish the realtime communication between the Arduino and a web browser, the PubNub Data Stream Network (DSN) is used. PubNub provides global infrastructure and allows you to build and scale real-time apps and IoT devices quite easily.

The remote controller (web app) is written in JavaScript. This is a simple user interface that includes only one button. While a completed code sample is available on CodePen, this tutorial employs a simplified version so that it’s easier to follow along.

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Kick off this year’s U.S. presidential race with the MKR1000

By Arduino Team

No matter which candidate you will be voting for in November, it’s hard not to chuckle a bit when seeing this project from YouTuber “Makers4America.” The IoT machine works by responding to tweets from presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump and then proceeding to kick him in the face with a 3D-printed boot attached to a metal rod.

The setup is fairly straightforward: a Raspberry Pi running Node-Red and a local Mosquito MQTT broker poll Twitter, and then writes the tweets to an MQTT topic. Meanwhile, an Arduino MKR1000 runs an MQTT client subscribed to the same topic, and controls the servos and RGB LED strips reading “Dump Donald.”

Although this project targets Trump, it’s hard not to imagine other use cases for such a device–one in which includes the face of your arch nemesis, a rival sports team, or perhaps even your ex. The possibilities are endless!

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