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Recommended Reading: The Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we do business, collect information and live our lives. We’ve compiled a growing list of recommended books that will get you (or keep you) at the forefront of the inception and growth of the IoT.

We’ll be updating this list with your suggestions and newly released books on a regular basis.

Update: January 24, 2013

M2M Communications: A Systems Approach by David Boswarthick, Omar Elloumi, Olivier Hersent

The Internet of Things: Key Applications and Protocols by David Boswarthick, Omar Elloumi, Olivier Hersent

Interconnecting Smart Objects with IP: The Next Internet by Jean-Philippe Vasseur & Adam Dunkels

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services: High-impact Technology – What You Need to Know: Definitions, Adoptions, Impact, Benefits, Maturity, Vendors by Kevin Roebuck

LEGO and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics by John Baichtal, Matthew Beckler, Adam Wolf

—March 26, 2012 

Building Wireless Sensor Networks by Rob Faludi

Getting Started with the Internet of Things: Connecting Sensors and Microcontrollers to the Cloud by Cuno Pfister

Making Things Talk: Using Sensors, Networks, and Arduino to see, hear, and feel your world by Tom Igoe

Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists by Dustyn Roberts

Programming Interactivity by Joshua Noble

Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling

ZigBee Wireless Sensor and Control Network by Ata Elahi

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design by Mike Kuniavsky

Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield

What have you read lately? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us your suggestions for the list.

Postscapes Internet of Things Winners

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We were excited to see many projects that use Digi products nominated for Postscapes Internet of Things Awards. We were even more excited to see many of those projects named as winners including Kijani Grows, Eve, Libelium’s Waspmote and Connecting Light. You can check out each winner below.


Kijani Grows, DIY Project Postscapes Winner

Kijani Grows produces smart aquaponic systems that use sensors and microprocessors, such as the XBee, paired with the cloud and social media networks to help you grow a least a plate of organic microgreens every day.


Eve, People’s Choice for Open Source Project

Eve is a plug in board for the Raspberry Pi mini computer. A hub that connects your wireless devices to each other and the web. At her heart Even is a communicator (between devices), a facilitator, and a guardian (a gateway to allow you to see what is going on in your world). You can see the Kickstarter page for Eve here. The project was successfully funded in November 2012.


Libelium’s Wapsmote, Second Place in People’s Choice for Smart City Application

The solar powered Waspmote system can be deployed across a wide range of applications in urban spaces such as monitoring air quality, waste container levels, structural health and noise maps.


Connecting Light, Second Place in People’s Choice for Networked Art Project

Hundreds (400 to be exact) of six-foot in diameter weather balloons were equipped with high-powered LEDs driven by Programmable XBee radios that communicated with ConnectPort X4 cellular gateways through the iDigi Device Cloud  to illuminate Britain’s greatest Roman monument, Hadrian’s Wall. Digi Professional Services also helped to design the network architecture as an Internet of Things solution. You can see a diagram of the setup of the 73-mile connected work and learn more about the technology here.

You can see the full list of winners on Postscapes and take part in the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #IoTAwards.

DIY Tweeting Weather Station

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Monitor Hurricanes With a DIY Auto-Tweeting Weather Station on Wired

With the accessibility of easily configurable, low-energy-consuming technology, we can mitigate part of that problem by building a not-too-tricky, self-tweeting weather station.

One of the easiest approaches to the project involves setting up an Arduino-controlled weather monitoring system. The easily programmed, modular ability of the Arduino platform allows for a variety of add-on sensors to be utilized, including temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. These sensors can be found pre-built onto one Arduino board, as is the case with SparkFun’s USB Weather Board, which adds the capability for its data to be recorded or shared via its USB output, or wirelessly with an optional XBee or Bluetooth module.


Make Your Own with the XIG: The Cat Doorbell

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About the author: Don Schleede currently manages the iDigi security office. Don has worked in the IT field for 25 years. He has served as a Chief Technology Officer for 12 years in mid-sized level financial and technical companies. For the last 7 years, he has exclusively served in security roles as a Senior Security Analyst, Engineer, and Architect. Don holds a number of certifications such as the CISSP, MCSE, RHCE, CCNP, CEH and others. Today, he works in at Digi International, where his love of embedded things, microcontrollers and security can be expressed.

Why a Cat Doorbell? 
Recently, a friend of mine moved. This friend has a few cats who like to go outside. Because of their new surroundings, we weren’t sure that the cats would know where to return to. One night, all the cats except for one came back home. While the cats have been trained to come in when they hear a whistle, this cat must have been out of whistle range– doing whatever cats do. It was getting to be a cold night so we were worried. We did notice that the cats would stand at the door when they were ready to come in, but of course, we would have to see them standing at the door and open it for them. In the morning, we found one cold kitty waiting at the door. No major harm, but we felt guilty for not letting the cat in– the idea of the Cat Doorbell was born.

Here’s how I made the Cat Doorbell and how you can make your own. 

I didn’t want to get too in depth and design our own board for this project, so I used standard parts that I had around. Here’s what I picked from my supplies:

This was assembled as a prototype. For longer term operation, I would suggest mounting things better, and using a level converter for the data pins.

1.  First, I wired up the PIR sensor to the end of the box. The PIR sensor fit perfectly where the waterproof Cat-5 connector was, so I added some crazy glue. I connected the GND and 5V lines to the Arduino, and I connected the sensor line directly to the Arduino, pin 7.

2. I glued the Piezo to the bottom of the box, and I soldered in a 1Kohm resistor in series and plugged it into the Arduino, pin 8.

3. I used some pins to solder the XBee Series 2, which was already programmed with a XIG configuration to the 3.3v and GND lines.

4. Next, I connected the data lines to the Arduino pins 5 and 6. I have heard that the data lines of the XBee Series 2 are not 5v tolerant, but I know many people who have connected these to Arduinos without a problem. For more information, see Rob Faludi’s web page at http://www.faludi.com/bwsn/xbee-level-shifting

5. With some double side tape, I taped the XBee to the side.

6. With the XBee using the XIG, I have a Digi ConnectPort X4 gateway in my house. I loaded the XIG code onto the gateway and validated that the communication works with the XBee. You can find more information on the XIG project here.

7. Next I programmed the Arduino, the program follows this flow:

  • Look for activity on the PIR sensor
  • Send a URL string to the XBee (is used the SoftSerial library)
  • Beep the Piezo like a doorbell
  • Wait 60 seconds. Don’t want multiple activations.
  • Go back to step 1

The URL that was called went to a server that is hosted at Rackspace. The URL is actually a PHP web page, that will interface to SMS to my cellphone (via email). After testing and validating, I put the device outside so it would detect when a cat (or anything else) is at the back door. To call this complete, I waited for a bit for one of the cats to come back. And, sure enough, I got an SMS message on my phone. I went and opened the door and a cat proudly walked in.

Have questions or comments about the Cat Doorbell? Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter. As I iterate the Cat Doorbell I’ll continue to update this post.

Join Us at World Maker Faire 2012

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Only 12 days, 1 hour and 2 minutes until World Maker Faire — we’re counting down, because we’re so excited to spend time with all of you amazing Makers and the other awesome vendors at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York.

Maker Faire will take place on  Saturday, September 29 from 10am – 7pm and on Sunday, September 30 from 10am – 6pm.

Never been to maker faire? Unsure of what to expect? As Maker Faire says, it’s “the World’s most diverse showcase of creativity and innovation in technology, craft, science, fashion, art, food and more!”

You can also expect amazing attractions, how-to workshops and inspiring presentations. In fact, our own Rob Faludi, Author of Building Wireless Sensor Networks, and Jordan Husney, iDigi Product Manager and author of 12,000-Mile Universal Remote in Make Magazine, will present Upgrade Your World: XBee to Internet. Need a refresher in how awesome Rob and Jordan are? Just check out the XBee Knowledge forum for a taste of how brilliant and fun they are.

Are you planning on going to Maker Faire? Tweet us or let us know in the comments section below, we’d love to get to meet you in person!

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