Beginners guide to experimenting with Internet Of Things (IoT)


I keep hearing a lot about IoT and decided that I wanted to experiment with the concept myself. This is bit of journey so thought I would start with a simple ‘Hello World’ post first that I hope to expand on over time.

Step 1 — Get a device (aka Thing) that will capture real-world data

After some research I settled on purchasing a Texas Instruments CC2650STK Sensor Tag or around £20 from RS Components. The device which is around half the size of a credit card has 10 different sensors embedded on it and self powered by coin battery.

10 sensors including support for light, digital microphone, magnetic sensor, humidity, pressure, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, object temperature, and ambient temperature

Its a bargain for this price and really priced to showcase TI’s hardware capabilities and not to be used as a final production device @TXInstruments #Sensortag

Step 2 — Unbox and Connect to Local Device

Powering up is simple, just pull some plastic out to connect to battery to the mainboard and its ready to start talking to your phone (the Local Device). You need to download a specific Android or iOS app first from the marketplace. Once you have done this you just have to connect the app to the device via Bluetooth and if its worked you will see sensor data streaming into the app.

Step 3— Connect Local Device to the Internet

Of course this is a post about “I”oT so simply having this data on my phone is not really enough I need to push it out to the internet where the data can be consumed by other people and applications to do real world things. In order to this I needed to find a IoT Framework. This space is getting a bit crowded of late with Microsoft, IBM and Amazon all present with an offering. The Sensortag came pre-loaded with quick connection to IBMs Bluemix Platform so that seemed like a good place to start. In fact all it took was a few clicks to push sensor data out from the android app to Bluemix


The next step is to start using the data to drive events. Bluemix allows you to do this with an application called Node-Red but that's for another post.

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