IoT Week 5 Experiments

I have been experimenting with the some of the tools available for this course. This week, I had a look at Arduino and IFTTT.

Light Detector

This was a relatively straightforward circuit to make with Arduino. A photo resistor detects whether or not light is present. This data then determines if an LED is to be illuminated or not. The first iteration I built failed. After some troubleshooting, I discovered that I had the wrong resistor (10k instead of 220 ohms). This meant that the resistor was providing too much resistance and the current could not flow. Once this was fixed, circuit worked fine (see below). Potential applications for this circuit include lighting up the pavilion automatically when the sun is too low.

Social media tracking with IFTTT

Also this week, I ran some tests with If This, Then That (IFTTT). IFTTT allows you to create ‘applets’ which trigger an action when a condition is met.

The first applet I trialled was to send an email when a tweet was uploaded from a location. The location I chose was UNSW. The results were mixed. While the applet did send accurate data from twitter, not many people were using twitter at UNSW, making for quite dull data.

The next applet I trialled was one to use this data to trigger an Arduino action. The method for this was to configure the applet trigger in IFTTT, causing it to make a web request. This web request would be managed by a site called, which would use a code to send to Arduino. I created the necessary components in a couple of hours and ran a test, which was unsuccessful.

I then reconsidered the practicality of using twitter data, as it is not a popular platform. Checking the numbers of active users of different social media platforms, Facebook is the most popular, whilst Twitter has only about 1/7th of Facebook’s market share.

Whilst using twitter data may be easy to set up, I don’t think this will make for an effective user interaction, due to lack of use. Social media interaction is an easy and familiar interaction for people to use. Moving forward, however, we feel that taking the opportunity to work with AR will be a more effective solution for this project. The next task is to trial Arduino with Hololens and mobile AR.