The Internet of Things needs things to make its other things thingify. Things are best when paired with other things but some things do their thing on their own.
Regardless if you’re just getting started exploring the IoT or know all about it and are looking to simplify solutions in your home or work, the IoT will assist – and these days it only sips a bit of power to produce data-driven results that a decade ago was still out of reach. In other words the then-future is now!
I always like to start off with a bit of knowledge! Bluetooth LE is a good place to begin because it’s a protocol that most ‘ordinary’ people are familiar with and likely already have some Bluetooth devices in their life. Here are some books to consider:
Make: Bluetooth LE Projects for Arduino, RasPi, and Smartphones
This book is where your adventures with Bluetooth LE begin! This jam packed book has practical exercises and projects to help you build real BLE devices, an excellent companion book to Getting Started with Bluetooth by Adafruit’s own KTown.
You’ll start your journey by getting familiar with your hardware options: Arduino, BLE modules, computers (including Raspberry Pi!), and mobile phones. From there, you’ll write code and wire circuits to connect off-the-shelf sensors, and even go all the way to writing your own Bluetooth Services. Along the way you’ll look at lightbulbs, locks, and Apple’s iBeacon technology, as well as get an understanding of Bluetooth security–both how to beat other people’s security, and how to make your hardware secure.
Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy by KTOWN
You’re interested in what all this BLE stuff is about, anyways? Let Adafruit’s lead Engineer, Kevin “KTOWN” Townsend (a.k.a “50 Ohm”) guide you in this detailed tome. KTOWN teamed up with Akiba (a.k.a “Wireless EL blinky guy”) to throw down all their knowledge in this book.
With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), smart devices are about to become even smarter. This practical guide demonstrates how this exciting wireless technology helps developers build mobile apps that share data with external hardware, and how hardware engineers can gain easy and reliable access to mobile operating systems.
I’ve seen it a hundred times. Once you ‘get’ the concept of things talking to each other, you want to really put your skills to the test. GPS is a great challenge, and it’s a thing we all understand these days: global positioning!
Cellular + GPS tracking, all in one? Oh yes! Introducing Adafruit FONA 808 MiniGSM + GPS, an all-in-one cellular phone module with that lets you add location-tracking, voice, text, SMS and data to your project in an adorable little package. (It does not contain a drum machine, tho)
This module measures only 1.75″x1.6″ but packs a surprising amount of technology into it’s little frame. At the heart is a powerful GSM cellular module (we use the latest SIM808) with integrated GPS. This module can do just about everything.
We also sell a European version, as well as the module itself.
OK honestly maybe jumping straight to GPS was a bit much 🙂 Our non-subscriber version of AdaBox003 – The World of IoT (Curated by Digi-Key) – is here to help! It contains an assembled (no soldering required) Feather HUZZAH w/ ESP8266, FeatherWing OLED, and a bunch of switches and sensors (as well as a Learn Guide for putting it all together) for getting things in the IoT going!
Adafruit FONA 808 – Mini Cellular GSM + GPS Breakout
AdaBox003 – The World of IoT (Curated by Digi-Key) is the perfect gift for folks who are just getting started in the world of DIY electronics. It’s an excellent introduction to our wide world of the Internet of Things and a great way to test the waters of AdaBox before committing to a subscription.
Please note! This is NOT the subscription version of AdaBox! This is ONLY AdaBox003 that shipped out to AdaBox subscribers in March of 2017. This version does not include free shipping, the lithium ion battery, or AdaBox subscriber exclusive pin. If you’d like to subscribe to AdaBox, please visit the AdaBox page!
This is a piece of specialty equipment but an awesome one at that, a passive Power over Ethernet injector cable:
Passive PoE Injector Cable Set
Simplify your Internet of Things with a passive PoE injector cable. These are quite handy for projects that have Ethernet connectivity and also need a power cable. Of course, you can get a long Ethernet cable but then you have to figure out how to plug it in, making a mess of wires. There is an official Power-over-Ethernet standard that allows devices and routers to activate a 48VDC power line on the unused Ethernet pins (4,5 and 7,8) but PoE is expensive, requiring a special router and then a step-down converter to handle the high 48V line
For DIY projects, you may want to consider using these cables instead. One cable (the injector half) has a Ethernet plug and port and a 2.1mm jack. When you plug in a power supply (say a 9VDC wall adapter), the injector merges the power adapter in so that pins 4 and 5 connect to the power adapter ground and pins 7 and 8 have the positive 9VDC. The other cable (the extractor half) does the opposite, splitting off pins 4,5 and 7,8 and bringing them to a 2.1mm DC barrel plug. You can then use the DC plug to power your projects as if it was connected directly to the wall adapter.
“What if I could just press a button and make something happen?” There’s a button-thing for that!
Particle Photon Internet Button
Make something happen on the internet. We’re not talking about putting up a video of your daschund standing on a vacuum cleaner and hoping that it will go viral. We’re talking about pressing a big, rewarding button and having your Photon order a pizza, text a loved one, or dial your missing phone.
The Internet Button from Particle has four pre-soldered buttons that can interact with the Internet via the Particle. It uses on-board LEDs to display data or alerts and there’s no coding required.
Comes ready to go – with a Particle Photon, a USB-micro cable, as well as a removable plastic cover.
Last but most definitely not least, if you’re looking to get things talking on the Internet you’re probably going to want to simplify that process and put your data in a secure place. We of course highly recommend our own IO platform, which now has a + option for increased data points and feeds:
Adafruit IO+ Subscription Pass – One Year
The all-in-one Internet of Things service from Adafruit you know and love is now even better with IO+. The ‘plus’ stands for MORE STUFF! More feeds, dashboards, storage, speed. Power up your Adafruit IO with the $99 pass for 1 year of the IO+ subscription service, upgrade code sent via email!
IO+ unlocks more data, more storage, and more feeds than our free service.
Upgrading your account to IO+ gives you:
- 60 data points per minute
- 60 days of data storage
- Unlimited dashboards
- Unlimited feeds
You can purchase this code for yourself or as a gift, and send it to a family or friend. Code is redeemable within https://io.adafruit.com once you are signed in to your account. The code is not locked to any specific account until it is redeemed.