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Hi readers! This is the last Internet of Things Monthly newsletter for the calendar year of 2021. I’ll be listing off what I enjoyed reading about in 2021, some trends, and the excellent projects which have come across my desk.
If you’re a new reader to this newsletter – welcome! I’m Brent. I’m an engineer at Adafruit who works on all kinds of things, including writing the IoT Monthly. This newsletter was previously known as the Adafruit.io newsletter and only contained news and projects about our Adafruit.io IoT Platform. In 2019, we expanded this newsletter to the broader topic of the Internet of Things. Unlike Adafruit’s other newsletters which are sent on a more frequent basis, this newsletter is distributed only once a month, giving enough time for me to gather information from around the internet for readers. I’d also like to extend thanks to Anne Barela for her behind-the-scenes editing work on these newsletters for the past two years.
This past year, I’ve helped launch the beta of Adafruit’s WipperSnapper platform. I’ll be working with the IO team on making it even better in 2022, more to come!
Thank (over 4,000+ of) you for subscribing to this newsletter. Next month’s issue will return to regular programming.
p.s.: If you have any feedback or want to submit your project to this newsletter, send an email to [email protected].
We’ve posted a good number of IoT projects which combine Machine Learning with the capabilities of the internet…
- The camera that determines the type of bird at a feeder
- Making an analog power meter smart with a neural network
- Detecting if a package is sitting on your porch
Another recurring project type we saw was data visualization projects. The environment around us is often invisible and people enjoy building projects to help illustrate trends and understand environmental data.
- This freeform circuit sculpture displays the current weather forecast.
- The weather station that predicts rainfall intensity.
- A network of over twenty(!) Bluetooth soil sensors in a garden “to provide a comprehensive picture of just what the water in the dirt is doing”.
- The Canari lamp is a beautiful way to transform local air quality readings into lighting patterns.
- A wall-mounted e-ink newspaper that fetches the news every morning.
- Lots of air quality sensor projects have been written about this year.
- Lastly, tracking a turtle’s activity during the day.
Stories and News
I’ve enjoyed reading and learning about…
- Increased deployment of satellite-based internet providers.
- Sensors that harvest energy and generate their own power.
- Matthias Bösl’s writings on developing commercial IoT projects.
- 2021 has brought a nice offering of IoT chipsets from EspressIf such as the ESP32-S2, the ESP32-C3, and the ESP32-H2.
- Device upcycling initiatives by large corporations like Samsung.
- Ultra-wideband radios caught my eye when Apple announced their new AirTag location tags, powered by ultra-wideband. Jenny List provides a technical dive into these new radio signals and modules.
- Improv, an initiative funded by Nabu Casa which promises a “free and open standard with ready-made SDKs that offer a great user experience to configure Wi-Fi on devices”.
- An attempt to illustrate the contrasting internet speeds in Germany where reporters ran an experiment to see if data delivered via horse would arrive faster than over broadband.