Everyone seems to have an IoT software platform these days...here are three to try!
Internet of Things seems to be everywhere --- with so much noise out there (that often sounds exactly the same), we thought it might be helpful to point out three IoT platforms that seem to be gaining traction with makers. We know there are many options and encourage you to leave your recommendations in the comments section. Please also let us know if you have used any of these and what you think about them.
ThingSpeak™ is an IoT platform that enables makers and hobbyists to collect, store, analyze, visualize and act on data from sensors or actuators, such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266, ESP32 and other hardware. It is open source, free for noncommercial small projects and supported by a healthy library of tutorials , documentation and an active forum. We also released a tutorial for ThingSpeak last year for the SparkFun ESP8266 Thing Dev Board.
Here are a few example projects we thought demonstrated the platform capabilities:
The steps to using ThingSpeak are pretty straightforward: (1) create a channel and collect data; (2) analyze and visualize the data; and (3) act on the data.
Cayenne is a drag-and-drop project builder that features a rules engine, asset tracking, remote monitoring and control, and tools to visualize real-time and historical data. The library of supported hardware is pretty large and is growing all the time. It can support a number of different devices within a single project. Although not open source, the developers have made Cayenne available for free to the maker community and has supported it with video tutorials, a good project library and a responsive forum. This screenshot shows the dashboard:
Our friends at Blynk developed a platform that connects a microcontroller to your phone, making the process very easy --- turn it on, connect, build a project and monitor it from anywhere. The interface is great and includes drag-and-drop widgets and the ability to collaborate with others on your project. Free for developers/noncommercial users, the Blynk app can be used with hundreds of different devices. Because we released the Blynk Board last year, SparkFun has developed some tutorials and has put together a handful of projects. Here are a few videos that show some applications for Blynk...
That's it for now. Please let us know what software platforms you are using in your projects and why you like them.