Exploring The Internet Of Things Through Examples


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My slides from the talk I gave at the Thinking Digital University, which ran on the day before the Thinking Digital Conference 2009

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  • First off, a brief bio so you know a bit about who I am, and how I got here. After graduating I moved down to Cambridge to join a small startup called STNC. You won’t have heard of it, but we were doing interesting things with mobile phones and the web before most people had a mobile phone. We built the first ever web browser to run on a mobile phone. We were then bought by Microsoft when they started getting serious about phones, and after a few years working for the “Evil Empire” I left to start my own company. Since then I’ve been using my experience in writing software for very constrained platforms and knowledge of web technologies to work on projects that cut across web and mobile. More and more, I’ve been interested in, and helping people with, the emerging “Internet of Things” – getting data out of the real world and into the Internet; or out of the Internet and into the real world
  • My latest commission – to develop the hardware and software for a new physical control prototype. The white box contains all the electronics, and sits behind the screen or glass or whatever. The silver and blue knob requires no power or expensive parts, and sits on the LCD screen, or on the outside of the window. It provides a tactile and physical interaction with the computer and can be used either as a more understandable way of interacting with a screen (compared to a touch screen) or on something like an estate agents window – to scroll through properties being displayed inside the shop, so passers-by can still use the display even when the shop is closed.
  • This isn’t something that I’ve made. It’s a site collecting lots of data about ship positions from enthusiasts all round the coast, and then showing you live ship data on a fairly rudimentary map. If you hover over any of the ships then you get some more information about it. Despite living about quarter of an hours walk from the river, I can’t actually see it from my flat – someone built Britain’s biggest cathedral right in the way. I thought it would be nice to be more connected to the traffic on the river, and so I used this data to build…
  • I have a little script that takes the data from ShipAIS.com and works out when a boat has entered, or left the Mersey. Whenever that happens it sends a message to the @merseyshipping twitter account. That means I get a background awareness of the comings and goings on the river, and find out just how busy the river still is!
  • http://mapme.at/api/export.html?usernames=royaldaffodil,royaliris,snowdrop,amcewen&mode=since&since=1%20hour%20ago Building upon that, I did some work with the Liverpool-based location history and sharing web startup mapme.at. Now you can add the famous ferries ‘cross the Mersey to your friends on mapme.at, and see where they are in relation to you. On this screenshot you can see that I’m at home; Snowdrop is moored over in Birkenhead; Royal Daffodil is plying the normal ferry route around the river; and I’m not sure what Royal Iris is up to down there – she’s on the Manchester Ship Canal for some reason.
  • Bubblino – a twitter-watching, bubble-blowing Arduino bot.
  • Exploring The Internet Of Things Through Examples

    1. 1. Exploring The Internet of Things, Through Examples Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    2. 2. You can interact with my talk. Twitter about it and include #TDC or #TDU in your tweet Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    3. 3. Who Am I? <ul><li>I was a key member of STNC Ltd. </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile startup from Cambridge </li></ul><ul><li>Bought by Microsoft in 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Left Microsoft in 2002 and… </li></ul><ul><li>Founded MCQN Ltd. </li></ul><ul><li>A web, mobile and “Internet of Things” consultancy </li></ul>Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    4. 4. SenseKnob: Control Through LCD <ul><li>Works through glass, LCD, almost anything non-metallic </li></ul><ul><li>Invented by Girton Labs, prototypes developed by MCQN Ltd </li></ul><ul><li>Development kits available soon </li></ul>Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    5. 5. Bringing data from the real world onto the Internet Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    6. 6. ShipAIS.com Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    7. 7. twitter.com/MerseyShipping Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    8. 8. Mersey Ferries on mapme.at Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    9. 9. The Mazzini Project: Measuring <ul><li>Measures how much electricity is used by whatever is plugged into it </li></ul><ul><li>Also measures ambient temperature and light levels </li></ul>Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    10. 10. The Mazzini Project: Reporting <ul><li>Uploads the data to the web </li></ul><ul><li>www.pachube.com/feeds/1164 </li></ul>Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    11. 11. The Mazzini Project: Control Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com <ul><li>The Light Load Lamp </li></ul><ul><li>A Mazzini monitor plus one standard lava lamp </li></ul><ul><li>Code on the Mazzini unit measures the frequency of the mains </li></ul><ul><li>If it drops below 50Hz then it turns the power off </li></ul>
    12. 12. The Mazzini Project: Control Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com show live data from Light Load Lamp
    13. 13. The Mazzini Project: Join In Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com <ul><li>A Mazzini “shield” for Arduino </li></ul><ul><li>Just add Arduino, box and wires </li></ul><ul><li>Expected price ~£35-40 </li></ul>
    14. 14. Getting data from the Internet out into the real world Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com
    15. 15. Bubblino Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nuttyxander/3206466676/
    16. 16. Thank You. Any Questions? <ul><li>MCQN Ltd website: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.mcqn.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Or email adrianm@mcqn.com </li></ul><ul><li>My Personal Blog: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.mcqn.net/mcfilter/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Or on twitter I’m @amcewen </li></ul>Adrian McEwen - www.mcqn.com