Episode 267: How to build your own IoT device
They hey everyone welcome to the two hundred and sixty seventh episode of the Internet of things. Podcast this is your host Stacey Higginbotham and your co host Kevin full and we have an excellent show for you today. We're GONNA BE TALKING ABOUT PRIVACY. Bill making its way through the Senate in response to some of the contact tracing APPs out there. There's also a rumored acquisition in the Industrial Iot security market. We'll talk about and Kevin wants to know if the smart home is finally GonNa gain some common sense because it is you know just another week. We're going to be talking about a security threat for the IOT. We're also going to be questioning if Bluetooth really is the right way to go about doing contact tracing and we've got some little bits of news from Nordic Semiconductor Nest Ring and automatic plus. This week's guest is Christine. Sue FROM TWITTER. Yo she is the creator of soured dot. Io and she tells us how to build our own connected IOT project. Christine worked with particle and with Twi- LEO building stuff. And she knows what she's talking about so if you're interested in taking on a project and you're like me you've never done it before. This is a good place to start. We're also going to hear from our sponsor vary on the use of data science. And Do's and don'ts in the Iot so now let's take a quick moment and you're from another one of our sponsors this week sponsor is live works. This is the definitive event. Her digital transformation and in light of the Global Corona virus. Pandemic live works. Twenty twenty has been reimagined as complementary virtual event this is going to be an inspiring new digital format. And you won't have to travel enabling you to participate from mostly from anywhere in the world and if you like me I will also be speaking at this event and would love for you to join me. So visit live works. L. I V. E. W. O. R. X. Dot Com for more information. Okay Kevin. It is time to talk about this week's installment of the Cove Nineteen News. Basically I hate to say it but we probably should talk about it every week. So until it's gone yes mental. It's gone it's a big deal so this week. Actually this happened last week. It was Thursday when our podcast goes live but we record on Wednesdays so Thursday Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker said that he and a couple of other Republicans were looking at introduced legislation to regulate how companies are going to be doing contact tracing for the Corona Virus. And the idea. Here is a narrowly targeted privacy bill to help citizens avoid being surveilled by companies. Deploying these APPs what's interesting about this approach is that the lawmakers might be making this a part of an upcoming stimulus package in which case a lot of legislators will kind of have to look at this and debate and decide over this as opposed to a bill that is introducing goes nowhere. So I'm curious to see if they do that because we typically don't see that with with privacy type legislation yeah. We usually see it when people try to shoehorn weird bridges and such or maybe terrible actions that are very partisan into bills. It would be good for privacy to get some regulations on the books. This is going to be very narrow. So we'll see how this works in for people wondering about this. This is not just Google and apple did say that they are working together on a Bluetooth. Based framework for contact tracing using their phones consumer could opt in and basically they would get notifications if they passed anyone who were later found to have the corona virus as long as those people. Were using the APP as well. We're using and self reporting it so in in the way it works is it would take it basically when you're traveling around and you have your Bluetooth on. It also happens when you WIFI on. What happens is the phones are constantly paying each other in these. These tracing APPs would look for those things and they would determine whether or not you're close enough and some of the more sophisticated ones might even deal with like the amount of time passed with someone basically. You would just get a notification it says. Hey you came in contact with or you were near someone who's been diagnosed with Kobe. Nineteen which honestly as a little terrified the fact that you're being traced that way or the fact that you pass. Somebody who has been notification is a little tariff AK good. Good I agree. What do I do what I do like about that? Whole approach though in a in this the legislature kind linked to some of the privacy aspects of it. There's no centralized government organization that gets the data and it does not include your actual location near who you are and that's part of what this legislation is. They WanNa make sure that your privacy is protected in this particular instance. Yes what you should look for is. None of these need location. So no location data no identifiable data about you so until you actually commit to saying you have been infected. You're not will you're never identified if you're infected. Your token basically starts the token that represents you connect with all the tokens that it had passed that represent other people and then communicates with them so it would be very difficult to tie it back to a person not impossible but difficult the other things. That apple and Google have both said that they're only going to use this data for this particular purpose and they shut it down at the end of the pandemic which could be a while. But that's good thinking there we're gonNA use this. Actually I'll segue into another one of our stories because I think it's important to understand what this can and cannot do in the intercept. Put out a story that felt like it was a little over the top it. Basically the headline was the inventors of Bluetooth. Say there could be problems using their tech for corona virus contact tracing and I'm like yeah that's obvious and for people who don't understand Bluetooth. Here's why it's a little tricky when you deal with Bluetooth you're dealing with radio signals and our F- is fickle. It is but it passes through walls the signals change when it passes through people because we're just giant bags of salt water in. It's very difficult for most signals to get through giant bags of salt water. It changes. It's not like you can draw an even in straight line between two people and say he were thirty feet. Apart from this person for this law it would be nice if that were the case but that is not how. Bluetooth really works. That's not how any wireless signal really works. I guess lasers right. Light are works differently correct. Put everything you've said is is correct. People don't realize the variability of radio frequencies depending on location depending on going through a law how thick the wall is. What the material is there? So many factors how many other people are around you. I mean whenever you're in a crowded conference spilling or area with a lot of people trying to get online. You'll notice that your battery dreams faster. That's because you're try. The ten is are trying to push out more signal to compensate for all of the clutter and noise in the environment. So this is not like this is variable it happens. It's guess that's the thing nobody has ever promise that. This is the perfect solution. That the whole Bluetooth wireless frequency tracking. There is no perfect solution. Short of having physical test that are readily available right. Contact Racers like ten contact interview. This is a good way to start building out a map. It is a good way to start thinking about hotspots. Possibly although we're not using location so you can't see hotspots. You have to bring the person in an interview them to get that information. It's a good way to get people. I guess thinking about things aware of things it is. I do have one concern. The reliance of our SSI were signal strength with Bluetooth for these APPs. As we've already said WHO's highly variable and I wonder how many false positives that could lead to. That's airing on the side of caution which I think is a good thing but still some people may panic when they shouldn't be panicked yet In APP developers can actually work around this they can in. You'll have to decide. Do you want more false positives. And a greater number of people coming. In and getting tested I mean presuming. We ever have enough tests here in the US. But that's a decision we're going to have to make but what will happen is. I mean if I just walked by someone. How likely is it? And I'm outside am I gonNA. Is it likely that I'm infected? Even though they they pass by and I might get a notification. It's unlikely if I sit next to someone in a restaurant with air conditioning. Way More likely and there's no way to account for that rate now in Bluetooth isn't the way to account for that. You're going to have to build algorithms on top of these APPS that make those decisions so you know it's not just Bluetooth and the intercept kind of made it sound like it is just Bluetooth. Although the in the story they also talk about you know the number of people who download this this is all very contingent on getting greater than sixty percent of the population to opt in which I think is quite ambitious at the best. I think that is ambitious. Is there enough self incentive for people to do it the people who think that their data is going to be used inappropriately? They're not gonNA download download this no matter what there's a high percentage of people that probably think that so. I don't think they're GONNA hit list. Sixty this goes back to the law. Maybe the law will help with that. It won't anyway okay. So that's what's going on with the cove in nineteen contact tracing situation. Let's talk about an industrial. Iot security firm possibly getting purchased by Microsoft Lou all right Israeli Business Newspaper. Globes has reported that a company called Cyber X is in talks with Microsoft to be acquired for a hundred and sixty five million dollars. And this is a big deal in. There's a couple reasons. One cyber is actually a really solid name. In Industrial Iot security they do the operational technology security. Which is that. How machines talking to machines not how computers are talking to computers but the machines to machines kind of getting stuck here with like. I'm like oh machines to machines in everyone's thinking Oh cellular but no. This is the deep machine talking in a in a factory. Setting this is those devices talking to each other over their own dedicated network so cyber executor's that in focuses their Microsoft buying. It would be a big deal because it puts Microsoft lower in the stack for industrial. Iot Microsoft has historically worked with vendors in the OT side to secure and to communicate with machines at translate back and forth. But it hasn't really wanted to go super deep and I think part of that reason is because it's very hard for the world of it to go down into the OT stack and we've talked about that on the show it in the newsletter a lot. But if Microsoft doesn't at buying cyber ex- that's exactly what would be happening and Microsoft is the number one cloud provider for the industrial. Iot I know. Aws Is the number one cloud overall but Microsoft really has one here and I think that's important to note and this would just build on that for them so we'll see if that actually happens I have emailed cyber x and Microsoft and I have not heard back from them but my hunch is they're going to say we do not comment on was it'll be a nice pay day because the Company was founded in two thousand thirteen and his race. Forty eight million dollars. So hundred sixty five million is pretty good. Yeah my ticket. I imagine many companies would take anything right now at this point. Yes I'm like. Oh it's about to get rough. Let's talk about the smart home because well it's a day that ends in. Why and we're on the show together. Kevin you've found this article in a kind of like it. It's an interesting article of it certainly appealed to me because the title of it comes from Quantum magazine. My favorite magazine. I love this magazine. You guys okay. Go on common sense comes closer to computers aside from the alliteration in the title. It's a really good article This woolworth to read and it has to do with while the title says it. Oh computers don't have common sense but yet we're training them to recognize objects with machine vision. Were training them to do natural language processing but the missing piece is common sense. And that's very hard to program so what was interesting here is actually came up with a tweet about Somebody testing some common sense and natural language processing. Said something along the lines of Somebody is you know using matches putting logs together etc. What happens next? Essentially and a computer really couldn't tell you that however somebody saw the tweet and they have a research project called comment that is meant to perform commonsense reasoning so they fit in the same prompt from the tweet. And here's what they said they said Gary Stacks kindling and lobs and drops a mattress and basically the comet system. Came up with all kinds of inferences of why Gary might be doing this. The first two were he wanted to start a fire or he wanted to make a fire. So there's commonsense theory explains what the computer is thinking is going to happen and is probably correct. That's what's missing to me in the smart home in the article doesn't talk about the smart home thinking ahead. Like wow if we had these kind of systems with a little common sense in the smart home where it sees somebody take out certain ingredients out of the fridge for example says oh it looks like that person is about to make. Salmon. LemMe start the oven. You get the kind of place going to there. I was like maybe recipes are a little hard but seeing like let's say a bunch of people come to the door then it might be like. Oh there's a bunch of people here the room is GONNA get hot. Let's turn the AC and probably a party Bingo. You wouldn't want it to go too far on party because maybe it's like awake and that would be bad. The though be interesting to have the hugh late disco ball function going when not the best commonsense layer but turned down. The air would be helpful. Yeah but anyway. It's a very good article It goes into a lot more depth than we can talk about here. Due to time I would love to see more development in the smart home based common sense. Wouldn't we all? I would like to see more common sense in general that swirled around me from people. Let's move to guess what another day another button it. This is interesting because it targets IOT devices uses. Ssh BRUTE FORCE ATTACKS? Oh in it's called Taiji and it's interesting because it was built from scratch. This is not a run of the mill just downloaded it from the dark web somewhere. This is built and go. Which is why people in there are not a lot of these out there so people are like. Oh this is interesting. They've built something new. What's a little disturbing is? It's probably still evolving because well you're building something new you're probably going to deploy it see how well it works and then make the changes but the way this works is it uses. Ssh tone it the way this works is it uses exposed SSh ports not telling it our favorite form of attack and it executes Brute Force Attacks Against Your IOT devices in Lenox servers. So this isn't like your your sensors is like your router. And maybe if you have a dvr system our favorite network dvr system that is old and unsecured or people using those. Yes they are. I mean stop from their perspective. If you're like Bodega you know. And you've gotTA network. Dvr thing. From late I duNno late audits. It ain't broke. Don't fix it. Will it broke. But I'm broke. No I understand. I'm Google not too thrilled with this. Because typically these experts or In seniors plus but because this is kgo which was designed at Google back in two thousand nine. They probably don't want to be associated with us. So if you're worried about this this targets servers that have left their SSh port exposed on the Internet. So lock that down. Only the root account is targeted. Which is the most important one worry about? It's just root account. But what it's GonNa do is it's going to infect all the devices that the targeted device controls e end and it does that so it could use do more brute force attack so it has more broadband or for force attacks but also steals any of the local. Ssh keys that are on that device and then it spreads to the other devices. The root account has managed in the past. Yeah that's that's actually rather clever and smart not that I condone this a problem and a big problem. Yes exactly yeah. So this is something to keep an eye on Kaiji and we'll be looking for see if there was commonsense involved systems. Would say you know what I don't really think you're an active user are authenticated user. That's true if you have anything on your network that's going to look at device behavior and be like. Where is all this been with going up all of a sudden from this? Dvr Why does this traffic whizzes calling out to this? Why is there so much traffic going around inside my network? Why is my dvr trying to talk to my refrigerator happening anyway? That's our at our little advocate for I guess commonsense security which does exist although it's a little more rare on the home side okay. Let's talk about News Kevin. Yes so we're hearing a lot about Iot in medical devices these days because of Kobe. Nineteen well not semiconductor is Kinda glomming onto that trend. Although it's it's actually kind of a cool product they have announced a Bluetooth low energy. Ac plugging wireless hub along with a stick on beacon for asset tracking and the idea is that hospitals could use this to remotely track the assets such as ventilators defibrillators. And so on knowing exactly. Where are of course she got outfit? You're hospital with these little stickers and these Bluetooth outlets but still I think it's clever. Okay we're all for it. Hospitals don't like to deploy a lot of this stuff because they want to control what's on their network but we'll see if the security suffices or maybe during their like screw security security nest has now requiring two factor authentication on all of your devices. I got the email recently. I'm sure you to Kevin and yeah. If you haven't done that now you have to. You should do it. We knew renews resent it? Do it speaking of security ring has a new ninety nine. Allard and ninety nine cents entry level doorbell which I did not see this coming. It's very similar to the video doorbell to has a solar charger on top of it. Though my yeah I did not see this coming. That's actually Kinda Nice if you're in the ring Amazon ecosystem yes and you know. I've actually about to move in a few months in. I am eyeballing security. We're GONNA hear a lot more about cool stuff you've got an ecosystem decision to make. Don't can't me started a man too. I have been thinking about that going. Ooh Will you may be moving before this actually hits the market though it can be preordered now for one hundred dollars a comes out on June third. That actually works for me but okay however what I will not be buying is an automatic. Ob Deport Monitor. Not only. Because that's for my car not my home but because of Matic is shutting down yes last week we talked about all the companies blaming the pandemic for their closures and last week on Friday morning automatic. Join them automatic. Their devices been around for since two thousand thirteen so a while and people could buy up until even you know a few months ago and in two thousand seventeen it was bought by Sirius. Xm In serious basically pushed automatic too. You could buy a car at Carmax get like a service plan where you put the automatic in and you will get details about the health of your car. You could use it for like logging. Miles could do a lot with this and now they're not gonNA support it anymore. No more cloud service for now. This is a little jarring in Belkin. Actually did this with their net cam to also last week. Basically they gave their users a month. They said Hey. We're GONNA shut down operations after in automatics case. It's May Twenty Eighth Belkin. I can't recall but it's it's like about thirty days. They're like you get a month. We're GONNA shut it down. You can pull your data out. That's enough time. That's that any company in this space. Should be giving more time than that. I I understand the financial challenges and the business challenges. Come on yeah. I really think they should be putting money in escrow for stuff like this at the rate decide how long you think you want to support something and I think the terms will probably be different depending on. How much devices cost the difficulty of installation? So much data. Yeah Yeah Yeah but you know all that as a company when you're selling the product and the service so why not at that point figuring out how much you need as to give people at least whatever it is three months six months cetera. And then is your product. Mix evolves evolves. You then modify what. You have an escort to account for that. Let's just play game here? Automatic does that require. What three months six months? What do you think honestly at a minimum? I think a month is probably the bare minimum. Oh well they're given roughly a month and the reason being because it doesn't take that long to get your data and that's about all you can do if you want to find a replacement it doesn't take too long finer replacement I have. Odbc DEPORT READER TO FLASH THE ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNIT OF MY engine in my car to get extra performance. For example. I have all that data a cost me a lot more Five hundred fifty dollars because it has the ability to fleshed the car software. But my data's local okay. It doesn't take long to get the data a product that is not a not a product that you have you. Don't use it every day. Maybe you passively use it by driving your car. But you're not looking at the data everyday. I still would like three months. I'm GonNa just say it would be nice to three months Let's say thermostat. There's so many of them out there. I don't think I would need much. Okay see I feel like because it's installed in the wall I would want at least six months maybe even a year. It's four wires five wires. Okay Kevin Okay. What about your Sonos? It was expensive to buy and now it's going away. That's a little different because they're really. There are similar process but that is unique product to me and I do use it every day. I'd want time to get replacement not to get any data off of it but in a way to transition to another product okay. So you're thinking is very different than mine. I like having that perspective. I'm like all right so no second by a new one. I do take into account how much I spent on it. So I want to see some discounts Sure also how long ago could someone have purchased it in another word of advice for companies? Who are shutting stuff down. Take your stock out of retail channels. Because there's nothing worse than seeing a company closing product and then being able to buy the product on like Amazon the next day. It's bad or if you're going to leave him out there have open source. The cloud services. Don't you that? Just take them off? I still have imagined some poor person trying to like oh I bought no no no no so I don't mean like so that individuals can try and keep it alive themselves. I think back to my uncle vector which now gained a second life. Thanks to some people who bought the Ip an have servers now and are actively working on new firmware and so and so forth and the tone but individual talking about like technical groups that can put a new product out so to speak. Okay all right. That concludes that part of the show. Now it is time for the Internet of things. Podcast HOTLINE DENTAL. Lente done the Internet of things. Podcast hotline is once again brought to you by slade. The Best Home Automation ADS CONVENIENCE NOT HASSLE WITH BILTON Wifi Schley in Code Smart Wifi deadbolt shows just how easy secure can be learn more at Schley Dot Com? That's right Schley. As a returning sponsor this week it is time to announce our winner from the April contest. They will be winning a Schley Glock and the winner is Marshall. Congratulations Marshall And this month for the month of May we have an option for you. Because we know that we're listened to by smart home nerds and just general nerds all alike. Your options are going to be could win a Schley clock or you could win a helium hotspot yes so enacted lock for your home because some people already have these two or helium hotspot which is a low and hot spot that you can Set up in your house and start earning. I don't know. Helium points in tokens helium at work. And also you know you if you have Laura stuff in your house you can connect your Laura stuff and also part of this like worldwide. Laura Win Network Exciting Okay. So those are two prize options. When you win you can tell us which one works for you all right if you would like to be entered to win all you have to do is call us and ask us a question at five one two six two three seven four two four and we may answer it on the show but you will definitely be entered to win. This week's voicemail comes from Don who's having some Z. Wave issues let's hear face. Stacey and Kevin. This is don in northwest Arkansas. I haven't have three of. Its like lock in Mike Worse. I also have in pheonix and universal devices span east. I've got is the one actually to the doors. One of the closest and one is the furthest in a while seemed to lose Z. Communication with Universal Isis. My question is the furthest one is a little more hit and miss than than the nearest. But it's setting next to a steel washer and dryer. I kinda think that might be my problem. I PUT A Z. Wave Alarm unit plugged into the wall near. And if seen maybe help a little bit I wasn't didn't really think it made that big of a difference. I is on the other side of that. Room is another door going into the garage and I know Z. Wave also does repeating if I was to put another Sh- like lock or if I accidentally really won this month's slaying lock fingers crossed. Then that might possibly help it or wondered what your opinion would be on that. There are two she rock walls and probably thirty to thirty five feet as the Z way. Flies between the lock and my universal devices unit. That's why I wondered if that might possibly help of the show. Listen you guys ever week. Thanks much okay done. This is tricky. Yeah this is tricky partially because we just don't know exactly what you're set up his but we've got some good suggestions to get you started and we'd love to hear back from you afterwards and you can tell us if this worked or not. The C- wave is a network. That really only travels between ten and thirty feet depending on the makeup of your house. Mostly the makeup of your house right. That does the type of walls where you have it that sort of thing and it is a true Mesh so if you have one Z wave device talking to a hub. You know it's GonNa talk directly but if you have a bunch of C wave devices will create this like meshed apology and they will talk to each other and send the message back and forth so the more Z. Wave you have the better and more resilient your network will be it. Sounds like you already have some stuff but it also sounds like maybe it's not in the best place in possibly a little far away so the first suggestion for you is to buy as waiver. Peter these are lake thirty five to you can probably find them for like twenty dollars but thirty five to forty dollars Papa. Repeater near the lock. That's furthest away that's causing you problems and what you can do is wait in a lot of times after a few days. Sometimes it's within an hour. Sometimes it takes a while your network will reconfigure. It will include that in. Start working better so you do need to get a little bit of time or you can do what I would do. Which is rebuild your network. So that's basically all years wave devices off the network manually. Exclude them then. Put them back in and then work from there and to be honest what I would do. If you're going to do that. I definitely think another repeater to is going to help. Depending on the placement of them. If you're gonNA rebuild the network so to speak I would start at your hub and work your way out built it out towards that problem device so that way. That problem device is connecting to the closest possible Z. Wave access point. That's on the network at that time. Yes so let us know how that works for you. It's basically reboot and repeaters. Is Our advice to you but this is without like deeper with without knowing the configuration of your home. The walls they're made out of it. It's tough we're talking about Megahertz frequency. I believe yes. Yeah I mean it should be okay through walls but still I mean you're looking best case thirty thirty five feet probably without wall so more repeaters is probably your best bet also depends on like you know that. Washer and Dryer. That's John Hawkes. So it's also what's what's in your house though and what other what other are. F is out there exactly you know. Nine hundred megahertz is used by garage door. Openers baby monitors old wireless phones. That's right some pay. Listen if you tell me that people still use in. Dvr'S THAN I think. People still use them old wireless phones. Oh one hundred percent. That's our advice to you and thank you for calling in John. Ever remember you guys for the month of May give us a call at five one to six to three seven four two four and you will be entered twin either a slave block or a helium hotspot. And now let me tell you one quick thing. I think we mentioned it last week. But we are starting to do events for the IOT podcast and stays not and our first event is going to be Made Twentieth. It is going to happen at eleven. Am P T two PM et. And it's going to be all about why the IOT didn't predict Cova nineteen and how we can set up a better system for the future. We're going to have interceding. Who is the CEO of Kinza on? We're going to have people for Elektra. Labs that does clinical validation for consumer wearables. And we're going to have an epidemiologist from scripts to talk to us on this topic so sign up there at Stacey on Iot slash coverted if you are interested in that and now stay tuned for our guest Christine. Sue from Twi- Leo. She is going to be talking to us about how to build a connected mailbox open close sensor in the process. She's also going to share her thinking and how to get around barriers for anyone who is really wants to build some sort of connected product but is way too intimidated. So this should inspire you to use your quarantine time for making if you want before we get to her. Let's hear from our sponsor this week sponsor is very. Hey everyone we are taking a quick break from the Internet of things podcast. A message from our sponsor and today's sponsor is very a leading IOT development services firm. And I have Dr Jen Gamble. Who is the data? Science practice lead very here to talk to us. Hi Jen how are you today? I'm great stacey. How are you excellent? So tell me why you joined vary in what you're doing with data science there so what originally drew me to vary is the way that they're a real leader. When it comes to agile development practices this is because I'm very passionate about is applying agile practices to data science and machine learning development. So this plus the culture fit Is what made very a great match for me now. I leader data science team in machine learning and AI initiatives on our client projects so in every engagement we start with a problem formulation and defining the analytical approach and so we do this by working through a process with our clients where we ask questions like what data is available. What are the types of statements that we want to be able to make an application Is it predictions recommendations even fully automated decision making? Who are the end users going to be? What are the workflows that were hoping to enable based off of this data? What's even possible from predictive modeling OR MACHINE LEARNING RECOMMENDATION PERSPECTIVE? And that last part kind of we figure based off of the data science on the data that's available and then as we actually build out the end to end application. We apply these agile development practices to all aspects of the system that we're building so that includes the data pipelines machine learning models as well. Wow all right. So where do you see data science going in the IOT field and how they apart looking at the field today? Best Practices for Agile. Data Science or Agile. A up development are just now beginning to be created and adopted also these types of Interdisciplinary Iot project to execute on them successfully requires a group of data scientists software engineers designers subject matter experts for more developers hardware engineers all. These people need to work together as a cohesive team and so most enterprise businesses are industrial businesses. Even if they have this kind of diverse set of skills already in house they don't necessarily have that group of people used to working together for Agile Iot product development purposes. And so that's a really non-trivial part of it. And so what we're seeing is a need for specialize iot development firms especially when can include machine learning hardware development as part of their core competencies so very is positioned to really fill this gap for industrial and enterprise businesses? All right so jen. Where do I go to learn more? About how very can help me with my iot project. You can reach out to us at very possible. Dot Com Slash Stacey. So that's me E. R. Y. P. O. S. L. E. DOT COM slash S. T. A. C. Everyone welcome back to the Internet of things but gas this is your host. Stacey Higginbotham and today's guest is Christine. Siddhu who works with Iot community engagement at Willio. Hi Christine. How are you doing today? Great Stacey it's fantastic to be here. I am really excited. As I promised everyone earlier. We were going to talk about how to get over. The I bought a board now what Hump. We'll get this started just by having you tell us a little bit about what you do at and maybe about your latest project which I actually want because I really could use a fitness tracker for my sour dough starter. Yeah totally so at Twi- Leo. I leave the developer community for the Internet of things side of Tokyo's product offerings. So twi- Leo offers a lot of things to developers. That are super interesting. It started out as a lot of communication with your phone. How do we write applications and Really Lake? Us things that we would normally coat in our computers to reach people of where they are with their phone numbers or with their landlines or whatever it is that we wanted to do how to incorporate. Sms How to incorporate video. How do we incorporate all of these things that feel occasionally like they are certainly a part of the world of tech and communications but they feel like they are further from when where you know writing applications and apps so it's funny because in that context of this weird amorphous tech world the expanding ever expanding sphere of communications overlap there? It seems natural that there would be these Internet of things related things that Williams so Tulio does a couple of things in Iot. I mean there's always the very classic thing that you can do with trillion which is reach people where they are by by having by sending tax pro grammatically through your application. So that makes it really easy for you to have any of your devices. Text you and then you know. There's also a cellular. Connectivity offered through Sims and so Tokyo has a number of options for that including narrowband. Man Programmable wireless then there's really cool a product that's coming out called Super Sim. I will admit to being a little shortsighted when I think about Iot. Projects don't often think about using phones which is silly because a lot of the projects I work with. I do want to have some sort of notification. I'm just like oh I'd rather have a light bulb. I Dunno absolutely on the developer network. There's a lot of people who have spent a lot of time in technology and it's a really fun team and I had this whole discussion with one of my teammates about just do phone even count as Iot because a lot of times when You know if I'm doing a talk or I'm talking to somebody who asks me like Christine. What even is Iot? All shorthand it by saying well. It's like the Internet being on stuff. That isn't phones or computers. And what does that really offer us? You know when you get into like a lot of the interesting things about industrial applications and ambient computing and notifications. That aren't the kind of notifications that we associate with phones and notifications that can move into our lives in our space more naturally more easily. And so it's certainly a debate a bank whether or not phone notifications qualify as Iot. But there's also you know the the others I'd rather limited output input side but in some ways like your smartphone is a very worthy way to monitor your movement. Your look not just your location but also you know. Are you currently bouncing around? Are you running are in a light place or a dark place? There's tons of sensors on your phone that to a lot of the things that we talk about IOT devices doing at a smaller added more specific scale. So it's a very interesting debate. I'm not sure how feel about it. I will say a good example of bringing the phone into this actually. Is the project that you just got a lot. Lot of publicity seems mean. I. It's not. It's just a cool project and people are like. Hey this is the goal project so a lot of people wrote about it. So maybe if you explain what you did with soured. Oh is that how you say it soured that I? Oh Yes yes so I am the I am like a a crazy cat lady. But for sourdough starters so it was already really into making Brad. And and having starters way before it became like a hipster. What he's started doing it. I think that I think that there is something. That's really lovely about having this interesting culture of yeast and flour and water and you feed it and it grows and it makes brad in. It's kind of changing over time but still totally the same. And you know it's it's a it's like a pet that you have that makes Brad and so it's not really surprising that everybody loves that and is comforted by that now and I had had a lot of really silly designs over the years for monitoring is our. Does starters reminding me to feed them or you know figuring out ways fair for me to make sure that is as caring for them or just getting more data exam. I'm from a science background so I like just having data and so I was realizing this is the first time ever that anybody is interested in hearing about that so I might as well actually build it so yeah so this was a good chance for you to build it and briefly. I guess you should tell people. What is that you built? Yeah so I built a little device that screws onto the top canning jar and it just looks like a little face so attached to You can put your starter in the jar. Put the lid on with device on it and it will monitor the temperature humidity and rise of your sour dough starter. So as you're started grows it pays it with distance sensor at a see how tall it is and that it also takes data on the temperature and the humidity in the jar. Well let's talk about getting started then since as you as you have. A lot of our audience has some time. And maybe they're trying to try to complete a project and I would love to help them out by getting you talk about your process. So how do you approach a project from idea to completion and I know we were talking before the show about like maybe the big barriers to entry? So I don't know if you have a process and you WANNA start there or if maybe WanNa talk about what you see is the big barriers but we probably should start there and then help people get over absolutely. Yeah so I mean when before I worked for Tokyo I was actually doing and end product design and consulting for hardware and other things. So you know. How do you take an idea and turn it into something? That's real turn it into a prototype. A really flush it out a way that you feel like it's it's something and I truly think that the process is the same whether you are one person doing it whether you are a giant company doing it. I think that a lot of it is thinking about your goals and what you want to get out of it and then getting started. I A lot of times encourage people when they're individuals is trying to get started in something like hardware. There's just so much information out there you know. It helps a lot to start with project to have something in mind and from there. You kind of break down. What are the inputs for Iot? What are the inputs and the outputs? And what is the easiest way to build them? It can be tremendously difficult to do this if you haven't done it before haven't done it a lot. So that's one of the. That's one of the tricky parts. Most of that I think is when you get started. You don't know what to Google. There's so much information. It's just very difficult to know what to Google to to find exactly what you need is hard to. Things are called the. I feel like I am. I used to ask people. When I was getting started in hardware. I would tell them. I don't need to up a lot of your time. I don't need you to teach me the whole thing. I just need you to tell me what to Google so a lot of times when people other people are getting started in hardware and they asked me what they should do. I tell them like by the way if ever you need Jeff asked me. I will tell you what to Google. That can really get you unstuck in a way that dramatically helpful awesome so. Let's let's work through a project and this is actually an idea. That's GonNa come straight from our listeners. Because we get a lot of questions about this so and I think it might be simple. We get a lot of people who want to set up some sort of mailbox sensor or maybe it's a someone is coming up my driveway censor. Both of those objects are fairly far away from their house. So it's not within Wifi distance so I'm thinking one end you've got the sensor that's going to say. Oh Hey someone drove by your driveway. Or maybe it's an open close on a mailbox and then thinking about like how to connect that to network then how to communicate but something happened back at the homestead decides a good project all right. What do I do in the current era? I would definitely think about starting with what you have. It can be tricky to get materials right now. I can be tricky to get sensors. I think if you have boards at home if you have things that you may be thought at a conference and they're just sitting in a drawer somewhere. That's a really good place to start. So what do you have so I have nothing. So what should I buy? Two mailbox enclosed censor. Please laid out for me? Any IOT project is going to have. Three parts is going to have hardware. Firmware and software hardware is the device. How you set up the device. How wired what sensors use etc up House. It enclosed things like that. Firmware is the Co that is sitting on the device that takes and translates everything in life. Gets IT ready to be sent out and also communicates with Modem if there's and says like all right we're GONNA get ready to send all of this data somewhere? Software is can mean a lot of things in this case. I'm using it to mean the side of our IOT application. It's going to handle the data that was sent to the Internet by device. So those are the three parts in the case of the mailbox. We're going to have a hardware be voters So we can sense the amount of light that is in the mailbox a microcontroller. So something that's going to help us translate this arbitrary number. That's coming in from the the photo resistor into a yes or no I think the mailboxes opener closed and also a modem so the metric chiller will communicate with a modem so that it can send that information over the Internet. The firmware that is sitting on the device is going to do what the searing because it sits on the on the microcontroller is GonNa read the restore take that number. Turn it into something that we can actually use and send that information over the Internet by telling the Modem certain commands so that takes care of hardware firmware on software side. We need to receive information in our cloud. We need handle it. We need to tell it where to go from there. We need to send it to foam you. Send to the lights and there's a number of services we can do for that so it it can be really hard to know what to Google. So I'm just going to tell you what to Google at every stage so I you need to Google photoresists. A photo resist era tells you essentially how much like there is. And it changes the resistance based on the amount of light. We're GONNA the photo resistor to tell us whether the mailboxes opener close since a mailboxes dark when is closed and light line. Open what you really want to. Here is photo resistor simple circuit diagram or photo. Resistor R diagram. This will tell you how to hook up your photo. Resistor to yard we know. And what kind of resistor you need to ground the photo resistor which is a whole thing that that simple google. We'll also get into all right now. We need to connect to the Internet What do I do go for that? So we're going to go M. T. Library Argentino or if you don't have an we know Google 'em cousy library. Whatever it is that you have so what we're GonNa do now just to like play with it is we're GONNA set up a circuit so you just sat at the circuit You read the voters are and then get that good. A confidence boost. I totally did it. This was amazing. Pat Yourself on the back. It's been like you built a really good circuit and it works. And you're reading the photo sister so this is like the the foundation and we're GONNA work from there so now that we have this we could hypothetically put this in our mailbox and it could our mailbox opening close and we would know when it was opening closed. But what we wouldn't be able to do is receive that information over anything except for wire. So let's let's get a modem. Let's get cellular in there so now what we're going to google is a let's say it's an dino so for the atoms are called shields. So we're GONNA Google. Do We know Cellular Shield? I'm actually GonNa go with that now. So there's a couple of things that come up there's GM she'll there's a phone. I shield Where can I just look for anything? That's that's really simple. That is going to allow us to send this information. You can also if you're thinking about what to buy because that's really gonna be the practical thing for us to eight hundred or spark fun or wherever you like to shop and look up a cellular shield for whatever board you have and then make sure that you remember that name or that you have that name there because their subsequent Google's going to involve that name so let's say that I'm using this cellular shield that comes from spark fon so this is a sparkman cat m one and narrowband. Iot Shield and so I believe that we can just place this directly onto our. We know and it should work. Yeah that's that's what we're GonNa need here is what you're GonNa WanNa do once you order this or once you get it is. You'RE GONNA WANNA look up all of the libraries related to this that allow it to connect so the next thing that we're GonNa do is whatever whatever recommended setup for this poem so we're GonNa set our stir. Honor is a to the side for a moment. And we're GONNA do the setup for this Modem And there's typically gay very simple sample code that already exist. There's typically an MP t example that already exist and then you should be able it. Should it should show you the very basic basics of sending any information over the Internet using the cellular board. After you do that go get a sandwich. Take a break eat some ice cream. Feel good about yourself. You just connect to the Internet. That will the next part is one of my favorites because a Frankenstein. These two pieces of code together. And we're GonNa take the code that wrote before that allowed us to read the photo resistor and decide when the mailbox is open and we are going to put that together with our cellular connect to the Internet. Talk with Amputee Code and then we will be sending our data over the Internet with amputee from our device to wherever we want. That's awesome okay. I feel very confident that I can do all this so now. Now let's say I want to send it to my phone from my m q t t feed. I guess is the way to think of it. How do I connect that to maybe service? Like if or maybe I have to do. I want to avoid riding as much actual code as possible. Great I'm I'm right there with you. So let's say that we sent that our broker that we used was Eight I oh this is sort of like US cheating here. We're just GONNA have to Google for this one hypothetically you could at this point. Google amputee broker an MP broker ift and amputee broker a no code all excellent ways for for you to find something that some setup that might work but let's let's just use eight hundred in example since. I'm pretty sure that that one does work. Okay so now. Let's go to set up a service. So the service is going to take the information from our feet at eight hundred. Iso and do whatever you want with it so if we had this publish then we are going to send a test or then we are going to turn on the light somewhere so now. We've got a great no code thing that at least on the software side that's taking the info from our device and doing iot stuff with it. That sounds awesome so this sounds eminently plausible. And like something I could actually do with very minimal costs so you did mention now that we've gone through a project. Are there places where people tend to get stuck in? Do you have any advice for them? Yes so I that one of the places where people get stuck Honestly just discussing this right now. It's it's clear that one of the tricky replaces figuring out the firmware side in the libraries in the publishes. It's actually not as scary as I felt that it was when I first started looking at it years ago but I think that it's very intimidating especially if you're if you're not used to code and if you're just trying to get something up and running quickly that moment from the I got something working over the wire I got something working on my Drina that I can read something over cereal like it's doing a serial log and I just get it that's A. It's really big step to go from there too. I have it sending something over the Internet. There's like a number of things that can go wrong with cellular specifically I would say give it time and it might not be you. So there's this issue or sometimes it take with cellular connections it can take it a little while to come online especially the first time it comes online the first time. It does a handshake so when the first time you set up your cellular thing if it doesn't come online immediately if you're not getting it to connect to the Internet immediately you know you can try. Resetting waiting for the same amount of time. But it still doesn't do it just like get up you know. Go for a walk. Get a glass of water stretch. Do a little yoga takes a deep breath. It's really sometimes. It just takes a little while and then come back to it and check it out might just be online. The other side is you can also consider prototyping fully offline and looking for solutions that Saul some of the published steps for you when I was at particle one of the reasons why we created a platform that had built in publishing subscribe is because it can be very intimidating for people to get started with hardware software firmware and everything else. All at once can be a lot easier if you just say okay. We've handled at least one part of this for you. So there's certain providers like particle where some of the Function calls are all done for you. So the firmware is already set in a way that you don't have to go in and Bassett too much so particles a bit sandbox in that way it will make it so that all you have to do on the firmware side rather than including a lot of. Mtc libraries and trying to do that. Is You just tell it? Article Publish or particle. Subscribe to receive information Part of the whole of list to push information and then you can in the your dashboard. I believe is still you can just hook it up as like a Web Hook and immediately have it goes if so our pipe would be. We have our vice. We set it up so that it's just like whatever default firmware that that part close out with it and then we hung up the star and then we can immediately start doing it. Actually I think if you get the lecture on Kit it comes with a photo resistor resistance or the Photon get so then. You would just be able to do this entire project. I could just fire that sucker up. Throw it in my mailbox and we are done basically it. I actually drew the diagram. That's on the Photon Kit. It used to come in.