Announcements

flowthings.io updates

Dell IoT Solutions debuts flowthings.io as an Associate Partner

Posted in Partners, Internet of Things by Tom Luczak

Building on a successful Dell World in 4Q15, flowthings.io is proud to be part of Dell’s IoT Solutions Partners. We are in good company, including Microsoft, IBM, GE, PTC and others.

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Dell World: Back to the Future

Posted in Partners, Internet of Things by Mike Kochanik

We were half expecting (maybe hoping) that Marty and Doc would materialize at Dell World this year, considering the event occurred on the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, but what we got instead were reveals of Dell's strategy to move full throttle into the IoT space.

Dell World

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IBM comes calling, ScriptEd projects taking off, Link Labs connected

Posted in flowthings.io News, Intel® Edison, JavaScript, Link Labs, LoRa by Tom Luczak

Things are heating up outside and at flowthings.io HQ. Monday started with a bang with an all day visit from some of our friends at IBM, as well as a shotgun start for our two ScriptEd interns, Fang and Seth.

Fang and Seth will be working on building a couple of node.js powered webapps that connect to solar-powered IoT devices in our office and keep us engineers from having to remember to water and feed our plants. This is a surprisingly common occurrence given that we all sit next to at least one plant. Fang and Seth had a lot of new information thrown at them this week, and still managed to have time to acquire some new skills. So far they each have a node.js web app stood up, and are reading some sensor data from an Intel Edison connected to a Sparkfun ADC Block.

We also had a chance to talk to some great folks from Japan. Mac Devine was kind enough to yield some stage time in order to provide us with the opportunity to share a bit of our vision with these c-suite execs from IBM business parters. I was very impressed with their grasp of the subject and we are very much looking forward to sharing more.

Finally, I managed to carve out some time to hack on the Symphony Development kits our partners at Link Labs sent to DUMBO. LoRa fills a critical need in IoT infrastructure and the folks at Link Labs have taken the LoRa spec to an entirely new level of sophistication and capability. Without too much trouble at all I was able to get the module below talking to through our local Sub-Ghz gateway and back to Link Lab’s cloud data store. From there it was just a matter of setting up an API Importer task to pull the data into flowthings.io for an injection of agile intelligence. We are working on a full spectrum end to end demo that we hope to release soon.

IBM - Scripted - Link Labs

Based on a request from long-time flowthings.io supporter Aljosa Sljuka, Nathan has put together a pure browser-based flowthings.io client for apps that just need a front-end connection. You can find it on github here.

Next week: new protocols, under the hood improvements, and some more tutorials and walkthroughs! :wq

flowthings.io C & C# libs + IBM IoT Foundation brainstorming

Posted in flowthings.io News, Internet of Things, C, C# by Tom Luczak

It has been a busy week.

Today we are officially releasing our flowthings.io C library as well as our C# library. Both are available on our libraries page. We’d love to have some feedback so do take them for a spin if you have the opportunity. The C# library even comes with a demo that you can see here.

We also had a visit from Bryan Boyd from IBM who works with their IoT Foundation service on Bluemix, among other things (NPI). Bryan teamed up with us for our first IBM Bluemix + IBM IoT Foundation + flowthings.io demo and we had so much fun and see so much potential, we are moving on to both expand the original demo and create a proper step-by-step tutorial. We’ll also be collaborating on an easy to use and quick to spin-up IoT data simulator so developers can get started turning real-time data into agile, actionable, intelligence using IoT Foundation + flowthings.io within minutes.

Bryan vists flowthings.io HQ

More to come next week! :wq

flowthings.io Smart Coaster Hydration Monitoring and DUMBO ScriptEd Kickoff

Posted in flowthings.io News, Tutorials by Tom Luczak

As promised, this will be a busy week of updates. Today we are featuring another tutorial.

We have been keeping several of Matt's tutorials in our back pocket, and today we are showing off one that he's been working on in his spare time for quite a while. The pic below was taken when Matt and I first wired up and tested the Texas Instruments INA125P Instrumentation Amp and Measurement Specialties Load Cell used in the project, way back in November!

Matt, Load Cell, Breadboard

We combined a few of our favorite "things" in this one. We have a "Deploy to Bluemix" option for a node.js app, an integration with an IBM Bluemix Service (in this case the Gamification Service), and use of our flowthings.io agent on an Intel® Edison. The demo app will measure water (or really, any other beverage 😉) consumption throughout the day, and will not only track your progress, but through an integration with the Gamification service on Bluemix, will provide achievements and "experience" points. Check out the tutorial here

Another big highlight of the day was a visit from Olivia Gresham and our two new ScriptEd interns that will be starting on the 6th of July in DUMBO. If you haven't yet heard ScriptEd does great things for students in under-resourced schools by providing them both training at school during the school year and internships opportunities in the summer. We shared a flowthings.io overview, talked about what we want to build together, and went out for lunch today. Next month we are very exited to help them get going with their projects; both of which will involve several of our favorite "things" mentioned above with some new and inspired twists! :wq

flowthings.io Java Library and Tutorial Available

Posted in flowthings.io News, Tutorials by Tom Luczak

Announcement time has come again! After several of months of heads-down work with our partners on all matters demo, integration, and feature, we are thrilled to get back to sharing some tutorials with our users.

This week will be dedicated to such announements, starting today with another client library + tutorial combo release. Matt has polished up a our Java client and an accompanying Grails demo for some friends of ours. You can find the tutorial here.

This demo is based on one I did with an Edison/node.js/IBM Bluemix a few months ago for the NYC IBM Bluemix Meetup. Speaking of which, this demo comes complete with a "Deploy to Bluemix" button if you've already jumped on the Bluemix bandwagon – if you haven't, you should sign up and give our demo a launch directly on their Cloud Foundry based platform.

In "on the road" news, flowthings.io CRO Mike Kochanik and I just got back from several days up in Boston. We were lucky enough to demo at a Bluemix meetup, make some new friends, and particiapte at the IBM Cloud Expo where I got to share a panel with several IoT rock stars.

IBM Boston Road Show

Mike is now off to Solid for the week. If you are valley-based, or at the conference and would like to get together, please reach out.

This is also my first announcement since we've added a member to our team here in DUMBO. Chris Drane connected with the team through Recurse Center and we couldn't be happier with our new improved team composition. Along with some under the hood work that most users won't see directly, expect to see some big improvments in our API Importer spearheaded by Chris in the near future. :wq

Brilliant Cities, Node Client, and a tutorial

Posted in flowthings.io News, Tutorials by Tom Luczak

It’s been a while since we’ve had an announcement, but rest assured, we haven’t been sipping on margaritas on a beach somewhere.

Since our last announcement we’ve been heads down working on some demos for the IBM Interconnect event, attending the IBM Interconnect event, recovering from a week in Vegas at the IBM Interconnect event, supporting an amazing group of developers and IoT leaders running a hackathon in Sarajevo, and working with a whole host of exciting partners.

I was humbled by the invitation from Ceco Gakovic to speak to the folks in Sarajevo on Saturday and Sunday last weekend – not just about the technical side of using flowthings.io – but about our vision of “Engineered Serendipity” and how we can support the impressive list of stakeholders there who are committed leveraging the Internet of Things to bring a slew of innovations to the citizenry of that fine city.

Returning to our DUMBO HQ on Monday I unleashed Greg on a mission to create tutorial using the very stack that was taught at last weekends workshop, and with some help from Nathan to polish up our node.js client and the rest of the team pulling together to lend a hand, we are able to proudly announce our official node.js client and an accompanying tutorial, just in time for the CityOS Hackathon events this weekend.

You can install the client via npm, or find it on our library page here.

Greg’s tutorial is published here.

In the tutorial you’ll see the skeleton of a solution fitting into our “collect -> process -> deliver” paradigm for agile intelligence. This solution paradigm, and the ecosystem of analogous solutions that flowthings.io supports, illustrate a piece of our vision for the next generation of the Internet of Things. We hope you enjoy it and have a whole slate of new tutorials and features slated for official release next week. If a look around dev.flowthings.io you may see some hints of what is to come.

flowthings.io Forums and Raspberry Pi Tutorial

Posted in flowthings.io News, Tutorials, Website Updates by Tom Luczak

We’ve made a couple more big steps at flowthings.io

The team has been playing around with Slack and Muut for about a week now, encouraged by our own Greg Meyer who promised us that our adoption would lead to some super-great workflows and a more effective experience for our small support team and our community of developers. He actually wrote a position paper on it and dropped it in my google drive. Being a team that’s all about “engineering serendipity”, we jumped in and for the most part could not have been more pleased.

Greg’s hard work – but not super hard, thanks to the great APIs on both the muut and slack side – has brought us to today’s release of the flowthings.io public support forums, and the internal tools we use to keep up with what’s happening on them.

If you follow our Facebook Page you’ll know I dropped off a Raspberry Pi at Miguel’s desk the other day and let him loose to come up with some helpful tutorials. We are releasing his first of many today. You can find it right here. I look forward to seeing the results of my littering his desk with devices over the coming weeks and hope you do too.

flowthings.io Python Library and Tutorial Available

Posted in flowthings.io News, Tutorials by Tom Luczak

Despite the current frozen deluge provided by Juno, the flowthings.io team has been busy putting the final touches on our first official library release and accompanying tutorial.

For this first tutorial/library release we decided to go with what has become the standard hello world for any “realtime” platform – a web based chat room. What’s different about our chat however, is that we do some processing on the flowthings.io side – in this case we filter out some words and replace them with others. This ability for any developer to quickly and easily specify some processing logic to be run in a high availability environment and scaled as required is an important differentiator for flowthings.io and illustrates our capability to add “agile intelligence” to any data stream.

The use of Tokens is another important IoT-related paradigm surfaced in the tutorial. You’ll see how time-limited, restricted access can be granted to any application or device. This is hugely important in the IoT world, as physical device security can not always be guaranteed. By granting devices or applications a Token which restricts read and write access to only the data streams needed it’s operation, the risk presented by physical compromise of the device is significantly mitigated.

We hope you like the tutorials, and send out a big thank you to Matt Morten and Nathan Faubion for taking the lead on the tutorial and library respectively.

You can check out the complete tutorial here. The python client can be found on our public github repository at https://github.com/flowthings/python-client.

On deck for release in the coming weeks is a node.js library as well as some RasberryPi demos.

Welcome to flowthings.io

Posted in flowthings.io News by Tom Luczak

Our team built flowthings.io from the ground up with one purpose, and that is to empower any developer or organization, from a single maker with a cool idea to a fortune 10 company, to leverage the growing instrumentation of the physical world in order to "engineer serendipity".

So what do we mean by "engineer serendipity"?

We mean solutions that surprise with their intelligence, contextual awareness, and effectiveness in operations and user experiences. We mean solutions that make you, your customers, and your partners wonder "how did they do that?".

You'll find our vision – the flowthings.io vision – for these types of IoT solutions in the specific use cases that we share on our site.

All these visions for a better world – more efficient, profitable, and sustainable by our definition – have common value proposition:

  1. Collect data and knowledge from more varied sources in our ever-more-instrumented physical world
  2. Quickly and easily transform through realtime processing that raw "sensory input" and “expert knowledge” into an understanding of how that information can then be used to make the physical world better in some way
  3. Deliver that agile intelligence to the devices and people that can affect positive change

That change could be....

  • a completely automated increased savings of natural resources for future generations
  • a faster response to someone in need that has been made faster through realtime data on emergency responder locations enhanced with statuses of the local traffic situation
  • a critical crop saved from under-nourishment through detailed knowledge of the soil and weather paired with the application of intelligent, fine grained control over the entire growth cycle

...or any one of literally infinite possibilities. We believe that our ability to engineer serendipity should be limited only by our capability to understand the problem, not the tools we use to create the solution.

We understand that these solutions require a new way of looking at how we – living in a physical world full of smart machines and ubiquitous connectivity – collect, process, and deliver information and its effect to and from the world around us.

It is a good start to see and understand how these goals demand IoT solutions that can collect a broader range of inputs, secure and process that data, and deliver a wider of array of services to a fluid network of stakeholders.

In upcoming posts in this category we'll discuss how data sharing and interoperability will provide the foundation for many of these solutions, as well as how flowthings.io is being used by leaders in the IoT field to engineer serendipity in the lives of their customers and partners.

Thanks for checking us out, we hope you like what you see – and if you do, in the immortal words of BTO, “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.