The Internet of Things (IOT) has been a trending buzzword for a while. Many people see it as the future yet at the same time don’t fully understand what it is or what its implications are. I decided to find out what IOT could do for a regular household the only way I know how, by building an IOT device myself.
Having set my sights on building an IOT device I moved to the second stage of planning, what everyday problem was I going to solve with my IOT device? Aha! Brace yourselves for what is possibly a very exaggerated use case for an IOT device, but first, some backstory. This is Lucky, my dog and my father’s preferred “son.” Lucky sleeps outside in a custom-insulated dog house which is placed inside a roof-covered enclosure. Yet despite this somewhat luxury setup, my father believes the weather is “too cold” for the dog, requiring us to bring the dog home. How do you settle such a dispute? Science/IOT/temperature sensors to the rescue! It has been formally agreed in the household, that temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius are acceptable. What was left you may ask? Monitoring the temperature, and what better way than an overly complicated setup?
Having now chosen a so called “problem” that my IOT device was going to solve, I had to come up with a general concept design for my device. So I laid out some basic requirements that my device would have to fullfill. Here they are:
- Accurately monitor the temperature and humidity inside the dog house
- Enable a light to be turned on inside the dog enclosure (for better visibility at night)
- Have a full-responsive user interface that can be accessed by any mobile or desktop device on the network
- Integrate with the Apple HomeKit IOT Platform for iOS devices
- Be reliable and run 24/7 in conditions that may involve harsh weather
- Look somewhat acceptable
Having laid out this to do list, I set out to convert my father’s home office into an electronics lab. Several hours of moving boxes and organizing transistors I was ready to start my journey. I was going to build a water-resistant wireless device that was to be compatible with all WiFi enabled devices
The Construction and Code
Conclusion and implications of IOT
How can I get one!?!
Despite the massive success this has had in our household, I have decided to hold off on mass production. Nevertheless, I will be doing a full tutorial on how to build this device. The code will be available freely for anyone to use. (Yaay open source!)