In some way Carriots is like a giant iceberg. The control panel is the visual part of the software. But this user interface is only a small part of our IoT Platform. Since we launched our first version, almost our entire product enhancement happened in areas below the user interface surface. We added a lot of features to make our engine more powerful and some of these features were only available through the API.
For the past months we have worked on updating the control panel to be friendlier and give you more useful information. Here is the result:
As you can see we added some new features:
Dashboards to monitor the usage and limits of you account (both minute and daily limits)
A better Geo-location integration (Don’t forget to declare the position of your device like you configure it)
A better Alarm management system
A new Terminal to test the code of your listeners with colors to help you the writing and debugging.
A new navigation through shortcuts.
We also have a new very exciting feature: A new Apps Market Zone. This area is designed for third party apps or services to be integrated with Carriots. Here you will find free services like Twitter or Dropbox but also paying services from other companies offering amazing extensions to Carriots. We just launched our first paying service with Initial State dash-boarding service. With InitialState you can create powerful dashboards, using your data in Carriots with a very simple drag and drop. Here is a sample of the result:
In the following weeks we will post more about this area and how we partner with other companies to promote it.
We hope you enjoy Carriots new features and visual user interface. Stay tuned because many more visual features are expected in the coming months.
Carriots is featured in DZone’s latest research guide, the Guide to Developer Programs. This guide provides a full analysis of developer programs, a directory of the most popular programs, articles outlining why joining the right program could benefit your career, and industry insights detailing how other developers take advantage of developer programs. You can download the free research guide here: bit.ly/1bq8daQ.
With app markets more crowded than ever, it’s hard to stand out among other developers. To solve this problem, many developers are looking to developer programs for support, as well as resources that can’t be found in most out-of-the-box solutions. According to DZone’s Guide to Developer Programs, over 50% of their audience of developers have joined at least one developer program. So what is that attracts so many developers to developer programs?
Tools, Resources, and Community
By joining a developer program, members gain access to essential tools and resources – things like an API, documentation, SDKs, sample applications, and community forums. According to DZone’s research, 72% of survey respondents agreed that organizations with developer programs have higher quality APIs.
Developers also benefit from the community found within a developer program. It can’t be understated – whether collaborating on projects or looking for support, developers can rely on their peers within a program to create better applications. Not to mention, joining a developer program can open doors – 18% of the DZone audience said that they’ve received job offers from working on an open source project, while 12% said they’ve received offers from working on a project in a developer program.
Learn more about how developer programs can impact your career and get help finding the right developer program for you by downloading a copy of the free DZone Guide to Developer Programs.
MIMOS, the National Research and Development Centre in Malaysia, has created a smart parking prototype that shows the excellent capacity of Carriots to help in the development of easy and cost effective IoT projects. Just a couple weeks ago, they decided to take their project to the next level…that’s where Carriots came in.
Due to the cost of maintenance, wiring and convenience, MIMOS decided to introduce a “smart” system. It combines the same sensors as their original project with the added advantage of being controlled through a Wi-Fi connection. Each sensor connects and sends data over the Internet to Carriots. Carriots then stores the data and allows MIMOS to act on the data received. Using the Carriots REST API it’s easy to use the data stored and display it on a web page.
That’s exactly what MIMOS did. They used Ducksboard to process and display the availability of parking spots, the signal strength and the battery level of the sensors. Using Carriots it’s easy to get and display this important information on computers and smartphones. You can see their frontend sensor information here: https://public.ducksboard.com/PLAUECyDKENxA-irqN2d. You can also read a little more about the project in this article.
Working on a Smart Irrigation project we decided to include some good stuff from our partners TST Sistemas. It was a weather station connected to Carriots providing environmental data used in our watering optimizations.
It worked so well that we decided to put one on our rooftop to play with and invite our friends to do the same.
This post will show how it works and how you can play with it.
When we posted on this blog an article on Business Reports for IOT projects we mentioned that we had released a feature to get graphics from data stored on Carriots. Well … that feature was in testing until yesterday when it was fully released.
So now you have all the tools to build nice web frontends like this one:
Btw: this a front-end of a Cool Project that we will soon publish in that section of our web. In this project we have built a flow meter for beers to get metrics on beer consumption habits. We can’t wait to show you the demo video that we shot!
So in order to build your own web front-end with graphics using Carriots graphics (and minimum coding) you just need to follow a few simple steps.
First of all, we recommend you to use another new feature of Carriots the Read-only API-Key. This API-Key will be used by your webpage to ask data to Carriots. As this API-Key is published in the source code of your webpage we recommend you to use this Read-only key.
You can find this Read-only key on your user profile (below your full privileges API-Key) :
Then you can use a simple script like this one to ask Carriots for graphics of your data:
Note that you have to modify this script with your own Read-only API-Key and the name of your Device.
This is image Carriots would return to that script:
In the following days we will update all the documentation of our API and publish a detailed tutorial.
Right now there are several ways for a connected object to tell humans what their user wants:
Right now, the most common way is to tweet. If you build your own IOT device it is nice to make it “shout” to twitter what the device is doing. Some examples of these devices are:
But twitter is a one to many communication channel, not very useful for a direct “talk” between a connected objected and his human master. Twitter is great way for a machine to broadcast a message to a large open audience. Not to mention that tweeter was not really designed to provide confidentiality of the information.
Some possible uses of IOT and twitter could be municipality services broadcasting to a population, like air quality levels. Although some of these services already exist and the information they publish is the result of combining data from several devices, not just one connected machine.
So while the combination of IOT and twitter is cool, it is hard to find real useful usages. Nevertheless at Carriots we are working to expand our SDK with a tweeter feed to enable such apps.
Email can be a very useful communication channel for devices to talk to humans. It’s free and without limitations of data load and number of recipients. It’s fast, although people might take some time to read it. We are sure that many more devices will start emailing in the future.
At Carriots you can build an app that sends an email with whatever content, if the action is triggered by information transmitted from your device. Check this tutorial to learn how.
Where in this simple scenario the alert system uses a private email to warn us about an intruder:
SMS where at the beginning of M2M, the only easy way for machines to communicate with other IT systems and with humans. Vendor machines, for example, were the first to integrate M2M modules capable of sending SMS with inventory statuses to automate maintenance and logistics. SMS also have the advantage that they can travel across any telecom network, even internationally. But SMS are extremely expensive (both national and international) and inadequate for data transfer. No wonder SMS are no longer used in IT systems integrating M2M. But SMS can still be very useful for machines to tell urgent information directly to its user. At least until the natural replacement of SMS, the messaging systems integrate with IOT devices. Nevertheless at Carriots our SDK already lets you send SMS from your app.
4. ¿What about messaging systems?
Messaging solutions like WhatsApp are clearly replacing the SMS between humans, for reasons you already know:
But why are IOT devices not using the messaging services to communicate with humans? At least at Carriots we have not seen any IOT send a “WhatsApp” to a user. The reason is that messaging platforms don’t have, for now, open API where developers can connect their devices to talk to whomever they want. We guess that the reason for this, is the security of the service and the normal use of the platform between humans. Imagine if any robot could send messages without control. That would be “spamers” paradise and user would leave the messaging service.
Messaging platforms need to research ways to integrate with IOT and M2M devices to make this new channel extremely useful. It also could be an income revenue for messaging platforms if they charge a small amount per message from a machine to avoid “spamers”. It would also be very interesting if M2M App Platform could be the integration gateway with these messaging platforms.