Tag Archives: IoT

€15 IoT Geiger Counter using ESP8266

Geiger counters are devices used to detect radioactive emissions, most commonly beta particles and gamma rays. The counter consists of a tube filled with an inert gas that becomes conductive of electricity when it is impacted by a high-energy particle.
The Geiger–Müller tube or G–M tube is the sensing element of the Geiger counter instrument used for the detection of ionizing radiation.

Biemster wanted to improve this counter to an IoT device connected to the network byusing ESP8266 to discover easily where are the harmful radioactive things around.

Geiger-Müller tube
Geiger-Müller tube

Running down the center of the tube there’s a thin metal wire made of tungsten. The wire is connected to a high, positive voltage so there’s a strong electric field between it and the outside tube.
When radiation enters the tube, it causes ionization, splitting gas molecules into ions and electrons. The electrons, being negatively charged, are instantly attracted by the high-voltage positive wire and as they zoom through the tube collide with more gas molecules and produce further ionization. The result is that lots of electrons suddenly arrive at the wire, producing a pulse of electricity that can be measured on a meter, and if the counter is connected to buzzer heard as a “click.” The ions and electrons are quickly absorbed among the billions of gas molecules in the tube so the counter effectively resets itself in a fraction of a second, ready to detect more radiation.

In a nutshell, driving a G-M tube typically consists of 2 distinct parts:

  1. Providing the tube with a high voltage source for it to operate.
  2. Detecting each ionization event and convert it to a format that can be processed and sent over the internet.

Generating high voltage can be done by using PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation) signals after flashing the ESP8266 with the MicroPython firmware (version 1.8.3, with 10 kHz PWM support). Detection can be implemented as an interrupt handler that listens for and acts on discharges in the tube. Each discharge means a new detection.

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You will need the following components:

  • 1x ESP8266
  • 1x STS-5 Geiger tube
  • 1x 4.7 mH inductor
  • 1x 4.7 nF Capacitor
  • 1x KSP44 transistor
  • 1x 2N3904 transistor
  • 1x 1N4007 diode
  • 1x 4.7M resistor
  • 1x 100k resistor
  • 1x 10k resistor
  • 1x 220 ohm resistor
  • 1x optional piezo buzzer
Circuit Schematic
Circuit Schematic

The circuit works as follows: A ~1 Khz squarewave turns the MPSA44 high voltage transistor on and off, generating high voltage when the inductors current is shut off. The voltage depends on the pulse width of the square wave which can be tweaked in software. The 1N4007 diode rectifies this voltage, and the High-Voltage capacitor removes most of the ripple on this voltage. The resistor limits current to the G-M tube. The current pulses from the tube generate a voltage drop over the 100K resistor which turns on the BC546. When this happens the voltage through the 10K resistor is pulled to ground, generating a negative going pulse each time the G-M tube detects an ionizing ray or particle.
The code  reports every event over MQTT, the lightweight IoT protocol. It also reports the CPM (Counts per Minute)  and the time passed since the previous event as (CPM,dt). The library of this project is available at Github, It handles the low level stuff such as PWM and pin assignments, and a general part that will communicate the measurements out to the world.
For more details, build instructions, and project updates you can follow the project on hackday.

Water Tank Overflow Alarm System Using ESP8266

Sometimes the float valve of a water tank may not work properly causing water to overflow and spread across the floor. Peter Jennings faced this problem in his storage area, and he had developed an alarm device to notify him when the water exceeds its normal range.

Peter’s project includes a simple water sensor and ESP8266 wifi module connected with power switch circuit. When the water reach a specific threshold, the sensor will trig the switch to turn on the ESP8266, which will connect to a wireless network and send a message to a web server.

ESP8266 is a wifi module contains System-On-Chip (SOC) with integrated TCP/IP protocol stack that can give any microcontroller access to any WiFi network. The ESP8266 is capable of either hosting an application or offloading all Wi-Fi networking functions from another application processor. There are various versions of ESP8266 differ in size, shape and price. Peter used this $1.5 module, and you you are free in choosing your ESP8266 board.

ESP8266 ESP-01 Board
ESP8266 ESP-01 Board

Mini Pushbutton Power Switch from Pololu, an electronics manufacturer and an online retailer, is the power switch circuit used in this project. It is a $4 power control alternative to bulky mechanical switches which is able to turn on and off any device using the mini push button on the board, the external on & off pins, or a control signal. This low-voltage version operates from 2.2 V to 20 V and can deliver continuous currents up to around 6 A.

Mini Pushbutton Power Switch Board and Dimensions
Mini Pushbutton Power Switch Board and Dimensions

sensorThe sensor which is used to detect the overflow is very simple, it is just two wires pinned inside the tank above the highest level that water should reach. One of these wires is connected t
o the Vin pin, and the other is connected to CTRL pin on the switch circuit. DC current will flow between the two wires when the water pass the limit sending a control signal to turn on the Wifi module.

This combination is powered by a range of 3 volts to 3.6 volts battery pack. The circuits should be connected as shown in the diagram:

water_sensor_esp8266_circuit

You have to create your own web server which will receive the message from the ESP8266 and notify you. If you are not familiar with web development you can use IFTTT, a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements which are triggered based on changes to other web services.

To use IFTTT, you have to create your own account, then proceed to the Maker Channel to create a Trigger event. IFTTT will give you the URL to enter into the ESP8266 code. You can set the alarm to run a ringtone on your android device, tweet on your twitter account, post in facebook, send an email, and a lot of other choices.

ifttt

There are also many ways to program the ESP8266. Peter used the simple NodeMCU Lua system, but for Arduino fans there is an Arduino firmware installation available for the ESP8266 which can also be used to implement the simple firmware required.

Additional information and other resources are reachable at the project page. You can also find some useful tutorials and links about using the ESP8266 and LuaLoader or getting started with ESP8266 on Peter’s website.

NEC Display Powered by Raspberry Pi

Earlier this month, NEC Display Solutions Europe announced that they are working on a new generation of large-format displays that support the Raspberry Pi compute module, enabling a seamless integration of Raspberry Pi devices with NEC displays.

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Originally developed to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries, the first Raspberry Pi delivered good performance at a very low cost. However, the latest Raspberry Pi 3 compute module boasts significant performance and networking capabilities, making it perfect for NEC displays.

Raspberry Pi announced the compute module about two years ago, which is primarily designed for those who are going to create their own PCB. It is a small 67.6x30mm board that fits into the standard DDR2 SODIMM connector, with integrated BCM2835 quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB eMMC Flash device. The board is no longer a basic computer for coding, but a reliable intelligent device with unlimited possibilities. In addition to the standard Raspberry Pi 3 compute module, NEC will also offer a customized model to meet the specific performance demands of the display industry.

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“When we started Raspberry Pi, we had one main goal of helping people learn about computing and how to make things with computers. However, we’ve been fortunate enough to have sold 10 million Raspberry Pis so far and the commercial success has led to the third generation of a more mature and powerful technology which can be used with NEC’s intelligent display. Our work on the Raspberry Pi mini-computers is driven by the huge community of developers whilst NEC’s work is driven by industry needs, enabling us to meet the demands of the AV and IT industry. Overall, this collaboration shows NEC’s confidence with our ability to provide a platform that can be used in a variety of environments.” said Eben Upton, CEO at Raspberry Pi Trading.

The new NEC displays allow easy access to embedded intelligence smartly connected to Internet of Things (IoT) for digital signage as well as presentation use. The elegant design of the displays is suitable for smooth installations in any environment. There’s also the chance to customize the screens to individual needs, making the displays more reliable anywhere and anytime.

The displays will be available in January 2017 starting with 40″, 48″, and 55″ models and will eventually scale all the way up to a monstrous 98″ by the end of the year.

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“Our strategic initiative to team up with Raspberry Pi is an example of how we continue to ensure that organisations in any sector have the most advanced technology in place to meet their application needs. Our open platform approach provides display intelligence at any time, thanks to our modular and interchangeable design. Integrating the Raspberry Pis with our displays will provide businesses with advanced technology suitable for digital signage, streaming and presenting to enhance the overall visual experience at an affordable price point,” said Stefanie Corinth, Senior Vice President Marketing and Business Development at NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH.

In this video, Thomas Walter – the Head of Product Marketing at NEC, talking more about what’s going on behind the screens.

$3.6 GPRS GSM Module from Ai Thinker

ShenZhen Ai-thinker CO.,a leading enterprise in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry and the maker of the ESP-12E module, had launched a new killer module: $3.60 GSM GPRS A6 Module!

Providing a chip cheaper than the popular ESP8266 seems to be promising and opens doors for future IoT inventions. This module seems to be a big competitor for SIM900 series module.

This chip is considered the cheapest platform that connects to the internet via GSM/GPRS and at the same time works as a traditional GSM module.

a6-ai-gsm-module-my-electronics-lab

a6-gsm-gprs-ai-thinker-breakout-board-with-antenaThis module is coming in market as a SMT package, like ESP12E, but there are many vendors already making breakout board with antenna out and SIM card slot, for an extra dollar.

Technical Specifications
  • Dimensions 22.8 × 16.8 × 2.5mm;
  • Working temperature -30 Celsius to + 80 Celsius;
  • Working voltage 3.3V-4.2V;
  • Power voltage> 3.4V;
  • Standby average current 3ma less;
  • Support GSM / GPRS four bands, including 850,900,1800,1900MHZ;
  • Support China Mobile and China Unicom’s 2G GSM network worldwide;
  • GPRS Class 10;
  • Sensitivity <-105;
  • SMT 42PIN
  • Support voice calls;
  • Support SMS text messaging; can use SMS to config module
  • Support GPRS data traffic, the maximum data rate, download 85.6Kbps, upload 42.8Kbps;
  • Supports standard GSM07.07,07.05 AT commands and extended commands;
  • Supports two serial ports, one serial port to download an AT command port;
  • AT command supports the standard AT and TCP / IP command interface;
  • Support digital audio and analog audio support HR, FR, EFR, AMR speech coding;
  • Support ROHS, FCC, CE, CTA certification;
  • Support up to 8 channels network connections
  • Low power consumption: standby least is 3mA
  • A6 semi-hole technology, enabling rapid production modules through standard SMT equipment, providing customers with highly reliable connection, especially for automation, large-scale, low-cost modernization of production methods.

It can be used with AT Commands like the commands for other GPRS/GSM modules SIM800/SIM900. Thus, it is possible to use the same libraries

How to use A6 GSM GPRS module:
  1. Connect UART_TXD to RX of the FTDI
  2. Connect UART_RXD to TX of the FTDI
  3. Connect GND to the GND of the FTDI
  4. Connect VCC5.0 To the PWR_KEY pin
  5. Connect a Micro Usb for the power(with any smartphone charger)
  6. After 4-5 second you can remove the connection between VCC5.0 and PWR_Key
A6 GSM GPRS Module Pinout
A6 GSM GPRS Module Pinout

You can use it with the Arduino software, just choose a port and open the serial monitor with 115200 baud. To set up the connection send ”AT”, and if you see “OK” then everything works.

A project using the module, download the software, documents, and codes from here. Also watch a test demo.

The module is said to be the smallest available industrial grade quad-band GSM / GPRS module. You can order A6 module for $3.20 from ElectroDragon store.

Datasheet is only available in Chinese. More details about the A6 – A6c – A7 family can be reached at this document and at the A6 module documentation.

$4 Coin-sized Linux Computer with WiFi

VoCore is a small Linux computer with Wifi that can work as a full functional router. It runs OpenWrt on top of Linux. It contains 32MB SDRAM, 8MB SPI Flash and uses RT5350 (360 MHz MIPS) as its heart. It provides many interfaces such as 10/100M Ethernet, USB, UART, I2C, I2S, PCM, JTAG and over 20 GPIOs but its size is less than one square inch (25mm x 25mm). VoCore was launched in 2014 in a crowdfunding campaign and eventually it was 1937% funded! The $20 module had a lot of fans but most of them, such as students, were not able to afford it.

Designers of VoCore came up with a great solution!vocore2-raw-3-768x512 VoCore2 Lite is the newest product of the Chinese startup for just $4! A Coin-sized Linux computer, smart router and it is fully open source. With such an affordable module, wireless life will become easier and it will push forward the development of new IoT applications.

It is now live in a new crowdfunding campaign and again it is exceeding expectations with 400% funds in the first 10 days!
Campaign video

It has 300Mbps WIFI, 5 x ETHERNET, USB 2.0 Host, 3 x UART, 1 x SD, 2 x High Speed SPI, 3 x I2C, and 40+ GPIOs. It can be programmed in C, Java, Python, Ruby, Javascript and etc. It has various of docks and thousands of software to enhance its functions and the wireless life.

VoCore2 Pinout Diagram
VoCore2 Pinout Diagram

“People may ask, is that price lower than the cost? The answer is it is not, but it is very very very close to the cost, and only for us with the experience of production VoCore2(we reuse  the VoCore2 tech, test jig, test app, to save cost etc…). Just hope students and other cost sensitive people will have a chance to play with the most advanced IoT board.” – Qin Wei, VoCore co-founder

Using VoCore2 as a router

Compared to Vocore2, Vocore2 Lite has a cheaper Mediatek MT7688N MIPS processor, less memory and storage, WiFi is limited to 150 Mbps and an external antenna is required. With only 74 mA power consumption, VoCore2 will be more efficient than ESP8266, that consume around 250 mA, and it will be easily implemented in various projects.

This is a comparison between the three editions of VoCore

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The crowdfunding campaign still have 1 month to go and  you can pre-order VoCore2 ($12), VoCore2 Lite ($4), and other docks starting from $29.

More details, updates and resources can be reached at the official site , the documentation, and the blog.

C.H.I.P Pro The New GR8-Based Module

NextThing Co., is a hardware company that has the goal to create things that would inspire creativity, and help people chase their own ideas of what needed to exist.  After producing their world’s first $9 computer C.H.I.P, they are ready now to launch a new product!

chippro_project_imgC.H.I.P Pro,  the newest addition to the Next Thing Co. family, is powered by GR8, a system-in-package (SiP) that was designed by Next Thing Co. GR8 features a 1GHz Allwinner R8 ARM Cortex-A8 processor, Mali400 GPU, and 256MB of Nanya DDR3 DRAM. in a 14mm x 14mm FBGA package. C.H.I.P. Pro is a system-on-module (SoM) that has 512MB of high-speed NAND storage flashed with NextThing Co.’s GadgetOS. Gadget is an Open Source Linux-based OS, software toolchain, and cloud infrastructure which is designed to bring the speed, openness, and productivity of modern software development to the world of embedded hardware. C.H.I.P Pro can be powered by USB or battery, intelligently managed by the AXP209 power management unit.

The Pro also features 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and is fully certified by the FCC. This board will be available in December at supposedly any quantity for $16.

C.H.I.P Pro block diagram
C.H.I.P Pro block diagram

C.H.I.P Pro design defines two possibilities of installations; either in a product or in a single board computer designed for a breadboard. Its SMT-ready castellated edges and elements on both sides will make reflow soldering not so preferable. Instead, header pins, a ‘debug board’, and two C.H.I.P Pro units are introduced in one package for only 49$ to make soldering easier and to start installing the unit in applications. Due to its size and efficiency, it could be a good competitor for Raspberry Pi Zero.

C.H.I.P. was designed to be used in computer powered products, but it was recognized later that it wasn’t always the best fit. Many of the design choices of C.H.I.P make it hard to build into products. C.H.I.P. Pro addresses this issue, implements feature requests from the community, and is engineered to embed in products. C.H.I.P. and C.H.I.P. Pro are similar in many important ways, but they differ in some features. Here are C.H.I.P Pro advantages:

  • Industrial Grade —512MB SLC NAND
  • Updated Realtek WiFi / BT chipset with B/G/N & BT 4.2
  • Digital Audio / Support for SD Cards via pins
  • USB Breakout for PCB Designs incorporating USB based peripherals
  • Breadboard and SMT Placeable
  • A complete suite of certifications: WiFi Alliance, Bluetooth Consortium, FCC, CE, ROHS
  • Based on GR8 making it 76% smaller than C.H.I.P.
  • Better power consumption with ~3mA suspend to RAM

chipcoC.H.I.P. Pro is powered by GR8, a system-in-package provides a powerful application processor and DDR3 SRAM which eliminates the need for high-speed routing and reduces manufacturing complexity. GR8 is $6 in any quantity and includes the Allwinner AXP209 power management unit.
GR8 also features many popular peripheral interfaces: Two-Wire Interface, two UARTs (one 2-wire and one 4-wire), SD Card-ready SPI, two PWM outputs, a 6-bit ADC, I2S digital audio, S/PDIF IEC-60958 digital audio output, two HS/FS/LS USB PHYs (one USB 2.0 Host and one USB 2.0 OTG), a CMOS Sensor Interface.

GR8 Block Diagram
GR8 Block Diagram

Although it is doubtless that C.H.I.P. Pro will be installed and used in various projects, making GR8 module available for customers is something huge. Providing a jellybean part that contains an entire Linux system makes it possible to add the power of open software into any project and it opens the door for more applications to come.

Further details can be reached at C.H.I.P Pro and GR8 datasheets and at NextThing Co. forums.

Via: Hackaday

Mesh Networking Module Supports ZigBee and Thread

Silicon Labs, an energy-friendly solution provider, produced a new family of Wireless Gecko modules for mesh networking applications and supporting ZigBee and Thread software.

Mesh network is a network topology which each node relays data for the network. All mesh nodes cooperate in the distribution of data in the network. It is used by wide range of applications such as home automation, smart metering, connected lighting, security systems, and IoT applications.

Silicon Labs MGM111 Module
Silicon Labs MGM111 Module

Based on the Silicon Labs EFR32™ Mighty Gecko SoC, MGM111 module is a fully-integrated, pre-certified module, accelerates time-to-market and saves months of engineering effort and development costs. It combines an energy-efficient, multi-protocol wireless SoC with a proven RF/antenna design and industry leading wireless software stacks.

The module consists of ARM Cortex®-M4 controller with up to 40 MHz clock speed, 2.4 GHz transceiver, 256 kB of programmable flash, and 32 kB RAM SRAM. It consumes only 9.8mA while in receive mode and 8.2mA at 0dBm when in transmit mode, with a transmit power of up to 10dBm.

“Our customers rely on our deep understanding of mesh technology and RF certification. They also appreciate that we offer the tools and stacks they need to simplify the development process, as well as an upgrade path that safeguards their IoT products from being stranded on older technologies and standards.” -Skip Ashton, VP of IoT software at Silicon Labs.

Thread is an IPv6-based mesh networking protocol designed as a reliable, low-power, secure, and scalable networking solution for connecting Things to the IoT. As a founding board member of the Thread Group, Silicon Labs helps accelerate time to market with proven mesh networking hardware and software solutions.

ZigBee is an IEEE 802.15.4-based specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios.

The MGM111 module datasheet with its full specifications list are reachable here.

BLE Carbon, The New $28 IoT Edition SBC

Linaro, a collaborative engineering organization consolidating and optimizing open source software and tools for the ARM architecture, is bringing together industry and the open source community to work on key projects, reduce industry wide fragmentation, and provide common software foundations for all. During the last Linaro Connect event at Las Vegas, a new BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) product had been debuted!

The BLE Carbon is joint efforts by Linaro, 96Boards, and Seeedstudio, aims to provide economic and compact BLE solutions for IoT projects.Carbon is the first board to be certified 96Boards IoT Edition compatible that targets the Internet of Things (IoT) and Embedded segments.

While 96Boards, the open hardware standardization group, has an IoT Edition (IE) specification for low-cost ARM Cortex-A and Cortex-M development boards, it also has another two: the Consumer Edition (CE), the Enterprise Edition (EE).

Although Linaro and 96Boards named this board “Carbon”, Seeedstudio choose “BLE Carbon” which may reveal some future plans to produce other editions with the same technology.

BLE Carbon
BLE Carbon

Carbon has a Cortex-M4 chip, 512KB onboard flash, built in Bluetooth, and a 30-pin low speed expansion header capable of up to 3.3V digital and analog GPIO. Moreover, Carbon is the first SBC (Single Board Computer) to run the Linux Foundation’s Intel-backed Zephyr OS which is an open source, small, scalable, real-time OS for use on resource-constrained systems and IoT devices. A technical overview of Zephyr is available in this video.

The 60 x 30mm SBC preloaded with Zephyr RTOS runs on ST’s STM32F401 microcontroller. It also features two micro-USB ports, one of which is used for power, and has the required 30-pin low-speed connector. Analog pins and debug connectors are also onboard. In addition to 6x LEDs, reset, and boot buttons.

BLE Carbon Pin Assignments
BLE Carbon Pin Assignments

Here are BLE Carbon full specifications:

  • Processor — ST STM32F401 (1x Cortex-M4 @ up to 84MHz)
  • Memory (via STM32F401) — 96KB RAM; 512KB flash
  • Wireless — Bluetooth LE (2.4GHz nRF51822); chip antenna
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x micro-USB ports (1x for power)
    • 6x analog pins
    • SWD debug connectors
    • 30-pin (2 x 15-pin 2.54mm pitch) low-speed expansion connector (+3.3V, +5V, VCC, GND, UART, I2C, SPI, 4x GPIO)
  • Other features — 6x LEDs (UART Tx and Rx, power, BT, 2x user); reset and boot buttons
  • Power — Micro-USB based with fuse protect; 3.3V digital out; 0-3.3V analog in
  • Dimensions — 60 x 30mm
  • Operating system — Zephyr

How to use BLE Carbon

Here are what you need to start setting up the board:

  • USB to MicroUSB cable (x2)
    • This is needed for serial console interface and USB-OTG (including DFU support)
  • Switches
    • Two switches are provided: RST to reset the STM32F401 chip, BOOT0 to enter the STM32F4 bootloader
  • Pin headers (unpopulated)
    • Tx/Rx UART for STM32F4 chip
    • 5-pin SWD interface to STM32F4 chip
    • BOOT0 and BOOT1 lines exposed
    • 5-pin SWD interface to nRF51 chip

To start the board for the first time just connect the micro-USB cable to supply power to the Carbon. The board will begin to boot Zephyr immediately. You can use either of the micro-USB ports to power the Carbon. Currently, Linux is the only supporting host system for Carbon while Windows and Mac OS support is coming soon. Some Linux host applications are available here.

The BLE Carbon SBC can be pre-ordered from SeedStudio  for $27.95. More details about Carbon can be reached at BLE Carbon wiki and 96Boards full documentation.

Via: HackerBoards.com

Web-Bluetooth Devices Integration

Chrome Browser version 53 came out with a new feature: Origin Trial for Bluetooth which allows websites to use this feature and enable Web Bluetooth for all their visitors. Web Bluetooth is a new technology that connects the Web with the Internet of Things, this technology will provide a level of integration in the IoT scene that never happened before making web designers eager to get their bits out into the real world.

There is no need to install a mobile app on your smartphone to control any of your Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) devices anymore. Thanks to this technology, it will be easier to build one solution that will work on all platforms, including both mobile and desktop, that result to lower development costs, more open source control interfaces for various physical products, and more innovation.

To understand how that works, here’s an example of a drone controlled from a web app:

In Bluetooth Low Energy networks, devices play two roles. A device can be either a “Central” or a “Peripheral”. Bluetooth device with services that correspond to one function of the device. Each service exposes variables called characteristics that represent one parameter of the service, which can be read, written or both. Each service and characteristic is identified by a unique 16-bit or 128-bit number and they are defined by the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group).

Bluetooth Low Energy: Peripherals, Services and Characteristics
Bluetooth Low Energy: Peripherals, Services and Characteristics

How to use Web Bluetooth

  • In order to use Web Bluetooth, your site must be served over a secure connection (HTTPS). A secure website is becoming a requirement for a growing number of new web APIs. One way is using GitHub hosting. The implementation of the Web Bluetooth API is partially complete and currently available on Chrome OS, Chrome for Android M, Linux, and Mac.
  • Go to chrome://flags/#enable-web-bluetooth, enable the highlighted flag, restart Chrome and you should be able to scan for and connect to nearby Bluetooth devices, read/write Bluetooth characteristics, receive GATT (Generic Attribute Profile) Notifications and know when a Bluetooth device gets disconnected.
  • Building a Web Bluetooth App

This is the process that will be common for all Web Bluetooth apps:

  1. Scan for a relevant Device
  2. Connect to it
  3. Get the Service you are interested in
  4. Get the Characteristic you are interested in
  5. Read, Write or Subscribe to the Characteristic

The code should be written in JavaScript. It has to scan for a device with an identified Service number, then ask for this service, ask for a specific characteristic number, and finally write the desired command. An example for hacking a light bulb and connecting it to the web via bluetooth is available here.

Although the browser is the most ubiquitous cross-platform operating system that the world has ever seen working on all platforms and systems, it could be a threat because of many malicious websites that mischief with your security. Sites ask the browser to show a list of nearby Bluetooth devices matching certain criteria, and the user either picks which to grant access to or cancels the dialog. Thus, users’ permission is the only responsible about their own privacy.

Two conflicting views are raising right now, one is for IoT enthusiasts and the other’s for security geeks. Essentially, this integration will push forward the development of new IoT applications. but it may risk users’ privacy. On the contrary, Developers are promising to minimize risks and are assuring that connection through this API will be secure and privacy-preserving. The Chrome team will end the trial in next January (2017), and after that, they expect to be able to stabilize the feature and move it closer to a general release.

Further details can be found at the official documentation website, the blog of one the developers, and this step-by-step tutorial. More about the security model can be reached here.

Collecting GPS Data Using GPS Module With Windows IoT

Bardaan A published a guide on hackster.io showing full instructions for developing a Windows IoT application that receives and extracts essential GPS data from a connected serial GPS module.

To follow this guide, you have to use Raspberry Pi 3 model B with Andoer NEO-6M GPS module, and also have Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 installed on your computer.

Application Interface
Application Interface

The Raspberry Pi 3 model B is a $35 single board computer with the size of a credit card. It is an improved version of Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and it features a 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU,1GB RAM, integrated Wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.1 supporting Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The main board contains 4 USB ports, 40 I/O pins, HDMI port, Ethernet port, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card slot.

Raspberry Pi 3 model B
Raspberry Pi 3 model B

Andoer NEO-6M is a standalone GPS receiver module that implements the NEO-6M position engine developed by u-blox. It supports UART, USB, DDC (I2C compliant) and SPI interfaces and has low power consumption with high performance capabilities. NEO-6M’s strength point is that one of the received NMEA sentences is the GPGGA sentence, Global Positioning System Fix Data, which provides essential fix data.

Andoer NEO-6M GPS Module
Andoer NEO-6M GPS Module

The received GPGGA sentence will be send by Raspberry Pi to the application which processes it and extracts the essential information such as time, geographic coordinates, and altitude, and eventually displays them on a GUI with the connection status .

The GPS receiver must be connected to the Raspberry Pi as shown in the figure:

schematic

The source code with the detailed tutorial can be reached here.