Join Michael Lehman for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring commercially available things, part of Android App Development: Internet of Things.
- First up, let's take a look at some existing commercial things that you can use right now. These include smart home devices, medical devices, wearables, and all kinds of gadgets. All of these devices connect to your Android phone using either WiFi or Bluetooth, pacifically Bluetooth low energy, sometimes know as Bluetooth smart. In this course, we'll just call it either Bluetooth or BLE for short. Let's go take a look at some existing devices. We'll begin with that kaptur band I was mentioning earlier. This is a simple wrist band, that essentially consist of a microphone sensor, some memory, and a Bluetooth radio.
It sits and records in a loop, 60 seconds, and whenever you tap it, it captures that 60 seconds, and sends it to your device. One of the most well-known internet of things is the Phillips Hue Lighting System. As you can see down here on the right, there's a switch, a hub, and LED lights. We'll be using the Philips Hue Lighting System in one of our apps here in this course. We're going to build an app that allows you to change the color of the lights in your room, by tapping on your Android wear watch.
Another well-known device is the nest thermostat, which as I believe you probably know, is also owned by Google. They also make a smoke detector, both of which connect up via WiFi, and talk to your Android phone. One of the most well-known companies in the home automation market is a company called Smart Thinks. They make a number of devices that allow you to connect up to your phone. They build locks, sensors, so you can tell when doors are opened or closed, cameras, speakers, and so forth.
Talking about the internet of things would be completely empty if we didn't talk about Android wear. The two most prominent devices right now for Android wear are the Moto 360 and the LG G watch. We'll be looking at both of those in this course. There's also the Pebble watch. It's not a specific product that's just for Android, but it does have a very nice SDK, and it actually has some physical buttons on it, so you can build apps that do a variety of things with the user punching the buttons on the device. Then, using your Android phone to either control your phone or to use your phone then via WiFi to control other devices.
Remember how your mom always said sit up straight? Well, there's a device for that too. It's called the Lumo Lift. It is essentially an accelerometer, and you can see here it goes on the shirt by holding it with a magnet. Essentially, you just sit up straight, double-tap it, and then if you ever start to slump, it'll buzz and remind you to sit up straight again. In terms of wearables and fineness, one of the most popular's called Fitbit. Fitbit, essentially, will tell you how many steps you've taken, route your map, and do all of that while you just wear it around everyday, and it'll help you manage your weight, eat better, sleep better, and so forth.
One of the early entries in the internet of things was a company called Withings. They make everything from activity tracker to a bathroom scales, to this fashionable Activite watch and activity tracker. They also make a pulse oximeter, so that you can tell how much oxygen is in your blood while you're exercising, and even a home camera. The internet of things goes everywhere, including into your peaceful moments. The muse headband monitors your brain waves, and allows you to determine when you brain is actually calm.
There's also an SDK that you can use to experiment with using your brain waves to control other things. Now, we get to the devices we're using in this course. First up is the TI Sensor Tag. The reason it's great is because it's $25, and it contains all of these things, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, pressure sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. That works on one CR2032 battery, and it's very, very easy to talk to it with Bluetooth, and we'll do that, and show you how to set up your Android phone or Android tablet to talk to a Bluetooth device.
This is a easy way to get started, so that you can understand how to build a Bluetooth app. Then, there's this great product that's a internet of things developer kit called Wunder Bar. It's from Germany from a company called Relayer. It consist of, as you can see over here on the left, there's a WiFi based master module, and then each one of these things that you see that are inside the willow chocolate bar looking plastic holders, are a separate sensor that's connected up via Bluetooth to the master module. We'll talk to the Relayer master module via WiFi, and it will talk to the different individual modules via Bluetooth, and we're going to build a home weather kit, so you can tell what's the temperature and humidity at your house.
- Exploring the Internet of Things
- Understanding sensors and effectors
- Connecting inputs and outputs
- Connecting to devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Creating Bluetooth apps using Android
- Creating your own things with programmable hardware
- Using IFTTT to program things
- Exploring the trends in things