The Brewery venue in East London last night played host to the science, culture and technology event of the year: WIRED 2012. And pumping at the heart of the inspirational Test Lab showcase was… our Connected Coffee Machine demo.
We wanted people to be able to play with real world objects and environments being sensed and actuated, and build a Web of Things™ application within seconds with a simple drag and drop workflow interface. Plus use the EVRYTHNG software Engine to give digital identities to physical things and even make coffee with it’s own social life online!
People seemed really into it and fascinated by the idea of activating sensors by increasing the temperature (with a portable hair dryer ;-) or light exposure, combined with thresholds like the volume of #wired2012 hashtag tweets, to trigger real-world actions like making a cup of coffee.
They also had fun ‘checking in’ to one of our QR/NFC-enabled packs of coffee, using their smartphone and Twitter ID, as part of the workflow, which meant that the coffee machine would not only serve them an early evening caffeine hit, but also take a photo of their specific cup of coffee and tweet it instantly.
For those of you who speak fluent geek, here’s our CTO’s tech lowdown:
In this demo we connected:
- A bunch of SunSPOTs, which are wireless sensors communicating over IEEE 802.15.4 with an Internet gateway that monitored temperature, vibration and changes in light levels.
- A “hacked” coffee machine connected and actuated by an ARM mbed embedded computer.
- A webcam pushing pictures on demand to our platform.
- Packs of coffee packaged with unique QR codes and NFC tags that can be read by most Smartphones.
The key point of the demo is that all these objects are connected to the EVRYTHNG engine through our RESTful API and that they can either push or retrieve short JSON messages.
More info here.