Brainday: Internet of Things with Photon

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A popular event among nethouse’s employees is the Brainday. A day to innovate, do a deep-dive into something that you already love, or explore new techniques or possibilities. This last brainday 20 or so developers from nethouse örebro and nethouse linköping gathered to explore the world of Internet of Things.

The vast flora of microcontrollers following the Rasberry Pi and the Arduino project makes just choosing the one to work with a hard task. particle.io‘s Photon is the device we ended up with, a small microcontroller with integrated wifi, and cloud-services to simplify your development. With a few lines of code you can call functions or read values on your microcontroller from a website, or the other way around: publish sensor data to particle’s cloud service, very cool!

For this brainday we bought 5 development-kits for the Particle Photon and divided the manpower into 5 teams. Every team spent a few hours getting to know the device, the development environment and trying to remember 7th or 8th grade electronics. Then the magic started happening…

One team made a motion detector with a photo resistor and a diode, another started sending temperature, humidity and light data to the cloud, cool!

Two teams merged and connected each others devices: a change on a photo resistor on device 1 triggered a melody playing on device 2, a press of a button on device 2 turned on a diode on device 1. A simple example, but showing the power and speed of development on the photon and its environment.

The last team focused on the most important problem in out line of work (see the trojan room), not knowing when there is fresh coffee brewed (possibly walking to the coffee-machine in vain). Their device now registers the vital information about when the coffee-machine starts brewing and when a brew is done. Using webhooks this is then posted to every developers favorite communication tool, slack.

All in all a very successful brainday, forcing us outside our comfort zone and opening us to new possibilities.  coffebot and slack coffee complete connecting stuff particle photon iot

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