Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The internet of things is good for your health

At some point, the "Internet of Things" (IoT) was a quite popular topic. I guess they lost the buzz war against the clouds but yeah, it's a fight you'll never win... However, the whispering shadows of sensor mania and IoT can still be heard if you listen closely. And, IoT can actually be good for your health !

As a concept, IoT is as loosely defined as "cloud", but what did you expect from a buzz war contender anyway ? For this article we will focus on an instance of a very specific IoT concept and platform, called pachube. In just one sentence, Pachube is a web service that provides centralized hosting for sensor data. As most web services it is rate limited, and offers different limits based on the premium you pay. There is also a free service.

On the other hand, I guess that by now most of the people reading this have learned about the twin disaster that hit Japan, followed by both an unlikely nuclear meltdown and unfortunate radioactive leaks in the air, soil and water. In this context, people suddenly realized about Geiger counters and they quickly sold out. A few brave people put theirs on the web, through various means (digitizer software, webcams, etc...).

Now this is the kind of Thing that can go into the Internet of Things. So a few of the people that had digital probes or probes with digitizer software set up a pachube account to host measurement data. Then someone stepped forward to put together a user interface for all those values and plot near-realtime measurements on a map. Here it is : http://japan.failedrobot.com

Next I will show you how to get some values from pachube to put on display in your own webpage, so stay tuned...