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DIY Applications that Could Expand the Reach and Mindshare of IoT
There are some in the IoT industry who see certain technologies as prohibitive, especially for the average user. There are a number of areas that are currently unserved by IoT technologies, sometimes due to a lack of innovation, and at other times due to there being a lack of network support in a particular geographic location.
With the increased penetration of 4G cellular coverage around the world, there is huge potential for DIY IoT services that are independent of any major branch of technology. Learning about the companies that are preparing niche devices can help you to expand your vision of what IoT is, and who it can benefit.
Here are three exciting areas that have already been embraced by the DIY IoT community.
Environmental Tracking for Agriculture
Agricultural operators could gain a lot from IoT sensors, and independent developer Mesur would like to provide the technology. This startup company creates simple sensor devices that can track atmospheric and environmental conditions to help with seeding and harvesting, allowing operators to minimize waste and increase crop yields. They also provide tailored analytical sensor software to benefit turf management, vineyard management, and even mining operations.
Private Car Telemetry Tracking
Telemetry tracking can be hugely beneficial when used for legal defense or during insurance claims. One driver who wanted to put the power of data in his own hands, went as far as creating a device that tracked his vehicle behavior, detecting speed, location, and acceleration/braking patterns. Using simple components like gyros, a GPS module, and a transmitter, individuals could create their own vehicle tracker with telemetry, and connect it to a cellular network for extensive urban and suburban coverage.
Plant Health Monitor for Home Gardeners
By combining a GSM connected microcontroller module from Particle, along with a temperature and moisture sensor, home DIY enthusiasts could create a simple device that tracks soil quality in home planters or gardens, letting them know when it’s time to get out and water the plants. With the Particle microcontroller, alerts can be sent via SMS, email, or to a mobile app. An electron 3G kit from Particle costs less than $70 USD, and as demand for DIY devices increases, these costs are likely to come down even further.
Using a Particle Microcontroller for Almost Any Application
Particle is one of the leading companies when it comes to home and small scale IoT development. Their electron IoT microcontroller kit can provide cellular service in virtually any country that has coverage, and the microcontroller can be used with multiple sensors for virtually any application. Whether a user wanted to create a GPS tracker for their vehicle, or a door sensor for their home, the Particle would be perfect for the job.
As other companies develop DIY-friendly kit sets and technologies, it is likely that the number of home-based IoT enthusiasts will increase, and devices like the Particle could even find their way into schools and tertiary education facilities, where they will inspire the next generation of IoT designers and innovators.