Creating custom connected objects is the part of the Maker movement were I can find myself. Now that making real-world objects with sensors and connectivity has become much easier thanks to all the people sharing their passion and the many Open Source / Open Hardware projects, it is no longer unreachable to create and build specialised devices on a small budget. The so called “Internet of Things” will enable the gathering of real-world data, not personal data (for once) but “normal” raw data (like temperature, pressure, traffic, movements in a shop, …) and its storage for processing. Coming from the BI and Analytics side of the software world… understanding this next evolution seems like an obvious step.

I’ve been working and creating objects, using wood, plastics, electronic components (like Arduinos, Raspberries and other elements from companies like Adafruit and SparkFun) to explore that new area. Well let’s say it is much broader than I had thought in my wildest dreams.

I’ll try to post a few example for “things” that were created and how they work.

Getting started in electronics and/or the Internet of Things ? Welcome to the club… we are in the same boat. The following topics can be interesting to get moving:

  • Adafruit’s Guide to Soldering.
    Soldering is impossible to avoid if you really want to get into eletronics and IoT… This guide makes it fun instead of tedious. There is a similar guide on SparkFun that is also quite good.
  • SparkFun’s Guide to the basics. The team at SparkFun has written an incredible set of tutorials around the basic things you should remind yourself (or learn) when diving into the Electronics adventure. I included the link to one of the first step in the long list of things to know… once you are there, digging around their other tutorials is a lot of fun.
  • Autodesk’s is a great place to get the feeling of IoT and Arduino. The site allows you to play with virtual Arduinos, electronic components, write (and debug!) code… If you want to tryout things without spending anything, this is the place to go.