Before IoT became ‘The’ buzzword, there was M2M (machine to machine). Some industries still refer to IoT as M2M, but overall the term Internet of Things has become the norm. I like the term M2M because it describes better what IoT is meant to do: Machines talking to other machines.
This year our team once again participated int he AT&T Developer Summit 2016 hackathon. With M2M in our minds, we created a platform to allow machines and humans report extraordinary events in their neighborhood. Whenever a new event was reported (by machine or human), devices and people (notified by an app) connected to the platform could react accordingly. We came with two possible use cases to showcase our idea.
Virtual Gated Community
Gated communities are a great commodity for those wanting to have privacy and security. The problem is that usually these communities come with a high price tag. So we came up with a turnkey solution for a virtual gate using M2M. We created a device using the Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c board with wifi and bluetooth capabilities. We used a common motion sensor and a camera to detect cars and people not belonging to the neighborhood. Then, we used Bluetooth beacons that could be placed in at the resident keychains. When a resident drove (or walked) by the virtual gate, it would not trigger the automated picture and report to the system, but if someone without the Bluetooth beacon drove by, the system will log and report it.
We also created an app, so residents could get notifications as well as report different events, which brings me to our second use case.
Devices reacting to events
We used AT&T Flow Designer and M2X platform to create event workflows with notifications. A user or a device could subscribe to receive only events that they care about such as lost dog/cat, water leaks etc. The real innovative idea here is that devices can also react to certain events. For example, a user could configure its porch lights to automatically turn on when someone nearby reported suspicious activity. If everyone in their street do the same, it could be a pretty good crime deterrent to effectively being able to turn all the porch lights in the street at once by reporting such event.
We called our project “Neighborhood”, and we are still amazed on how much we were able to accomplish in merely 20+ hours.