Where to start if you have an IoT device idea?

Intimidated by the protocols, hardware, RF standards, and more?

You have an idea, let’s assume a device that somehow connects to the internet and does something really cool. You drew it out on paper and stopped there…

Let’s not stop there. Read further to learn how to start building and testing your new IoT device idea.

As we all know. IoT is the next big thing. So if you came up with a device idea that requires a connection to the internet, then your device falls under the Internet of Things umbrella.

Get a development board

One of the first boards that I used to test my own designs and ideas was Linkit ONE. A great board that was co-designed by Seeed and MTK which enables easy connection to sensors that use the same pin-out just by simply connecting to a Grove Breakout board.

After you get your development board, it’s time to move to the next step.

Inputs needed and outputs required

What are the real-life data that is needed to enable your device to work effectively? For instance, for a refrigerator sensor that ensures the system is working properly would need a temperature sensor as a main sensor to collect temperature readings from the refrigerator.

Make a list of all the inputs you need. After you make that list, look for the sensors on the Grove modulated toolsets.

Please comment on this post if you have questions on which sensors to pick for your application or you could also contact us directly.

Outputs are also important to know and collect actuators or motors that are needed to conduct a specific action as a result of the connected data. For instance, the refrigerator sensor detects lower than usual temperature readings, then one of the actions would be to manually turn the knob for the temperature setting in the refrigerator (maybe to save power?).

Connect the pieces

Take the sensors and MCU and connect them all together. Feel free to post any questions if you would like help on how to connect your boards.

After you successfully connect them, it’s time to dig into the coding section. Write a simple code (maybe an Arduino code) that would functionally do what you anticipated. Again, if you face any issues with writing your code, please reach out to us and we will be more than happy to write something up for you at NO COST. Remember we are trying to grow our community!

Use an IoT platform to build the backend

Once you have all the pieces working on a serial terminal. Let’s have the device use an SDK to connect to a pre-established IoT platform to send data to and trigger actions. We can build our own platform, but why would we want to do that for testing purposes or if we are just starting?

My favorite platforms are:

Make a table and a graph

Collect data points over time and export the data from your cloud backend. Use your favorite sheets processing software and plot the data to see if you can make sense out of the data.

What patterns do you see? Can you create a model that is consistent throughout the readings?

Remember an IoT device is best operated and most optimal when it is collecting data and learning from those data points using a machine learning model.

Start your roadmap to production

Begin writing your roadmap to production and start the learning process as fast as possible, do not forget to market market and market some more!

Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

We are not affiliated or paid by any of the mentioned third-party companies to write this article. We are simply a fan of their products and want to learn more about the future of such products. Nothing on here that we recommend that we would not use ourselves. Please feel free to leave your feedback!

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