This is the second part of a three part series that explores the Intel Edison compute module as the centerpiece of an IoT prototype (or even as part of a production product given the Edison’s size as a potential production component). The first article discussed why and how to use the Intel Edison for an IoT prototype. In this article, we list seven APIs that make for great pairings with Edison’s capabilities.
Designed for expert makers, entrepreneurs, and industrial IoT companies, the Intel Edison is a tiny computer that provides a fully open-source development system for wearable devices and other “things” that can participate in the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). The board is based on Linux, meaning you are free to use any programming language you want.
After introducing a few interesting APIs for the Edison in this article, we’ll discuss how you can implement your own REST API in the third and final installment of this series.
You can develop your software in Node.js but it is more or less similar for C++, C# and Java. Like most REST APIs, the REST APIs discussed in this article use HTTP. So it is easy to find libraries in every language to assist with API consumption. Using the keywords “API REST”, you will find endless tutorials online should you need additional help. Okay, let’s get started with the first API.
DeviceHub is a service with a simple REST APITrack this API. Through the API, DeviceHub offers data gathering, cloud logic, triggers and real-time remote control for Edison-based wearables and connected devices. The service’s free option allows you 100 sensors (with a maximum 100 devices and 100 projects) and, at most, 30 million requests per month. If you need to exceed these free limits, simply order a custom package and pay for what you need. It is available here: DeviceHub Homepage.
With OpenWeatherMap, you can learn about current and future weather through a variety of of data measures including temperature, wind, cloud, fog, pressure and humidity - all for free. Such information might come in handy for an IoT device that must respond to current or anticipated weather conditions. For example, actual or predicted wind speed could be used as a trigger to automatically retract an antenna or to activate a set of hurricane shutters. OpenWeatherMap’s free option gives you enough access for personal projects allowing up to 60 calls per minute and, at most, 50,000 calls per day. If you need more calls and greater precision, say a data update every 10 minutes, or technical support, you can choose from four different paid-plan options. Learn more here:OpenWeatherMap API
Parse for IoT is an open-source solution to manage users’ data. It’s an intuitive cloud platform that handles your entire backend so you can focus on creating an engaging user experience. Don’t worry about databases, performance or scaling. A few lines of code is all it takes to enable your device to save data and receive push notifications. Parse’s APITrack this API is powerful and no-fuss. Push notifications for the smartphone are very easy to set up. The same goes for social network linking.
With Parse’s free offer, you’ll have monthly access to 30 requests per second, 20GB of storage, 2TB of file transfer, and 1 million unique recipients for push notifications. If you need more, a simple slider function on the Web site will give you a quote: Parse Homepage
Intel IoT Analytics
Developed by Intel and therefore perfect for the Edison Board, EnableIoT is a cloud service for managing the data associated with your IoT device. You can use EnableIoT’s user interface to easily view your Edison-enabled device’s data. In addition, you can access device analytics and control device access. You can also set rules regarding data. For example, email alerts can be automatically triggered when a sensor reading meets or exceeds user-defined thresholds. This means you can configure the rules precisely for each sensor and per device. Additionally, the easy EnableIoT’s user interface obviates the need for any additional coding. The service is completely free: Intel IoT Analytics.
Google Fit REST API
The Google Fit REST APITrack this API is a free, open platform that enables you to store and access user data from apps on any platform. All you need is a Google account. Google Fit is much more than an API because it analyzes personal fitness data and offers advice on how to improve your fitness. The service allows for a lot of different sensor-based measurements such as step-count, speed, heart-rate and distance. So, it shouldn’t be too difficult to imagine an application that collects performance data from some form of fitness gear that’s connected to the Edison’s general purpose I/O pins (gpio) and then synchronizing that data with the user’s Google Fit profile in the cloud (which in turn automatically synchronizes it with with the Google Fit app on a smartphone).Google Fit REST API.
Thethings.io allows you to focus on what you do best; building awesome new projects without having to think about your software. One of Thethings.io’s key strengths is in its support for multiple IoT platforms and communications protocols. So, not just Intel’s Edison, but Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Electric Imp, and others. For each of these platforms including the Edison, it only takes a few lines of code to send your device’s data to the cloud leaving you more time to spend on your physical object. Then, with the Thethings.io APITrack this API, your data is stored in a way you will have interoperability across devices that must interact with that data. So, this could be very beneficial in a heterogeneous IoT environment where a variety of device types and protocols are in play. Out of the box, Thethings.io also supports existing IoT devices such as those from FitBit and Nest, thereby allowing the innovator to really envision a heterogeneous network of things.
The free option (“Explorer”) allows you one object with a limited amount of storage and API calls. However, the “professional” option is only €1 for each object per year. So it’s very inexpensive. Thethings.io’s professional option also gets you unlimited storage and unlimited API calls - Thethings.io.
FirebaseTrack this API is a complete platform for building mobile and Web apps. Similar to Parse, it can power your app’s backend, including data storage, user authentication, static hosting and more. Your apps also enjoy easy authentication with Facebook, Twitter, GitHub, your Google account, or anonymously. With Firebase, all your data is secured and the connection is too with an SSL certificate. Under the free plan, you are limited to 100 real-time connections (meaning 100 devices can connect at the same time) with 1GB of storage and 10GB of data transfer per month. If you want more from this service, sign up for a monthly plan ranging between $5 and $1,499: Firebase homepage
All the APIs listed above are free for reasonable use. Some offer paid subscriptions if you plan to use them intensively or for commercial purposes. Please refer to the official Web sites.