Currently, i am working on a cellular tracker. I want to have a device that can run autonomously as long as possible and send some data from sensors into the cloud via a GSM network.
I am working on this for a couple of weeks now and i must say – this is one of the toughest projects i started so far. I will cover the reasons, the solutions i found and my first experiences in a series of articles.
One of the reasons why i find this interesting is the Internet of Things and it’s specific requirements. From my first projects in this field i learned that IoT will only work at scale if the internet comes out of the box, pre-built and without any configuration hazzle. A few solutions to hook up devices on your Wifi more easily have been developed recently, some use the magic switch on your router, some require you to login to a specific Hotspot once and configure the device for your wifi. None of these approaches really would work if you want to make an IoT product for the wild, for non-experienced users that just don’t care. This is even more the case if it is not a technical device, but just a normal thing, a piece of furniture, a lamp or a kitchen scale for instance. So Wifi might not be an option at all – i think there is a good chance, that these IoT Devices will not run on Wifi at all but on a mobile network.
One of the best examples for this approach i saw so far* is the Good-Night Lamp from Alexandra @iotwatch Deschamps-Sonsino because her device also runs on a mobile network – she actually helped me to figure out a provider for m2m Sim-Cards that fit for my project – i will cover that later.
In this series of articles i will try to cover these aspects:
6. Software (this was tough) – how to deal with 1KB of RAM
10. GPS without a GPS-Device – your network has it
11. Transparency built in – how to deal with the Scary-Factor
*well, to be honest i didn’t really _see_ one of these lamps yet – i just read about them and met Alexandra at Data-Days where she gave an amazing keynote