IoT Recap (May 2020)
Welcome to the May 2020 issue of the yet to be officially named Internet of Things monthly recap. Join me as I take you through some of the interesting things I've seen in the world of IoT this month.
Golden Gate is an open source project released by Fitbit that hopes to simplify communication between embedded devices by providing an IP-based protocol stacks over the top of Bluetooth low energy (BLE).
The documentation is a bit lacking currently, however there is example code available for Android, iOS and the ESP32. There are comments that this framework will be expanded to support other transport layers besides BLE, so perhaps this is a good repo to star and come back to at some point in the future.
A lot of people would agree that the ESP32 has become the king in terms of home automation. Look at projects like ESPHome that is entirely based around the use of this incredible board. However there are a couple common patterns where the ESP32 often needs extra components for projects; and this is where The Maisken Homelay could come in handy.
Currently the post outlines that the following features are available in the designs:
- 4 dry-contact relays
- Breakouts to access eight GPIOs, two of which can be analog inputs
- Two input-only pins
- SDA/SCL pins for I2C
Overall this design will hopefully be useful for home automation systems like sprinklers or appliance controllers that need relays.
I should just rename this newsletter, the ESP32 newsletter because we have so much of it this month. The ESP32-WROOM-32SE has been qualited for use with AWS IoT Core Multi-Account Registration.
The chip can integrate with a ATECC608A secure element to store device certificates that could be used for provisioning; simplifying the process of provisioning IoT products into different accounts.
LilyGO unveiled its new TTGO T-Watch-2020, a highly customizable smartwatch using an ESP32. The device has the following features according to the product page:
- 1.54 inch capacitive screen (ST7789V)
- 350ma LiPo battery
- Triaxial accelerometer (BMA423)
- Vibration motor, speaker and infrared signal sensor
The main selling point of this product is that it's an open platform with integration with Scratch, micropython, Arduino and pretty much any other methods you'd normally use to communicate with ESP32 chips.
While the product itself seems to be totally sold out already you can join a queue on the tindie product page
If you are a user of AWS IoT Jobs then good news! The cost of running these are ~90% reduced now.
In the past you might have seen me talk about AWS IoT Jobs being used with OTA (over-the-air) updates for devices or just running small blocks of code across huge fleets of managed IoT devices.
Either way, this is great news if you're using the service at scale and have noticed the costs.
Occasionally while looking for electronics to play around with I come across something that is so cheap I have to assume it's a scam. For me the ESP-32 CAM was one of such devices; sporting Bluetooth, WiFi, SD Card support and a Camera all for ~$7, it really does seem too good to be true. Lucky for us, this outstanding little SoC is definitely real, and is capable of doing great things (if you are willing to dig into code a little).
In this post we look at the ESP32-CAM and specifically work to get it running on AWS IoT.