IoT Project for Anyone Blog Series
Getting Started with IoT – A Step by Step Guide for Anyone:
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow and amaze many of us at the unlimited potential it has to change our world. From smart televisions and refrigerators to the monitoring of airplane engines, the possibilities seem to be endless. I have read about Windows 10 IoT since its release and was looking for a project to work on to learn more. I recently worked on a project centered around IoT that will help a great non-profit organization I have been volunteering with for several years. As I went through this journey to learn and implement the IoT project, I quickly learned that not having a background in software development is a disadvantage and can be quite a challenge. I also learned there was very little beginning to end guidance for anyone craving to learn more about IoT.
I created this blog series to share my IoT learning journey with the intention to teach and inspire others about what I have learned. Whether a middle school student or a technical professional, I wrote these blogs for an audience with very little hands-on experience complete with step by step instructions and screen captures. Each blog in this series is based on a specific topic, so you can follow them in a sequence or read just the specific blog on the topic of interest. Please leave comments, questions, etc. in the blog comment area.
As you review these blogs about how the IoT demonstration was created, consider ways you can implement and improve on these steps. Gathering the humidity and temperature data in this example can be just one set of data collected from the many IoT sensors available from Adafruit and many other manufacturers. Consider indoor/outdoor air quality, stream water quality, the health of a bee hive, decomposition rate within a compost box, etc. While these ideas are centered around my primary goal of assisting a local nature center with digitally transforming their educational exhibits, the steps in these projects are very similar and can be implemented anywhere for a variety of industry verticals such as education, healthcare, retail, government, etc.
From sensors on each of the 1.1 million elevators that ThyssenKrupp maintains globally to assisting with conservation efforts of the Chesapeake Bay, anything is possible with IoT and the Microsoft Cloud.
With enough passion, commitment, and let’s not forget time – anything is possible. Welcome to my IoT journey! What will you develop?
The IoT Project:
I have been volunteering at a local Nature Center in the Baltimore area on an infrastructure modernization project (my background is technical infrastructure) and created a concept to digitally transform several of their educational exhibits with minimal cost. Knowing that children today are captivated by tablets, smartphones, etc. the idea was to use an interactive display with live data streaming to an exhibit as a way to digitally teach visitors about the story being shown. The live and historical data captured over days, weeks, months, and years can then be analyzed for trends and insights. The analysis then becomes part of the exhibit, the story to tell. Humans learn and retain knowledge through the use of stories – and what child does not love a good story.
With my goals defined to digitally enhance the exhibit experience, I needed to create a demonstration as part of a presentation about the digital exhibit project. My demonstration would involve using an inexpensive IoT Raspberry Pi 3 Model B to collect temperature and humidity data from an attached sensor. The collected data would then live stream to Microsoft Azure where it would then be displayed real-time using a Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (Power BI) dashboard.
Simple enough? So, let’s move forward.
IoT Project for Anyone Blog Series:
This is one of a series of blogs developed as part of an overall IoT implementation project for beginners. The project will walk through the hardware needed, operating system installation, data collection and a Power BI dashboard to view the data. These blogs can be reviewed in sequence as part of the overall project or on their own if looking for information on a particular IoT topic.
Project Blog Index:
IoT for Anyone – Introduction (this blog)
IoT for Anyone – Collecting and Streaming Data from Windows 10 IoT (coming soon)