littleBits just launched their cloudBit product. This is Omkar’s first true IoT project that takes data from the cloud to activate something local. In this case, taking goal alerts from a twitter feed to light up LEDs whenever a goal is scored. littleBits cloudBit is truly the easiest way for anyone to make a internet of things project.
The cloudBit works with IFTTT (If This Then That), a cloud service for making ‘Recipes’ to trigger actions based on events. Essentially, you create a Recipe on IFTTT using the the littleBits ‘Channel’ and you have a means to send a signal to the cloudBit based on an event defined in the Recipe.
We had to do a bit of a hack to make this work in real-time as soon as a goal is scored. Most IFTTT recipes don’t trigger in real-time (it usually triggers in 15 minute cycles) except a few. One of the real-time ones is the Email recipe. So for this project we used a work around in order to trigger cloudBit via the Email recipe on IFTTT as illustrated in the video below.
This could be done more simply by writing a web app as well. However, for this project we’ve tried to make it work without any web coding. Some Arduino programming is used to show a more meaningful alert on the device with sounds (though it is not essential to do any coding to make something similar).
Notes and acknowledgements:
- Thanks to littleBits for choosing us for a early Beta trial of the cloudBit. This project was done during the Worldcup. But we couldn’t publish it before the launch of the cloudBit product.
- Thanks to Andy Jiang who created a twitter feed of Worldcup goal alerts that we were able to use as data feed for this project.
- The goals and alerts shown in the videos are live alerts recording during live game broadcasts.
- The first video shows a version of this project with the Adafruit Neopixel strip.
- The project details are available on the littleBits project page.