I‘m currently working on a side project and I would love to get your feedback 🙂
I‘m a Web developer and always wanted to to something with IoT. ESP32’s are perfect to get into the game but one thing was bothering me all the time: It‘s complicated. I lost days setting up my Environment (wrong python version, esp idf didn‘t compile, aand much more). After that it was very time consuming to get the I2C sensor to run and if that‘s not enough, streaming it into the cloud was complex too (mqtt with tls, latency, data aggregation and so on).
I got everything running, but I was asking myself: What if people without the coding experience want to connect something with the internet? Does it have to be that complex?
I‘m having a strong background in UX design and wanted to find out if there is a way of doing that more easier to get more people into IoT (students, data scientists, other web devs,…)
My first prototype is now ready and I would be really curious what you guys think 🙂
It‘s basically split up into 3 areas:
1: Flash your esp with my firmware. I made a tool that does all that completely automagically). You enter your credentials of my platform and your wifi credentials and you are done 🙂
2: once connected, the esp is communicating with my cloud. The firmware itself is abstracting protocols and with my platform you can configure sensors (currently GPIO and I2C, but I plan to support more like SPI and one Wire) over the cloud without any coding skills. I‘m also trying to build a sensor database. If one sensor is created there, you can just use it and don‘t even have to bother with the protocol. I can also display you which pins you have to connect.
Here are some mockups of how sensor configuration will look like: Go to gallery
3: Afterwards the data is sent to the cloud and can be viewed and exported. If wanted you can also create thresholds to get informed if something isn‘t right. And of course you can use all the data over an API. I‘m also planning to integrate „projects“: you can create a project (eg weatherstation) and combine data from different sensors and esp‘s in there. You can also make your data public and enable other people to use it in their projects)
I know I‘m quite at the beginning, but I build this the last years and would love to hear your feedback if you think this is a useful tool or if it is completely useless. I know this won‘t replace coding, and I don‘t want to either but I think it could be a great way to get people interested into this topic and maybe motivate them to dig deeper into that. I was also thinking of providing a C SDK for developers to use only the cloud without my firmware.
If the feedback is positive I would love to open this for everyone interested to find bugs and building the sensor database 🙂
Have a nice day. Best, Florian