Thursday, 25 June 2015

I made an Internet Button

Along comes a few days of solo summer vacation and i’m off to the countryside. So what can a man do out in the wild? Hack.

An Internet Button is a button which, when you press it, makes something happen on the Internet. It’s the Internet of things equivalent of a Hello, World! program, and i made one yesterday built on the Proton Core platform.

A Core is basically an Arduino compatible microcontroller with a Wi-Fi chip slapped on, and a cloud environment to support the whole shabang. I’ve had two of these Spark Cores (as they were known then) for well over a year now, since backing them on a Kickstarter campaign, but i’ve never really got around doing anything sensible with them. The problem was always that the Wi-Fi connection dropped after some time and then the program crashed. So i borrowed my chips to a couple of colleagues (on who used them to draw attention and open a door. Eventually i got them back, and they were left to gather dust in my geek cave.

Since the new Particle Proton chips are finally going to ship now, i’d read a bit on the documentation and decided to give my Cores another spin. The results, along with the instructions on how to get the button on the Internet, are on Github.