Re-Introducing the Hackpack v4: Twilio's Open Source Hardware Badge
This year’s Hackpack was our most advanced yet. Sporting a joystick, 7 buttons, a touchscreen, a massive battery, and Linux on a Raspberry Pi Zero W, we hoped to craft the perfect badge for both our conference and your next handheld computing project.
We also designed it with a special goal in mind: to release under an open hardware license. That’s why today we’re proud to announce the hardware collateral and assembly instructions are available under the Solderpad 2.0 license.
Building Twilio’s Hardware Badge
Agricultural Monitoring with Twilio Programmable Wireless and Helium
The Internet of Things certainly has potential – and for some applications it’s even currently performing. Smart farming is one of those fields (pun intended), where always-connected sensors can do better at crop monitoring than any human ever could. Watching moisture levels and other soil metrics is a perfect assignment for low-powered microcontrollers scattered throughout amber waves of grain.
Building a Smart Farm with Arduino, Twilio and Helium
Here in the Bay Area, lot sizes are measured in square footage not acreage – so excuse my diversion into hyperbole. At my house, I have a couple of 3’x6.5’ planter boxes where we grow herbs and root vegetables. Today, we’ll wire up a planter box and build an agricultural monitor using Twilio’s Programmable Wireless and SMS, along with a Helium Element Gateway, Helium Atom Prototyping Module and an Arduino Uno.
On the accessories side, we’ll be using ...
TwiML Bins: A Serverless and Codeless Way to Try Twilio
In May, Twilio announced Twilio Functions, a serverless Node.js environment for spinning up functions without having to find hosting. Functions is an easy server replacement – but did you know we have other ways to rapidly build and iterate on your product serverless-ly? (Including a new visual communications tool, Twilio Studio, in developer preview).
Today I’m thrilled to shine a light on TwiML Bins, an incredibly simple way to start building or prototyping with Twilio. TwiML Bins are all you need to enable very desirable – and previously quite expensive – communications features like Cloud-based Voicemail or SMS masking and forwarding with Twilio.
Oh, and did I mention you won’t need to write a single line of code? Onward!
Get Yourself a Twilio Number or Three
The magic of TwiML Bins starts in the Twilio Console. Log into your Twilio account (or create a new one – try us free!), then ...
Introducing TwilioQuest, a New Way to Learn Twilio
Sometimes a blank text editor window and that irritating blinking cursor are the biggest obstacles to starting your project. We here at Twilio most definitely agree – starting is the hardest part.
That’s why we’re so excited today to announce TwilioQuest!
TwilioQuest is an interactive, self-paced game to learn how to Twilio. You’ll master products like Twilio Voice and Messaging while earning experience points and loot. Read on to take the first step on your new adventure.
Prefer an introduction in video form? We’ve got you covered.
Get Started on Your TwilioQuest Journey
Build Your TwilioQuest Character
Once you’re logged into your Twilio account and back in TwilioQuest, you will be presented with a ...
Blink an ESP8266 LED in Real-Time using Twilio’s Sync for IoT
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got an entire desk drawer full of hardware dev boards and sensors waiting patiently for a project. (Okay, fine, a garage storage rack.)
That’s why I was so excited when we announced we’re bringing Twilio’s Sync to IoT devices. Sync is Twilio’s real-time state synchronization product, allowing you to persist, update, and check variable state from anywhere the internet is found. We added MQTT over TLS support to Sync, opening up Sync’s super-scalable architecture to many of those aforementioned drawer hardware devices.
If you can’t tell, I’m over the moon at this development. Follow along with this blog post; we’re going to use an Espressif ESP8266 Dev Board, Sync for IoT, the Arduino IDE and billions of electrons to blink an LED from the command line.
Sync-ing Our Capabilities
Sync for IoT is currently ...
5 Phones, 1950 Pixels: How MissionMode Hacked the SIGNAL 2017 Video Wall
“Code is Creative”. You showed us how true that statement really is at this year’s SIGNAL San Francisco.
Your creativity was made readily visible on the 40 foot video wall (and interactive art display) we hosted upstairs at the show. We handed out Hackpacks, hackable hardware badges with a Particle Electron onboard, which had the ability to control that massive display via text messages.
Poking, then Automating, then Drawing…
One of the first groups to figure out how to draw on the video wall was our friends at MissionMode.
By day, MissionMode builds incident management and notification solutions. At SIGNAL, MissionMode proved they are also talented at reverse engineering. Their team of five SIGNAL attendees was the first to take down the full wall, drawing the MissionMode logo:
I asked MissionMode if they would share some of their memories and “A-Ha!” moments from their awesome wall-hack and they kindly ...
“Flashing. Lights.”: How to Build a SMS to Morse Code Translator with a Particle Electron and Twilio
After spending some quality time with Particle’s Electron product, I’m so excited to share some of the awesome things I’ve got it doing. Powerful, always connected, and perfectly priced for experimentation, it’s an incredible kick-start on your IoT journey. We’re going to give you an even bigger boost today by showing you how to receive messages with Twilio and do something useful… blink the onboard LED with some Morse Code!
Particle Electrons, LEDs, and Antennas… Oh My!
At SIGNAL 2017, we handed out over 1,250 Particle Electrons with our HackPack v3 badge. This Morse Code Translator will work with either a retail Electron or one you’ve removed from the badge – please follow along either way!
(If you are using a HackPack Electron, please follow our instructions on how to claim it to your account now that the conference is over. )
In order to ...
FAQ: Using Your HackPack v3 in a Post-SIGNAL World
This year at SIGNAL, every attendee got their own Particle Electron powered HackPack. The HackPacks controlled a big screen display upstairs at the show, allowing attendees to wow us in a live exhibit of the intersection of code and artistic creativity.
We were so impressed with all the creativity on display at the conference. Over 1,250 of you powered up your HackPack during the conference and accepted our challenge, nearly-instantly validating our conference charge to celebrate DOers. You impressed us all with the awesome hacks you came up with and the amazing things you got our wall to do. For that we thank you – you took the Big Board places we didn’t even imagine.
By Saturday, June 3 we will be deactivating all SIM cards that have not yet added associated billing information to Particle accounts. In plain English, this means that the onboard Particle Electron is yours ...