Earlier this year, the team of Electric Imp joined Twilio IoT. From their decade of experience building IoT solutions, we learned that customers love the convenience of a platform approach – whether it’s managed security, the reliability of over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates, or the powerful device lifecycle management features. Some customers, however, expressed the desire to maintain their ability to write native code on the device.
We knew that there had to be a way to re-imagine the IoT developer experience, while leveraging the vast expertise of the Electric Imp team and the existing sophistication of their platform. So we set out to create the IoT platform we’re launching today: Twilio Microvisor.
Microvisor is a different approach to IoT development, and the existing Electric Imp platform will remain a highly relevant solution for many. Before diving into the specifics and the key differences between the two, let me …
This announcement appeared first on the Electric Imp blog.
We are really excited that Electric Imp is now part of the Twilio family.
Twilio & Electric Imp have been hard at work solving different aspects of the IoT problem, and in our regular conversations we acknowledged how complementary our offerings were, and also how alike our approaches were.
A significant partnership for IoT
This partnership brings together two critical aspects of IoT: reliable global connectivity and a mature application platform, enabling our customers to build solutions in less time than ever before - and deploy them worldwide.
There are few companies as developer-centric as Twilio – just like Electric Imp, much of Twilio’s business grew from enabling developers to experiment with new applications. At Electric Imp, we realized the combination of our platform with Twilio’s trusted brand, services, huge developer base, and global reach could enable the creation of …
What is the Internet of Things?
When computers began to enter our homes 40 years ago, the idea of having a mobile computer in our pockets seemed like a futuristic dream. Thanks to Moore’s Law, and the mass adoption of the smartphone, we have unlimited access to information. Anything we might want to know is just a few clicks away — any time, any place. Now, the internet can be accessed via even the most mundane of objects with the rapid spread of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Internet of Things is the connection of generally non-computing objects to the internet. This connection allows everyday objects to send and receive data.
Sounds a little bit broad, right? IoT encompasses everything from smart refrigerators and home security systems, to electric scooters, fleet tracking, and even waste management — and it’s expanding every day. From looking …
Global IoT connectivity you can trust
I’m excited to announce that Super SIM has entered public beta. Super SIM is what happens when you approach cellular IoT connectivity the Twilio way — combining Twilio’s Super Network of global telecom carriers with the power of software in the cloud — in this case, a cloud based Mobile Core network. Super SIM will enable IoT builders to take control of connectivity in nearly every country in the world, at massive operational scale.
Moving cellular connectivity from hardware to the cloud
There’s a movement happening in IoT. You’ve probably seen the on-demand scooters and bikes transforming our cities. Cars are increasingly fitted with connected dash-cams. Maybe you’ve noticed capacity sensors in public trash cans and in parking spaces. IoT outside the home is booming, but the connectivity ecosystem has been woefully unprepared, causing headaches for developers and slowing innovation.
Why do I say …
Today, Twilio released Super SIM to public beta. Super SIM works all over the world and gives developers the ability to choose the networks that their devices connect to and monitor the data consumed by each SIM. You can order your own Super SIM through the Twilio Console and try it out.
Super SIM is versatile and works with CAT-M1, LTE, and 2G/3G networks. I tested Super SIM with a few boards I had lying around the house, including the Adafruit Feather FONA 32u4.
The Adafruit Feather FONA 32u4 is a cellular board from Adafruit based on the Feather ecosystem that uses the Simcom SIM800H modem. (You may remember it from this tutorial on building a mailbox notifier.) It can be programmed with the Arduino IDE. Here’s how you use it with Super SIM and test that it is online with a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) command sent …
Today, Twilio released Super SIM into public beta. Super SIM works all over the world and gives developers the ability to choose the networks that their Super SIMs use and monitor the data coming in from each SIM. You can order your own Super SIM through the Twilio Console and try it out.
Super SIM is versatile and works with CAT-M1, LTE, and 2G/3G networks. I tested Super SIM with a few boards I had lying around the house, including the Arduino MKR GSM 1400.
The MKR GSM 1400 is an SAMD-based board from Arduino that uses the uBlox SARA-U201. It can be programmed using the Arduino IDE. Here’s how you use it with Super SIM and test that it is online with a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) command sent from the Super SIM API.
This guide requires a configured Super SIM. If you haven’t set …
I’ve spent my academic and professional career — most recently as an Engineering Manager for Twilio’s Super SIM — thinking about cellular network technologies and the future of cellular connected devices. As the world starts to really embrace cellular connectivity for fleets of IoT devices, one thing that strikes me is how fragmented the global cellular ecosystem is and how impactful that becomes for our customers trying to deploy low-powered, inexpensive devices all over the world.
The way that the PLMN ecosystem (PLMN = Public Land Mobile Network, or the radio networks that our devices connect to) has ‘naturally’ evolved makes it really tricky to build one IoT device and ship it everywhere. To put control back in the hands of device makers, we built a feature called “Network Access Profiles” into Super SIM.
I want to share with you today how we did it, and why we think …
The other week, I talked to Stacey Higginbotham about how to get started in IoT. According to Stacey, a lot of people ask her about building mailbox sensors that tell you when the mail has come. This kind of hack is especially useful for those with mailboxes far from their front doors.
If your mailbox is far away, there’s a good chance your Wi-Fi won’t reach, and neither will your power. We can build a battery-powered cellular device that you can put in your mailbox that senses when your mail is here and texts you when someone has opened it.
Enter: the MailPig
MailPig waits for someone to open your mailbox and then sends you a text about it. You can configure the number (or numbers) to text and the message you want MailPig to send in the using Twilio Functions.
MailPig sleeps until it senses light, then it …
Twilio’s Machine-to-Machine (M2M) commands help you quickly send data directly from your IoT device to the internet and vice versa. These messages are good options for occasional commands; you could wake a device by sending a command from a server, or you could send a message to your server when your device wakes up.
If your device can send an SMS, it can also send a Twilio M2M command. Development boards like the Adafruit Feather FONA 32u4 are well set up to send an SMS using a Programmable Wireless SIM. You simply have your device send an SMS to the short code
2936, and the command will appear in your Twilio Console.
You can take these commands and use them with Twilio’s other fantastic APIs to send texts, WhatsApp messages, and emails, make phone calls, start video chats, or trigger additional M2M commands.
The possibilities are endless, but …
Internet connected sourdough fitness tracker
A sourdough starter is a little yeast-driven pet that eats flour and water and makes sourdough. More and more people are keeping these delightful critters in their houses, feeding them when they start to look sluggish and baking bread with them every few days.
With Twilio's Narrowband IoT Developer Kit, we can build a little monitor that helps us keep track of our starter's temperature, humidity, and rise.
Twilio's Narrowband IoT dev kit happens to have some great sensors we can use to get started, and it's also designed for constant, low-power connectivity, which is what I want for this particular product. Cellular connectivity also means we don't have to do any setup or fight with our Wi-Fi routers.
The downside to Twilio Narrowband is that it only works in the US. If you're hoping to monitor your bread from outside the …