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IoT posts

  • By Matt Jackson
    Announcing Twilio Super SIM Public Beta Super SIM Public Beta

    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 …

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  • By Christine Sunu
    Getting Started with Super SIM and the Adafruit Feather FONA 32u4 super sim adafruit fona 32u4 header

    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 32u4 FONA pinout

    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 …

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  • By Christine Sunu
    Getting Started with Super SIM and the Arduino MKR GSM 1400 super sim arduino mkr gsm 1400

    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.

    Arduino MKR GSM 1400 pinout diagram with labels
    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 …

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  • By Giuseppe Carella
    Take Control with Network Access Profiles for Super SIM Network Access Profiles Super SIM

    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 …

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  • By Christine Sunu
    Build an IoT Mailbox Sensor with a Twilio SIM and M2M Commands header-mail-sensor.png

    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

    The device in an egg-shaped enclosure sitting inside a mailbox

    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.

    An animation showing the device waking up and sending an M2M command to Twilio, which in turn sends an SMS to a phone.

    MailPig sleeps until it senses light, then it …

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  • By Christine Sunu
    M2M to SMS: Send a text from your IoT device with Twilio M2M Commands and Twilio Functions M2M-to-SMS-twilio-functions-header

    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 …

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  • By Christine Sunu
    How I Made a Data Tracker for My Sourdough Starter sourdio-build-it-bread-data-tracker

    This tutorial uses the Twilio Narrowband IoT Developer Kit, which is no longer supported. For projects using Twilio IoT, we now recommend Twilio Super SIM or Twilio Electric Imp. For needs specific to Narrowband IoT, SIMs and information are still available here.

    Internet connected sourdough fitness tracker

    A sourdough starter monitor with a cute face next to a bowl and a small cup of flour

    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.

    Why Narrowband?

    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 …

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  • By Christine Sunu
    Sourd.io is a Fitness Tracker for your Sourdough Starter sourdio-social-bread-data-tracker

    Your new hobby, now with more data

    A sourdough starter monitor with a cute face next to a bowl and a small cup of flour

    Making bread is suddenly popular, and so are my stupid-until-recently bread hacks.

    For years, I have designed ridiculous ways to monitor my sourdough starters. Now, for the first time ever, people are interested in my solutions.

    Tweet from Olga Khazan: Please, God, someone do a sport so my boyfriend will stop talking about his sourdough starter

    Enter the IoT Sourdough Starter Monitor, which monitors your bread’s temperature, humidity, and rise, so you know how it’s growing and when it needs to be fed. Let’s call it… sourd.io

    A sourdough starter monitor with a cute face next to a bowl and a small cup of flour

    A babysitter for my sourdough starter, Brad the Bread.

    Sourd.io screws onto the top of a ball jar for versatility and millennial comfort vibes. You can also balance it on two skewers to judge the rise of bread in a bowl, outside your jar.

    The underside of the sourd.io sourdough starter monitor, which has a temperature/humidity sensor and an ultrasonic distance sensor

    Sourd.i …

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  • By Miguel Grinberg
    SMS Doorbell with MicroPython and Twilio SMS Doorbell with MicroPython and Twilio

    The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to touch not only every industry, but also most everyday aspects of our lives. As a software developer, I’m excited about how low the barrier of entry is considering the low cost of IoT hardware and the wide availability of development tools in the open-source ecosystem.

    In this article, I want to show you how to build an IoT doorbell that sends you an SMS instead of producing sound. This project should give you a good idea of the kinds of projects you can build on your own with cheap microcontroller hardware using MicroPython and the same Twilio APIs that many users know and love.

    The project that we are going to build is an SMS doorbell using an ESP8266 microcontroller, a push button, MicroPython, and Twilio’s Programmable SMS service.

    Building an SMS Doorbell

    This is the perfect project if you are …

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  • By Kedar Toraskar
    Announcing General Availability of Twilio Narrowband General Availability Twilio Narrowband

    We are excited to announce: Twilio Narrowband is now Generally Available (GA). 

    Twilio Narrowband is the first developer platform in the United States that provides access to the T-Mobile Narrowband (or NB-IoT) network. T-Mobile USA is the first network to deploy NB-IoT in the U.S. and today its network is operational nationwide. The Twilio Narrowband platform includes narrowband SIMs, a developer kit, and a breakout SDK, all designed to work with the T-Mobile NB-IoT network.  

    What is Narrowband IoT (or NB-IoT)?

    NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network technology that is purpose built for IoT, which means it can handle massive numbers of connected devices and is able to achieve deeper penetration of cellular coverage. It is specifically designed for the majority of IoT devices that don't need a lot of bandwidth, are insensitive to latency and need to conserve battery power for a long period of time. …

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