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 …
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 …
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. …
Building a Virtual Machine using the Azure CLI is a skill that can bring your idea beyond the desktop and into the cloud. In this tutorial, we will walk through how to set up an Ubuntu Virtual Machine using the Azure CLI and send a Twilio SIM Command using Node.js. This post assumes that you have a basic understanding of how to set up a Twilio SIM and use the Commands API. If you are new to this concept check out the Commands API documentation and this example on how to send machine-to-machine Commands with the Twilio SIM. More TwilioIoT projects can be found, along with this one, on GitHub.
- Sign up for a free tier Azure account
- Install Azure CLI
- Create a new Virtual Machine
- Installing Node.js, npm & Twilio
Azure Virtual Machine + Commands API + Node.js
Every summer, I read tragic stories of children that die because they were left in a hot car. And every summer, my heart breaks because of the senselessness of the deaths.
So I decided to build a solution.
Today, I want to show you how easy it is to build a Help! Button that a child in a hot car could press in order to alert someone that they are in danger and need assistance.
As an aside, while I was building this project, it occurred to me that children dying in hot cars is actually two problems, not one. It is two problems because:
- Toddlers have the cognitive ability to recognize they are in danger and take some action to get out of the situation.
- Babies are not capable of recognizing danger, nor capable of taking any action. So a different solution is necessary for each scenario.(I’ll tackle how …
NB-IoT, also known as Narrowband-IoT, is a new cellular technology that promises low cost, low power consumption, wide area coverage and long battery life. These characteristics help make “smart devices” a reality.
T-Mobile has deployed NB-IoT coverage in the United States and Twilio is the first company to provide a NB-IoT developer kit. Twilio’s Alfa Developer Kit features a development board created in collaboration with Seeed Studio. The development board can access the T-Mobile NB-IoT network using a Twilio Narrowband SIM (which comes in the kit). Once on the network, developers can exchange data between multiple NB-IoT kits using the Twilio Breakout SDK.
This post demonstrates how to connect to T-Mobile’s NB-IoT network using Twilio’s Developer Kit. Once connected, we’ll send a “hello world” message over the network using the Breakout SDK. You can also find the the completed project on GitHub under TwilioIoT …
The new MKR family of Arduino boards are going to change the landscape of rapid prototyping IoT solutions. The Arduino MKR GSM 1400 is a great solution for anyone looking to expand the scope of their IoT projects using cellular connectivity. By integrating a modem with a microcontroller a new all-in-one communication solution has started to emerge. This paired with the Twilio Programmable Wireless SIM makes it possible to communicate around the globe using Machine-to-Machine commands. “Things” can now be connected in ways previously impossible with WiFi or Bluetooth.
This tutorial demonstrates how to send a Machine-to-Machine Command from the Arduino MKR GSM 1400 to a server written in Go. When the Machine-to-Machine Command is received server-side an audio file will play a .mp3 saying “hello”. If you want to jump ahead the completed project can be found on the TwilioIoT GitHub.
What is the Arduino MKR GSM 1400? …
In case you missed SIGNAL this year, we put together a recap of Twilio’s launches at our annual conference. Here are the top 4 ways this year’s product launches could shift the nonprofit tech landscape:
1: Secure Donations Over the Phone
Thousands of organizations – from your local radio station to the Red Cross – raise funds over the phone. But handling credit card information is still a tricky process: either your phone operators are handling sensitive payment data, or you must refer your donors to a payment portal. With Twilio’s PCI-compliant <Pay> verb, you can now seamlessly and securely accept donations over the phone.
Here’s how it works: your phone agent initiates a payment flow in which your donor hears a verbal prompt that walks them through entering their credit card …
When it came to my Grandma 90th birthday I was stumped about what to get her as a gift. She has been a big influence in my life and I wanted to do something that showed that. I knew I wanted to integrate Twilio in some way because when she was younger she was a switchboard operator for Bell Telephone. Then it hit me like a ton of phones. I will create a hardware device with a Programmable Wireless SIM and a Grove Button. When grandma presses the Grove Button a voice call will be routed to her phone and an operator will tell her how much I love her and wish her a happy birthday.
What I needed to send some birthday love
For this project you will need following components:
Following your passion and hard work are things I observed being around family when I was young. My grandfather passed away early in my life but his memory was always visible to me through the pictures hanging on the walls in my grandmother’s house.
One wall had an image of a worn leather boot and him climbing a telephone pole next to it. He, along with other family members, were responsible for putting up telephone lines across the northern part of Massachusetts for Bell Telephone.
Growing up in this environment I was always taught to problem-solve and was encouraged to seek solutions by observing the problem through the eyes of others. From the beginning I was equipped with curiosity and inspired to use it every day.
There were two principles I was told that make the world work: asking "why?" and communication.
As a kid I never …