Here are some of the various options by which you can start your experimentation with IoT.
1. Sphero – A bluetooth enabled robotic device which can receive various commands.Use the Sphero SDK for Android and IOS for interacting via smart phones to Sphero. The smart phone can be IoT enabled as per my earlier article – Phone as a connected device and receive commands from the internet to light up the Sphero based on signals and various notifications (like important emails), drive a Sphero using the Chariot or use Sphero as a controller to games. You can order one via – http://store.gosphero.com/. The power of Bluetooth gives you a lot of connectivity options to experiment with various other devices.
I am working on a sample where my phone is connected to Sphero via Bluetooth and the phone is also connected to the IoT platform to receive commands from the web, which is interpreted by the smart phone and provided to Sphero for carrying out the required action. I will post the tutorial once ready. I am also looking at a way where the Sphero can directly be connected to the IoT foundation, eliminating using the smart phone as a workaround.
You can also add cognitive capabilities to Sphero, like interact with Sphero using natural language interfaces, like a chat interface or voice commands. Currently you can carry out the experiment via the smart phone which is connected to IoT and the smart phone can use the Sphero SDK to communicate to Sphero via bluetooth protocol.
2. Raspbery Pi 2 – Starter Kit. Here is the list of items which I recommend.
Raspberry Pi 2 with 1 GB RAM
ProtoPi prototyping kit with breadboard and jumper wires for working with GPIO embedded capability
Wifi adapter for internet connection
5V, 2A power adapter
8 GB class 10 microSD card with NOOBS pre-installed
Various Electronic Components, like LEDs, Switches and Registers.
I am working on a sample which capture images, uses the Image services to recognize known images or category of images and send messages to mobile phones if a new image is identified. Stay tuned for more updates.
3. Arduino – Is the widely used IoT device which fueled the IoT economy, you can power the device as well as push the code using a USB cable. You can use an IDE – http://www.arduino.cc/en/main/Software , to develop and push code to the device. Stay tuned for the upcoming ArduinoBoard Zero – http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardZero which provides a powerful 32-bit extension of the Arduino UNO platform. I plan to use it to create a project on wearable technology.
the familiar Node.js. I haven’t yet played with BeagleBoard device and would post my findings once I have evaluated BeagleBoard.