Environmental Monitoring with the Tessel 2

Contributors: rwaldron
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Phant is No Longer in Operation

Unfortunately Phant, our data-streaming service, is no longer in service. The system has reached capacity and, like a less-adventurous Cassini, has plunged conclusively into a fiery and permanent retirement. There are several other maker-friendly, data-streaming services and/or IoT platforms available as alternatives. The three we recommend are Blynk, ThingSpeak, and Cayenne. You can read our blog post on the topic for an overview and helpful links for each platform. The code in this tutorial will need to be adjusted to work with the other data streams.

In the world of tomorrow, everything in our homes will be connected. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the real-world manifestation of that vision. The world of IoT includes network-connected appliances that have not, until now, had any such sophisticated capabilities.

The Nest product line, which started with intuitive smart thermostats and is expanding into other products, is one set of offerings in a growing market of so-called "smart home" offerings. Amazon's Echo, which combines several home integration aspects into a single platform, is another.

Our Own Smart Monitoring Device

There are many types of smart-home systems. Some remotely control a home device, like automatically turning lights on or off at certain times. Others optimize the behaviors of home systems, perhaps switching a home's electrical supply between solar and grid power at different times of the day or season.

In this tutorial, we'll hone in on the monitoring aspect of smart systems. We're going to build an air-conditioning monitoring device to collect information and store it in the cloud.

Our monitoring device will be able to detect the following over time:

  • Whether the air conditioner is ON or OFF
  • Temperature
  • Relative humidity
  • Air pressure

Data points from the sensors in the device will be uploaded to and stored in Sparkfun's Phant-powered data.sparkfun.com service.