10 things to enable the makers: October 2016 round-up

By | 7 minute read | October 17, 2016

IoT and learning - a chalkboard

Here are ten cool things makers can do, try, buy, and attend to quickly and easily create and deploy IoT apps with Bluemix and Watson IoT Platform.

1. Element14 launches Raspberry Pi charged IoT Learner Kit

element14 is now shipping the first IoT Learner Kit developed in collaboration with IBM. The kit provides an end-to-end learning solution for makers, hardware and software developers and students looking to get started with IoT development and can be used in conjunction with IBM’s Coursera course: A Developer`s Guide to Internet of Things (IoT).  The IoT learner kit has been built around the Raspberry Pi3 and Raspberry Pi sense hat, which have fuelled the maker culture and become a symbol for creativity and innovation for the Internet of things. By accessing the IoT space through the kits hardware, and with full support from the IBM course, developers will be able to learn the skills required for IoT development; create innovative projects; and bring innovative projects into commercial application. The element14 IoT Learner Kit is available from Farnell element14 in Europe, Newark element14 in North America and element14 in Asia. You can get started with A Developer’s Guide to IoT from IBM and Coursera, and explore the course before purchase. The kit also provides a 90 day free trial for the Bluemix, a cloud development platform giving access to the IBM Watson IoT Platform and other services.

Here’s the link where you can purchase the element14 IoT Learner Kit.

2. Calling all makers: can you build an IoT app in 10 minutes or less?

Build an app in 10 minutes, fight epidemics, capture unstructured video data, and build a natural language chatbot. Those are just a few of the things a developer can do at the Watson Developer Conference in San Francisco, Nov 9-10. Join 1,000 builders, creators and startup founders at the Watson Developer Conference in San Francisco on November 9. The schedule is packed with technical talks from people like Chris Messina at Uber and Devarshi Shah at Twilio. Learn practical ways to infuse artificial intelligence, like Watson, into your projects, brainstorm one-on-one with speakers, check out the hands-on labs and coding challenges focused on visual recognition, chat bots, and more. Make the most of it at #WatsonDevCon. Register now with code GOWATSON for 15% off your ticket.

3. Put the genius of Watson in your apps: check out the collection of cognitive IoT recipes

Imagine a world where artificial intelligence and cognitive computing work in tandem with humans. Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help to facilitate interactions between users and systems. A system can be a device, it can be something that is installed in the house, a huge operating system that resides in a corporate or industrial setting, a mobile phone, or a large scale cloud application with which a person or set of people needs to interact. IBM has created an, API for connecting unstructured data with Watson’s computing prowess. Cognitive APIs deliver natural-language processing, machine-learning capabilities, text analytics, and video and image analytics to help you realize the potential of the cognitive era with Watson IoT. The Watson APIs for IoT help accelerate the development of cognitive IoT solutions and services on Watson IoT. Test your cognitive skills with these developerWorks recipes that include code and best practice approaches to solving IoT challenges with Watson’s Natural Language APIs.

Check out the collection of cognitive IoT recipes to try now.

4. By popular demand, we’re sharing the step by step guide to creating your own Cognitive Candy Dispenser

Based on the popularity of Cognitive Candy in our last issue of IoT Sense, we’re sharing Igor Ramos’ step by step guide on how to create your own Cognitive Candy dispenser. Here’s how Candy is made.


  • Candy Dev Tools includes the Candy Brain Editor and Brain Tap (so you can type instead of speaking to Candy).
  • CandyCloud: cloud application is providing remote management, inbound connections, etc. Stretch goal / under development.
  • CandyOS is the operating system inside Candy. It manages the user interaction logic and integrations with the outer world. It’s a node.js program written in Node-RED.

Speech Recognition & Synthesis:

  • Candy relies on external Speech libraries. You have options here: you can use free open source libraries like PocketSphinx & eSpeak or you may sign-up for an online service like IBM Watson.


  • Candy is based on the Raspberry Pi. Its enclosure is 3D printed. It has wifi, built-in speaker, microphone, buttons, and LEDs.
  • A Candy Kit contains a Raspberry Pi, microSD card, power supply, speaker, microphone, button & LEDs circuit board, audio amplifier, enclosure, and mounting hardware.

Follow the step by step instructions to learn how to build Cognitive Candy. Try it now.

5. Industrial Use Case and Tutorial: Intel® and the IBM Watson IoT Platform – CodeProject

This guide describes the implementation of an industrial use case using Intel® IoT Gateway and the IBM Watson* IoT Platform running on IBM Bluemix*. The building blocks for implementing this use case are described in Connecting to the IBM Watson* IoT Platform with Intel® Gateway IoT Software Suites. That guide covers setting up an Intel IoT Gateway, connecting sensors, setting up the IBM Watson IoT Platform running on Bluemix, and connecting the gateway to the Watson IoT Platform so that you can send real-time sensor data to the cloud for storage and processing.

Learn more about the Industrial Use Case and Tutorial.

6. Recipe: Handling alerts and device actions with Edge Analytics and Watson IoT Platform

This recipe is a continuation of the initial Edge Analytics recipe featured in last month’s IoT Sense Newseltter. In this recipe, you will learn how to define Edge rule with alerts to push on to Gateway (Raspberry Pi 3); use Raspberry Pi 3 to invoke the action associated with alert on the attached device (Arduino Uno); enable the Arduino Uno to execute the invoked action on itself. To proceed with this recipe, it’s expected that you have already used the Edge Analytics recipe to familiarize yourself with the installation and usage of DGLux Tool, Installing DS Links in DGLux Tool, Configuring DS link IBM EAA in DGLux Tool to get connected to IBM Watson IoT Platform.

You can find the new Edge Analytics recipe here.

7. Tutorial Video: Connect a device to Watson IoT Platform and write an app to read and display data

Watch Josef Reisinger walk you through how to connect an IoT device, like a Raspberry Pi, to the Watson IoT Platform, and use the MQTT library Mosquitto to send data to the Watson IoT Platform.

Watch the video.

8. Sending command to devices with a switch capability to turn on/off based on a rule or a condition

SmartThings allow users to connect to their devices via small program called SmartApps. The SmartApps will call API to control the device. These API access need to be authenticated and authorized when integrate with external system. All SmartApps APIs are authenticated using OAuth2. This recipe shows how to control SmartThings devices (i.e. lights or switches) through a Web Services enabled SmartApp from Node-RED.

SmartThings Recipe.

9. Turn your smartphone into a sensor and an actuator

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the growing range of Internet-connected devices that capture or generate an enormous amount of information every day. For consumers, these devices include mobile phones, sports wearables, home heating and air conditioning systems, and more. In an industrial setting, these devices and sensors can be found in manufacturing equipment, the supply chain, and in-vehicle components. IoT can make life easier for all of us. To easily develop and deploy IoT solutions of all sizes, IBM created the IBM Watson IoT Platform. In this tutorial, you will learn how you can use the Watson IoT Platform to build a simple IoT solution by turning your smartphone into a sensor (reading and sending data) but also into an actuator (reading and acting on data).

View the new tutorial.

10. Discover 100s of IoT tutorials and recipes

Check out the hundreds of IoT recipes available on the IBM developerWorks community site. No matter what your interests are, there is bound to be a recipe to spark your interest. After you try them out, consider letting us know how you used the recipe.

Discover more recipes.

Tell us your story

Community, collaboration and communication is at the heart of IBM’s developer ecosystem. Our goal is to continuously innovate, inspire and strengthen our partnerships with IoT providers and individual users and advocates. We want to hear from you – share your thoughts, tell us about your innovative projects, and if we can, we will feature your responses in upcoming issues of our Watson IoT Platform publications. To this end, we invite you to provide an abstract describing your Watson IoT Platform project. If you have something you’d like to shout about, or a story you think will inspire others to further innovation using the Watson IoT Platform, we’d like to hear about it.

Contact us to tell your story.