Although the Internet of Things is growing fast, currently there are only a few products in the market that are IoT-Enabled (Why or what the latter actually means, in terms of features and services, could be a discussion on a new post!). So, how about hacking existing products and adding the essential components/functionality for enabling communication with the Internet?
This is exactly what Simone Marra from openPicus thought before making this nice hack of an IKEA RGB Led Strip. The Led Strip comes by default with a controller that allows users to set the LED colors. Simone thought that it would be cooler to add a microcontroller with an embedded WebServer so that he could control the LED colors remotely! He used the famous Flyport WiFi module that features an embedded WebServer. Flyport WiFi can create ad-hoc WiFi network so that a user can connect directly through a mobile device or alternatively connect to an existing WiFi network so that users could connect from anywhere.
Here is a nice video demonstration of the hack:
The process for hacking the LED strip and the Flyport software are available here.
Providing Internet connectivity to the LED strip does not enable only remote configuring: With some code modifications, the strip could change the LED color based on the weather prognosis!
What’s the moral behind this hack? There is a great potential for bringing Internet connectivity to products. Makers and hackers recognise use cases (that vary from remote configuration to utilisation of information on web resources) and use existing tools to IoT-enable products. It is the right time that vendors and product manufacturers start embedding Internet functionality into their products!