Code-free IoT platform is open to control just anything

January 28, 2016 // By Julien Happich
WiFiThing aims to put on the market a code-free Internet of Things (IoT) platform that the British startup hopes will allow just about anyone to connect smart devices around their home easily, without being tied to one brand or to one set of applications.

The open source IoT solution put forward on Kickstarter consists of a WiFi-enabled master board that monitors and control slave boards through a low-power ISM radio connection. Masters can control up to eight slave devices, four groups of FS20 radiator valves and 10 Orvibo Smart Sockets. Designed in sleek white plastic enclosures, both the master and slaves have over 20 I/O pins including digital and analog input and output. What's more, the WiFithing slaves can communicate using I 2C. More capabilities are under development, like Modbus.

Because the slave devices are controlled through the WiFi-enabled master, users can still control their appliances from their smartphone, communicating directly with the master (even in the case they lose their Internet connection).

The bare WiFiThing master and slave side by side.

The company has created 60 built-in functions in the master and slave devices and each function has up to four parameters. All these are configured via the company’s secure webserver, using simple drop down menus. These functions give end-users full control over the devices, including controlling the radios, setting up and reading/writing to pins, storing and doing calculations on data, conditional functions, timers and communications with the web server.

Beyond the initial hardware purchase, the code-free aspect comes at a cost, that of using WiFithing’s website and web App for a small monthly fee, £1 per month after the first 3 months free of charge.

But since all the code on WiFiThing and controlling the slaves is open source and documented, there is still the option for any confident programmer to recode their WiFiThing units to point to their own website, or alternatively to use the company’s secure API to send and receive settings and data from their WiFiThing and slaves, either from a desktop application or another website.

You could even modify the original code or create your own and update your devices over the air. For developers, the company provides