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Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Mozilla's "Project Things" Framework Connects Your Devices to the Web


Anyone can now build their own Things Gateway to control their connected device directly from the web, using Mozilla's "Project Things" framework of software and services.

Mozilla announced "Project Things" last year, with the goal of building a decentralized 'Internet of Things' that is focused on security, privacy, and interoperability.

Through the new framework and by using popular devices such as the Raspberry Pi, anyone can build their Things Gateway. In addition to web-based commands and controls, a new experimental feature shows off the ease of using voice-based commands.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices have become more popular over the last few years, but there is no single standard for how these devices should talk to each other. Each vendor typically creates a custom application that only works with their own brand.

"We believe the future of connected devices should be more like the open web. The future should be decentralized, and should put the power and control into the hands of the people who use those devices. This is why we are committed to defining open standards and frameworks," Mozilla says.

Once a Things Gateway has been set up, it will guide you through the process of connecting to your network and adding your devices. The setup process will provide you with a secure URL that can be used to access and control your connected devices from anywhere.

The latest release of the Things Gateway has new features available:

  • The ability to use the microphone on your computer to issue voice commands
  • A rules engine for setting 'If this, then that' logic for how devices interact with each other
  • A floor-plan view to lay out devices on a map of your home
  • Additional device type support, such as smart plugs, dimmable and colored lights, multi-level switches and sensors, and "virtual" versions of them, in case you don't have a real device
  • A new add-on system for supporting new protocols and devices
  • A new system for safely authorizing third-party applications (using OAuth)

Mozilla is providing a full walkthrough of how to get started on building your own private smart home using a Raspberry Pi. You can view the complete walkthrough here.

In the next release, the Mozilla IoT team plans to create new gateway adapters to connect more existing smart home devices to the Web of Things. Mozilla is also starting work on a collection of software libraries in different programming languages, to help hackers and makers build their own native web things which directly expose the Web Thing API, using existing platforms like Arduino and Android Things. You will then be able to add these things to the gateway by their URL.


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