The magnetically connected littleBits electronics library got a new internet-connected addition. The new Internet of Things cloudBit module connects all your projects to internet-scripting service, IFTTT.
The new cloudBit module connects to your Wi-Fi network and creates a connection between any littleBit projects your smartphone, IFTTT, and nearly any Internet of Things devices you may own.
“The Internet of Things in particular is growing super fast and lots of money is being injected into it. But it’s more of the same finished product prescribed behavior that’s parachuted onto people,” says littleBits founder and CEO, Ayah Bdeir. “We are essentially launching a bit that will create an open platform out of the Internet of Things so that anybody can invent their own connected devices.”
The cloudBit snaps to the rest of the littleBits library of modules via magnets and can be used to create a connected device out of nearly everything in your home. “We want to enable people to take their current air conditioner (or other devices) and make it internet connected. You want to create a new connected whatever it is, you should be able to do that,” Bdeir told TNW.
To that end, the bit can send and receive instructions from the cloud and because of analog nature of some of the bits available from littleBits, controls like dimming bulbs or lowering blinds only partially can be achieved. Most off-the-shelf connected solutions are tied to a single company. You buy the use the Wink app with the Aros smart air conditioner. The cloudBits solution can work with nearly anything which is what makes it so intriguing. You can literally create your own niche solution.
Setting up the cloudBit took me about three minutes. Like the rest of the littleBits solutions, all I had to do was find the bits I needed and I was creating my own connected device. With IFTTT integration, you have access to a powerful online solution that can be tied to anything in your home. For example, If you need to know how much cat food you have left, you could set up a sensor that connects to the cloudBit and gives you a notification when a bag of food gets below a certain weight.
The company also announced that beginning in August, customers will be able to purchase littleBits at Radio Shack. The retailer has recently been very bullish on selling items for the maker crowd including the Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
If you’ve already invested in littleBits modules, the cloudBit is available today for $59. For those new to the platform, a starter kit called the Cloud Bundle is available for $99.
Published July 23, 2014 — 14:00 UTC