Firefox-developer Mozilla has officially released a new version of Things Gateway, the software that converts the tiny PC Raspberry Pi into a device for controlling connected devices from the Web.
It was last year that Mozilla had released a prototype of Things Gateway under its Project Things launch. The latter revolves around the implementation of the proposed Web of Things standard that incorporates Internet technologies to manage different vendors’ IoT offerings which don’t always work together.
The official release has a number of new features, such as using voice commands from a computer’s mic, an IFTTT-like rules engine, and a floor-plan map of devices in the home.
It also has support for different devices, including smart plugs, dimmable and colored lights, and multi-level switches and sensors.
Here are excerpts from a post on the official Mozilla Website:
The first thing to do is to get your hands on a Raspberry Pi single board computer. The latest Raspberry Pi 3 has WiFi and Bluetooth support built in, as well as access to GPIO ports for direct hardware connections. This is not essential as you can use alternative developer boards, or even your laptop or desktop computer, but it currently provides the best experience.
If you want to use smart home devices using other protocols like Zigbee or Z-Wave, you will need to invest in USB dongles. For Zigbee we currently support the Digi XStick (ZB mesh version). For Z-Wave you should be able to use any OpenZWave compatible dongle, but so far we have only tested the Sigma Designs UZB Stick and the Aeotec Z-Stick (Gen5). Be sure to get the correct device for your region as Z-Wave operating frequencies can vary between countries.
You’ll also need a microSD card to flash the software onto! We recommend at least 4GB.
Then there’s the “things” themselves. The gateway already supports many different smart plugs, sensors and smart bulbs from lots of different brands using Zigbee, Z-Wave and WiFi. Take a look at the wiki for devices which have already been tested. If you would like to contribute, we are always looking for volunteers to help us test more devices. Let us know what other devices you’d like to see working and consider building your own adapter add-on to make it work! (see later).
If you’re not quite ready to splash out on all this hardware, but you want to try out the gateway software, there’s now a Virtual Things add-on you can install to add virtual things to your gateway.
Next you’ll need to download the Things Gateway 0.3 software image for the Raspberry Pi and flash it onto your SD card. There are various ways of doing this but Etcher is a graphical application for Windows, Linux and MacOS which makes it easy and safe to do.
If you want to experiment with the gateway software on your laptop or desktop computer, you can follow the instructions on GitHub to download and build it yourself. We also have an experimental OpenWrt package and support for more platforms is coming soon. Get in touch if you’re targeting a different platform.
Image Credit: Mozilla