Making Things Talk: Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Sep 28, 2007 - Computers - 426 pages
9 Reviews

Building electronic projects that interact with the physical world is good fun. But when devices that you've built start to talk to each other, things really start to get interesting. Through a series of simple projects, you'll learn how to get your creations to communicate with one another by forming networks of smart devices that carry on conversations with you and your environment. Whether you need to plug some sensors in your home to the Internet or create a device that can interact wirelessly with other creations, Making Things Talk explains exactly what you need.

This book is perfect for people with little technical training but a lot of interest. Maybe you're a science teacher who wants to show students how to monitor weather conditions at several locations at once, or a sculptor who wants to stage a room of choreographed mechanical sculptures. Making Things Talk demonstrates that once you figure out how objects communicate -- whether they're microcontroller-powered devices, email programs, or networked databases -- you can get them to interact.

Each chapter in contains instructions on how to build working projects that help you do just that. You will:

  • Make your pet's bed send you email
  • Make your own seesaw game controller that communicates over the Internet
  • Learn how to use ZigBee and Bluetooth radios to transmit sensor data wirelessly
  • Set up communication between microcontrollers, personal computers, and web servers using three easy-to-program, open source environments: Arduino/Wiring, Processing, and PHP.
  • Write programs to send data across the Internet based on physical activity in your home, office, or backyard
  • And much more
With a little electronics know-how, basic (not necessarily in BASIC) programming skills, a couple of inexpensive microcontroller kits and some network modules to make them communicate using Ethernet, ZigBee, and Bluetooth, you can get started on these projects right away. With Making Things Talk, the possibilities are practically endless.
 

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Excellent learning resource

User Review  - sonicallyadept - Overstock.com

I was introduced to this book briefly by my microcontrollers professor. We were learning about the Arduino family for the first time and this book really made things easy. There are lots of neat and ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Wonderful. A beautiful book in terms of quality (photography, etc) and a useful guide to the world of micro-controllers. Books that span categories like this are rare and to be treasured.

Contents

Preface
ix
The Tools
17
The Simplest Network
49
A More Complex Network
81
Conclusion
112
Look Ma No Computer
115
Introducing Network Modules
116
Hello Internet
118
Sessionless Networks
221
No Microcontroller
222
Whos Out There? Broadcast Messages
223
Reporting Toxic Chemicals in the Shop
228
Directed Messages
246
Relaying Solar Cell Data Wirelessly
250
Conclusion
259
How to Locate Almost Anything
261

An Embedded Network Client Application
126
Programming and Troubleshooting Tools
139
Conclusion
145
Communicating in Near Real Time
147
Interactive Systems and Feedback Loops
148
Sockets Sessions
149
A Networked Game
150
Conclusion
174
Wireless Communication
177
Why Isnt Everything Wireless?
178
Infrared and Radio
179
Infrared TransmitterReceiver Pair
181
Radio TransmitterReceiver Pair
186
Duplex Radio Transmission
193
An XBee Serial Terminal
198
Bluetooth Transceivers
207
What About WiFi?
217
Conclusion
218
Network Location and Physical Location
262
Determining Distance
265
Infrared Distance Ranger Example
266
Ultrasonic Distance Ranger Example
268
Reading Received Signal Strength Using XBee Radios
273
Reading Received Signal Strength Using Bluetooth Radios
276
Determining Position Through Trilateration
277
Reading the GPS Serial Protocol
278
Determining Orientation
284
Determining Attitude Using an Accelerometer
288
Conclusion
293
Identification
295
Other Useful Protocols
344
Mobile Phone Application Development
352
New Tools
358
Program Listings
369
Index
419
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Tom Igoe teaches courses in physical computing and networking, exploring ways to allow digital technologies to sense and respond to a wider range of human physical expression. Coming from a background in theatre, his work centers on physical interaction related to live performance and public space. Along with Dan O'Sullivan, he co-authored the book "Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers," which has been adopted by numerous digital art and design programs around the world. Projects include a series of networked banquet table centerpieces and musical instruments; an email clock; and a series of interactive dioramas, created in collaboration with M.R. Petit. He has consulted for The American Museum of the Moving Image, EAR Studio, Diller + Scofidio Architects, Eos Orchestra, and others. He hopes someday to work with monkeys, as well.

Bibliographic information