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real-world integration

Since your website exists on the internet, any device that connects to the internet or can send an SMS can communicate bidirectionally with your site. Most wireless data-based systems (i.e. not SMS) use a small battery powered GPRS modem to connect to the internet, though HSDPA, EDGE or 3G allow greater data transfer speeds. This kind of system is called machine-to-machine or M2M and allows your website to take action and make the break from the virtual world to the real one!

data in

Incoming data, whether analogue (a temperature reading) or binary (on / off), can be measured remotely at the hardware level by a physical device and then logged for viewing at your convenience on your website. This scenario can be used for monitoring remote facilities in real-time for tracking purposes or to raise appropriate alarms and contact response teams by email and SMS. It is this technology that allows tracking companies to monitor the current GPS location of their assets on a map.

data out

In reverse, signals or data can be sent from your website to a device in order to perform all kinds of actions. For example, a device sending flow rate data to your website may trigger a user-defined alarm on the website and respond with a command to switch off the relevant valve back on site. Signals from your website could do anything, from switching on / off your house lights to sending live messages to a large format electronic billboard in another country.

case study - cellconsys.com

In 2010, Cellconsys required the ability to track gas usage for a corporate client to prevent theft and enable more efficient sales via a prepaid system. Partnering with a third party for the hardware side, I was able to collect data from remote devices and log the data for display in a variety of graphical formats in an up-to-date dashboard. Graphical buttons on the website also allowed administrators to open and close valves straight from their laptops when required.

A wireless GPRS modem that interfaces between electronics and the internet.
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