October 29, 2015
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Ionic and the Internet of Things, Part 2

Katie Ginder-Vogel

Ionic and the Internet of Things

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about three cutting-edge companies that are using Ionic for The Internet of Things (IoT). After we published the post, several more developers who are integrating Ionic with the IoT in creative ways reached out to us.

We were equally as blown away by what they’re building, so we wrote a “Part II” to the original. Here’s what these four companies are up to.

Sensors integrate with Ionic for IoT apps

RYSTA, an early stage start-up in Germany, created WiFi connected sensors that can be reached via an API for implementation into apps and websites, without any hardware development. The user can define events that trigger predefined actions to other APIs.

“We are ‘sensors-as-a-service’ or ‘IoT-as-a-service’, so the only default interaction is our open API,” says founder Sven Eliasson. “But for real applications, you need to have a natural user interface, like a mobile app. We are working with Ionic for our apps, and we love it, since we think Ionic is the perfect framework for the quick development of IoT Apps, and it’s easy to learn.”

Eliasson says the RYSTA team wants to create ready-to-use boilerplates to help individuals without much programming knowledge create their first Ionic app with their sensors. “A whole new world of apps is possible with our sensors,” he says. “For example, a temperature and humidity sensor and its app can be a low price terrarium monitor, helping you to keep the conditions perfect for your animals. We work with IFFT, Twilio, and Evernote, so you can trigger actions like emails, SMS messages, push notifications, or even phone calls.”

Duffel bags with integrated Bluetooth beacons

Spoke Digital Agency, an established digital production agency in Stockholm, Sweden, regularly builds hybrid apps for clients. Their current project, DUFFLER, is a durable duffel bag with an integrated Bluetooth beacon whose accompanying Ionic app allows the bag’s owner to keep a travel journal and gain achievements based on geographical position.

Because the mobile app detects the bag and its beacon, it can sound an alarm in the case of a theft or forgotten bag, take temperature and movement readings, and allow the bag to make its own journal posts that say things like, “We’re high up in the Himalayas; it’s minus 30 degrees Celsius; and we’re walking on bumpy terrain.”

“Ionic has helped us efficiently implement the app’s UI,” says co-founder and digital director Eric Svensson. “The code is very structured and easy to read, due to the combination of Ionic’s mobile-app specialized features and Angular JS, which simplifies maintenance and makes it easier for future developers of the app to quickly get started.”

Svensson says the DUFFLER app utilizes ngCordova plug-ins for hybrid functions like Camera and Facebook integration and that the company plans to integrate Ionic Platform Services, like push notifications, in future apps they’re planning.

A platform to develop location-aware apps

In Finland, Proximi.io’s recently launched Proximity Platform (in open beta, with a free subscription available) helps developers build location-aware apps and combine location technologies with IoT devices.

Proximi.io’s Cordova plugin and free Ionic starter app allow Ionic developers to leverage indoor and outdoor navigation technologies.

“Our platform is the first one to bring the IndoorAtlas indoor navigation support to hybrid apps,” says CTO Mika Koskiola. “We also support Apple’s iBeacon; Google’s Eddystone Beacon specifications; and TLM for sensory data, like temperature. Developers can also mix and match different technologies; for example, a developer can change IndoorAtlas floors using iBeacons or Eddystone Beacons.”

Proximi.io customers can also connect navigation technologies with IoT devices using Proximi.io Orchestrator, which is a visual tool to build complex interactions.

Ionic and iBeacons for hands-free check-in

Evunto, a start-up in Tunisia, uses Estimote Beacons and Ionic Android and iOS apps, to provide hands-free check-in at event venues.

“We also simulate an iBeacon device, using an iOS app built with Ionic, for small events like meetups,” adds founder Mohamed Ouederni.

Katie Ginder-Vogel