Integrating IoT features into projects is all fine and good, but this is usually only half the work! The other half involves processing the data and getting some kind of user input. So, in this post, we will look at the features found on the Adafruit IO dashboard!
The Adafruit IO dashboard works with units called blocks that can be used to either display IoT information or obtain user input. The dashboard can also be accessed using common web browsers, which allows for just about any device to use the dashboard. This is really helpful in situations where developing a specific app for a mobile or tablet would be either too difficult or take too long to complete. Luckily, browser-based programs are cross-platform.
The toggle block allows you to add a toggle button to your dashboard that can be used to set the value of a feed. This can be helpful when creating IoT devices such as smart lights, doors, curtains, toasters, and even windows. These devices can be turned on and off using the toggle switch.
The momentary button is similar to the toggle button. It can set the value of a feed to either 0 or 1. However, the value of the feed is only set to 1 while the button is held by the user (hold click). As soon as the user releases the mouse click or touch screen, the button switches off and sets the value of the feed to 0. Like the other button, you can change both the button title and the text inside the button.
The slider is another input that works in a near identical way to potentiometers where the value of the feed bound to the slider is equal to the sliders position. Sliders are useful for controlling devices that have analog states, such as volume, voltage level, and brightness.
The gauge is an output that shows the latest value of a feed between two points: a minimum and a maximum. The gauge is useful for displaying information such as water level, fuel, speed, quantity remaining, and many other analog readings.
Text displays the latest value of a feed and is useful for displaying values such as button states and messages from IoT devices.
The stream is a block that is similar to the text block, but instead of showing just the latest value of a feed, the stream shows many past values, too. The stream also shows the time a feed value changed and can show errors. Streams are very helpful for monitoring events.
The image block can be used to display images sent to a feed (the feed history MUST be disabled). This could be used in CCTV monitoring systems, wildlife camera systems, and generic camera monitoring.
The line chart is used to display either live or historic data from a feed and is incredibly useful when you need to see data and how it relates to time. This could be used for temperature logging, humidity logging, levels of fluids, power remaining in a battery, gas monitoring, and much more.
The color picker is an input block that allows you to pick a color. The chosen color’s hex value is sent to a feed. This is useful for controlling RGB systems such as LED strip lights and room lights where colors can be changed.
The map block is a very useful block that can be used to point to a specific GPS location defined in a feed. This could be used in IoT tracking, where IoT devices constantly transmit their GPS location. The dashboard could display the location in real-time. The map can also be used to display satellite imagery, street view, and high contrast.
The remote is an input block that behaves like a remote control and has predefined buttons such as volume adjustment, setup, and enter. The value of the buttons (0 to 26) are then sent to the associated feed, which can be used by IoT devices to control devices and adjust analog outputs such as volume and LED brightness. The remote could also be used to control robots and electromechanical devices.