As anyone who as dabbled in the IoT knows, it is getting device X to work with hub or home controller Y that is one of the biggest problems. Mozilla WebThings sets out to bridge the communication gap and now it has reached version 0.8 it looks a lot more promising than when it was originally announced.


As we reported back in The Things system has two components - the bigger is the Gateway which can run on a range of machines including a Raspberry Pi. You will also need a Zigbee and/or a Z-wave USB dongle if you plan to connect to such devices. If you don't want to use a Pi then you can use a range of other devices, including routers running OpenWrt. The Gateway can run standalone - which is good - but you can also opt to create a subdomain of to allow you to connect using secure tunnelling over the web. Of course, if Mozilla gives up on IoT then this is the part of the package that will break.



As an IoT hub, Things Gateway works reasonably well. You can add devices, control them manually and add rules to automate their behavior. It also supports alarms, and hence is suitable for a security system. You can even upload a floor plan and have a nice graphical user interface. My biggest worry is that my current setup has 50 plus devices of all sorts and I'm not convinced that this web-based UI is going to make it easy to handle a complex system. This is a problem that few of the commercial controllers have managed to solve but WebThings seems particularly cramped.

The second part of the system is the Framework, which as programmers we should find almost as important/exciting as the Gateway. You can use this to build your own devices and add them. This works in Node, Python, Java, Rust and Arduino, so you can pick your language. There are already addins that let you work with GPIO lines, which means you can add sensors and try things out without spending a lot of time on custom code.

To find out more about it see my report Mozilla WebThings Beyond Experimental


More Information

Introducing Mozilla WebThings

Mozilla WebThings Beyond Experimental

Mozilla IoT

Mozilla Things Gateway

Building the Web of Things

MozIoT Wiki

Mozilla IOT/Gateway on GitHub 






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