“Project Things” launches to bring IoT devices together

February 12, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Firefox internet browser maker Mozilla (Mountain View, CA) has announced an open framework for connecting IoT and smart home devices to the web.

"Project Things" is being offered as a framework of software and services that can "bridge the communication gap" between connected devices. With the framework, the company says, anyone with a Raspberry Pi can now build their own "Things Gateway" to control their connected device directly from the web.

The new Things Gateway is designed to help address the challenge of dealing with the various communications protocols used by today's IoT devices. It uses 'adapters' to add extra wireless protocols to the Raspberry Pi, with the latest version including built-in adapters for ZigBee and Z-Wave, as well as adaptor add-ons for devices and products from various commercial brands.

"We believe the future of connected devices should be more like the open web," says the company. "The future should be decentralized, and should put the power and control into the hands of the people who use those devices. This is why we are committed to defining open standards and frameworks."

In addition to the gateway, the project includes a collection of cloud services to help manage a large number of IoT devices over a wide geographic area, as well as a framework of reusable software components to help create IoT devices that directly connect to the "Web of Things" - what the company says is about creating a decentralized Internet of Things by making Things linkable and discoverable on the web, and defining standard data models and application programming interfaces (APIs) to make them interoperable.

To get started on building their own Things Gateway, users can download Mozilla's Things Gateway software image, flash it onto an SD card, and then plug the SD card into their Raspberry Pi along with any USB dongles for additional required wireless protocols. Users can then access the gateway via their web browser to set up a secure web address, and pair devices with the gateway and control them from their browser using the built-in web app.


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