Progressive Web Apps and the IoT
In recent years, new web standards and APIs have allowed for the creation of Progressive Web Apps, a combination of the best features of native applications and browser-based apps. At the same time, new networking protocols and the rise of inexpensive hardware platforms have created an Internet of Things that we can actually use today.
For us at Iced Dev, the next logical step was to combine these two concepts. And since we pride ourselves on building applications for the open web, we are pleased to present PageNodes, an open source, offline, decentralized, and easy to use framework that keeps IoT ownership in the user's hands.
We have been working on PageNodes since October of 2015, originally a fork of the user interface from IBM's Node-Red project which runs IoT processes in Nodejs. We then built a new flow execution engine completely in browser which removes the need of maintaining external services. IBM did an amazing job with creating a social atmosphere for developing inter machine messaging; we wanted to scale that concept out infinitely by removing any friction in getting started.
PageNodes uses the flow-based programming idea of node-red, with it’s full functionality packaged completely in the browser, to create a great tool for anyone to structure tasks for all their IoT needs. With browser technology continuing to push the boundaries of what’s possible, the PageNodes experience will only become richer as we turn those new developments into new features.
Checkout this quick intro video:
The world is becoming obsessed with smart devices. One of our goals with pagenodes is to use the smartest and most widely used device we have at our disposal: our browsers!
Modern web browsers provide us capabilities we can use with PageNodes today:
- Geolocation: Customize flows based on location
- Video/Camera Access: Snap pictures with your web cam and inject them into your data flows.
- Web RTC Data Channels: Communicate directly to other users via peer-to-peer messaging. No more relaying messages through third party services.
- Voice Rec / Text-to-speech: Speak directly to your browser, and have it speak back to you.
- Web USB: Use WebUSB enabled hardware directly from the browser without the need for browser plugins giving us full access to the johnny-five robotics API.
- And of course networking transports such as socket.io, meshblu, Server Sent Events, and others!
Here are a few exciting features on the horizon as well:
- Web Bluetooth: Allows us to connect to Bluetooth Low Energy devices allowing our browser to become our conduit to multiple devices.
- Power Managemen:t Will allow us to control devices and how they are turned on and off around us. Imagine using the web browser on your phone to control when your phone turns on Airplane mode, or using your location to silence your phone!
- Web Push: Using cloud messaging to send ecrypted payloads from external services to your data flows.
For us, one of the most exciting aspects of pushing the development of browser-based tech is seeing what it can do for low-resource computing devices. PageNodes expands the functionality of devices like the Chromebook and Raspberry Pi and allows them to interact with other devices around them.
So enough rambling, try out PageNodes.com today!