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Mozilla launches home IoT platform designed for Raspberry Pi

30 Apr 2019

Mozilla’s internet of things (IoT) team has finally matured its IoT development platform, with the help of plenty of interest from the developer and maker communities.

Mozilla WebThings is an open platform for monitoring and controlling devices over the internet – particularly devices connected to IoT. It all runs through the beauty of Raspberry Pi.

The platform has two parts: WebThings Gateway, which is software for smart home gateways that are focused on privacy, security, and working with devices that operate with each other; and WebThings Framework, which is a collection of software components that help developers build their own web things.

If you already use a Things Gateway, it should have automatically updated to WebThings Gateway 0.8. WebThings Gateway is also available for download.

What can it do? There are features that allow you to log data from all of your smart home devices. Basically if you want to know how your smart plugs are managing energy usage of appliances, or how many times the door was opened and closed while you were out, logging will show it all in neat graphs (hours, days or even weeks). 

Mozilla says the log features is still being tinkered with, but the log data does paint a picture of how your smart home devices are operating, what they’re collecting, and if they should really be sharing that data with third parties.

WebThings Gateway also features an alarms capability for devices like burglar alarms and smoke alarms.

“This means you can now check whether an alarm is currently active, and configure rules to notify you if an alarm is triggered while you’re away from home,” Mozilla explains.

Network settings are also easier to manage. Mozilla says: “In previous releases, moving your gateway from one wireless network to another when the previous Wi-Fi access point was still active could not be done without console access and command line changes directly on the Raspberry Pi."

“With the 0.8 release, it is now possible to re-configure your gateway’s network settings from the web interface. These new settings can be found under Settings – Network. You can either configure the Ethernet port (with a dynamic or static IP address) or re-scan available wireless networks and change the Wi-Fi access point that the gateway is connected to.”

And finally, Mozilla is working on a WebThings Gateway aimed at home wireless routers – but it isn’t giving too much away just yet. It expects to announce more in the coming weeks.

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