In lieu of Twitter controlled coffee makers, that possibility of controlling and communicating with devices through SMS created by LTE-M is exhilarating. To challenge ourselves and experiment with new technology, we decided to work on a project incorporating these aspects.
What it does
In its completed guise, the system consists of a Telus IoT starter kit that receives sensor input and sends it Microsoft Azure via LTE-M. From MS Azure, sensor information is translated into a boolean that sends a SMS message via Twilio to the user. The user can then respond to the text to execute a mechanical action back at the Telus IoT starter kit.
However, due to time constraints and technical challenges, the Telus IoT starter kit achieved connectivity to basic MS Azure and the Twilio runs through a local server, to connect to the cellular device.
How we built it
In order to create two-way LTE-M communication with the IoT, we broke our project down into two main tasks: gathering data into Azure, and creating a connection between Azure and the cellular device.
Challenges we ran into
Azure is a particularly challenging and intimidating platform for new programmers. Unfamiliarity with C# also proved a great challenge and hindrance to using MS Azure. Setting up the Telus IoT kit was also filled with many hidden pitfalls. Twilio proved too much of a challenge to feasibly tackle in the time of this event.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Setting up Telus IoT starter kit with MS Azure and exploring the functions and potential of Twilio.
What we learned
We learned about the great potential for long distance remote control through LTE-M and SMS messaging wich could revolutionize future connectivity, allowing greater control of devices, from farther away distances.
What's next for TExtLUS
Down the pipes, TExtLUS will need to see connectivity between MS Azure and Twilio fulfilled for full functionality.