This weekend I’m headed to WordCamp Minneapolis to give a lightning talk titled “Making The Internet of Things WordPress Smart” – a version of a longer talk I’m giving at WordCamp Maine next month.
I’ve spoken at WordCamps in the past on more business-related topics (Using Data to Power The User Experience) but this year I decided if I was going to travel, I wanted to talk about something that was a little off the beaten path, but also fun! Playing with (and building) internet-connected devices has been a personal interest for a while, and it seemed like a natural extension to connect that with WordPress.
In between working on the SEO Editor and a few other plugins we have in the works with our team, I came across littleBits – a company that sells snap-together electronic “bits” that allow you to rapidly prototype ideas. They even have a wifi-enabled piece (called a CloudBit) complete with an API that lets you control your creations remotely.
There are plenty of platforms you could integrate with WordPress – from the home automation platform SmartThings, to building something with an Arduino board or Spark.io, but littleBits seemed like the quickest and easiest way to show people just what might be possible to build with WordPress.
So here we have it – we just released the first version of the littleBits plugin on WordPress.org. Right now you can connect a CloudBit to your WordPress site and light up an LED every time you get a new comment on your site! This is just a first prototype – we’ll be building out more integrations with WP action hooks over the next few days and weeks, with hopes to keep this as flexible as possible.
For those looking for quick ideas of just what might be possible with littleBits + WordPress, you could build things that:
- Light up every time you get a new comment
- Light up every time you get a new sale in WooCommerce
- Set a daily sales goal in WooCommerce & light up or wave a flag every time you reach it.
- Light up when your site goes down (you can already do this using IFTTT’s email trigger + Jetpack Monitor // not part of this plugin)
- Keep a counter of how many E-Commerce transactions you’ve had today in WooCommerce
These are just some ideas of where we’d like to take this, but you can create virtually anything that has an action hook to work with. The plugin is up on GitHub, so if there’s an integration you want included, just send us a pull request!