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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fabryq: Using Phones as Gateways to Prototype Internet of Things Applications Using Web Scripting

  • Author(s): McGrath, Will;
  • Etemadi, Mozziyar;
  • Roy, Shuvo;
  • Hartmann, Bjoern
  • et al.

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Ubiquitous computing devices are often size- and power-constrained, which prevents them from directly connecting to the Internet. An increasingly common pattern is therefore to interpose a smart phone as a network gateway, and to deliver GUIs for such devices. Implementing the pipeline from embedded device through a phone application to the Internet requires a complex and disjoint set of languages and APIs. We present fabryq, a platform that simplifies the prototyping and deployment of such applications. fabryq uses smartphones as bridges that connect devices using the short range wireless technology, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), to the Internet. Developers only write code in one language (Javascript) and one location (a server) to communicate with their device. We introduce aprotocol proxy programming model to control remote devices; and a capability-based hardware abstraction approach that supports scaling from a single prototype device to a deployment of multiple devices. To illustrate the utility of our platform, we show example applications implemented by authors and users, and describe μfabryq, a BLE prototyping API similar to Arduino, built with fabryq.

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