Thingsee One – Internet of Things made easy

Thingsee One reviewWay back in August I introduced you to Thingsee One, the little Internet of Things (IoT) gadget that could start as a gateway to the connected device world as well as drawing developers to push it a little more. I have had the honour of having One around for a while and I am hooked.

Haltian, the company behind Thingsee, were kind enough to send me a One down to London, UK from Finland and, not only that, even arranged a vid-call to discuss how this IoT multi-tool can be used and how to set it up. Here I must give a huge shout-out to Paulo who has been really patient and helpful all the way through my experience with Thingsee One.

Speaking as someone with minimal (read: hardly any) programming experience I can definitely say that the Thingsee One is not only easy to use and ‘programme’ but it has made me want to learn more.

Thingsee One design

The rugged little Thingsee is certainly built for purpose.

Thingsee One portIts weatherproof outer features a number of points where it can be strapped, screwed or hung in place.

The microUSB slot is protected by a little flap and to get to anything else means removing 6 screws – but Thingsee even include a branded screwdriver for that.

Thingsee One tabI like the nice touch of the fabric Thingsee label too.

The screen is clear and the single button on one side, and touchscreen on the other, method of navigating the device’s menu is easy once you get used to it.

Thingsee One set-up

Like everything about the Thingsee One, setting it to use is simple. In fact, I had it connected to my Wi-Fi before the video call came through.

All it takes is for you to plug the Thingsee One in to a computer and head over to the Thingsee App site.

thingsee one deviceHere, once registered, you’ll not only be able to set your One’s connectivity, but also instruct it what to do. This is your Thingsee dashboard.

thingsee settingsClicking in to a device (you can register more than one) you can set up to use a SIM card or Wi-Fi. This involves clicking ‘Settings’ and then updating the Cloud.JSN file – the wizard practically does it for you – and then your Thingsee is set-up. As easy as that.

Thingsee One purposes

This is the whole point of Thingsee One really isn’t it?

I’ve had my loan One used as a Motion Tracker most recently but I also gave it a spin as a Theft Alarm which warns me when it has been taken out of a ‘safe zone’ and then allows me to track it.

The Motion Tracker purpose I tweaked so that it would register being carried in a bag so I just made the sensor settings be a little more sensitive.

My girlfriend borrowed one of my laptop bags so I left Thingsee in there and it was interesting to plot where she had been. It was made better when she later told me how many times she had gotten lost – I could already tell by how many times she had gone around in circles 😉

But, so as not to embarrass her any further, here is a snapshot of my typical day.

trackingYou can see at the bottom my bag, and therefore Thingsee, is stationary so it had gone in to ‘Sleep Mode’ from 9:04am and then, at 5:14 it was on the move. This was me preparing to escape… errr… leave the office building.

The GPS in Thingsee is very accurate and, although it might be a little noticeable in a small bag, Thingsee could easily be fitted to a car, boat, or in luggage to allow you to track its whereabouts.

thingsee purposesTo change Thingsee’s purpose is as simple as selecting one of the preset ones from the menu or, you can set your own up.

As you can see, I modified the Motion Tracker, and Theft Alarm & Tracker purposes, but all the rest I left as-is for testing.

The Theft Alarm & Tracker involves setting up a geofence. Now, this might sound tricky but all you have to do is select your safe area.

thingsee geofenceFor my test I chose an area around my neighbourhood so I entered my postcode and then, using the draw tool on the map, set up a perimeter. If Thingsee then goes past this perimeter I will be notified and then be able to track where Thingsee goes.

Alternatively, you could set it up to tell you when it has entered the geofenced area. I had considered having it set to send a message which would trigger the automated plug on the kettle so that there would be fresh coffee waiting for me when I got home.

You soon get drawn into thinking what else Thingsee could do and, as changing settings and purposes is no more tricky than setting up a ITTT recipe, the possibilities just grow. Do you go windsurfing or driving off-road? There’s already test cases for those!

Thingsee One review conclusion

This has been my first taste of actually programming an IoT device. Granted, I have not really got my sleeves rolled up and coded anything, but as there is a growing community of Thingsee users, there will be plenty of pre-programmed purposes to choose from and then customise for your own use.

My time with the Thingsee One has been faultless apart from 2G connectivity disappeared. This was simply sorted by clearing the unit’s SD card which automatically restores when rebooted.

Thingsee One is a sensor-packed IoT multi-tool that has already got Wi-Fi, 2G and Bluetooth connectivity right out of the box. Whether this will be your first steps in to the Internet of Things or you are looking to develop your programming chops, Thingsee is the One.

Thingsee One price and availability

buy thingsee oneYou can buy Thingsee One now in either grey or orange direct from the Thingsee website for €299.00.