Share a Dashboard
In a previous post we explored the different blocks available on your Adafruit IO dashboard, all of which allow users to interact with IoT devices and view data. But dashboards do not have to be private to an individual. They can be shared! Sharing a dashboard allows others with an internet connection and a compatible browser to view your dashboard. To share a dashboard, start by going to your dashboard and looking for the following list of icons on the top right of the page.
From this menu, click the padlock icon
Different browsers will display this next stage slightly differently, and the image below shows the message shown to Chrome users. The message warns that making dashboards public also makes feeds public, but this should not be an issue, so long as sensitive data is not being sent using feeds. For example, data such as button state and water levels are not an issue, but feeds containing passwords and keys would be totally unprotected.
Now that the dashboard is public, we need to be able to share it with others. This is done by sharing a link to the page. To get this link, go back to the menu at the top and look for the share button.
A small window should appear below the button once clicked, and this provides the needed link.
Public IoT Projects
Public IoT projects are slowly becoming more and more popular, with some examples including pet feeders and monitoring systems. Shared dashboards allow others to view the state of controls and stream data. Shared dashboards do not allow a user to change user inputs, which includes changing button states, sliders, and picking colors. Adafruit IO dashboards are very useful for personal projects, but they are not viable for commercial applications, due to their read-only settings, as well as the lack of individual login credentials for specific dashboards.
So, what could you do with a shared Adafruit IO dashboard?
Weather station projects are very common and popular, due to their use of a computational devices (Arduino and Raspberry Pi for example) and sensor modules. Such a project could easily send its readings to an Adafruit IO dashboard, where a live weather station for the public could be viewed any time. The weather station could easily incorporate a webcam pointed to the sky that shows the current cloud cover, a rain gauge to show the amount of rainfall, and temperature and humidity readings.
A monitoring station is similar to a weather station, but it could instead take pictures of passersby by when a sensor is activated. Dashboards are not limited to 1 image block, which means multiple cameras could be connected to a central system and stream live images to the dashboard.
You could also build a power monitor that displays the current amount of power that your house or room is currently consuming. In the U.K., there is a website called gridwatch that allows users to see the live power consumption by the national grid. So, just like gridwatch, you could host your own power consumption and even show individual device statuses (such as cookers, dishwashers, etc.), which shows how your power consumption varies over the day.