02 Lab – Arduino GSM Playground

Excellent session.

At the start Dan Appelquist gave a brief presentation on !The Future of the Future of Machine to Machine”

He had a quick look not just at Arduino but also the future of mobile – what will mobile tech look like in the future? In 2005 we thought maybe a clip?  bracelet? For now – we simply have a brick. Is this the end of innovation?

He explained that nowadays it’s more about machine to machine – connected cars, smart appliances…..boring use cases…not exciting or inspiring…..the ideas aren’t developed with user in mind – more the corporation.

He’s interested in how we create the next phase-  Nabaztag never really took off – too closed a network.  Connected apps, Drive to Improve app – have a device to plug into your car – monitors you engine performance – you need physical components to allow you to connect to your car.  How can we help protoype developers create things connected to the internet?

Arduino – obviously – and open source…and this workshop was taking a look at what others would do with equipment being sold at cost….so what did we come up with?

Girl next to me created an app that allowed a user to call an arduino and receive a message – here’s her blog with instructions on how to do it and a much better intro to the shield: http://lilydev.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/playing-with-the-arduino-gsm-shield/

Guys opposite set up the arduino to turn on a red, green or yellow light depending on a text from the phone (R, G or Y).

02 Lab’s take on the event: https://thelab.o2.com/2013/05/the-labs-arduino-playground/


Francisco designed the Arduino GSM board with Telefonica RnD

Usecase idea: connected fishtank – feed your fish through the web.

Wearable T-shirts etc…..

Cosm – of course (nee Pachube) – for sharing feeds

Arm and mbed are arduino alternatives

mbed – textable doorknob (challenge response from your doorknob if you lose your key).  Kickstarter project also similar.


Shield is currently a product and being sold by the Arduino store.

How do we put the tools in people’s hands to build next gen internet connected things?

First presented at Internet of Things meetups…

Dan likes the idea you could monitor temperature and ground water etc so you might auto water the plants – or know when to go and water them……someone at IoT were making gardening and agriculture sensors – so some synergy…



Very simple for example to create a temp monitor which loads room temperature to the internet – yep – I’d like one of those – Dan created one as an example…

Shield that sits on top of the Arduino

Latest Arduino SDK – Examples – GSM included! (i need to check for the motor !)

GSM  send SMS Example

Somewhere below the middle – 3 lines to send SMS – e.g. put the number in etc…

There’s also a “ReceiveSMS” option.  All the examples are integrated with the libraries.

Make a  phone ring “MakeVoiceCall”

The shield has a sim – it has SMS capability but it’s primarily a data sim.  Primarily intended for pure data.  you can send SMS’ but only between sims within that catagory (e.g. arduino to arduino).  These are the SIMS bundled with the shield.  You can plug it into the shield and activate it and you can add data allowance onto it.  Not required – can use your own, whatever you want.   good if you want to put it in a shipping container and see where it turns up because has some kind of international rights – 35 countries (small amounts of data), out of the box.  It roams the networks – but with no roaming charges.

Shield is 69Euros.

CosmTempSensor code – code is on github – Torga??


Telefonica doesn’t make money by selling the shield.

If you want the best power efficiency – use SMS and then drop the connection as soon as you’ve sent the message.  You stay connected until you disconnect – only charged for the data you send, regardless of  how long you’re connected.  Can be constantly connected – just like your phone.  Sometimes a little data is used during the handshake. Once the pdp is connected it’s like being connected to a wifi network.  It’s 2G

It’s 6 or 12 month allowance on the data plan.  The SIM itself can be topped up…disconnected if you don’t use it in the 6 or 12 months – but you can reactivate it.

Can do SMS and voice at the same time but not Global Positioning Radio Satellite and voice.  What does GPRS and GSM – global system for mobile communication.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED….essentially a phone that attaches directly to the board so I don’t need to learn how to communicate with the phone!  Lovely. Makes a lot of the research I made last year slightly pointless – wait a few more years and I won’t even need to be able to programme.

Currently sold out.

Can get details of the shield on the arduino.cc/enMain/ArduinoGSMShield page.


9 girls, 16 boys in our session.  Are more girls getting into programming?  Or does arduino appeal more to girls as it’s less abstract?  Guess I can’t read too much into it!

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