IoT Series Part 1: Flower Power Add-on for Splunk

This blog series is an exploration of various ways to make the Internet of Things more tangible and also bolster the connection and creativity with Splunk. This Splunk app is one of the interesting use cases that it deals with Splunking data from your in-home device that measures plant moisture, sunlight, etc.

Internet of Things Series Introduction

When I first heard the term Internet of Things I didn’t take it very seriously. I figured it was a buzzword used by tech bloggers to talk about a technology that has actually been around for a while now. (I connected it to my thoughts on how I still don’t know if I’m on Web 2.0...). It just hasn’t felt tangible to me. This past summer, I decided to make it more tangible -- at least for myself and, through this blog series, hopefully for others too.

Since there are so many technologies out there that claim to be Internet of Things (IoT) devices, it was hard trying to pick one that would prove to be useful to me. Similar to a lot of the other data in Splunk, IoT data is happier when correlated, or used for a purpose. It wasn’t until I started to find a few different devices, and put them into Splunk side-by-side, that I realized some of IoT’s full potential. 

In the coming weeks, I'm going to talk about a few different devices I've used, and subsequently the Splunk Apps I've created for them. I also plan to share some of their interesting use cases with you. 

This one's for all you gardeners out there

This week I’m starting with the Flower Power Add-on for Splunk

This Add-on can take data from an in-home device that measures plant moisture, sunlight, etc. and put that into Splunk. The device is made by the company Parrot and affectionately called “Flower Power”. As someone who enjoys gardening, this was an easy enough device to be excited about -- plug it into the plant’s soil and it starts pulling data almost immediately. Not only does it work, but it looks sleek!

According to the Flower Power API, there are a couple of interesting data points you can return. One is simply an overall look at your device syncing, referred to as Sync Data. You get information like hardware versions, avatar URL’s from your Parrot account, etc. This data comes into the sourcetype: flower_power_sync_data.

The second bit of data is probably more interesting as it’s the actual status of the devices in your garden. This is called Garden Location Status. This is where data around soil moisture, sunlight levels, and fertilizer levels, all come in and is found in the sourcetype: flower_power_garden_locations_status.

So, really, what's the purpose of this?

There are plenty of reasons for pulling in this kind of data. First and foremost, why wouldn’t someone want to look at the care of their plants, both historically and in real-time? If you’re like me and you travel, you can now call up your mom and ask her to water your plants much more efficiently. You could also potentially create alerts on this data and you could even get alerts on your other IoT devices in a lot of creative ways, as we’ll see in the coming weeks.

Examples of a couple interesting searches are below that might give you some ideas of what type of information you can find from the Flower Power API. You’re of course not limited to these searches. With Splunk SPL, anything is possible and there are plenty of other interesting data points here.

A count of the number of events where your soil moisture was found to be too low:

index=parrot sourcetype=flower_power_garden_locations_status 
"locations{}.soil_moisture.instruction_key"=soil_moisture_too_low 
| stats count by locations{}.location_identifier

A chart of your battery level over time:

index=parrot sourcetype=flower_power_garden_locations_status 
| table _time "sensors{}.battery_level.level_percent" 
| timechart span=10m max("sensors{}.battery_level.level_percent")

Needless to say...

As I'm beginning to do more with these devices, my perspective on the Internet of Things is shifting. Hopefully, you'll look into learning more for yourself about these devices too, whether it's for the purpose of doing something conventional or fun (or both). Make sure to follow @hurricanelabs on Twitter and keep an eye peeled for part two of my IoT series!



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