Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alternatives to Cosm (Pachube)

There are a few alternatives to Cosm for handling devices that report over the web. I'm currently playing with ( and it has some really cool features that I haven't seen before. See, I'm very interested in monitoring and controlling my house. I want to be able to tell if it's too hot, what the appliances are doing, is the darn garage door open, that kind of thing. I don't want to spend months learning how to create charts, pretty switches, or automatic backups for data stores. That's why services that connect devices on the web will someday be important. Someday, services like and Cosm will be very important to the operation of devices. Anyway, has a method of connecting to the data I'm already sending to Cosm. By adding a feed to my Cosm account I can use the controls and displays to monitor my house. Cool, really cool. For example, here is a graph I put together in a few minutes using their tools (scroll down past it for more):

The chart will change based on the items I'm charting so you can see the latest data a minute or so after it gets posted on the Cosm site.  Additionally, it's interactive.  You can put your pointer over the control and see individual values and turn off parts of the chart.  There's also a problem putting more than one control on a blog page. They seem to interact with blogger and each other such that you can't get them to work together.  At least not yet ( is a beta site).

But isn't the chart cool?


  1. Have you tried iDigi? Full disclosure, I'm the social media manager for Digi International. But, I came across your post, and thought I'd mention it. The iDigi Device Cloud is free for up to 5 devices, so you could check it out and see if it has what you're looking for.
    - Liz

  2. No, I haven't. The reason I haven't is that it never turned up on any search I did for services related to what I want to do. I did visit the site just now and I couldn't tell what the service actually does, what kind of API is implemented for the user like me, and what exactly is a 'Device'.

    For example I have seven sensors running that measure various things with plans for several more over time. They all feed a single little device that sends collected data to COSM about once every minute or so. Is that one device (the collector) or eight devices (sensors plus collector)? I also read the collected data back to a display device and a web page that is visited several times a day as desired.

    I couldn't tell how my implementation would fit into your model. However, I'll take a closer look and see more about how to use it and what the service has to offer a little user like me.