This is new since the last time I visited:

Looks interesting. The stated reasoning behind providing it is the hope that folks will buy SparkFun widgets to connect and send data. Perhaps it’s the conspiracy theorist in me, but I wonder what kind of analytics, if any, they’ll be performing on the data streams.

That said, it’s pretty cool to see a super-simple means of pushing IoT data (or any data, for that matter) to the cloud. Could be very useful for quick and dirty demos, when you want to avoid a lot of complexity with things like MQTT or AMQP.


After our official launch, we will have clear parameters for how long the data will remain on our servers.

clear parameters for how long the data will remain

how long the data will remain



These services are their services; they are using (paid for) storage to store your data. If you want to pay for your own storage, then you get to control what happens with your data; if you don’t want to pay, you have to find a service provider whose terms you think meets your needs. It’s not something to panic about, just something to know about.

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I believe their motivation is value add. I don’t think they are running analytics on the data, they just want people to buy.

@ Mr. John Smith - I think you’re probably right, but when it comes to data, I try very hard not to take anything for granted.

If someone isn’t explicit about what they’re doing (or not doing) with data, I tend to assume the worst. :slight_smile:

I think the saying “if you can’t figure out what the product is, YOU are the product” may be applicable to these cases in general, if not the SparkFun cloud data offering in specific.

Perhaps a bit cynical on my part, but the upside is that if I’m surprised, it’s more likely to be a pleasant surprise.

in this case, because I can decide to send random data up to their service, mining the raw data is unlikely to give them any great insight - you can send temperatures, I can send battery voltage, and there’s not much inference you can draw from those two unstructured data sources !

If it was a more rigid data structure, you could see how the data itself could allow more targeted analysis (not saying this happens, but you could draw inferences from cloud logged temperature from say Nest thermostats to target the home owner with insulation or heating/cooling products)

The metadata is about the only think that is therefore more likely to be valuable, and that isn’t something I could see these guys use. Source-IP itself could tell them where you are, and that could potentially be used to target you to see how open you left your network (but IMHO that would not be valuable as the myriad of port scanners already just iterate across the IP addresses of the world)

Healthy scepticism is not a bad thing, and clear definition of data uses and retention etc are a great way to address some of those concerns. At the end of the day, there has to be a business model somewhere behind this; in Sparkfun’s case that’s likely the electronics business and the desire to give an easy way to have connected devices based on their bits. Other cases may vary.