L5 and IOT a difficult future

So here we are! In Internet of things age! Apart from apps, I’m using my smartphone as:

  1. motorbike key detector (tile device)
  2. anti theft vehicle alarm
  3. smartwatch control center
  4. music car device control
  5. house ground clean robot
    Next points: I’m not using my smartphone to control them due privacy concerning but I could use it:
  6. house lights on off intensity
  7. microwave oven (eg: diagnostics)
  8. Tv (updating OS, settings,…)
    Basically everything throw Bluetooth! Now L5 has also Bluetooth but missing apps and devices compatibility! Because the future will be more and more IOT, which hope we’ve to connect our beloved L5 to things? In my case this is mandatory to substitute my actual iPhone with my L5!
    I see 2 difficulties:
    a) no Linux option from IOT companies
    b) no FOSS devices developed yet
    For example, I needed to buy a smartwatch to read my sport activities and the only FOSS is pine watch! I bought it but it shown, always, my heart beats as 0 during trainings because no one implemented algorithm yet! It’s a known “bug” and honestly it’s written in website: it’s a very early stage smartwatch and no company support, just community, so develop time is very slow! Finally I had to sell it and buy, sadly, Apple Watch!
    So I see the future of L5 very difficult, being unable to use it to control our more and more connected IOT devices (imagine self driving cars and fully domotics houses!)
    What do you think about it?
    Alpha) should world FOSS community starts to produce and sell open source working devices
    Beta) force, in some way, closed source companies to sell open source version of their devices too?
    Difficult but vital issue!

We need more people step up and do reverse engineering and integration.

The devices are already here, now we need people to donate their time or money towards making our devices more useful, develop open source integrations and alternatives to proprietary walled-garden apps.


It would also be helpful if manufacturers would not only design BT apps for Android or Apple, but also for Linux.

(I know, I know, I’m dreaming…) :zzz:

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Not for me.

Manufacturers should publish interface and protocol specifications, which should follow open standards when possible.

Think of all the wonderful things that could have been done with the time and effort pured into reverse engineering and all the wonderful things that didn’t get done because of failed reverse engineering.


… further to that and relating it back to the OP … it’s probably best to buy very popular IOT devices if you can’t buy an open IOT device … because it is more likely that someone will be annoyed enough at the lack of an open interface and do that reverse engineering.

It’s also worth noting that if an Android app exists and you run Waydroid then you may be able to cover for the lack of a documented interface and/or an open source app.


That would be great but the downside of that, if they are forced to do that, is that the API / protocol may be immature and unstable - and hence the open source app will break sooner rather than later.

(In the race to get product to market, it is often the case that the app and the device have been cobbled together and do “work” but not in any clean way.)

And if it’s “Microsoft” it might just be a poor, imprecise, ambiguous specification that leads to a buggy result if someone tries to code an open source app from it.




You are absolutely right. That would be a better road.

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I don’t want IOT in my life, because we are going to build the biggest robot in the world that can be hacked everywhere. It has “robot-arms” everywhere.

What happened when toaster get overdriven and burn your flat? And what is the benefit of your toaster being connected to internet at all? If you want a toaster having multiple presets, why not just a dump one you can program locally? Most things we need/want doesn’t require internet. So I would like to have those functionalities in the old-school secure and private way.

What danger is an IOT-lamp? They (script-kiddies) can read when we’re at home, on holiday, every 2nd Friday not at home (party etc) and those thieves can break into your rooms. China-products may so insecure that these lamps are just the gate to your whole network. Every further device lowers the security. The lamps can be controlled to give people epilepsy illness. Or simple overdrive them or shut down for ever (you think it’s broken, but it isn’t at all). The person who sell this lamp could have it already flashed to get all this access and even if it’s open source, most people wouldn’t reflash before using it.
My dad bought such a lamp to make it light for grandma when it’s dark. Why not just a lamp with light sensor? A hacked lamp and she would have sit into the dark the whole evening…

I just think there is a reason why there aren’t many open source projects in this direction. I would love to look into the real needs and build devices we really want beside those marketing bla.



Not to be rude or anything, but individuals have willingly dragged themselves into this new “smart” world, a world full of unnecessary garbage designed to steal our time and life.
All we need if water, food and a roof above our head - these are a necessity everything else are just whims.

If you want to participate in this “smart” world (which will get a lot worse) or fight it, is up to everyone individually.

I don’t think that the FOSS community should spend their resources on replicating all these smart & unnecessary gadgets/features.
In case you think that I think that because I’m old, well no, I’m not even 25 and I had this sentiment since 16 or 18. As soon as I understood where this train is going, I knew - we’re f*cked!


smartwatch control center

I find WatchMate works very well for L5/PineTime.Alternatively there is also Siglo. The heart rate sensor on mine also works fine though as far as I know there is no L5 app that can make use of it yet.

Another option for FOSS smartwatch is https://banglejs.com/. I don’t think there’s an app to control it yet but Dorota was using it as the base for a cycling tracker - Jazda so perhaps there is something.

1, 2, 3 are all car/vehicle related. Much as I’d like it I think you’ll struggle to find anything FOSS capable there. Your best bet is probably waiting for Bluetooth to work in Waydroid so you can run the Android apps there or looking at reverse engineering yourself .


That would be my general approach. Do I really need one more gadget? And does the risk of the gadget’s being connected to the internet outweigh the benefit?

True enough.

But for the purposes of this discussion let’s take it as an assumption that a person does want the gadget but wants it to be well behaved (no hidden functionality, no backdoor, no built-in obsolescence, …)


I used watchmate on my L5 when I had Pinetime! Problem was in the smartwatch (no heart rate algorithm during workouts. So missing software not hardware problem). Heart rate was working only when I didn’t move (eg. sat on a chair or into bed) as confirmed in official telegram community group. Honestly I offered myself to help to develop such algorithm (although I’m working in tourism I studied for few years computer science engineering at university years ago so I’ve some basis in programming but not enough to develop it alone so I proposed to develop it in a team but no one answered to me (I remember most of them was talking on display and graphic stuff).

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Well, I agree with you! Most of IOT devices are superfluous but someone is very useful (eg. tile keying that show me on google map where I lost my keys or vehicle alarm with real time tracking and auto connect to police in case of theft).
I hope that L5 will spread around the world “forcing” IOT companies to develop for it too!

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What software are you running on the PineTime? Mine has InfiniTime 1.14 and is able to track my heartrate when running.


I don’t need and want IOT either, but nowadays there are devices sold that let you only update it’s firmware with an BT app.


PS: anyway watchmate doesn’t have smartwatch functionalities, just connection between smartwatch and L5!

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As I written, I sold it and sorry but I don’t remember SW version

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I strictly use only MQTT devices with my home automation, no cloud BS for me. MQTT is an open standard that has been used to control satellites for decades and it works quite well for most things around the house. I use homeassistant on my raspberry pi docker swarm cluster and it works very well. I control everything through a web page dashboard you can customize so the L5 would be able to control everything in my house in this case.

Remember that all these popular home automation platforms have a cloud backend, which means they have access to whatever you’re doing in your home. Sure it’s easy to set up but not very private. Also you open yourself up to data breaches and hacking which is a very real concern with IoT because now you’re affecting real devices in your home. Not for me thanks.