Because that's what makes it an IoT project: interacting with devices all over the place.
That's when it gets interesting: set something in motion and things happen remotely, distantly. Or, moving the other way, you pull data from far-flung sensors.
That's where the cloud comes in. It's kind of a relay: you send your instructions there, and then bounce it out to your devices: making them actuate, or deliver information back to you. It's like have a widely-distributed info army at your command.
And that turns out to be the major, worthwhile thing you can do with a Particle Photon.
Here are the deets, from the Particle site:
- Set up the pins on the Particle as outputs that have LEDs connected to them
- Create and register a Particle function that gets called automagically when you make a request to it. This is often referred to as an API request.
- Parse the incoming command and take appropriate actions, ie: blink that LED!
Later in that same short document, you get the concept (and the code) behind reading info from (as opposed to sending information to) a photoresister, or a motion detector on one side of the earth, and publishing the data from it to the other side of the planet.
Basic IoT stuff.
It doesn't look too impressive: that blinking light. Which is why I often hear myself saying, "Imagine this light is far away, like in Berlin."
Most people get it, I think.
Once a project emerges from the Hackspace it will get realer. Because there's no way that you can be sitting next to it, explaining and hand waving.
It just has to work -- and be fun, or informative, or helpful.