Frequently Asked Questions

General

Things

Miscellaneous

Who are you?

Thingdom is a product of MTS Systems Corporation, a global $1 billion+ public company based in Minneapolis, MN that makes test equipment and industrial sensors. Thingdom started as an internal API. We thought it could be applied in many more industries, so we made it more general and turned it into a stand-alone tool for developers.

Who is Thingdom made for?

Any developer who wants to quickly add mobile integration! Thingdom is a tool that can be leveraged by developers who are trying to create a mobile integration for their existing product or project. Developing a mobile app is very difficult, expensive, and time consuming. Many development teams do not have the time or resources to create, test, and maintain mobile apps for Android and iOS. Thingdom provides the mobile app for you. All you need is a few lines of code to integrate with our mobile application.

How have developers already leveraged Thingdom?

Because Thingdom is written very generically, it can be used to integrate with an enormous variety of applications. One primary use case is allowing users to remotely monitor something. This includes the ability to see the real time status of their product and the ability to receive automated alerts when some event occurs.
Some specific examples include:

What is a 'thing' in Thingdom?

A thing is whatever you want it to be! It is purposely generic so you can have it represent a physical device, virtual product, user account, software application, or whatever else you want it to be. Just give it a unique name (unique to your API Secret), and a new ‘thing’ will be created in Thingdom, complete with a unique pairing code so people can connect to it from a mobile app. Then, when you send feed or status updates from your code, that ‘thing’ in Thingdom will show those updates.

How does the thing code work?

When you create a ‘thing’ in Thingdom, a unique pairing code is generated for that thing. Show this code to users that you want to have access to that ‘thing’. Once they enter the pairing code into the Thingdom app, they are subscribed to that thing. Once subscribed, they will immediately be able to see the status of that thing and be able to receive alerts.

What can I do with my 'thing'?

There are 3 operations you can do with your thing:

How do alerts work?

Using our developer portal, you can define what types of alerts your things can send. When a user subscribes to a thing using the thing’s pairing code, they are automatically subscribed to all alerts for that thing. The user can subscribe and unsubscribe for any of the alerts for that thing whenever they want. In addition, users can decide how they want to be notified: email, text message, and/or push notification. When an alert is triggered by your thing, any subscribed users will be immediately notified according to their personalized settings.

The alert API call is named ‘Feed’. We gave it this name because all meaningful activity is meant to be recorded as a Feed message. Users can see all messages in the feed regardless if they subscribe to the alerts or not.

How do commands work?

Sometimes you don’t only want to monitor the current status of your thing. You may also want to change the status of your thing or send a command to it. You can do this with our command system. In your code that you are integrating with Thingdom, you can set up a command listener. You can easily configure our mobile app so that users can send a command to your thing, which will then be received and processed by your command listener.

How are things secured?

You may not want an unauthorized person to subscribe to your things.

The first level of security in protecting a thing is the thing code. The alphanumeric code is long enough that it could not be guessed by a person trying codes at random.

The second level of security in protecting a thing is a thing’s security settings. The first user to subscribe to a thing becomes the administrator of that thing and has the power to limit access to it. The administrator can also designate other users as administrators. Administrators have three options for securing their thing:

Can you create an app for us with our own company’s branding?

Thingdom is built specifically as a generic Internet of Things application. As soon as a user connects to one of your pairing codes, the interface loads your branding, logos, images, and experience as you create it in our online designer. This way you can offer a branded experience without having to develop and publish your own app.

That being said, we do also offer the ability to create a white labeled version of the Thingdom app for your company. If you choose this option, we will release separate apps on the Android and iOS stores under your company’s name that includes your company’s branding. Contact us for more information about this option, including pricing.

What programming languages does Thingdom support?

Thingdom is built upon a publically available REST API. We also provide libraries in many different languages to make it even easier for developers to integrate with Thingdom. Our current libraries include C#, JavaScript, Node.js, PHP, and Ruby. We are continuing to develop libraries for other languages.

Who can I contact to get help?

Do you have a question about how Thingdom works? Do you have an idea for an integration but are not sure if Thingdom is the solution for you? Do you think Thingdom will work for you but are not sure how to get started? Contact us. All developers on the team will be notified and we will give a personalized response within hours. We want to do anything we can to get you up and running with Thingdom. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.