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A few weeks back we took a look at what you need to make IoT personal, to break away from the norms of the home automation 'master user' problem.

The conclusion:

  • Let your teams and families have access and authority to use your devices
  • Give them the freedom to personalise how they interact with custom UI and notifications
  • Ensure privacy is maintained for the important things you don't want to share

Building atop of these principles we're happy to give you a little insight into the next release of SmartLiving!


Grounds are a brand new IoT service built by AllThingsTalk. They bring the best of user and device management, contextualised with location and a super simple paradigm to manage these complex matters, going way beyond any existing M2M platform.

Ultimately they allow groups of people with a common interest to share IoT resources, to enable better collaboration and empower users with shared knowledge and control.

So what exactly is a ground?

A ground is an area defined for a specific purpose.

AllThingsTalk Grounds will let you share, manage and collaborate with your IoT Things in teams, with your family or for any purpose you like.

You can define multiple grounds for your home, office, shop, factory, community hangout or any other space.

After creating a ground, you add people who may access it, the devices you want to share and configure notifications for the group.

Some examples of what you could do in an office:

  • Allow the team's Smartphones to sync location data so you know who's at the office
  • Configure lighting systems so everyone can access them from an app or build services using the Office's own Ground API
  • Separate who can access what, you could define grounds for specific staff such as maintenance, cleaners, office workers and decide what they can access
  • Notify all ground members easily when somethings wrong, for example when a motion sensor tracks a change in the ground


Another long awaited feature, in-app notifications, allows synchronised alerts across all your devices, which will also be included in the upcoming release.

You can keep up-to-date with what's happening with your IoT Things and what's occurring in your ground.

Notifications will let you be warned when your assets change state, get alerted when an automation rule triggers or send updates when you like from an IoT app that you build.

JSON Automation Rule Editor

If you're familiar with our automation rules wizard, you'll know it's super simple, even for non-developers to wire together IoT apps.

For the developers we've now added a JSON editor which gives you much more flexibility and the ability to define and edit rules via the Rules API.

The new editor makes it simple to add complex operators and programming functions to do even bigger, better and sophisticated things, especially when compared to the limited if-this-then-that automation.