Onex and the Object Network

What is Onex?

OnexOS is an Android app and Micro:Bit v2 (or Adafruit Clue ) Operating System.

What's it for?

It's purpose is to empower non-technical families to easily program fun and useful interactions within and around these devices, including lights, buttons and sensors (and little robots) in the physical house, and 3D objects in their virtual house.

What's different about it?

The Onex app is all about giving you control over the shape of things, their connections and their behaviours. You decide what things look like, how things are linked up, and how they behave in each other's company! All in 3D.
One of the two most important differences is that everything is based around linking all this stuff together. Every item you see can be grabbed and then pinned to another.
This enables the other important difference: any kind of interaction and behaviour can be easily set up between all your real and virtual items.

I need examples!

Viewing your Onex app, if you approach a Micro:Bit, the sensors, LEDs, etc. within that device appear in a 3D form on your screen. You can then view and change everything about them: see sensor values or adjust the lights.
You can walk up to a Micro:Bit and grab a link to it in the 3D view, then go up to a Micro:Bit driving an RGB LED matrix and drop that link into it. Now the buttons of the first Micro:Bit operate the LED matrix!
Now, with a simple rule, the Micro:Bit's orientation can set the LED's colour.
You can go up to a soil moisture sensor Micro:Bit on a houseplant viewing your Onex app and see the current soil state as a 3D text panel. Link that device to the LED matrix and you get a colourful display of how dry the soil is.
You can organise your Micro:Bits into 3D rooms that match the rooms of your house, linking one room to another and linking each device into its room. Now, as you move around, your game console's 3D display knows what room you're in and shows it to you, along with all the Micro:Bit setups that are in there.
You can even create completely virtual (non-physical) 3D buttons and lights, and link those together. Or link a real light to a virtual button, so it comes on when you touch the 3D button on the app, or a real button to a virtual light.
If you have two devices running Onex, two family members can create and own different rooms, some real, some virtual, then link them together to build a whole real and virtual 3D house, with all the Micro:Bit devices present.

No screenshots, no videos, no proof!

Ah, yes, well, Onex is under active development, so watch this space!
Or do get in touch (see below) if you're extra curious about it all...

Still all sounds like techie stuff!

The goal is for the Onex fun and games to involve the minimum of technical ability.
So no soldering: just plugging components together. At most, a screwdriver.
And no coding: just viewing, controlling, linking and writing simple rules, on a family Android tablet or your phone.

Go on then: give us some technical deets

OK, for techies: Onex is written in C, running on any Linux-based device with Vulkan, and on any nRF52 device.
The nRF52 radio mesh and P2P IP network it creates is called the Object Network.

OK, give me some more non-technical stuff to read

Onex is still under development. If you want to get involved as an early adopter and tester, get in touch!
Maybe read this next: Casting spells in Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things.
Or this: Wouldn't it be nice if.. .. Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things worked in a slick, seamless and intuitive way.
Go here for a list of many more broader and deeper articles and presentations.

Duncan Cragg, 2021. Contact me