Author Topic: SMS and MMS Text Messaging Beta Driver  (Read 2005 times)

victorbl

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SMS and MMS Text Messaging Beta Driver
« on: January 20, 2014, 11:05:46 pm »
I've wrapped up the early development of a driver that allows you to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages from your Elve server. 

The driver currently supports sending a text message from Elve to any phone number, and receiving an event when a text message is sent to your assigned Elve server phone number.  A few examples scenarios I've scripted for my own automation setup:
   * Elve sends me a text message when the home alarm is triggered
   * Elve sends me a text message when someone rings the doorbell
   * I can send Elve the text message "Arm Away" and Elve will set my home alarm system, and send me a text reply that the action was completed.

I have decided to use the popular twilio service (http://www.twilio.com/) for handling the text message exchanges.  They are rated as a very reliable provider, and they have competitive text rates. $20 will cover a private phone number for your Elve server instance, and sending/receiving of over 1000 text messages to and from that number.  Each text message runs 3/4s of a cent ($0.0075). 

To use the driver, you can setup a free Twilio account at their website, and enter your assigned AccountSID, AuthToken, and phone number in the driver settings.  Twilio will allow you to use the service for free for a trial period, and simply paste on an additional trial message to every text sent from your server.

To clear out any automatic replies that Twilio has setup as a demo, go into the Twilio website settings panel for your assigned phone number and enter the url in the 'Messaging Request URL' : http://twimlets.com/echo?Twiml=%3CResponse%3E%3C%2FResponse%3E

I will be investigating the integration of a few new features while testing continues on this build - first priority is the ability to attach one or more photos to an MMS message sent from Elve.  This opens the door for additional scenarios such as sending front door camera still(s) when the door bell is rang, etc.

While there has been some functional and stress testing, the driver could use some beta testers to further exercise the functionality and provide any feedback on their experiences or bugs they discover.  Please post back into this thread your feedback and/or issues or you discover.

I have included an Elve 1.5 and 2.0 compatible version of the driver in the release.  My testing has been isolated to the 1.5 version of Elve, so verification on 2.0 is also greatly appreciated.

I will post periodic updates to the driver until it reaches a stable/functional version 1 state.  For now, the beta driver will time out after about a month to make sure everyone is moving to the latest version.

You will need to unzip the appropriate driver dll into your '/ProgramData/CoreCode Technologies/Elve/DeviceDrivers/Compiled' directory.  Please read the included txt file in the driver zip file for more details.

Thanks for your time!


Frunple

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Re: SMS and MMS Text Messaging Beta Driver
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 05:48:29 am »
Good idea!
I've been doing this with the email driver but the '2 way' function would be a nice addition!

victorbl

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Re: SMS and MMS Text Messaging Beta Driver
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 10:02:57 pm »
After some research, it appears to enable MMS on these services requires the lease of 5 digit text codes - which can be very cost prohibitive.  The same seems true for similar services to Twilio. 

As a 'next best thing', I've add two new methods to the driver that allow you to send a text with one image, or a text with multiple images to any phone.  The images can be filepaths, or urls.  The images are processed inside the driver and published to a random, hidden imgur url that only the recipient will receive in the text message.  The received text message will contain the text body, and then one or more condensed imgur links to the image(s) that were part of the message.

Latest build with image support attached.