NTK (the NETLab Toolkit) is an authoring system for designers, developers, makers, researchers and students who want to design and build tangible Internet of Things projects. With a simple drag and drop interface, connect sensors, actuators, media and networks with the smart widgets. Concepts can be prototyped quickly, encouraging iteration, experimentation and testing by sketching in hardware and building connected systems.

NTK works with the Arduino, Arduino decedents like Particle, and Linux embedded systems like the Intel Edison and Raspberry Pi. NTK can be easily adapted to do new things–The Code widget allows users to easily add custom Javascript snippets. And with a bit more expertise, users can create their own, reusable widgets.


Authoring occurs in any web browser or the app (which embeds a browser) because the widgets are built on modern HTML5/CSS/Javascript. The widget designs embody expertise for common usage patterns, allowing the project maker to focus on the concepts, behavior, and design rather than reinventing the wheel for standard technical and design problems. 


The server part of NTK handles communication with actual hardware and is built on Node.js. It is designed to run on Linux based embedded devices, PCs, on cloud servers, and ultimately as an app on mobile devices. Once a project has been authored, the server continues to run the project even when the browser has disconnected. 


Original Concept: Philip van Allen
Design and UX: Justin Gier & Philip van Allen
Back End Software: Scott Cazan & Ewan Branda
Front End Software: Philip van Allen
Website: Sal Orara


The NETLab Toolkit has existed in some form since 2003 (originally built in Director, then Flash, now HTML5/Node.js), and was created by Philip van Allen to aid in teaching at the Media Design Practices MFA at ArtCenter College of Design.

Old Flash Version

For many years, NTK used Adobe Flash as the authoring environment. The Flash version is still available, but is not longer updated. For documentation and downloads of the Flash version, see the old site here: http://netlabtoolkit.org/flash/

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