An electronic website IoT mascot?

I have a concept that i wanted to float by people to see if they’ve seen anything like it, and provide ideas and input. I’m a web developer who knows very little about Arduino and IoT in general, so this is all very conceptual and vague.

I would like to create a device that serves as a notification system for a website, to alert website owners to important events happening on their site when they’re not actively looking at it. I’m thinking of a device that lights up, emits a sound, outputs text, vibrates, whatever, when something happens on the site. This ‘something’ might be something positive like a big sale made in the case of a shopify site, or a new registration, or something bad like a repeated failed login or a non-200 http response from the site that indicates a problem.

I think it’d be fun for an office of an online business to be alerted by a small IoT device when there’s a big sale, or a new subscriber, or whatever their KPIs.

What I’ve done so far: As I’m a web developer specialising in the Joomla CMS, I’ve created a plugin that logs failed logins to my site and makes available an API for accessing this data. I set up an ESP 8266 to connect to my home wifi and ping my API, and flash a light and output a message to the console when there’s a failed login to report. Pretty unexciting as it is, but what if it was a fun device that lit up or made a sound? My microdevice knowledge doesn’t allow me to do anything very fun with this at the moment, but i have in mind something entertaining.

As it stands, my approach of the device pinging an API intermittently is probably pretty wasteful energy-wise, so maybe an MQTT approach is better. I could build my Joomla plugin to connect to a public MQTT broker and push messages to it when there’s a trigger event on the site, then the IoT device subscribed to that topic would receive alerts whenever there’s something in the queue. It adds an extra layer of complexity to it, but it might work. There’s also concerns of encryption and privacy with it being a public MQTT broker.

What do people think of the idea? Interesting, or not? Best approach in terms of technologies to be used? I’d like to build a device as a proof of concept to show off, but I thought I’d put the idea out there to get input from those more experiences with this type of thing first.

Looking forward to your comments

Andy