Connect One Ships Evaluation Board for Its iChipNet Internet of Things (IoT) Platform

New evaluation board demonstrates iChipNet’s functionality and ease-of-use for IoT product developers 

Connect OneTM, the Device Networking AuthorityTM, has shipped an evaluation board for iChipNetTM, an Internet of Things (IoT) end-to-end platform, to its customers and distributors worldwide.

The EVMB-ICNR evaluation board is the first of Connect One’s evaluation boards to integrate its Nano WiReach SMT G2 WiFi module with its Device Connectivity Server (DCS) cloud solution. The EVMB-ICNR provides a quick out of the box iChipNet user experience with a preconfigured device management provision.

IoT products such as wall power sockets, lamps, locks and an array of sensors such as smoke, water, temperature, proximity, humidity, and alike, do not have a need for much on-board application processing. The key function for these types of IoT products is either controlling an on/off device, or reporting the status of a sensor.

Standalone operation

By integrating Connect One’s Nano WiReach SMT G2 WiFi module into their IoT product, developers do not need to incorporate an additional application processor or controller. Connect One’s WiFi module contains programmable I/O pins and an on-board script processor to enable the complete implementation of an IoT product application. Just add power, relays and sensors, download a simple script to the WiFi module, and your hardware and software design is complete.

The module will automatically connect to the iChipNet DCS cloud solution and enable remote access.

The Nano WiReach SMT G2 WiFi module supports both Ethernet and WiFi network connections, and has 3 programmable input/output (I/O) signals. 3 counters can be assigned to input signals to count event occurrences.

Customizable internal website

Two internal web sites are available in the module. One is not customizable for managing the module parameters and internal configuration, and the other is fully customizable by the developer. The customizable embedded web site can be used to manage and/or configure the IoT product remotely using a standard web browser or a smartphone. The customizable website is designed by the developer with standard HTML tools, and then downloaded into the module using the internal configuration web site.

Changes in I/O pins can be reflected in the customizable web site as they occur to reflect signal status. On the control side, the customizable web site can contain buttons that, when pressed, influence the states of the I/O pins.

Links to the two internal web sites are provided through the iChipNet DCS cloud solution, so that access to the embedded web sites is available from anywhere in the world.

Production ready

The EVMB-ICNR contains the Nano WiReach SMT G2 module, a full production WiFi module mass-produced by Connect One and stocked by distributors worldwide. Once the design is implemented and tested on the evaluation board, standalone modules with appropriate firmware can be purchased and embedded into the final IoT product.
The part numbers for the standalone modules are iW-SMG2SMT-EX for using the module with an external WiFi antenna, and iW-SMG2SMT-OB for a module with an on-board WiFi antenna.

Using the EVMB-ICNR

Using the EVBM-ICNR involves a few simple steps.

  1. Device Connectivity Server (DCS) account setup - browsing to iChipNet web site to register for a free demo account, and receiving an account username and password.
  2. Evaluation board setup - the EVMB-ICNR is factory-configured as a WiFi access point with the module’s serial number as the SSID. Setting up the board involves connecting to this access point with a computer or smartphone/pad. 
    Browsing to the board’s fixed IP address (10.0.0.1) will bring up a web page allowing local network credential configuration, and the DCS account parameters received in step 1.
    Once these parameters are submitted, the board will reset and automatically connect to the Internet using the local network, and register with the DCS.
  3. Remotely accessing the EVMB-ICNR - Browsing to the iChipNet website, logging in to the free account, and clicking on the “Host Site” icon, will remotely access the board and bring up its embedded website. At this point, real time status of the board’s LED and push-button switch is being received, and changes can be made to the board’s IO pins.