WiFi infrastructure is everywhere which makes easier to make network of devices connected to WiFi.
There is also great range of WIFI routers with different space coverage and speeds, and as they are mass produced product the prices are at the rock bottom if we have to compare to Zigbee or Bluetooth.
WiFi stack require resources though and not quite good for smallish 8bit populary hobby processors, this is why UART-to-WIFI solutions were made and become popular.
Texas Instruments released CC3000 which cost about $20-25 in single quantities and $10 in volume.
It took no longer and Chinese company Espressif released their ESP8266 highly integrated UART-WIFI bridge IC, it requires just quartz crystal and balun to make WIFI module, their reference design is with just 11 x 12 mm board space!
And of course this comes at Chinese prices: you can buy ESP8266 module in single quantity from Seedstudio for $6.95 or from Alibaba for $5!
On top of this you can easy connect devices to Internet and send and receive data through UART!
This will definitely wipe out the $50-60 Arduino WIFI shields and even Microchip’s MRF24WB0MA etc modules.
We are going definitely to release MOD-ESP8266 which to connect to all our boards with UEXT and give possibility to connect to Internet with simple AT commands!
With MOD-IO2+MOD-ESP8266 for instance anyone could make WIFI enabled relay and Inputs and monitor through web page the inputs and drive relays for extremly low cost!
via New UART to WIFI chipset will unleash low cost Internet of Things | olimex.
The IoT (Internet of Things) market is growing fast and manufacturers are rushing to meet the challenge, putting pressure on research and development teams. New products are expected to reach market quickly and at low price points in order to keep up with the competition.
“It’s a new era, where service is king. IoT is a brand new stream of business opportunities that create services on top of connected devices. And FlyportPRO is a game changer, reducing the risk, time and cost of a new IoT product” says Claudio Carnevali, CEO of openPicus.
FlyportPRO is a new system-on-module made by openPicus. The new module is extremely compact, programmable and internet-connected, so there’s no need for an external processor. It runs the openPicus software framework, reducing development time by months thanks to the free IDE (Integrated Development Environment.)
FlyportPRO has everything needed to manage sensors and actuators: Digital I/Os, Analog channels, a real time clock and memory onboard. It also can directly incorporate SD cards, USB devices and I2C/SPI advanced sensors. It’s available in 3 pin-compatible versions: Wi-Fi, GPRS and Ethernet.
More info here.
Massimo Banzi announced it some minutes ago during his annual “The state of Arduino” presentation at Maker Faire Bay Area: Arduino Yún is the first of a revolutionary family of wifi products combining Arduino with Linux.
Yún means “cloud” in chinese language, as the purpose of this board to make it simple to connect to complex web services directly from Arduino.
Designed in collaboration with Dog Hunter, a company with extensive experience with Linux, the board adopts the Linino distribution which provides signed packages to ensure the authenticity of the software installed on the device.
Historically, interfacing Arduino with complex web services has been quite a challenge due to the limited memory available and they tend to use verbose text based formats like XML that require quite a lot or ram to parse. On the Arduino Yún we have created the Bridge library which delegates all network connections and processing of HTTP transactions to the Linux machine.
Arduino Yún is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with a Wifi system-on-a-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux based on OpenWRT). It’s based on the ATMega32u4 microcontroller and on the Atheros AR9331, a system on a chip running Linino, a customized version of OpenWRT, the most used Linux distribution for embedded devices.
Like a Leonardo, it has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator and a micro USB connector.
More info here.
The WiSmart EC32Wxx from Econais is an ultra-low-power embedded Wi-Fi platform that can fit in any existing or new electronic device. The module is based on the STM32F1x microcontroller and, according to the company, uses the lowest-power-consumption Wi-Fi chip on the market.
The device runs a tiny TCP/IP stack, with WPA/WPA2 support, leaving 115K (EC32W10)/243K (EC32W11)/371K (EC32W12) Flash Memory available for any third-party application that can make use of the well-defined API exported by the module. More flash is available in bigger versions of the MCU.
Key features (EC32W1x) include the following:
- 3.3V supply
- Operational modes as low as 1.1 uA current consumption
- Rx power consumption (mA): (b/g/n) 48 / 50 / 51
- Tx power consumption (mA): (b/g/n) 237@21dBm / 219@18 dBm / 214@17 dBm
- 802.11 power save
- IBSS and BSS mode
- TCP/IP, Telnet, Web Server
- Interfaces: SPI, UART, ADC, DAC, I2C, I2S, MCU JTAG, SDIO
The module includes an embedded PCB antenna with range up to 400m, but optionally an external antenna can be mounted on the board. The WiSmart EC32Wxx measures 27.5mm x 18.5mm x 1.5mm and is priced at less than $15 each in quantities greater than 1K. Samples are $20 per unit, and an available software development kit is $249.
More info here.
A year ago, two MIT Media Lab graduates raised half a million dollars on Kickstarter to create Twine, a cigarette-pack-sized chunk of Internet magic that promised to turn any object in your home into a web-connected, interactive “smart product”. Want your basement pipes to send you a text message when they’re in danger of freezing up, or your garage door to ping you if you forget to close it? No problem: With Twine, building your own personal “Internet of things” is supposed to be easier than programming a VCR. And now that the product is available for purchase, it looks like creators John Kestner and David Carr have very nearly delivered on that ambitious promise.
How do you get a non-hacker to even understand a device like Twine? With product design that would make Steve Jobs proud. Kestner, who studied industrial design as an undergraduate, tells Co.Design that “we wanted to wrap the functionality in something that didn’t read as an electronic object.” Twine is packed with sensors that detect temperature, moisture, and position, but it’s as light, small, and unassuming as a pack of gum. “It’s just a solid chunk of connectivity,” Kestner says. “We settled onelastomer [for the outer case]–it feels great to the touch, and reads as durable, friendly, and decidedly non-electronic.”
But Twine is also intriguingly mysterious: Flip the rubbery, featureless box over on its back and two instructions reveal themselves: “Place this side up,” and “go to Twinesetup.com.” From there, configuring Twine feels like an adventure instead of a chore. Wow, it just connected to the Web by itself–now a little light is turning on–whoa, now I can see an image of it in my Web browser, sensing the temperature–what will this thing do next?
Building this sense of wonder and delight right out of the box is essential to making Twine feel useful. If you think of it as a little magic box that can do anything–kind of like a Swiss Army knife crossed with a Tamagotchi–you’re more likely to find its open-ended possibilities inspiring instead of intimidating. After all, there’s no instruction manual. Once your Twine is set up, the dashboard in your Web browser invites you to set up “rules” (which are actually simple programs) for telling it what to do. I just moved into a new house with a cold basement office, so I used the simple drop-down menus to program my Twine to send me a text message saying “Get a space heater, doofus” whenever the temperature drops below 70°.
More info here.
The new sensing technology integrated in Meshlium Xtreme is able to detect any Smartphone (iPhone, Android) in the area by measuring Wifi and Bluetooth activity; allowing to know in real time people and vehicle presence and fluency. Applications of this new technology go from street activity measurement to vehicle traffic management. Read more.
Econais Inc. – a leader in development of wireless modules, today announced their new line of ultra low power, TCP/IP and application ready Wi-Fi modules, under the family name WiSmart-32. All the parts of the family have the same small size 20mm x 27mm and come with on board antenna while they integrate power and clock management units. They can be directly supplied from battery and they provide analog and digital interfaces to connect with almost any industry standard interface.
With the incorporation of an embedded processor, ample application memory space is left for the developer due to the low footprint of the eConais TCP/IP stack. The developers can configure their applications rather than develop them using the eConais Application Program Interface (API) Library. As Mr. Costas Kontogiannis, General Manager and VP of Operation said: “WiSmart-32 requires only 20 lines of code to create an application that connects the device over standard Wi-Fi network infrastructure with an Internet or local server. By supporting digital communication ports like I2S, SPI, I2C, UART and programmable GPIOs as well as ADCs and DACs, a wide range of application varying from telemetry, medical electronic systems, POS equipment, smart grid and metering equipment, M2M communications, remote configuration and stereo audio streaming over wireless can be supported
The WiSmart-32 modules are FCC-certified and support WPA/WPA2, 802.11b/g ad-hoc and infrastructure mode. Wi-Fi certification is also supported by eConais for the end customers. The WiSmart-32 family variants are pin compatible and offer variable memory space for application development starting from 30Kbytes up to 256Kbytes and SRAM up to 64Kbytes.
The Development Kit for WiSmart-32 modules includes full software support based on a well-defined and fully documented Application Program Interface (API) library, allowing the user to configure their application using free development tools. The kit contains a free IDE, code examples, application notes, ‘Libwismart’ eConais library, and source code for all the communication ports. The proprietary eConais software stack ‘Libwismart’ is a highly efficient software implementation that integrates into a tiny footprint the Wi-Fi Connection Manager, the TCP-IP, FTP, HTTP, DHCP, system calls and the transport layer for the communication with the Wi-Fi Physical Layer.
More info here.