Of the many useful features found in the innovative Electric Imp connectivity platform, flexibility is one of its key attributes. As an example, the Electric Imp API provides the tools to easily integrate other wireless communication protocols into an Internet-connected device, including Bluetooth.
The Electric Imp platform uses WiFi to connect to the Internet because of WiFi’s ubiquity and flexibility. However, some applications still need to connect to the Internet but have power requirements that WiFi cannot meet. The flexibility of our platform enables manufacturers to combine WiFi with other wireless communication protocols, providing a best of both worlds connectivity solution.
With that in mind, Electric Imp recently created reference designs which demonstrate how to create a WiFi/Bluetooth gateway to connect small, low cost, low power Bluetooth devices to the Internet without relying on a smartphone or tablet. The latest example pairs the Electric Imp platform with Broadcom’s WICED SMART SDK and chipset.
A network of Bluetooth devices connected to the Internet via the Electric Imp platform can provide an ideal template for commercial and industrial applications in which sensor placement is limited to specific locations and power sources are restricted or unavailable. In a large food refrigeration facility, for instance, where temperatures need to be maintained at consistent levels 24 hours a day, several low power Bluetooth sensors in proximity to an imp-powered hub can efficiently monitor and report any fluctuations in conditions.
Another example can be found in the Future Stack electronic conference badge. Created by New Relic, the innovative badge used Near Field Communication (NFC) in conjunction with the Electric Imp platform to enable event attendees to wirelessly exchange contact information from badge to badge, and vote on favorite conference speaker sessions.
To further showcase the practicality of the Electric Imp platform and its compatibility with Broadcom’s Bluetooth solution, this week at the Consumer Electronics Show we are demonstrating the Electric Imp and Broadcom reference design in our meeting suite. Various Bluetooth sensor tags will be placed on Electric Imp personnel to track their locations throughout the suite each day. A use case such as this can be easily applied to track assets in a warehouse, for example.