In the 1960s, ARPAnet — the precursor to the Internet — used Interface Message Processors (IMPs) to provide the networking services for network nodes. Our imp platform performs much the same function, but for the Internet of Things.
The Electric Imp Platform is a powerful and comprehensive edge-to-enterprise solution for secure IoT connectivity. We securely connect devices to the cloud over Ethernet, WiFi, and Cellular. The platform features fully integrated hardware, software, OS, APIs, and cloud services.
The Electric Imp Platform provides scalability at all necessary levels — manufacturing, deployment, and operations — and can be monitored and managed by customers using the comprehensive impCentral operational tools. During manufacturing, our connected and automated manufacturing process lets you manufacture and monitor products securely and in large volumes. During deployment, our secure and streamlined device setup process allows you to install large numbers of products easily while the cloud platform seamlessly scales to handle millions of devices. Once deployed in the field, products are operationally managed on an ongoing basis, including Over-The-Air (OTA) software and security updates. Electric Imp currently has over 1.5 million devices on our platform.
Developing a secure, connected IoT product is a complex and time-consuming process requiring expertise in hardware and software development, cybersecurity, communication technologies, cloud design and scalability, operations management, and more. Electric Imp provides a complete and ready-to-use end-to-end platform which eliminates this complexity so you can focus your development efforts on your value-add and get products to market faster.
The strong security of the Electric Imp Platform has been validated by multiple large public companies, including Pitney Bowes and GE, and is the first and only IoT platform to be UL® 2900-2-2 Cybersecurity certified. Furthermore, the Electric Imp offering provides continuous security maintenance of the entire system, from devices to cloud — for as long as the customer requires. This includes ongoing security analysis and OTA security updates to guard against current and future threats.
Our experienced customer solutions team can provide you with technical and business guidance to ensure your success. We also have a wealth of technical resources available, including detailed blogs, design guides, technical specifications, API documentation, tooling, and other helpful documents you can find on our Developer Center.
The Electric Imp offering is uniquely designed with a security-first architecture that fully integrates all 7 layers of security, from the edge device silicon all the way to the cloud, and includes continuous security maintenance and updates of devices in the field for the lifetime of the product. Our platform is the first and only IoT platform to be UL® 2900-2-2 Cybersecurity certified and trusted by large public customers such as Pitney Bowes and GE.
A key benefit of the Electric Imp Platform is that it allows full customization of both the device and the cloud, so you can easily adapt to your specific product and cloud integration requirements. We provide programming APIs and extensive sets of libraries, including ready-to-use integrations with AWS, Azure, Salesforce, and other cloud platforms.
The Electric Imp device firmware, impOS, has extensive power optimization capabilities that enable you to maximize battery life, so your devices can run for up to several years on a single set of batteries.
Can I write custom applications to take greater advantage of the capabilities of my connected devices?
Yes, the platform allows you to develop custom application logic on both the device and the cloud. For example, Pitney Bowes developed an automatic ink replenishment capability for their postage meters which improves customer satisfaction and ROI of their IoT investment.
Unlike other IoT vendors, our platform is built from the ground-up for IoT and provides fully integrated hardware, software, OS, APIs, cloud services, and security. This means it is ready to use and allows you to go from prototype to production in as little as five months, eliminating much of the time, effort, and risk typically associated with IoT projects. Rather than spending time and resources to design, integrate, and maintain a secure connectivity infrastructure, your business can focus on your core expertise and build the best product possible, adding greater value, utility, and differentiation.
Electric Imp has a substantial partner ecosystem that can assist you in your IoT product development and support your long-term success. Please see this page for more information on the breadth of our partner ecosystem.
How is getting started with Electric Imp easier than getting started with other companies and technologies in the IoT industry?
The Electric Imp offering is an out-of-the-box solution with everything needed to seamlessly take your connected product from prototype to production. Unlike other vendors IoT “starter kits” that often only provide a part of the necessary technology stack, the Electric Imp developer kits are part of a fully integrated and tested device-to-cloud solution that solves your IoT connectivity and security challenges so you can deliver and scale your IoT business quickly.
The Electric Imp Platform is available with cloud connectivity via Ethernet, WiFi, and Cellular. Additionally, the platform’s unified approach to connectivity allows different models of a product to use connectivity methods with minimal changes.
Our Electric Imp Platform overcomes the challenges to easily and securely installing connected products with its BlinkUp™ installation process. During BlinkUp, configuration information is securely transmitted optically or via Bluetooth from a smartphone or web browser to the product being installed. The secure enrollment process completes within seconds and the product is connected and fully functional, without further user involvement.
The Electric Imp Platform brings secure and efficient TCP/IP-based cloud communication to the edge device via Ethernet, WiFi, or Cellular. The imp module can also act as a lightweight gateway to downstream devices and systems via a range of interfaces and protocols, including serial/UART, I2C, SPI, Ethernet, Modbus, BACNET, Bluetooth, Zigbee/Z-Wave and LoRa. Reference designs and examples for these interfaces and protocols can be found on the Electric Imp DevCenter.
Can I use hardware module XYZ with the Electric Imp service instead of one of the imp Authorized Hardware Modules?
The imp Authorized Hardware Modules are carefully selected to meet strict requirements for security, connectivity, and functionality and Electric Imp supports these modules for many years to ensure product security and longevity. We can also make recommendations to address any specific module requirements you may have.
Can I connect my products directly to my cloud instead of connecting to the Electric Imp managed cloud (impCloud) first?
The Electric Imp impCloud acts as a management layer between your product in the field and your cloud, providing critical functionality including device security, connectivity, operations, and scalability as ready-to-use managed services. This architecture removes complexity from the customer cloud and simplifies the deployment and management of the overall end-to-end solution.
The imp Authorized Modules are cost- and power-efficient micro controller-class devices. They enable secure and efficient connectivity and edge intelligence by providing a scripting application platform for customer applications, which are deployed and managed via the Electric Imp impCentral tools.
All application code on the imp Authorized Modules is executed in an isolated application container to ensure complete system security and control. Native application code currently cannot be executed in an isolated fashion as it poses a potential risk, and is therefore not supported. There are multiple options to address your application requirements; please contact us to discuss the technical details of your solution.
The most straightforward approach is to separate the real-time domain from the application, security, and networking domain. For example, using a small, separate micro controller for the real-time functionality but managed by the Electric Imp module. Please contact us to discuss the technical details of your solution.
Can I use the Electric Imp system to perform Over-The-Air (OTA) updates of the firmware of my existing products?
Yes, in fact, several of our customers do exactly that. The existing controller in your product can connect to an imp module via a local interface (for example, UART). The imp module provides the secure cloud connectivity to download the firmware image and then performs a local firmware update to your controller — allowing you to easily and remotely manage and update your product.
All detailed technical documentation, including software development information, hardware modules and reference designs, manufacturing, deployment, and operations tools, and much more can be found in the Developer Center.