Electric Imp Announces Platform-Native Bluetooth LE Support for IoT Applications

Electric Imp today announced its platform now supports Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) communication, enabling manufacturers to quickly and easily address applications requiring local wireless connectivity.

With WiFi and Bluetooth LE supported natively, the Electric Imp platform can target a wide range of new use cases such as asset tracking, beacon management, wireless sensor integration, local smartphone connectivity, and other low power, low throughput communication applications.

As with the security features of impOS, the Bluetooth LE stack is continuously maintained and updated by Electric Imp, relieving customers of the burden of long-term security and compatibility maintenance. APIs provide powerful facilities such as advanced advertising filtering and GATT server management, enabling complex applications to be delivered quickly without extensive Bluetooth or embedded expertise.

“Support of Bluetooth LE is another way EIectric Imp has made it easier and faster for manufacturers to connect and deploy secure IoT-enabled devices,” said Hugo Fiennes, CEO and Co-founder of Electric Imp. “Through our powerful platform and robust partner ecosystem, Electric Imp enables manufacturers to focus on their core strengths, bringing greater value to the products they offer customers.”

The imp004m WiFi/Bluetooth module, manufactured and distributed by Murata, is the first with Bluetooth LE capability. Tested and approved by both wireless regulatory agencies and the Bluetooth SIG, the highly integrated module makes prototyping and shipping hybrid WiFi/Bluetooth applications easier than ever before.

For more detailed technical information, please see the Electric Imp Developer Center documentation.

Electric Imp Blog

New Electric Imp Dev Center Features Enhanced Database Searches, Improved User Interface, and Much More

Electric Imp has a large and growing IoT developer community which now extends to more than 20,000 users. Consequently, we need to support ever wider ranges of experience and expertise among our developer community. That is the task of the Electric Imp Dev Center, which has evolved into a world-class hub for IoT product creation and Squirrel documentation. The Dev Center now hosts more than 900 pages of content — three times the number of pages three years ago. In that time, the IoT has matured, and our developers are innovating quickly.

Now the time has come to lay the foundations for the expansion of our communities and the Dev Center over the next three years and beyond. So we are excited to bring you our next-generation Dev Center.

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A colorful new paint job overlays a powerful engine

The brand new site, created from the ground up, uses Drupal. For those who haven’t heard of it, Drupal is one of the leading lights in the world of online publishing content management systems. It is an open source product that has many big-name users around the globe and is backed by a diverse community of coders who keep it up to date, secure and ensure its relevance for many years to come.

Drupal brings some immediate benefits to Dev Center users:

  • More rapid updates
  • Faster, more accurate search
  • Responsive user interface
  • Platform for great new developer features

Drupal also allows us to provide a Dev Center that can continue to grow at the pace we’ve experienced over the past four years — roll on the next 900 pages! — while remaining responsive to developers accessing its resources from their browsers, and to Electric Imp’s engineers and writers as they keep the existing content up to date and add more.

You can get a taste of this flexibility in the new Dev Center’s Knowledgebase, which provides a speedily searchable database of technical notes, known issues, hints and tips, and FAQs organized by subject matter. We couldn’t offer that with Jekyll, the system we currently use to build the Dev Center.

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The new Electric Imp Knowledgebase

We have also taken the opportunity to brighten up the design. In particular, we have made finding your way around the site much more intuitive and quick. The site has been reorganized into functional areas: getting started, software development, hardware design, manufacturing information, tools documentation and, with the Knowledgebase, a beefed up help section — all with the intention of making it easier for a given user to get straight to the information they need.

The primary site navigation — moved from the right to the left of the screen — is section-specific and expandable, enabling you to reach the content you want quickly without cluttering your workspace. New and updated content is flagged on the homepage, and within each of the sections, along with popular documents and library refreshes.

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Improved navigation

Finally, we have given the new site its own location on the web, so please update your bookmarks. The new Dev Center can be found at https://developer.electricimp.com/

For an initial period, we’ll continue to host, but not update, the old Dev Center, so please begin making use of the new site straight away. All the content from the original site is available in the new one, which is already being updated as Electric Imp’s impCentral™ rollout continues. We’re aware of some small presentation issues, which we’re working on at the moment, but please feel free to drop us a line via the Electric Imp Forum if you spot any issues.

You are Electric Imp’s community of developers and customers, and the Dev Center is your resource. All the changes have been implemented to create a site that is more responsive and accessible for makers, engineers and manufacturers, so please do let us know if  you have comments or suggestions for improvements.

We appreciate you helping us build a resource that is here to assist you for the long haul.

Electric Imp Blog

Petasense Accelerates Industrial IoT and Simplifies Predictive Maintenance with Electric Imp’s Secure IoT Platform

Electric Imp®, Inc., a global leader providing enterprise secure IoT, today announced that Petasense, an innovative Industrial IoT startup headquartered in Silicon Valley, has been utilizing the Electric Imp IoT Platform to successfully accelerate the development of its machine learning based predictive maintenance technology. The Electric Imp IoT Platform, which features secure connectivity, scalability and lifecycle management, has enabled Petasense’s industrial customers to harness the power of predictive maintenance at a fraction of the cost and complexity.

Petasense’s technology features the Mote – a wireless, triaxial vibration sensor – which embeds Electric Imp technology for WiFi connectivity. The Petasense and Electric Imp clouds integrate to collect vibration sensor data, so that it can be trended and analyzed using machine learning algorithms.

Petasense recently announced it logged more than two million sensor measurements comprising 25 billion vibration readings. This increase in data insight is enabling their customers to make informed maintenance decisions, schedule repairs, distribute loads and improve overall reliability.  

“Although predictive maintenance technology has powerful advantages, it has historically been limited in applicability by the complexity and cost of deployment,” said Hugo Fiennes, CEO at Electric Imp. “By building on our secure IoT Platform, Petasense was able to simplify the deployment and lifecycle management of its predictive maintenance sensors, while reducing upfront costs by up to 50 percent – a savings that can be passed down to customers.”

In addition to robust end-to-end security, the Electric Imp integration enables secure over-the-air updates for simplified lifecycle management. Helping to curtail development costs, Electric Imp’s existing operating system (impOS) and cloud services eliminated the need for Petasense to hire a team of embedded engineers.

“Electric Imp’s connectivity and security expertise allows us to focus on our core strengths, which are the design of hardware sensors and development of core prediction software,” said Abhinav Khushraj, co-founder of Petasense. “The Electric Imp Platform supports reliability and security by design, and provides a host of powerful advantages that allowed our team to dramatically reduce the time and cost of embedded software development.”

The Petasense solution embedded with the Electric Imp platform is already being implemented by a Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL) facility to monitor critical HVAC equipment. The Industrial IoT and machine learning technology makes is possible for JLL to continuously monitor, analyze and predict equipment health with actionable diagnostics in real time. As a result, JLL is able to make informed business decisions within minutes that translate to massive productivity gains and cost savings.

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“Petasense delivers on-demand predictive maintenance at a disruptive price point,” said Sean O’Connor, reliability engineer at JLL. “They are simplifying Industrial IoT by making use of wireless sensing and machine learning. It is big data without big problems.”

To learn more about the JLL case, please visit: https://petasense.com/jll-invests-in-machine-learning-and-industrial-iot-to-maximize-equipment-availability/

Electric Imp Blog

Security News: Key Reinstallation Attacks (KRACK)

Today, a new vulnerability affecting the security of WPA2 protected wireless networks was disclosed. The Key Reinstallation Attack (KRACK) can render the network encryption transparent, allowing traffic to be viewed and – in certain circumstances – interfered with.

While the attack poses challenges for some network users, it does not affect the security of Electric Imp devices. The Electric Imp IoT platform was designed from the start to deal with real-world issues such as weak (or non-existent) network encryption, and so our platform treats all network links as untrusted. Instead, we rely on a mutually-authenticated TLS1.2 ECDHE link to secure the traffic between endpoint and cloud, preventing MITM attacks, data snooping and malicious traffic injection.

In addition to this transit security, we implement an Ed25519 based challenge-response to prevent device impersonation even in the event of a TLS key compromise.

When our silicon provider patches their WPA supplicant to withstand the KRACK attack, we will incorporate the fixes in our next impOS release, just as impOS 36 addressed the Broadpwn vulnerabilities revealed earlier this year. All devices on the Electric Imp IoT platform receive OS and security updates directly, relieving our customers from security maintenance duties and keeping the entire installed base fully patched and up to date.

Until that point, though an attacker within wireless range can – at worst – cause denial of service problems, they cannot interfere with, decrypt, or impersonate, valid imp traffic. It should be noted that any attacker within wireless range can also simply use a jammer to prevent network operation, which is a problem no amount of software can fix.

Hugo Fiennes
CEO and Co-Founder of Electric Imp

Electric Imp Blog

Electric Imp Secure IoT Platform and KiWi Power Deliver Next Generation of Intelligent Grid Monitoring and Demand Response Solutions

Electric Imp, a global leader providing enterprise secure IoT, today announced that KiWi Power, the UK’s leading demand response aggregator, is using the Electric Imp IoT Platform to deliver the next generation of innovative, low-cost devices for intelligent electrical metering and energy use control.

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KiWi Power is utilizing the Electric Imp IoT Platform to address security, scalability and lifecycle management for its industrial IoT-connected product, known as Fruit, resulting in a dramatic reduction of the overall cost required to build, deploy and maintain its devices. According to KiWi Power, the Electric Imp IoT Platform enabled a reduction in development time of Fruit from 18 to 10 months, and cut hardware and installation costs by 40 percent.

Through the real-time collection of energy usage, asset control and demand response status, KiWi Power customers are now able to proactively forecast future events and minimize the impact of automated demand response events on building operations to actively manage energy usage and reduce costs.

“Demand response is a powerful tool for driving greater energy efficiency and, ultimately, more reliable and greener power. However, the expense of developing, managing and securing these systems can adversely impact deployment, and hence limit the benefits to the electricity grid,” said Hugo Fiennes, Electric Imp CEO. “By building on the Electric Imp IoT Platform, KiWi Power gains the full lifecycle security, scalability, device management and robust integration their customers need for the next-generation of energy cost control.”

“We needed a modular, multi-purpose software platform that would be less costly to install and maintain for Fruit and our future IoT-connected products, and that’s exactly what we get with Electric Imp,” said Yoav Zingher, Co-Founder and CEO at KiWi Power. “Yet it’s not just about operations. It’s about making KiWi products easier to install and configure. Electric Imp makes it possible for each Fruit device to be secure and managed throughout its entire lifecycle, which makes it easier for us to help our customers significantly lower their energy costs. We are already market leaders in Europe, and this will also allow us to expand to U.S. and Asia.”

Additionally, Electric Imp’s scalable cloud computing and communications architecture is enabling KiWi Power to deploy demand response programs tailored to their customers’ specific requirements. This enables KiWi Power customers to purchase only the functionality required to jumpstart their demand response program and easily expand to meet future needs.

Electric Imp Blog