Easy configuration of IoT device has been our focus since we started working on a generic device platform. Most of the device that we see in the market requires you to do complex setup on the IoT device so that they can access the cloud. Our focus was to minimise it completely or eliminate such configuration steps.

The IoT device we have built starts in a hotspot mode and can be used as it is, ie in hotspot mode or it can be configured to talk to your local wifi and connect to the cloud. In hotspot mode you can connect your mobile phone to the IoT device or can configure using the default web-interface.

rama_sashi
– Sashi and Rama, August 2015

(left)The device with a 5MP camera, temperature and humidity sensor, motion sensor and a wifi dongle, powered by a power-bank. (right) A android phone connected to it showing the initial web interface. Dated: December 2014

The configuration options that are available on this raspberry pi B+ based device are:

  1. Wifi settings
  2. Configure image: orientation
  3. Motion based alerts

Although the configuration can be achieved by the web based interface there were several steps involved. A native mobile app had the potential to solve several of these steps. Following is the workflow for the mobile app:

As you can see above the mobile app will automatically detect the device hotspot interface, connect to it and fill in the necessary info. The app will then prompt for the local wifi password and then switch the app and mobile to connect to the local wifi.

Once the device is connected to the local wifi, the app will once again detect it and then present the device interface via mobile device. Now your device is connected to internet via your home wifi !

mobile_screens

Some screenshots of the android mobile app in action:

The mobile app thus simplified the initial device configuration. The user was only expected to switch on the device and launch the mobile Android/iOS app and then provide the wifi password when prompted – that simple !

Lets talk about the Android App flow detail.

Below is the high level