Simplifying IIoT Connectivity with Electric Imp and ExoSense
Thane Storley

July 12, 2019

Simplifying IIoT Connectivity with Electric Imp and ExoSense

As the Internet of Things (IoT) market matures, more and more organizations are developing connected solutions that are capable of gathering device data in the field and reliably communicating it to a cloud platform. The next step is often integrating that data with other platforms, business systems, and applications that can help generate actionable insights from it. 

However, cross-platform connectivity is difficult. Different platforms are written in various languages by multiple engineers and are meant to accomplish distinct tasks. To ease this burden, Exosite has developed two strategic approaches to assist customers: 

  • First, we’ve made it easy to connect other platforms and services to our Murano® platform via API service integrations. As a result, you can access Murano’s extensive platform capabilities and leverage ExoSense®, Exosite’s remote condition monitoring application, while continuing to leverage an existing platform you may already have in place.
  • Second, we’ve developed powerful integrations with strategic hardware and software partners whose offerings complement ExoSense and can help you accelerate connected product development.  

In this blog, we’ll highlight a new integration with Electric Imp, an IoT software and hardware provider that specializes in complex connectivity challenges. Using their impExplorer™ Developer Kit and their secure device-to-cloud integration solution, we’ll explain how to quickly connect and send data to the Electric Imp Platform. Next, we’ll explain how Exosite’s cloud-to-cloud integration can be leveraged to share that data with ExoSense, where you can create a sophisticated condition monitoring solution with customizable dashboards, visualization tools, and analytics capabilities. 

Exosite and Electric Imp Integration

The impExplorer Developer Kit includes an impExplorer breakout board, an imp001 Wi-Fi IoT module, and a mini-B USB cable. The board serves as an aggregator for the data, while the imp connects this data to the outside world. Together, the board and imp combine to make a “device.”

Figure 1: impExplorer Developer Kit

Setting up the impExplorer Developer Kit requires power, a connection to the Internet, and a dash of code. To connect the impExplorer to the Internet, Electric Imp created BlinkUp, a mobile app used to provision the development kit. To get started, download the BlinkUp app from iTunes or Google Play and follow the steps in this setup video. In total, the process takes under five minutes. 

Once connected, you can upload code through the impCentral platform, Electric Imp’s in-browser integrated development environment (IDE). impCentral is capable of deploying software to both the device and to the cloud. The cloud software, otherwise known as “agent code,” manages communication between the device and the cloud. 

Now you’re ready to connect your Electric Imp solution to ExoSense, Exosite’s remote condition monitoring application. Exosite has developed a library on impCentral to make the cloud-to-cloud integration easier than ever; we’ve also created a step-by-step quickstart guide with detailed instructions here.

First, make sure you’ve set up your Exosite account with a product and an ExoSense® instance. Once complete, the integration is as simple as uploading Exosite’s example code provided in the impCentral library and entering your Exosite Product ID into Exosite’s example agent code. The example code provisions the device, saves the authentication token, and then waits for the device to write data. Once data is written, it will forward the data on to your Exosite Product.

Figure 2: Exosite example code using impExplorer Developer Kit

When you’ve established a connection to your Exosite Product, you will be able to sync your ExoSense instance to your product. Once your Electric Imp device is connected to ExoSense, you can begin to monitor device status and performance, build tailored insights and dashboards, and customize alerts and notifications. You’ll also have access to logs, reports, and user-management features. To learn more about all of the ExoSense features and functionality available to you, visit the technical documentation site.

Figure 3: ExoSense Dashboard

By combining Electric Imp’s secure device-to-cloud connectivity with the ExoSense condition monitoring application, we’ve created a complete hardware and software solution that reduces complexity and expedites development. As a result, you’ll be able to connect devices more securely and bring connected products to market in weeks, rather than months or years. 

If you’d like to know more, connect with an Exosite solution expert to talk about your application needs and see a demo of ExoSense. Ready to get started? Visit Electric Imp’s site to purchase your impExplorer Developer Kit.