Newbie needs hardware

Hi there,

I am engaging in a proof of concept for my company on IoT. For that we want the following functionality:

  • sensors: temperature, humidity, location (GPS) (optionally gyroscope, accelerometer, RF-ID scanner)
  • connectivity: Wifi, GPRS, SMS, lora, bluetooth low energy
  • security: ability to encrypt the data streams over SSL.

What is the adviced electrimp kit for this? imp003 and imp005 only seem to work on Wifi.


That will be an expensive proof of concept. To get all of those things together in one place will be an advanced project. The imp alone will do the WiFi and secure communication. Everything else will be hardware breakout boards attached to the imp.

Here’s your problem though with using the imp. It needs the “imp cloud”. So it has to be able to connect to it periodically. That means you need WiFi available. That’s probably the deal breaker for you, as it pertains to the imp. I mention this because it seems like your hardware needs to be able to select its mode of communication to the internet. If you don’t have WiFi, it will switch to something else? The imp cannot do that.

So now you would be looking at your own custom hardware with a microcontroller capable of doing all of the communication hand-offs. If you can build something that automatically scans and connects to whatever it can find, that would be an amazing piece of hardware. Just the communication part alone … without any sensors … would be the place to start. Methods like you suggest …

Referring to this:

Or this:

Creating one piece of hardware that combines all of those things into one board … wow … whether or not something like this currently exists, I do not know. But if it did, that would be amazing. Perhaps you will be the person that builds it, and it will be able to be used with any micro controller platform. That alone would be a huge money maker for your company.

Hugo … your next Kickstarter?

Maybe call it the “SpeakEZ”

Sounds like you are defining a set of requirements, which could indeed become constraints as you have not defined your messaging architecture or data flows, or at least revealed it to us.

In my opinion, it is important to first understand how and how often you want to capture data, where the data is going to and what you want to do with it, then and only then can you decide on hardware architecture to facilitate.

The core imp hardware device, whether it’s imp003 (wifi only) or imp005 (wifi + Ethernet), is certainly one option that delivers on security and in facilitating the data flows to and from a cloud-based service. You can then relatively easily add modules around this core as well as securely link with other web services.

These days, however, there are more and more manufacturers offering integrated connectivity options and many offer dev boards with many of those sensors you required already built in. One issue to consider though, is that with some of these integrated hardware options (e.g. TI Simplelink, ESP32, Hologram, Pycom, Wysol, Particle, ARTIK, etc.) you are then left to build the base-level cloud architecture yourself. That can be somewhat problematic and time-consuming from a security point of view.

I’m working on something similar right now. I’m using the Imp3, LoRa radios, and a WiFi hotspot. It’s working well so far in prototype. I use a different, lower cost MCU to control the sensors and send the data via LoRa to the Imp. The Imp can connect to a local WiFi or to the hotspot if no local is available. My main goals have been low cost and low energy consumption. Done pretty well on both counts so far.

What you’re proposing seems eminently doable provided you company gives you a reasonable development budget. There’s quite a bit of communication code involved, not to mention the sensors. There’s also the sensor and Imp board design and build. It depends on the tools and expertise your company has in-house as to what that budget needs to be.

My LoRa gives me a range of +/- 1.5km between my Imp and sensor packages and I can handle, theoretically, about 200 multi-sensor probes with 1 Imp. In reality, I’ve only connected 12 so far.

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Ok, thanks for the responses. Clear that out of the box the imp is working with wifi, clear that the impcloud is required.
and also clear that lora and others require break-outs and development

We will now work with the impExplorer devkit and a battery powered sensor node.