Is it planned for the Imp to be able to work standalone without a Internet connection? Can the Internet connection be optional?
The mission for Electric Imp, as I understand it, is to connect things to the internet. Although their hardware is cute the real value is in the simple cloud connection and the planner. As you say, you already have a fridge with local WiFi.
Requiring the Internet is going to be a problem in long life time devices. When selling mass market devices there are chunks of the population that don’t have Internet. These people still need to do software updates.
I think it’s fair to assume that people with no internet connection are not the target audience for a product who’s primary stated purpose is to connect devices to the internet. Presumably this is why the imp is a module and the cost of supporting - but not necessarily including - that module in a retail product is quite low.
Now I have to build two interfaces for updating my SOC, a Imp and something like a USB port for when they don’t have an Imp. That adds to costs and complexity.
I think this is really a philosophical difference; the imp is designed to work with a permanent internet connection. There will never be a local web server in an imp, because we believe that this complexity is what prevents widespread adoption of this type of device.
If you are looking for a solution where you have local wifi access, embedded web servers and so on, there are multiple vendors providing these (Gainspan, Roving Networks, BlueGiga, etc).
We were really looking forward to using Electric Imp in our project. But not having the ability to be independent of the internet would cause our project to potentially fail in a case of no internet.
The imp will continue to work (local code can function - well, it can’t right now, but this is coming), but without the internet connection obviously it cannot interact with external services - or other imps/devices.
If you require this type of functionality then you need to look at an alternate product.
Will imp work standalone when connected to WiFi occasionally? And is auto connect to unknown open WiFi Networks supported?
Thank you, Rick
As I said above, local code will be able to function when wifi isn’t present. It can’t auto-connect to unknown local networks, no, but the wishlist includes being able to specify multiple networks to connect to - no word on when that’ll be though.