Using Imp Standalone

Is it planned for the Imp to be able to work standalone without a Internet connection? Can the Internet connection be optional?

My current fridge has a wifi connection. It functions as a local web server and I can use it to see various status readings from the fridge. Suppose I sell my house to someone that doesn’t believe in the Internet and doesn’t hook it up or it gets installed on a mountain with no Internet connection. Would the tiny web server continue to function? Obviously it can’t get Internet updates, but it shouldn’t stop working. You can update my fridge via a post to the web server.

Can I build this with an Imp?

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.

One feature that is coming is to allow imp code to run without an immediate connection to the internet. An occasional (or at least, initial) connection will still be required.

Fen Consultants, UK

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.

Imp would be much more useful if it included tiny web server and Internet was optional.  Tiny web server is not hard. Contiki has one plus OS and IP all in 64K. I’d like to make a web page with one link to update Imp and another to update my attached embedded CPU.

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.

You’re right, the tiny web server is not hard.  What EI are doing with their easy configuration, low latency cloud service is hard.

Fen Consultants, UK

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.

Service man can just bring Imp and use it locally to do update.

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.