Device activation is the first interaction between a customer and a device. If this process fails, all the benefits of a connected device go away. Therefore, ensuring an easy and smooth activation experience is of utmost importance.
Automate Provisioning for Wi-Fi and Non-Wi-Fi Devices
Typically, a favorable device activation experience combines firmware functionality that enables device provisioning with a user interface in the app that guides customers through the process.
For any IoT device to function properly, it must be properly configured. This means it should be flashed with the correct firmware, obtain a unique ID from the IoT platform, be registered to a specific user, connect to WiFi or another network, securely authenticate in the system, and communicate bi-directionally with the cloud. This process is called IoT device provisioning or device onboarding and should be both secure and user-friendly.
Flawless user experience while provisioning is especially critical in commercial implementations where large numbers of devices are prepared for deployment and then shipped directly from the manufacturer to the end-users, who must activate them on their own. Configuring each device manually would be time-consuming, non-flexible and error-prone.
Any app built with Blynk incorporates a secure and user-friendly device activation flow for both WiFi and non-WiFi devices. The platform also provides built-in firmware tools that handle the whole process behind the scene, though the steps and their order vary based on the connectivity type.
Wi-Fi Device Provisioning
Simplify the onboarding of Wi-Fi-enabled devices with Blynk's IoT platform.
Wi-Fi Device Provisioning in Blynk is powered by Blynk.Edgent, a packaged solution that allows developers to take advantage of all Blynk’s advanced features without the need for extensive coding. It is currently supported for ESP32, ESP8266, Seeed WiO Terminal, Arduino MKR1010, Arduino Nano 33IoT, and Texas Instruments CC3220.
Steps to provision a WiFi device with Blynk.Edgent:
- Add Blynk.Edgent to your firmware
- Flash all devices with the same firmware
- Ship devices to the end-users
- End-user enters WiFi information (SSID and password) in the app
The whole process takes less than a minute on the end-user side. See for yourself in our video.
Meanwhile in the backstage of Blynk quite a lot of important processes are running.
The device is connected. It is literally that easy. Learn more
Deploying cellular, Ethernet, and other non-WiFi devices
Blynk's IoT platform makes it easy to onboard non-Wi-Fi devices.
Wireless device activation with Static Tokens is designed for non-WiFi devices (cellular, Ethernet, etc.). These devices can connect to the Internet on their own and don't require any additional user input (e.g. WiFi credentials) to get online. Use-cases can be broader than this, of course. For example, your devices can connect to a mobile (cellular) hotspot using hardcoded WiFi credentials. In such cases, Static Token Management is applicable as well.
For security reasons Static Token consists of two related items: AuthToken (Device Token) and QR Token. AuthToken is meant to be kept private (and ideally separate from the firmware to enable OTA) while QR Token in the form of a QR code is used to claim the device.
Steps to deploy a non-WiFi device:
- Generate Static Tokens (can be done in batches), QR codes for them are created automatically
- Flash Tokens to your devices, print out or email the QR codes
- Ship devices to the end-users
- End-user scans the QR code with the app and claims the device
Keeping the experience super simple for the end-user Blynk at the same time conducts a ton of important things in the background.
The device is connected. It is literally that easy. Learn more.
Onboarding dual-MCU solutions with Blynk.NCP
Blynk offers a software stack for a variety of Network Co-Processors.
Network co-processors (NCPs) are specialized MCUs designed to offload networking tasks (WiFi, Ethernet, Cellular, …) from the main microcontroller in an IoT device freeing up the main MCU to handle the business logic such as sensor readings, data processing, and decision-making.
The main MCU runs a lightweight client library that communicates to the NCP over UART or SPI. It enables blazing fast and high quality integration, and is perfect for retrofitting scenarios as you can add an NPC chip to virtually any hardware keeping its original functionality.
Blynk.NCP unlocks a range of advanced features:
- BLE-assisted device provisioning using Blynk.App (iOS/Android) or Blynk.Console (Web Dashboard)
- WiFi AP-based provisioning for devices without BLE support
- Support for Production Line provisioning
Secure cloud connection with API for
- Virtual Pins
- Metadata access
- Time and Location
- Persistent automations (works even if device is offline)
- WiFi (up to 16 saved networks)
Automatic Over-The-Air firmware updates
- Using Blynk.Cloud or Blynk.App
- Can be done during provisioning
- Both NCP and MCU updates are supported.
To use Blynk.NCP in commercial applications, please contact Blynk.
Whatever connectivity and hardware configuration you are using for your connected product, Blynk IoT platform has you covered. Supercharge your IoT business with seamless WiFi provisioning and ensure hassle-free activation experience for Wi-Fi, cellular, ethernet and dual-MCU devices.