In the world of Internet of Things (IoT), it is important to test the viability of a project concept as the ecosystem- device, network, people and cloud backend- is still maturing. Be it a retail, agri, consumer, industrial or healthcare use case, a lot of uncertainty hovers around devices at field vs. lab environment, battery life expectation, user behaviour and acceptability, network stability based on usage location, remote provisioning and upgrade etc. So a Proof of Concept (PoC) or a Minimum viable product (MVP) is almost a norm to build confidence and risk awareness in both the service provider and the customer- before serious time, money and manpower are committed.
But unlike mature technologies, IoT holds high promises with high uncertainty. So they are looked at very sceptically by the mainstream customers- little time and budgets are made available to display a working solution and thus build confidence. Needless to say, customized hardware and firmware can’t be developed and stabilized in short time and small budget. As such, many promising IoT projects get delayed or get stuck at this stage.
To navigate through the situation, WiseThingz has developed and launched “WishTree IoT Prototyping Kit”- to develop working IoT prototype quickly, easily and cost effectively. WishTree prototyping board houses ESP8266 & ESP32 both (any one at a time), and runs WiFi, BT, BLE, GSM and LoRa all from the same board to realize a working demo fast. ESP32 has built-in WiFi, BT, BLE. GSM and LoRa connectivity are achieved through A6-mini and RFM95 module (one at a time).
“WishTree IoT Prototyping Kit” is a simple breakout board of ESP8266 (ESP12) and ESP32- so all kind of programming e.g. Arduino, python, FreeRTOS, ESP-IDF that work with ESP’s work on this board. It is developed by hands-on IoT industry practitioners. So the main advantage over the commercial off the shelf (COTS) boards is- it has the common circuitry/utilities required for any IoT prototyping in built. For example- it has got multiple powering option- USB, DC-socket, screw terminal; both 3.3v & 5v onboard; run mode (normal, config, FOTA) select button, battery-% left reading, I2C pin break out, micro-amp level deep sleep and many more.
Moreover, the prototyping kit has ready sockets for common peripherals like OLED, RTC, Memory card etc. This get makers rid of dangling breadboard and many criss-crossing jumper wires travelling between the dev-board and breadboard- that posses the risk of malfunction due to loose connection, or sometimes complete open circuit (putting back an open wire often need you to look at the circuit diagram all over again). With WishTree the absence of breadboard makes the prototype great to carry around, and also the whole board along with all on-board jumpers can be put into a ready casing to give it a finished look.
The learning curve to start using WishTree Prototyping kit is minimal for developers, makers, innovators who have already worked with Arduino, ESP8266 and ESP32. The same existing codes and libraries will run as it is. Moreover, to get the users up and running quickly, the documentations, schematics, pin-outs and codes are made available at: https://console.wisethingz.com/wishtree/.
We see a lot of traction from our patrons- service providers, makers, innovators, learners to leverage this prototyping board to quickly test their ideas. Once successful, they develop their own customized board suitable for the use case- guided by the schematic and documentations available. We always stood there to make the ambitious project a grand success. Many a times when the quantity needed is low, the prototyping board itself is used as it is- saving the hardware development cost and lead time (and headache of course).
We see another wide usage of the board by educational institutions and colleges. It is used in trainings and workshops. We send these boards in bulk for many IoT competitions. It is the board of choice for the organizers as all participant groups get the same infra and can build any use case of their choice using any communication medium. And the icing on the cake is, when the boards are ordered in bulk, we get the organizer’s logo affixed on it.
Lastly, to provide the whole IoT ecosystem to our patrons, makers, innovators we provide access to WishCloud- our IoT cloud backend and dashboard service hosted in AWS- free for 6 months with each board. HTTP, HTTPS and MQTT protocols are implemented with NoSQL database. Users can store and retrieve their data using easy API services- API documentation link is available in the same website page link provided above.