As we are selling our wireless technology, we would love to say that it is perfect for everyone. In reality, the case is quite the opposite. We provide a powerful Wirepas Mesh development environment, and then we pass on the responsibility to the customer.
Wirepas itself does not provide an end-to-end solution; we want to expose our ecosystem to new partners. This way, we can concentrate on the wireless technology in form of a software development kit (SDK), called the Wirepas Mesh. Wirepas Mesh is applicable in various types of use cases. Each use case requires a unique application which is developed by the customer itself or Wirepas partner. The benefit of the business model is flexibility and fit for the purpose final solutions.
Example case - Sulzer
Products innovated and delivered by Wirepas customers vary from lighting to asset tracking, and from vertical solutions to more horizontal entities. A great recent example of an innovative customer is Sulzer, a Swiss company, that required a reliable wireless system to monitor its pump system.
The sensors installed in the pumps need to communicate with each other and monitor system temperature and vibration data. The customer had ruled out Bluetooth or a mobile operator as a solution, but found Wirepas Mesh to be the optimal solution for Sulzer in the industrial environment. A global leading pump company, a global product idea, the required technical solution and expertise – all that was available through the open Wirepas ecosystem. Sulzer was introduced to many Wirepas ecosystem partners which have already delivered successfully complex projects. The complete implementation was done by Wirepas ecosystem partner Treon, whereas Wirepas took care of the connectivity.
Customers get to develop their specialized solutions
Applications like preventive maintenance typically require dedicated sensors, such as vibration and temperature sensors. Then depending on the use case, sensors measure with various intervals. The application also contains the business logic, the customer has defined, to react and sent e.g. an alarm to the end user through the network and cloud. Wirepas leaves the responsibility of the implementation of the application to the customer.
The final customer device is built to include Wirepas Mesh compatible hardware components which are off-the-shelf 2.4 GHz radio components. The customer can source the hardware through the ideal channel already known to them, either directly from a device manufacturer or through a distributor.
Getting down to the details
Thanks to the state-of-the-art performance optimization in power consumption and throughput, Wirepas delivery does not need to include an operating system (OS). Customers can implement the application to run on the Wirepas software on the same radio hardware. Usually, this is the most common scenario due to the optimization of the hardware cost. In case the customer prefers to use an OS, because of legacy or a strategical decision on the company level, it is easy to run the operating system with customer application in separate microprocessor, for example the STm32. Then the customer can use the Wirepas Mesh through the software API over the UART serial communication. This way, the customer can run their application on same radio chip, without needing a separate processor to run the application code. This has positive impact on the bill of material.
This is what it means:
- Wirepas supports the off-the-shelf components, like Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 or SiLabs EFR32 radio components or modules.
- Wirepas Mesh software with customer application software can be flashed to the hardware with standard flashing tools.
- A unique ID and network parameters are given to the flashed devices, which can then be connected to the gateway for testing purposes.
- Wirepas also provides a powerful Network Monitoring tool, which shows the diagnostic data and the topology of the network under testing.
One of the powerful things is the gateway to cloud reference implementation which is available in Wirepas GitHub as opensource. Many of Wirepas customers have taken the reference implementation and loaded it to a Raspberry PI hardware and been able data flowing in a day.
Wirepas customers can modify their applications based on a reference application, which comes with the SDK. They have a full latitude to add any sensors on the hardware, do edge computing or traditional application logic before transmitting the data. When the data is transmitted, the application does not need to care about routing or reliability, because that is Wirepas’ responsibility.
This is the important part, why:
Through the ecosystem partners, Wirepas enables a fast go-to-market for their customers with new products. It can be a case of a new generation of a product using wired data transfer or a totally new solution that could not even be developed without Wirepas Mesh.
The embedded software or hardware designers, who managed to read so far, probably came up with more questions than before reading the blog. Get them answered by visiting https://github.com/wirepas.