IoT devices dont always have an accessible local user interface, resulting in almost zero capability for interaction with them after deployment if they are not connected to the cloud infrastructure that supports them. Unfortunately there are more than a few chances of an unforeseen circumstance occuring where the device needs to be reconfigured.
Let’s talk about a simple example. Your ESP32 devices are functioning in station mode and are connected to your company sub-network. Your company changes your subnet SSID and as a result credentials have to be updated across your set of nodes. If you hadn’t foreseen this use-case, you have to go through a laborious task of bringing these devices down one-by-one and re-configuring them before they are deployed again. Wouldn’t it be helpful if you had some kind of local access that didn’t depend on the main infrastructure being up and running ?
While we are talking in this simple example about WiFi credentials, this capability can also be useful when some features of the system need configuring once in a while. In these type of problems, even a simple pre-thought out plan can save a lot of time and effort. Since our devices support BLE, it makes obvious that a solution to this is to expose critical parameters behind BLE accessible points (called characteristics in BLE jargon).
Hence we are adding an example to the ESP32 framework we released last week. This example implements a BLE server and exposes a service that allows users to configure the WiFi configuration for the device to become a station and connect to that network. Obviously, you can add other variables / commands to the example to handle your specific use cases.
- Project Root: https://github.com/IoTReady/esp32_firmware_base
- Doc: https://iotready.co/esp32_firmware_base/
Bluetooth Characteristic Table for the example #
|Service UUID||Characteristic UUID||Description|
Hardware Required #
To run this example, you need:
- An ESP32 dev board (e.g. ESP32-WROVER Kit, ESP32-Ethernet-Kit) or ESP32 core board (e.g. ESP32-DevKitC).
- Bench DC power supply.
- Computer with ESP-IDF installed and configured.