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The Wisp is a gateway for your embedded projects to the world of social media. E-mail, Twitter, SMS and Dropbox in a 1"x1.5" device.

The embdSocial platform allows for rapid development of internet-connected-devices supporting the "Internet of Things" mantra. By integrating our embdSocial WISPs into your electronic designs, you open up a world of social media, essential web-services, and real-time global accessibility.

Visit us: http://www.embdsocial.net/

What is a WISP?

The embdSocial WISP is an amazing little device that will literally change the way you work with, and talk to, your electronics. Each WISP has an industry-standard 802.11 wifi interface allowing for easy integration with your existing wireless network. If you've setup a router you can setup a WISP. It's as simple as connecting to a wireless network, opening a webpage, and answering a few questions. Once online, future configuration is done through your account on the embdSocial website.

What can I do with my WISP?

Your WISP will allow your embedded project to do anything you can imagine! We provide a lot of functionality right out of the box:

  • Tweeting/receiving @messages
  • Updating Facebook statuses
  • Sending/receiving emails
  • Sending/receiving SMS text messages
  • Manipulating files in your Dropbox

The key here is simplicity! We take all of the complicated configuration, and authentication processes for popular web services and consolidate them into our web site. Once configured, common tasks (such as tweeting, sending an e-mail, saving a file to dropbox) are performed using our simple embedded API.

Need to send data to your WISP? Don't worry about setting up firewall rules or dynamic DNS...your WISP connects automatically to our servers. All you need to do is send an HTTP request to our publicly accessible XML API and your message will be automatically routed to your WISP (and your embedded device).

Still need some ideas? Check out these actual "weekend" projects from the embdSocial team (using real WISPs):

See the details: http://www.embdsocial.net/projects/coffee-maker

See the details: http://www.embdsocial.net/projects/garage

See the details: http://www.embdsocial.net/projects/turret

Arduino Integration

Bringing internet capabilities to your Arduino has never been easier or more affordable. Your WISP coupled with an Arduino using an Arduino shield adapter ($89 donation level) yields a tightly integrated package that allows you to bring the internet to any embedded project. Tired of breaking out that huge USB cable every time you want to program your Arduino? If your WISP is online simply upload your compiled sketch and your WISP will take care of the rest...that's right, over-the-air updates for your Arduino project!

A collaborative community

In addition to our "core" plugins, we are working to provide the ability for you to create your own custom plug-ins. Your custom plug-ins can then be submitted to an open community repository where others can use them in their own projects. Popular plug-ins will be refined, standardized and integrated into future versions of our API for all to use.

Why we need YOUR help

We have everything we need to go to production and start making your WISPs right now:

  • Technical design package (schematics, layouts, BOMs)
  • Quotes from numerous fabrication/assembly houses
  • Packaging + shipping material

...but in order make your WISP affordable, we need to order parts in bulk and pay upfront costs for electronics assembly. Even though we're technically a company, we're really just a few guys who care a lot about this project...we have the time and the dedication...but we don't have the finances to start production. We need your financial support to jump this fabrication hurdle and start delivering your WISPs.

When will I get my WISP?

As soon as we have enough backers to pay for our production costs, we are going to pick our fabrication house and give them the green light. Since we already have working prototypes, you can expect your WISP and Arduino shield adapter this July!

So who are you guys?

embdSocial is a close group of college friends who have since made their way into industry. We are comprised of Embedded Systems Engineers, Electrical Engineers, professional Web Programmers and one PhD Candidate. Projects like embdSocial and the WISP are what we do on a day-to-day basis, only in various other industries. We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work on such a cutting-edge project, and look forward to delivering your WISPs this summer!

FAQ

  • As of right now, no. After initial configuration, your Wisp must be connected to the embdSocial servers. If there is considerable interest from the community in adding standalone capabilities, we will do our best to add them in future firmware upgrades!

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  • Each Wisp has the ability to receive "over-the-air" (OTA) updates from the embdSocial servers. This mechanism will ensure compatibility of your Wisp with future implementations/upgrades of the embdSocial servers. We will take every measure to ensure that the Wisp you buy now will work into the foreseeable future.

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  • While the privacy and security of our users is very important to us, we do not yet have an "official" privacy policy. In general, we support the idea that "your data is your data". We have absolutely no plans for distributing your data to third parties without your consent.

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  • All of our APIs will be fully documented and open. Those APIs will also allow for community extension in the spirit of open source. Our dev kits will be open source (both hardware and software) to encourage adoption and development. For the time being, the Wisp and its related code will be fully documented, yet remain closed source.

    We fully support and identify with the open source movement and will attempt to keep our products as open as possible. If there is considerable community interest and a plausible way to financially support continued development, we will certainly favor that route.

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  • Global Accessibility
    The Wisp gives your project a unified web presence. If you wanted to connect to your Arduino WiFly Shield from outside of your home network, not only would you need to write your own network communication protocol, but you'd also need to setup your home router to allow incoming connections AND setup a dynamic DNS service so you locate your home network from the greater internet. With a Wisp, your embedded device creates a connection to the embdSocial servers...no router or firewall setup required. This bi-directional connection is then used to send data to your device from the globally accessible embdSocial servers using standard XML requests.

    Web Services
    If you wanted to connect your embedded device to web services such as Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, E-mail, SMS, Foursquare, etc you would need to make HTTP requests to their external APIs and go through the OAUTH process (complicated tasks for an Arduino). We make these tasks simple by handling them from our servers and providing a simple API (over serial and SPI).

    Additionally, we simplify the Wi-Fi configuration process: when you receive your Wisp it has its own SSID and is already running a web server that provides a simple, first-time configuration interface. Once it connects to our servers, you can configure Wi-Fi settings through our web interface.

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  • No! The Wisp can communicate with any processor or microcontroller using its 5V serial or 5V SPI interface. To use your Wisp to its fullest extent, you will need a microcontroller connected to it...however, for simple projects requiring basic GPIO, the Wisp will be capable of reconfiguring (through the web interface) its serial and SPI lines for this purpose.

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