Whisker.IO™

Off-the-shelf + Low-Cost + High-Performance + Comprehensive = IoT Made Easy™

Overview

Whisker.IO™ makes it easy to bring your business to the Internet of things. Our off-the-shelf hardware is truly plug and play; it installs in minutes, works anywhere, and requires near zero maintenance. Our cloud platform provides critical services that store historical data from devices, forward device data to 3rd party applications, and alert users when configurable conditions are met.

Here is how it works:

Our SensorBlocks are battery powered, wireless IoT devices that can be used to monitor and control just about anything. Or, use our Whisker.IO Engine to connect your own products. Each device can transmit up to 6 channels of data as often as every 5 minutes: a channel can be any sensor or digital/analog input or output.

Devices transmit data using LoRa wireless (>1 mile range) to a Whisker.IO Gateway, which in turn forwards the data to the cloud using WiFi, Cellular, or Ethernet.

The Whisker.IO Cloud platform then stores your data, forwards it to one or more 3rd party services (REST or MQTT), and generates alerts based on how the account is configured. Our web application provides a modern web-based GUI to interact with your devices in real-time, perform analytics on historical data, and expose your devices, account and data via a REST API to support custom application development.


Connectivity


Whisker.IO is a connectivity agnostic technology: we will ultimately support all options.

Today, however, our primary connectivity strategy relies on LoRa wireless technology (long range, long battery life) to communicate between numerous devices at a location and one or more Whisker.IO gateways. The gateway receives incoming messages from the devices via LoRa and then pushes them to the cloud using WiFi, Cellular or Ethernet.

This strategy has numerous advantages. For example, with Whisker.IO, devices in a 1 mile radius can easily be connected to the Internet without expensive infrastructure: only one internet connected device is required, reducing installation cost. Second, the devices can all be battery powered and can operate for 5-15** years from a single set of batteries, reducing maintenance cost.

Third, our solution is future proof: as the IoT industry changes, internet connectivity options change as well. For example, the 2G cellular network is currently being shut down and millions of devices must be replaced or reconfigured to work with the new 4G networks. With Whisker.IO, only our gateways would need to be reconfigured; every single installed device would continue to work as is. Connectivity technologies are changing rapidly and new technologies are being introduced everyday. With Whisker.IO, you can minimize the cost and operational impact brought on by these changes and be in a position to quickly and economically take advantage of new technologies as they become available.

Our connectivity roadmap will eventually include devices that can communicate using Bluetooth BLE, WiFi, and CatM Cellular. Today, however, our devices all communicate using LoRa, a spread-spectrum radio technology developed by Semtech. LoRa is a revolutionary wireless technology: it offers exceptional range, excellent battery life, and amazing interference rejection. For battery powered applications where range is important, LoRa is the perfect technology.

Whisker.IO And LoRa


  • >1 mile range (up to 20 miles*)

  • 5-15 years battery life**

  • Excellent interference rejection

  • Low installation cost

  • Low maintenance cost

  • Future proof

  • Whisker.IO Gateways

    • Receive msg from devices via LoRa
    • Forwards msg to cloud via cell, wifi, ether
  • Learn more


Products


SensorBlocks™

Whisker.IO SensorBlocks™ are battery powered, wireless IoT devices that can be configured with a variety of internal sensors and external analog and digital I/O.

SensorBlocks use LoRa radio technology from Semtech. They can communicate more than 1 mile (up to 20 miles with sufficient gateway elevation) and they can operate from a single set of batteries for 5-15 years (dependent on application and battery chemistry).

A wide variety of internal sensor configurations are available, including temperature, humidity, air quality, light, pressure, motion, and more.

Each SensorBlock is also equipped with up to 4 external I/O channels than can be analog or digital. Digital inputs can be used to monitor the state of switches, count pulses, and detect output state from automation (such as PLC). Analog inputs can be used to monitor devices that output 4-20mA, 0-5V, and 0-10V.

With a wide variety of standard configurations, it is very likely that we have a SensorBlock for your application.

SensorBlocks are simply the fastests and lowest cost way to get a new IoT application up and running. In just a few minutes, a new SensorBlock can be installed, configured, and on-line. And once its up and running, it requires zero maintenance. Visit our product catalog to learn more.

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Whisker.IO Engine

The Whisker.IO Engine is a tiny, surface mount wireless module that allows OEMs to integrate existing products into the Whisker.IO platform. It is the fastest, most economical way to bring an existing product to the Internet of Things where battery life and transmission range are important factors.

The Whisker.IO Engine has 2 digital inputs, 1 digital output, and 2 analog inputs. Additional I/O and sensors are supported via the I2C bus: we have integrated drivers for a variety of sensors, A/D converters, and digital I/O expanders (see the documentation for more information).

The module also provides a GPS driver for NMEA compatible GPS modules via the serial UART port.

No programming is required because these modules are configured using a rich AT command set. These commands can be used to configure local and remote modules via the built in serial UART interface.

The modules come in surface mount and through hole packages and work with PCB trace, embedded, and external antennas. We offer a wide selection of antennas in a variety of sizes, articulations, and gains so you can pick the perfect antenna for your application.

The module has modular FCC certification and can be used in OEM products without further testing or certification. Key specifications include: <50uA avg current, 902-928MHz operation, 50 channels, 135-140dB link budget, AT commands for local and remote control, and AES-128 bit encryption.

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Gateways

Whisker.IO Gateways receive data from devices and forward it to the cloud via WiFi, Cellular, or Ethernet connectivity. Gateways provide a 2 way communication link with devices, allowing commands from the cloud to propogate down to the device to support user driven configuration changes or automation driven changes to digital and analog outputs.

All data communication is secured. Devices encrypt data using 128-bit AES and the gateway uses AES-256 when communicating with the cloud.

Our commercial gateway is capable of interacting with up to 1,000 devices***. It automatically stores data in a buffer when Internet connectivity is lost and flushes the buffer when connectivity is restored. If connectivity is lost for more than 5 minutes, the gateway will store all messages in non-volatile memory, ensuring they survive any power losses. The gateway is capable of storing at least 1 week of messages for up to 1000 devices***.

Our product roadmap includes two new gateway models: NanoGateway, and IndustrialGateway. The NanoGateway is designed for cost sensitive applications and provides a simple WiFi based bridge for Whisker.IO devices. The IndustrialGateway is designed for industrial applications and provides higher operating temperatures and additional I/O (analog, digital, Modbus). More information will be released on each of these gateways as soon as it is available.

The IndustrialGateway models can be configured with internal battery back-up and solar power packs to support continued operation in applications where power failure is unacceptable.

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Services


Features


  • Data Storage

  • Forwarding

  • Alerting

  • Hosted in Azure

    1. Reliable

    2. Robust

Description


The Whisker.IO cloud platform is a system of server-based software applications (collectively called Whisker.IO Services) hosted in Microsoft Azure. Together, these applications receive messages from devices and gateways in the field, store data in a geo-replicated database, forward data to 3rd party APIs (via REST or MQTT) according to user defined settings, and alert user-defined contacts when specific conditions are met.

This configuration provides maximum flexibility to our customers. First, for customers that prefer to write their own IoT application using a services platform like Amazon's AWS, our platform can be configured to push the data to any destination they chose. In this case, we do not store or interact with the data in any way other than to forward it to the designated end-point. Whisker.IO supports multiple forwarding rules, so customers can push data to as many service end-points as they like.

Of course, many users will prefer to use the Whisker.IO platform for everything. In this case, we will store the data from devices, generate user defined alerts when specified conditions are met, and provide a rich web-based GUI that allows customers to manage and interact with their devices, perform data analystics on historical data, and more. Our web app exposes a rich REST API that allows customers to develop custom applications and tools using their account and device data.

For large enterprise customers that prefer to operate their own cloud services, we offer supported instance licensing. Contact us for more information.

NOTICE: Whisker.IO cloud services are currently in beta release testing and are provided free of charge to all customers.


Whisker.IO Web App


Our web application is a rich GUI that provides all of the tools you need to manage and interact with your devices and the data they generate.

The GUI broken down into two components: Control Panel and Portal.

The control panel provides the tools needed to manage a customer's account and devices. This is where users, devices, and alerts are created and managed. User's with admin privileges can create new users, devices, and alerts while ordinary users can simply view users, devices, and alerts.

The portal allows a user to interact with devices attached to an account, create analytical graphs, export data, and generate report.

Features


  • Manage devices, account, alerts

  • Monitor devices in real time

  • User defined alerts (email, text)

  • Analytics

  • Data export

  • REST API