Posted on Friday, January 5, 2018 by Steve Montgomery
It is impossible to create a one-size-fits-all IoT solution that will fit every application. Whisker.IO® was designed as a solution platform that can easily be extended and customized to fit specific customer needs.
The applications for the Internet of Things are as vast and varied as you can imagine, making it impossible to build a solution that will work for everyone. So instead of trying to create a "one size fits all" solution, we decided to build a platform that can easily be extended and customized to meet the exact needs of our customers.
Our Whisker.IO® cloud platform is extensible in a variety of ways. We offer a REST API that can be used for 3rd party integration and app development. Our push protocols allow our platform to push data from our sensors to any 3rd party platform using a variety of protocols such as MQTT, AMPQ, and HTTP. Our upcoming App Plugin system will allow us to create applets consisting of custom dashboards, reports, and views that can be designed for specific applications or customer requirements.
Sometimes, our customers need more than software customization. For example, our Whisker.IO® connected hand soap dispensers are very popular, but some customers use a brand that is different from our standard model and need a drop-in kit that will turn their existing dispensers into smart, connected dispensers.
We have invested heavily in rapid prototyping and rapid production technologies and have developed the internal skill set and processes that allow us to turn around customization projects faster than anyone else in the world.
Recently, we were asked by a customer to modify our standard soap dispenser device so that it would drop in to existing dispensers of a different brand than the one we use. In just 2 weeks, we were able to design and deliver the initial units.
Although we were able to do this quickly, it still involved a lot of work. First, we had to design a plastic enclosure that could snap in to the existing dispenser in a way that would not interfere with its operation. Once we the 3D CAD drawings finished, we built prototypes using our 3D printer. After several CAD/3D printing iterations, the plastic enclosure was complete and it was a perfect fit. With the enclosure complete, we designed a custom version of our printed circuit board that would fit in the new enclosure. When the PCB design was complete, we built several prototypes in our factory to verify operation.
Once the plastic and the PCB were finished, we were able to build the kits that our customer asked for. They were able to install these kits into the dispensers already hanging on the walls in their food preparation areas; it only took about 5 minutes for each install.
When the install was complete, the dispensers were instantly connected and providing data on the hand-washing behaviors of their employees.
This is just one example of many customization projects we have completed.
If you have special requirements for your IoT solution, please contact our sales team to discuss your needs. If it is possible, we can most likely do it very quickly.