Frequently Asked Questions
Our Whisker.Blocks™ are self contained, wireless and battery powered IoT sensor devices that can be configured to monitor just about anything you can imagine. For example, our AC.Block™ is designed to monitor air conditioning and refrigeration units: it comes with a sensor cable equipped with a current transformer for the power leg and two temperature sensors for the inlet and outlet temperatures of the compressor. This device will continuously monitor the status and energy consumption of the A/C unit and provide predictive indication of compressor failure or low freon. We also have blocks that can monitor tank levels, pumps, water filters, temperature and humidity and much more. You can see all of our available blocks here: Whisker.Blocks™ .
For OEM applications, our Whisker.Engine™ can be integrated into a 3rd party device or product to connect it to our network. The Whisker.Engine™ is equipped with a variety of sensor and communication interfaces, making the integration process simple. We have a detailed user's manual and several application notes to help engineers and developers through the integration process.
We are continuously innovating in partnership with our customers, so if you have an application that requires a customized version of our Whisker.Block™ please contact us. We offer fully customized IoT solutions and have invested heavily in rapid prototyping and rapid production technologies, which allows us to offer a very cost effective option when a custom solution is required.
Absolutely! Our TempRH.Block™ measures temperature, humidity, as well as two dry contact inputs (which can be used to monitor door openings).
Other solutions will have a preset threshold for temperature that indicates an alarm, which is problematic because the temperature at the sensor might vary significantly from the temperature of the items being refrigerated; for example, the temperature at the sensor might indicate an alarm when the door is open, even though the food products are still safely below this temperature. Our solution solves these types of problems because we not only monitor the current temperature of the cooler, but we also track the trend and monitor the states of the doors.
Our analytics engine can automatically analyze the situation using the state of the doors and the historical temperature to discern if there is a real problem or if the temperature reading was caused by someone leaving the door open too long, and then send the appropriate message to the appropriate person. If there is a real maintenance issue, a message can be sent to the maintenance department. If the door needs to be shut, the store manager can be notified. If the temperature has slowly increased over time so that it is likely that the temperature sensor and the food temperature are both approaching an alert level, the manager can be notified that he or she needs to move the cold storage items to a different cooler until maintenance can fix the problem. The data from any TempRH.Blocks™ in a cooler will be used in conjunction with AC.Blocks™ monitoring that cooler's refrigeration unit to help with predictive failure analytics, allowing Whisker.io® to predict key equipment failures and notify the right people in advance so that the maintenance can be performed efficiently per a schedule rather than on-demand when a failure becomes a crisis.
Yes. OEMs can easily integrate Whisker.io® connectivity into their products using our Whisker.Engine™ wireless module. This module has a variety of sensor and communication interfaces which makes integration a straightforward process. Please refer to the user's manual for more information.
Once an OEM product is capable of connecting to the Whisker.io® platform, we will assign a provisioning code to the OEM that will be used during device provisioning to tell the web application how the new device is internally configured. This allows our system to automatically create the appropriate channels, assign their names, and scale and assign units to the incoming data for each channel.
Once that is complete, the OEM product can be provisioned by a customer using our web application just like any other Whisker.Block™ or Whisker.Engine™ enabled OEM product. For more information about this process, please contact our sales department.
Our portal is a browser based UI application that is used to install and maintain our devices in the field, monitor their status in realtime, and perform analysis and reporting of the historical data we collect from the devices. Our UI is enterprise grade and has an easy-to-use, intuitive drill-down interface that can support touch and mouse/keyboard interaction.
When new devices are installed, they must be provisioned in the portal before data can be processed by our cloud platform. Provisioning is very easy and is accomplished using the same portal UI; it takes just a few seconds to create a new device using its serial number, provision its services and automation, and assign it to a physical location.
When a user logs into his account, a map is displayed that is zoomed to show all locations: this is the Enterprise View. Each location is represented by a colored circle: green means everything is OK while anything other than green means that there is a problem. The user can drill down into locations to see real-time status of devices and view historical graphs and reports of data that has been stored for each device over time.
Whisker.io® has a rules-driven automation engine that can automatically send text messages (SMS) or emails, place phone calls, or POST/PUT to any HTTP endpoint when simple if-then conditions are met. When the automation, or alert, rules are properly configured, the system is essentially a fire-and-forget tool that requires no on-going maintenance because it will notify you when something is wrong. Messages (or JSON data for HTTP PUT/POST) are user defined and can be sent to one or more user-defined contacts. Rules can be set to require acknowledgement; these rules will automatically resend alert messages on a set period until either the alert is acknowledged or the alert condition is no longer met.
When you physically install a device in the field, it immediately starts to send to the cloud via any in-range Whisker.Hub™. However, until the device is provisioned, it will not be visible in the portal.
In order to provision a new device, you must have the location and at least one in-range Whisker.Hub™ created and provisioned. To create a new location, simply log-in to the portal and click the "New Location" button in the Account View and follow the instructions. To provision a new Whisker.Hub™, click on the hub's location to drill down to the Location View. Once in the Location View, click the "Add Hub" button and follow the instructions; you will need the hub's information (security key, serial number, etc) to complete the provisioning.
When you have at least one hub provisoned for the location, you can click "Add Block" to add a new Whisker.Block™ and then follow the instructions. You will be required to have a credit card on file to pay the subscription fees for the services used by the new device.
Once you have provisioned the block, you will be able to see it on the Location View. After a few minutes, its status should update and you should be able to see the data by clicking on the device.