After the small Chrome App experience that resulted in a very compact app that reads Video and sends an UDP binary stream to ESP32 Led controllers I decided to start learning how to program a real mobile app.
Real because I find that the way to do it must end in the App Store and the user should be able to install it with a few clicks.
This start guide is only valid for Linux but it could be a similar approach in Mac.
Soon more posts will follow explaining how to interface with Android OS (Camera as an example). There will be soon more issues to expand and implement in this repository. And my new philosophy to build Firmware for Espressif chips will be simply:
“One firmware, one mobile application”
Meaning that every firmware will have his app, where you can configure and test it, just with one click install in google Play store and setting up some very easy configuration. Starting from WiFi credentials using BLE (Bluetooth low energy) and setting up the App IP address as a last step.
My goal at last, is that internet of the things is easy to use, and not something where you need a 20 minutes complicated setup to start using something. So the mission is that for first weeks 2020 all master branches from our main ESP32 Firmwares like udpx and Remora should be bluetooth configurable.
“ESP–Mesh reduces the loading of smart light devices on the router by forming a mesh with the smart light device.”
I’ve started months ago getting some smart lights for home and I’ve chosen Osram since it was about half the price than Phillips VUE. But the thing with this systems, though they work nice and with very little configuration, is that you need always a “Gateway”. A central point that receives signals and then send via Radio frequency to the lights what they have to do.
The Espressif ESP-Mesh took a different approach: Every device is a network member making a Mesh of interconnected devices. There is no gateway because there is no need for one.
There is also a very important point that is very interesting if you are a maker like me. It’s open source. That means you don’t need to buy a 60€ light to test it, you can just go to the ESP-Mesh github repository and download ESP-Mesh-Light example to compile it in one of your existing ESP32 Boards. Then you can get easily something like this working :
So what I’m working on the free time to take a rest from another pending projects is to take this PWM output and amplify it using a 74HC125 Quad Bus Buffer to power more than one led.
Command lines to execute the compilation are only 2:
make menuconfig make erase_flash flash
Compile this into your ESP32 and then download Espressif official Android App or if you are using I-phone / I-Pad just search for “ESP-Mesh” The Mesh devices are configured using Bluetooth so keep in mind to have this enabled on your device. Instead of taking the “WiFi Manager” Approach, using an App, you have the benefit that you can just send the WiFi Credentials plus configuration directly to the ESP32.
Since beginning of 2019 I’m participating in a project called “Low cost / low power sleep / WiFi Camera” so I purchased a couple of low cost boards, between them the LilyGO ESP 32 Camera.
BigIot.net is an interesting IOT API site
Not only an API but a very interesting infrastructure that is also possible to link BIGIOT with WeChat allowing to “chat” with your device and use it for Smart home or just to check what was the last image uploaded. In my fork of this ESP32 Camera, since the original looks a bit unmaintained without even an issue board, I added some better display information:
This example shows how to set up an automatic camera that takes pictures every 20 seconds and sends them like an API Post push to BigIot. So far so good, it works at first glance. The issue is that BigIOT is all in Chinese and there is no english. So if you consider that a problem then you can stop here. I didn’t because I think the Chinese know hell about this and they are leading the IoT world for a good reason.
So I translated it as I could just to register and get this pieces of information:
After registering you just have to open the activation Email and you are good to go. Just log in the Admin Panel and try to feel at home. Most important parts are:
智能设备列表 List of your Devices -> Add a “Camera device”
数据接口列表 List of your Inputs -> This is the Interface, so just make an “Upload interface”
And that are the two IDs you need, device ID and interface ID. After that and compiling this, the small camera is going to start pushing pictures to BigIOT and you can just click on the stats on the interface area and start checking the pictures when you are away.
Very good to control for example a 3D printer that you leave at home finishing something. This is the result:
https://gitee.com/hejinlv/ESP32/blob/master/ESP32_bigiot_LED/ Here there is a great example on how to Listen to Commands to interact with WeChat