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Setting up the impCentral by Electric imp for Ubidots
Setting up the impCentral by Electric imp for Ubidots

This guide will demonstrate how to setup the impCentral to deploy an IoT solution using your imp Kits.

Written by Sergio M
Updated over a week ago

Electric Imp is an IoT Security Platform whose partnership with Ubidots cannot be overlooked. The impCloud equips every one of the devices you ship with its own unique ‘agent’: a fully programmable cloud-hosted micro-server dedicated to supporting and enhancing your product with powerful communications, computing and security capabilities. Because of this 1:1 relationship, the software you build in the agent only needs to deal with one device; scaling is effortless and automatic.

In this guide you’ll learn how setup the ImpCentral to start deploying your IoT scalable applications with Ubidots Cloud. 



1.  Electric Imp Setup
    - Activate & Connect the imp Kit
    - Programming the imp Kit  
2. Handling data with Ubidots Cloud.
3. Summary

1. Electric Imp Setup

The best way to become familiar with the Electric Imp Environment  (Hardware & Software) is by following their getting started guide. Anyway below you will find the started steps to deploy your first application using Electric Imp and Ubidots Cloud.

To start, create a Free Electric Imp Account. Then, sign in into the account created.

Activate & Connect the imp Kit

1. To be able to program the any imp kit, you need to add it to your Electric Imp account. Electric imp called to this process "Activation", where everything is done and a connected in just a couple of minutes thanks to the Electric Imp's BlinkUp™ technology. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: At this point to be able to activate the imp Kit, please power it by connecting the USB cable to your computer or any power adapter.

The BlinkUp can be done in two ways, by using the impCentral or using the mobile application

  • BlinkUp from impCentral 

1. Go to the "Account Development Devices" section, by pressing the third icon located at the left side of the impCentral: 

2. Press "BlinkUp" from the center of the page:

3. The following window is the one in charge to connect the imp Kit used to the network desired. Assign the Wi-Fi Network Name (SSID) and Wi-Fi Network Password to establish the connection with the device. 

 To finish, press "Start BlinkUp"

4. At this point the window below will appear. Here you have to locate the front part of the imp Kit in the screen of your computer to establish the connection. 

NOTE: This process will take you a few minutes so please be patient :) 

Once the connection is established properly, you should get a successful message with "Device is connected":

  • BlinkUp from Mobile Application

1. Based on the OS of your phone, download the Electric Imp app:

2. After the installation finished, follow all the steps provided in the app. The video attached below will provide you an example of how the BlinkUp from the mobile application works: 

Now you Imp Kit is already activated with your Electric Imp account, also is connected to the network assigned in the activation process.

Programming the Imp Kit 

At this point, your imp Kit should be online and activated. By the moment the imp Kit is currently as "unassigned", which means that is not yet associated with any impCentral Device Group.  To get done with this, follow the steps provided below:

IMPORTANT NOTE: To get a better understanding of how the impCentral works for scalable deployments, refer to the step "Programming Your imp Kit" of the following guide.

1. To start, create a product; the product is the top-level project container.  To create it, just press "Create Product":

2. Then, in the next window assign name desired as product's name. Also, you need to assign the name of the Development Device Group to create it.  

How Device Group works? Well, all devices that are assigned to a given Device Group run the same code. This feature is really helpful when you desired to deploy multiples devices at the same time. How Device Group works? Well, all devices that are assigned to a given Device Group run the same code. This feature is really helpful when you desired to deploy multiple devices at the same time.

For this guide, we assigned "Ubidots" as product's name, and "send-data" as Development device group as is shown below: 

Now to save the changes, just prest the blue button "Create". Once the button is pressed, you should receive the successful message below:

4. Now with the product already created and configured it's time to assign which device we want to assign to our product previously created. To assign the device, press the blue button "Assign devices" located at the bottom half of the page:

Then, select the device/devices you desire to deploy in the device group previously created:

Select the device/devices desired, and press "Assign": 

Now the device/devices assigned should appear in the bottom left part of the page:

7. At this point, everything is configured to start programming our imp Kit to transmit data to Ubidots Cloud. Before start programming the board let's review the impCentral workflow.

  1. Agent Code: This run in the imp cloud, not in the device. Agents run continually, allowing devices to be accessible even if they are sleeping to conserve power. The agent can check the device’s state and hold any received data until the device is awake again.

  2. Device Code: This code will run in your device. Here's where you typically manage inputs/outputs pins that connect the imp Kit to the real world. 

  3. Log Window: Provide you the logs in real time of the behavior presented in the imp kit used. 

For a detailed explanation of the impCentral, visit the Electric Imp documentation page

2. Handling data with Ubidots Cloud

Ubidots team already built a library to make everything easier to deploy your applications with the platform. The library should work with any imp board, but you can find the sample code separate them by each device. Refer to the articles below to get the sample codes:

  • Connect an imp 001 to Ubidots over HTTP (add link)

  • Connect an imp 002 to Ubidots over HTTP (add link) 

  • Connect an impExplorer Kit to Ubidots over HTTP (add link) 

  • Connect the an imp  module + imp Tails to Ubidots over HTTP (add link)

If you desire to review the library or get the sample codes directly from the repository, just click here

3. Summary

Thanks to the features provided by Electric Imp, you can deploy your IoT solution in a scalable way just by clicking a couple of clicks. Now its time to create Ubidots Dashboards to visualize your data and deploy your IoT solution! 

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