One of the tricky aspects of deploying connected products or IoT devices is how to enroll these devices into the system once in the field and provision the necessary connectivity and authentication parameters in a reliable and secure way.
Traditional methods (such as WPS, pre-embedding identity in the device, barcode stickers, or manual entry) are either incomplete, expose attack surface, or failure-prone.
Electric Imp uses a clever optical transmission method called BlinkUp(™). BlinkUp is a small app (available for iOS and Android) which allows the user to enter connectivity information (e.g. WiFi SSID and password), and then the app provisions these parameters (together with an enrollment nonce) to the Electric Imp device optically via the phone screen, and completes a secure and replay-proof device enrollment process within a couple of seconds.
While, at first, it may seem a bit usual to hold your phone up against a device, BlinkUp is actually one of the easiest, fastest, and most secure way to bring devices online and a key feature of the Electric Imp platform.
We just released a major update to the BlinkUp app, making it more user friendly and streamlined. Check out the full blog post with more information.