One of the strengths of the Electric Imp connectivity platform is that is provides secure, managed, and scalable IP endpoints into devices at the edge of the network – enabling customers to readily and confidently connect their products to the cloud.
This not only applies to individual devices, but also to entire subsystems, for example devices on local ZigBee or XBee networks or other field busses. In those cases, the Electric Imp module acts as a lightweight gateway bridging the local subsystem protocol to IP and the cloud. Unlike Linux-based gateways, these imp-based gateways are very cost- and power effective, provide proven security from the silicon to the cloud, are easily programmable, and fully managed – ideally suited to deliver flexible gateway functionality without the complexity, cost, and security headaches of typical embedded Linux gateways.
Integration with Electric Imp is very easy: Simply connect the subsystem (for example, the XBee coordinator node) to the imp module (via UART, SPI, etc) and use one of our drop-in libraries with your embedded application running on the imp. Easy-to-use APIs now enable you to address devices, send commands, and exchange data from the subsystem into the cloud and vice versa. You can even use the imp to deliver secure over-the-air firmware updates to your subsystem!
You can also easily customize the functionality to your specific needs, integrate specialized vertical field busses, or add custom logic since the imp gateway is programmable (and readily updatable) through our productive Squirrel scripting language and software provisioning system. This opens a wide range of use cases across many industries.
Today, Electric Imp released a new library for XBee/ZigBee to do exactly that, and more fieldbus integrations (Modbus, etc) are in the works, making imp a great and flexible choice for connecting your fieldbus devices securely to the cloud.