It never been easier to collect Bluetooth sensor information and store it in the cloud. The INGICS gateways come with step-by-step instructions how to set up AWS IoT Core, Azure IoT Hub and Google IoT Core.
If you are rolling out many gateways, there comes a time when you start wondering if all of them are working and connected. While it’s possible to write a server side script/code to detect whether or not data has been received from the gateway in the last n seconds/minutes, this doesn’t work when there aren’t any Bluetooth devices in the vicinity of some gateways which won’t be sending payloads.
The INGICS gateways have a way of setting up a heartbeat that’s a dummy payload used to indicate a gateway is working and connected. It’s set up by telnet to the gateway and issuing the following command followed by a reboot:
> SYS HEARTBEAT 1 > REBOOT
The ‘1’ signifies every 1 minute and allows setting up to 255 minutes. A $HBRP data payload is to the server in the form:
The heartbeat functionality is available on firmware IGS01-v2.0.0 and IGS01S-v2.0.0 or later.
The INGICS iGS01S (WiFi) and iGS02E (Ethernet) gateways support MQTT to send data to a server.
MQTT defines three levels of Quality of Service (QoS) that relate to whether requests are resent if not acknowledged:
0 – The broker/client will deliver the message once, with no confirmation.
1 – The broker/client will deliver the message at least once, with confirmation required.
2 – The broker/client will deliver the message exactly once by using a four step handshake.
The INGICS gateways only support QoS level 0. This is because these gateways have lower memory and processing capability. They don’t have enough memory to queue unacknowledged requests required of other QoS levels. The extra processing would also significantly impact the performance and hence throughput.
If you need a higher MQTT service level then try the Minew G1 that supports QoS levels 0 and 1.
Our article on What are Beacons shows the kind of data sent by beacons. While this might be iBeacon or Eddystone, both are a subset of all Bluetooth advertising as sent out by all Bluetooth LE devices such as smartphones, Fitbits and even industrial machines. The Bluetooth LE advertising advertising is just a short series of numbers.
Gateways look for Bluetooth advertising and send this on to a web server together with the signal strength of the detected device, the gateway’s own Bluetooth MAC address and MAC address of the detected Bluetooth device.
In some situations a very large number of devices can be detected, most of which aren’t the ones that need to be detected. This can cause either the gateway to become overloaded or too much extraneous data to be sent to the server.
All gateways have ways of filtering what advertising is sent to the server. This usually includes matching some or all of the advertising with a given hexadecimal string and the ability to ignore devices weaker than a given signal strength.
Even after filtering, it’s possible in extreme circumstances that a gateway processes too many beacons and becomes overloaded. In these cases it’s important to have a gateway that can support the highest throughput. Gateway specifications detail the typical maximum number of devices that can be detected which varies considerably between devices. Ethernet connected devices tend to be more performant than those connected by WiFi. Also consider setting the gateway to only detect beacons close by and use more gateways per given area. Consider using MQTT in preference to HTTP so as to cause the gateway to do less work.
The iGS01S is a new version of the iGS01. It’s functionally compatible with the iGS01 in that you can replace an iGS01 with an iGS01S and it will behave similarly. Hence, it’s also compatible with BeaconServer™ and BeaconRTLS™.
iGS01 gateways allow you to scan for nearby Bluetooth devices and send the scanned data up to a server, including AWS IoT, via TCP, HTTP(S) POST or MQTT.
The main change is the case which the manufacturer has changed to allow commonality of parts with the Ethernet version, the iGS01E.
We now have the INGICS iGS02E Bluetooth to Ethernet gateway (without PoE) in stock.
This small device looks for Bluetooth LE devices and sends their advertising on to a server via TCP, HTTP(S) or MQTT including AWS IoT. If you use with sensor beacons, this provides a quick and easy way to provide for IoT sensing.