During our time away, we've been busy.
We were being asked left, right and center if we'd be offering the Pebl for sale on our website despite not meeting our goal. Unfortunately, the answer was no as we just couldn't afford to do so :(
However, immediately after our last Kickstarter campaign, we managed to secure funding which enabled us to further develop the Pebl product and supporting infrastructure to a point where it is now firing on all cylinders and waiting to be used by you!
After learning so much from the last campaign, this time around, we're going to try our hardest to provide more information about HOW the Pebl can be used to enable your products to become part of the IoT!
Scroll down, take a look and please get in touch if you have any questions!
So what has been improved or changed?
With the feedback we've received over the last couple of years, we have been able to improve and develop our offering further, and we now believe it is far better than before and overall, a more complete and well rounded solution.
- Pebl Hardware
The Pebl hardware has been completely redesigned to cater for new features, better reliability and higher performance.
We have redesigned the power management system to allow for a wider range of input voltages whilst consuming lower power and generating less heat. We have also optimised the WiFi antenna location to provide a longer range and better performance. A fully featured UART serial bus was squeezed in for even more flexibility. The RGB led control now has more stability, allowing improved visual performance by fixing a known flickering issue.
- Pebl Evaluation Board
An exciting new addition for our pledgers is an easy to use and handy Evaluation Board for the Pebl, so straight out of the box, you can get to grips with the way that it works and what it's capable of!
Find out more information below and take a look at our Virtual Pebl Evaluation Board to get a taster of how it works!
- Portal Development
We have worked extremely hard to build the user front end to the point where it is now useable for everyday management and control of all your devices. This was something that was not readily available before, but is now raring to go!
We're really pleased with it and hope you get an opportunity to use it! We have built in multi tenancy for our commercial users and a full account management system, which is further explained, later on.
- API Implementation
We're most proud of this achievement, being the backbone of device control and usage. The final outcome is awesome! The newly reworked API allows for no fuss usage, with no tiresome hoops to jump through, no manufacturer lockdowns and best of all, it's completely documented! All this whilst of course being fully authenticated.
The Fingoti back end has full multi tenancy support allowing users to not only create multiple organisations for their devices but also for a partner/tenant relationship with customers. More about that later...
What is a Pebl?
At Fingoti we are striving to provide a simple, out-of-the-box gateway solution to the Internet of Things (IoT). We wanted all the research and development to be done for you and encapsulated it in a smart, secure, flexible and reliable package as standard.
And so the Pebl was born.
Pebl can connect with and control electrical equipment, from making sure the kettle is boiled for that first cup of coffee in the morning, to collecting analytics to track production efficiency for your business. The possibilities are endless.
The IoT is a place where everyday physical items are quickly becoming part of the virtual world that is the internet. These items can be controlled and monitored from a distance to, for example, improve your life at home, increase productivity in the workplace or improve performance and reliability in industrial equipment.
The IoT is already a very big and daunting place, especially if you are just starting out. Trying to manufacture and provide an IoT solution can be an expensive and drawn out process, requiring technical and specialist expertise. We believe it should be intuitive and simple, so we've done all the hard work for you. Our product can be used by everyone and anyone. Pebl provides an end-to-end solution for enthusiasts, business owners, education, home automation projects and... well, anything!
The Pebl is a standalone IoT device that requires no assembly and no programming. Following a simple two minute setup procedure, your Pebl is ready to be incorporated into your project providing IoT functionality that will bridge the gap between the virtual and physical world, from and to anywhere in the world!
We really are providing the complete IoT solution. We offer the hardware, software and back-end infrastructure, supporting all that you will ever want to do. All you have to do is provide the power of imagination!
And what can I use the Pebl for?
Now that we've looked at what the Pebl is and how it works, now let us explain what it can be used for and why we think it's such an incredible little tool that unlocks so much potential...
The Pebl is designed to be used as a component within custom hardware. You can think of it as a secure IoT bolt-on for your existing and exciting new projects. You can simply implement the Pebl into your project or solution by modifying existing or creating new circuitry to meet the demand of your application.
The commercial potential for return on investment on these little fellas is HUGE!
We believe that by implementing the Pebl into your existing or new development product, you will see fast and large returns. This is due to the lack of upfront setup costs, as we provide the entire solution.
Preventative maintenance, remote monitoring and assistance, data processing and management packages are all contracts that you can provide to your customers, at the price of a single device, the size of a sugar cube!
Pebl is designed to remove any requirement for central control hubs, is completely self-reliant and requires almost no technical knowledge to set up. Simply download our app, enter your WiFi credentials and that's it. You are connected to the IoT and ready to begin making your own ripples in the internet.
Every Pebl can be set-up wirelessly, using our USB Adapter or pre-configured at time of manufacture. Once the Pebl is configured, you can let your imagination run wild and build the next big thing, streamline your factory, teach your STEM pupils or monitor your heating from work.
So why use a Pebl and not an Arduino or Raspberry Pi instead?
First and foremost, security. The Pebl, unlike other similar devices on the market, comes with enterprise grade security as standard.
Additionally, the Pebl is pre-programmed. One of the challenges with the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and similar devices, is creating the code you need to achieve your application's goal. More often than not, this rarely proves easy or reliable. The Pebl simply responds to predetermined commands.
Furthermore, as the Pebl is a fully encapsulated device, you don't have to worry about electrostatic discharge (ESD) or moisture damage as you would with bare board devices like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. The watertight housing provides a barrier for use in almost any scenario, protecting against harsh environments.
Four GPIO pins and a data bus for communication with I²C and UART sensors and accessories is made available. This allows makers to produce and market their own IoT peripherals that the Pebl can simply plug into. The Pebl device can be used for multiple applications by easily removing and reinserting into another product.
For enthusiasts and inventors, we provide a breadboard breakout adaptor, to enable you to easily implement a Pebl into your projects for quick and easy development and testing.
We are offering a wide range of rewards that we hope will spark your imagination and get your ideas flowing!
Okay, but how do I talk to the Pebl?
Good question. I suppose it's not much use just sitting there looking pretty!
The Pebl will accept, execute and respond to a predetermined set of commands from various methods of communication. There's something for everyone here and regardless of the method you choose, the requests and responses are identical.
Please visit the Developer section of our website to learn more about and try out the Pebl commands for yourself.
Right, but where can I use the Pebl?
We designed the Pebl to be as flexible and versatile as possible so that it could be used in most environments...
Say hello to the Fingoti Portal, finally!
The Fingoti Portal is a secure place to manage, monitor, control and interacts with your and your customer's Pebl devices.
The Pebl can be used with or without our Portal. The vast majority of customers will use the Portal for its convenience and ease of use. However, the Pebl can be used in many other different ways, which of course, are free of charge, as explained previously.
We've designed the Portal to cater for everyone from enthusiasts to small business owners and even large commercial applications. We have implemented our own infrastructure on the Microsoft Azure platform, resulting in a user experience that is intuitive, concise and rewarding.
If you decide to use the Portal, we charge for the use of communications called 'Ripples'. A single Ripple is a full device request and response cycle. Ripple usage is either based on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis.
For example, if you require more Ripples for your application per day, then you can choose to pay from just £1.00 for 5,000 additional Ripples. This essentially means you can query your device every 10 mins for an entire month, for just the price of a cheeseburger.
If you are using our API as a commercial customer or as a third party developer, the charge is issued in the same manner, however, high usage of the Portal can result in a cheaper monthly contract if desired.
Our payment terms are completely transparent and you can pay for as much or as little as you want to use, with or without a subscription.
From our Portal, users can claim devices using just the serial number. Once the Pebl is linked to an account, the owner can monitor activity, manage settings and connect with other Pebl devices, including virtual devices.
The back end infrastructure is centred around an organisation. Users can be members of multiple organisations by either creating a new one or being invited to an existing one, through a very simple email invitation process.
Every organisation has its own set of roles that can be assigned to a user, in order to grant access to certain areas. Either make use of the system roles provided or create custom roles.
Your devices are then claimed by the organisation. That way, users can be added and removed without affecting the use of any device. All of this can be easily managed on our Portal or via the API.
You can also apply to become a partner which gives you the ability to create organisations as tenants. This allows you to set up organisations for your customers whilst maintaining the ability to manage everything for them, from their devices to their subscriptions.
Please take a look at our Usage Calculator above to get a clear idea of our pricing, should you wish to use the Portal.
Using our super new Pebl Evaluation Board
We're really excited about this :)
We hope that you'll support us and pledge for one of these boards, as they are an excellent way to discover and explore the Pebl's capabilities and how it can easily be implemented into your application. Your pledges will also fund further Portal development and help to boost our product's market introduction.
The Evaluation Board allows you to try out all the following features:
- Push buttons to trigger events
- Shine a large LED torch
- Spin a vibration motor
- Snap a 250VAC 10A relay for switching mains devices
- Sound a buzzer
- Read the temperature and humidity
- Check the light levels
- Store data in an EEPROM flash memory chip
- Send and receive UART data via USB
- Connect your own prototypes to an external header
- Provide an external power supply
Take a look for yourself...
Or, if you'd rather have a play, check out the Virtual Evaluation Board we put together!
The ideal on-boarding tool
Now it's even easier to set up your Pebl! You can simply use the USB Adapter to connect the Pebl to your laptop or computer and send the commands to get your credentials loaded onto the Pebl.
Not only that, but the USB Adapter can be used for testing and debugging, with built in GPIO indicators for easy trouble shooting. In addition to being able to send requests and receive responses, you can also stream raw serial data across the internet using the UART bus mode!
Tell me more about the Pebl's awesome features!
Wow! If you've got this far, you must be keen (or just really nerdy?!)
There is a lot of exciting stuff packed into such a small little gadget. Here are few amazing things that the Pebl is capable of, with a bit more detail to explain...
The Pebl's onboard 160MHz 32-bit processor is used in conjunction with a WiFi engine as its primary network connection method. The WiFi connection has a range of up to 50 metres.
The 2.4GHz WiFi engine uses the standard 802.11 b/g/n protocol and provides an extremely reliable connection to a router or access point. WiFi connections are WPA, WPA2 and WEP compatible as standard and incorporate a variety of TKIP and AES encryption, as required.
In simple terms, the Pebl's WiFi provides secure, powerful and reliable performance, resulting in a lightning fast response to user requests.
The biggest risk for IoT devices is the lack of security. The Pebl provides peace of mind where this is concerned. Its WiFi is fully capable of end-to-end encryption when using our Fingoti Portal.
We use Microsoft's Azure platform to provide a robust and proven method of transmitting data over the internet, securely. Using a SHA256 encrypted SAS key, communication to the Portal from the device is protected while in transit and at rest by Microsoft's firewalled servers.
With the IoT world requiring clever, reliable and varied sources of power, we didn't want to limit the device to a particular voltage. Instead, we've made the Pebl tolerant to a wide range of voltage inputs. This allows you to power the Pebl with a USB output, solar panel or even a car battery, just to name a few.
With a built in voltage pump, the Pebl will operate on a wide input voltage range of anywhere between 3v and 16v. The onboard voltage smoothing ensures that the GPIO outputs aren't electrically noisy and provide a steady 5v output regardless of the input voltage. The voltage regulation does generate a small amount of heat, but this is properly dissipated, with efficient built-in heat sinking.
Simply, the Pebl can be used with many different power sources, allowing a wide range of applications.
The 4 user-configurable GPIO pins on the Pebl act as inputs or outputs as required in your application. They each provide an output of 5v with up to 25mA of current which is more than enough to power logic, LEDs or relays, amongst other things.
These GPIO pins can detect a change in GPIO state every second, instantly reporting back the information to the user.
The Pebl acts like a secure, remote middleman in serial communication, simply passing bytes onward via the bus and handling incoming data to be relayed back to the user. Making use of the serial bus, allows users to communicate with external processors and modules in two different ways...
- Firstly, as an I²C master:
Using the Pebl's serial bus as a master for high-speed I²C data bus applications, serving over 100 slave modules is an extremely useful feature. The data bus is 5v tolerant and incorporates the necessary pull-up resistors.
I²C is a globally recognised communications protocol that uses just two wires for data transfer. This allows for a vast range of sensors and devices, such as an RTC (real time clock) above, to be monitored, read and written to, from anywhere in the world.
There is an abundance of I²C modules and devices on the internet at extremely low prices, that are very well documented for easy implementation.
- Secondly, as a UART serial port:
The Pebl's serial bus can also be configured to be used as a fully featured UART serial bus for your application. This is useful for applications that require external communications to GPRS or GMS modules.
The UART serial mode allows the user to send and receive serial data instantaneously! All standard serial communication settings are exposed, for example, baudrate, parity and flow control, for use with many different UART applications.
The Pebl includes a 16 million colour RGB LED that can be changed to any colour using a single command, visually communicating with users for many different purposes.
The device also incorporates a 'blink' feature that allows you to adjust the flashing speed, duration and colour. This provides additional flexibility and uses for the Pebl device.
Pretty cool, eh?
Want to use the Pebl outdoors? No problem. The device is immune to dust, dirt, rain, moisture and extreme weather.
The Pebl is designed to be IP67 rated, which certifies that it's waterproof and we're working on getting this officially assessed as soon as possible after our campaign.
Ask the Pebl to do the heavy lifting for you to perform tasks automatically. Set a timer to read the temperature every hour, or turn a heater on at 5:00pm ready for when you get home from work, using the scheduler!
Okay, okay, we know it doesn't have a battery, but believe it or not, that was a conscious decision. A battery limits you to use devices and peripherals that are low powered which can limit your IoT application - not what we want to see!
We believe that for an IoT device to be truly reliable and ensure that its data reporting is as accurate as can be, then it should be continuously powered. We have an environmental responsibility to provide the best performance we can, so, we made the Pebl as power efficient as possible. It consumes approximately 350mW on average.
Isn't it irritating when new software gets released and you have to individually update every device you have? Not with the Pebl, it's actively checking for updates.
We release software updates after passing an extensive customer acceptance testing process, so we're confident they won't interrupt your IoT application and cause any hiccups. You can opt for scheduled automatic updates when they are available or if your application is mission critical, update manually via the Fingoti Portal at a time that suits you.
If your Pebl is connected to our Portal, you'll never miss an update, forever.
Using the Pebl via the Fingoti Portal is easy and seamless. The Pebl can connect itself to our Portal (if you wish) which allows you to access, monitor, change and update it using our friendly Portal user interface.
But, don't worry, that's not the only way to use your Pebl...
The ways in which the Pebl can communicate with the outside world are extensive.
For those budding entrepreneur and/or nerds amongst you who are looking for a more commercial, industrial or custom solution or you'd consider yourself an advanced user then the Pebl will respond to other methods of communication.
- MQTT - Connect to a custom broker
- HTTP - Issue local POST requests
- WS - Stream responses through a websocket
- UART - Onboard UART for serial communication
Our API can also be utilised for direct communication, securely, via our Portal, but implementing your own user interface and back-end. This solution can be useful for third-party developers and custom applications that require high security and minimal fuss/cost setup.
Yes, we get that a lot, it really is that small!
Requirements for the size of the Pebl were defined early on to be as 'small as possible' but remaining 'beautifully tactile' - not an easy one.
It was important that the Pebl was both minimal and self-contained. This compares to the IoT hardware that is currently available, often being bare-board with exposed electrical components. Every cubic millimetre of the device has been utilised. All components are internal and self-contained with a chemical and water resistant resin, which acts as a heat sink as well as protection from environmental factors.