Wireless connectivity - made easy with u-connect

19th March 2019
Anna Flockett

Even for seasoned programmers, it can be a showdown to configure short-range wireless modules to behave exactly as they should. Typically, it is a complex, time-consuming and error-prone programming of embedded systems. If that's your specialty, or if your device needs the full flexibility of programming an application from scratch and single-handedly, our open CPU wireless module variants will meet the needs of experts like you.

But what if you do not have a team of embedded systems programmers to work with and minimise the risks, complexity, and time-to-market of your device? At this point, u-connect comes into play. It manages behind-the-scenes connectivity, allowing you to focus on the core features of your product.

From uCS to u-connectXpress
If you have already worked with u-blox’s short-range modules, you may already be familiar with a member of the u-connect family. As of today, u-connectXpress is the new name of the established u-blox connectivity software (uCS).

Developed in the last decade and a half, it has become the most feature-rich configuration-based software in the industry to configure connectivity. u-connectXpress (formerly uCS) provides easy access to all the building blocks you need to develop a solution for virtually any application you want with your short-range modem.

With u-connectXpress you can configure your modem without any code. Instead, it relies on a huge lexicon of industry-standard AT commands and many u-blox-specific commands that solve the complex real-time and wireless parts of your application. The s-centre configuration software is a powerful and easy-to-use tool to configure and test your application through a user-friendly graphical user interface.

Scripting to program networked sensors (and more)
Now let's say you want to wirelessly send measurements from a Bluetooth-enabled temperature sensor to a wireless gateway. This is a job that normally requires programming. With the latest version of our NINA-B3 Bluetooth 5 module you can accelerate application development with the second member of the u-connect family: u-connectScript .

u-connectScript allows anyone who has ever worked with JavaScript to quickly learn the development of complex wireless applications and run them directly on the module's MCU or on a separate host.

With the concept of u-connect streams, you can direct a sensor connected to the I2C port of the NINA-B3 with only 7 lines of code to read data at a specific frequency and send it to the gateway. To program the module, all you need is a USB cable and access to a computer with Visual Studio code and the u-connectScript plug-in, and you're ready to go. 

Secure wireless applications with u-connect
And finally, u-connect does not just speed up and simplify the development of your wireless application. It also improves their safety. We all know that security for networked devices is not negotiable. But not all have security experts in the product development team. Applications developed with u-connect use all of our u-blox Secure Boot technology, which ensures that the software running on the module is authenticated. If someone tried to run a compromised device, it simply will not start.  

To learn more about u-connectXpress and u-connectScript, contact our global sales and support network or download the application note.

Guest blog written by Joakim Ryden, Senior Product Manager (Wireless IoT Modules). 

Courtesy of u-blox.

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