Espiota: A configurable device enabling IOTA payments for machines
The full article was originally published by Christian Oosting on Medium. Read the full article here.
A few months ago I started exploring the ESP32, a tiny though powerful microcontroller with built-in WIFI. I found numerous great examples for ESP32, especially those provided by Sam Chen on Github helped me a lot. But they all share one disadvantage: To rebuild them you need to dig quite deep into software development. If it would be possible to order a preinstalled product that just needs some wires to be connected, anyone could enable their devices to receive IOTA. So I started creating Espiota. It enables any machine powered by electricity to trigger its actions when a payment occurs. Espiota is fully configurable and no knowledge in software development is needed.
The current concept consists of two versions. An external box containing a display and buttons that will be easy to connect for anyone with basic knowledge in electricity. And a much smaller and more versatile board that can be placed inside the machine itself.
In the beginning of this series I will focus on the basic idea and on how the external box can be utilized to switch the main circuit of a machine. In the following articles I will further explain how Espiota can be integrated to trigger specific actions while observing the state of the machine.
Espiota supports various operating modes with Pay-For-Time as default mode. More modes (Pay-For-Action etc.) will be introduced in the following articles, when we talk about deeper Espiota integration.
Imagine an air condition in a hotel room. The owner specifies a time period (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks) and the price in IOTA to use the air condition for the chosen period. He could configure Espiota to activate the air condition for a price of 10 Miota a day. When a guest pays 10 Miota to the specified address, Espiota activatess the air condition for 24 hours.
Espiota uses WIFI for communication with the IOTA network and for configuration purposes. If no valid credentials for an existing WIFI network have been found (this happens when connecting in a new environment for the first time), Espiota acts as an access point, which allows to choose a network and to enter the password. The access point is available as a WIFI network called “espiota”.
When connected to the access point the operator opens a browser which then redirects to the configuration page where he can choose the desired WIFI network for internet access: