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The Fastest Path to Embedded Cellular Connectivity is Digi XBee®

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Digi is excited to bring together the power and flexibility of the Digi XBee® ecosystem with Verizon, the world’s largest cellular network. Digi XBee® Cellular makes connecting your product easier by smoothing out the hardware, certifications, and development tools to configure and maintain your connected device.

Additional benefits of this pre-certified end device that is saving OEMs months of time and thousands of dollars:
• The smallest footprint available (24mm x 33mm.)
• Based on the 20-pin Digi XBee® footprint we all know and trust.
• The best development tools to deploy and manage your network (XCTU, API, libraries.)
• A bundled data plan will be available as an option, with the module “shipping hot,” fully pre-provisioned and ready to communicate over the cellular network right out of the box.

Digi XBee® Cellular will initially be available on the Verizon LTE Cat 1 network, followed by additional carrier support and new lower-power IoT Cellular standards such as LTE Cat M1 and LTE Cat NB1. Whatever the protocol, Digi XBee® Cellular will have a pin-compatible module so your design is ready for tomorrow. Samples are available now for development!

Click here for preliminary specs and to sign up for Digi XBee® Cellular updates. Or, give us a call at 877-912-3444 to learn more.

This Week in The Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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XBee MicroPython Examples
Professor and chief innovations officer at Digi, Rob Faludi put together a saga of XBee MircoPython examples to help guide your next big XBee project. See how running small amounts of code can complete big tasks.

Web-Based Pool Controller w/ Raspberry Pi, Arduino, XBee and Digital Thermometer
Collaboration is key to a successful system, and this DIY device masters just that by using Raspberry Pi, Arduino and XBee to control a swimming pool pump and heater. Check out this collaboration in more detail.

Fashion Tech Fashion Designers – Ending The Theocracy Of Fashion
In honor of Fashion Week, here is an insightful read on how the fashion industry has evolved thanks to leading technology and where the future of fashion is headed with wearables:

Safe and Secure Traffic Control with Digi TransPort® WR31
Happy customers and making an industry impact are a few of our favorite accomplishments. Learn how ElectriCities saved over $300K annually with Digi WR31.

Google’s car will automatically pull you over for the police
If you ever questioned Google’s ability to take over the world, question no more because they are now entering the police academy:

Customer Showcase: Wireless Devices that Power Today’s Smart Cities

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Every day Digi works with customers around the world to deploy connected solutions that businesses rely on. Connected devices help people use data to make more informed decisions and modernize business operations. And, connected devices are modernizing our day-to-day life as well. Here are a few of the many companies we’re proud to work with that are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to make cities smarter, and our lives easier.

SmartBox | Smart Delivery

Many of us can’t be at home to sign for packages when they arrive, and the outdated delivery-release notes have become an invitation for criminals looking for easy thefts. We have busy schedules, and we don’t want to inconvenience our friends or neighbors to receive our packages, as they have busy schedules themselves. SmartBox decided to build a delivery system that’s safe smartboxand secure and most important, runs on your schedule.

SmartBox is the world’s first Internet of Things (IoT) smart delivery storage locker. With SmartBox, delivery services can leave a package safely in a locker in a lobby or public area for recipients to pick up at their convenience. Recipients will be notified via SMS message, and thanks to a Digi XBee module in every unit, can safely retrieve their package with a single-use passcode. Read the full story here >>.

ElectriCities | Networking

getattachmentMaintaining a vast and complex network has traditionally been done with copper 56k circuits at each site. However, the process is expensive and at high risk of damage from lightning strikes. ElectriCities recognized an opportunity to re-engineer a safer and more efficient solution.

They found a solution in Digi’s TransPort WR31 LTE router which was dependable enough to maintain a network connection for frequent meter reading, and flexible enough to support communications with Schneider, Itron, JEMStar and SEL devices. The implementation of this LTE solution saved over $300,000 annually on telemetry charges. Read the full story here >>.

Tisséo | Public Transit

By Occitandu34 (own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia CommonsFor the great city of Toulouse in the south of France with over 1 million people, public transit is an essential part of daily life. The city has two subway lines, two trams lines, and 150 bus routes. When combined that’s over 120 million trips in the last year! The entire fleet of over 500 busses plus buses are equipped with a WiFi-based automatic vehicle monitoring systems (AVMSs) that connects with a backend system, but only when it reached one of the Tisséo depots and didn’t provide any valuable real-time data.

That’s when Tisséo turned to the Digi TransPort® WR44 R to deliver cellular communications. With the new installation, each new Lineo rapid-transit vehicle will have reliable communications for onboard systems such as security video, fare collection, CAD/AVL, VoIP dispatch, and passenger WiFi. This enables the busses to be constantly connected to a backend system offering valuable real-time data such as location, speed, and next stops. Read the full story here >>.

Read more about how Digi customers are inventing new business models and changing their respective industries, visit our customer success page >>.

Digi XBees Work to Transform Package Delivery with Connected Lockers

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How many times have you missed an anticipated package delivery only to wait days for that one moment when the stars align and the delivery comes while your home? Or maybe that special moment never comes, and the package you’ve been waiting for is returned to its sender.

SmartBox Co., Ltd. is revolutionizing the distribution industry to solve that problem. The company, founded in 2013 and headquartered in Seoul, Korea, manufactures the “SmartBox,” a high-tech locker that applies IoT technology for unattended parcel delivery. It’s the world’s first Internet of Things-based delivery locker. And unlike traditional kiosk lockers, the SmartBox is more convenient, independent, and economical.

SmartBoxWhen parcel arrives, the delivery-person enters a mobile number and places the package in a secure locker. The recipient gets an SMS message with a password to open the secure locker.

Using Digi XBee® wireless modules and gateways, SmartBox can work with either unmanned delivery destinations or traditional lockers. Each SmartBox locker is equipped with an XBee module that provides connectivity and intelligence to permit/forbid access to lockers based on single-use codes. A single Digi XBee gateway carries backhaul traffic to SmartBox’s operations center where lockers can be monitored and maintained centrally. That gateway also sends SMS notifications to package recipients. More than 3,000 SmartBox lockers have been installed in apartments, college dormitories, public offices, office buildings, and subway stations across South Korea and Japan.

Interested in learning more about SmartBox and how the lockers utilize Digi XBee modules?

Read the full case study here >>

What Makes Thread a Secure Wireless Protocol?

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With XBee Thread soon arriving, we’re fielding a lot of questions regarding the protocol’s touted security benefits. Not only does Thread provide a robust network with no single point of failure, but it also offers businesses and developers extremely secure wireless communication. Let’s look at a couple reasons why.Web

IP-based Security Protocols
Yes, it’s a low-powered network, not unlike ZigBee and other 802.15.4 radios, but it’s also IP-based. This is important because with an IP-based networking protocol, developers can tap into security protocols used when you’re browsing the internet. Some of the common ones are DTLS, TLS and SSL. These IP-based security protocols provide the network with secure end-to-end communication.

Commissioning
Another benefit of the Thread protocol is the commissioning process. Commissioning is the process of joining a new node to the Thread network. Previously, this could lead to network vulnerabilities and be overly complex. But, the creators of Thread have made it a straightforward and user-friendly experience by leveraging mobile technology and passphrases. This ensures no rogue nodes are able to join the network without being overly complex.

There are three ways to add a node to a Thread network, out-of-band commissioning, discovery, and through a commissioning application on a mobile device.

Out-of-band commissioning mode configures a node with the network credentials of the desired network. This makes the node behave like a partition of the network.  When it comes in range of the network, it will be like two partitions joining into a larger network creating a secure handoff.

When commissioning via discovery mode, the node searches for a network with matching credentials. For this, the security is simple, the network must be in range of the the node, the network must allow joining, and the node must be told to expect a node to be joining, identified by its EUI 64, or unique IPv6 MAC address.

Lastly, Thread introduces a third method, and arguably the easiest new way to commission a device, through a commissioning application installed on a device such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.  Thread describes this process as petitioning and joining.

Petitioning is the process of authenticating and authorizing the commissioning device (like your phone or laptop), which will run the Thread commissioning app. The device can then communicate with the Thread network either locally or via the internet through the network’s Border Router. This forms a secure TLS connection between the network’s Border Router and the user’s commissioning device.

So now that we’ve got our commissioning device authorized, how do we add a new node to the network? It’s pretty easy.

When a node wants to join the network it will send a request to the commissioning device where the user will be prompted to enter a key to authorize the node(s) to join the network. Once the key is entered, there is a secure DTLS handshake between the joining node and the Commissioner. The new node receives the network parameters and is all ready to function with the necessary rights and privileges.

This is just a brief look at why many IoT experts consider Thread a more secure wireless protocol based on its security features and commissioning process. Check out these resources to learn more about the Thread wireless protocol:

And, if you have any Thread-related questions send us a tweet at @digidotcom or @XBeeWireless. You can also visit the official Thread website for more information.

This Week in The Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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GRAB THINGS WITH AN ARDUINO ROBOTIC GRIPPER
The robotic gripper built by high school graduates, Sam Baumgarten and Graham Hughes, use Digi XBee for transmitting singles from the control glove to the gripper. Watch below the impressive robot gripper in action.

DIY Sleep Apnea Monitoring
With hundreds of people suffering from sleep apnea everyday, we can all appreciate Marc Merlin’s Sleep Apnea Monitoring rig that collects data through Digi XBee. Although we do not endorse Digi DIY projects, we are very impressed with Merlin’s dedication and research.

Vodafone IoT Barometer: 76% Of Businesses Say Internet of Things Will Be Critical To Future Success
Studies show IoT is even more significant to business success with these seven key insights to prove it.

Connected Healthcare: Internet of Things Examples in Health Care
The IoT influence in the healthcare industry is not only changing lives but saving them as well by adjustable patient monitoring, enhanced drug management, augmented asset monitoring and tracking, early intervention and so much more. Visit Cardiauvergne to learn more about how the remote healthcare monitoring system came to life with Digi ConnectPort.

Digi Int’l XBee SX RF Module | Digi-Key Daily
Digi-Key created this informational video to highlight how Digi XBee SX makes long range communication possible by using low power consumption. Visit the official Digi XBee SX product page to learn more about the design and software.

Digi XBee® S2C 802.15.4 – Let Your Imagination Run Wireless!

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Digi XBee® is the world’s #1 RF module because our common footprint is shared across protocols and frequencies. Anything is possible with Digi XBee – from the small science project in the lab to NASA monitoring payloads on a rocket, Digi XBee gives you the tools and flexibility you need to rapidly innovate. The latest example in this broad line of modules is the Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 which is now available with the Silicon Labs Ember® EM35x transceiver.

This latest module is ideal for applications requiring low latency and predictable communication timing. The Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 is also ideal when your application requires robust multipoint wireless connectivity with reduced power consumption, support for the over-the-air firmware updates, and an upgrade path to DigiMesh® or ZigBee® Mesh protocols.

New Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 Offered in Through-Hole & SMT Form Factors

Anyone deploying Digi XBee can swap one Digi XBee for another. You don’t have to design a printed circuit board to take advantage of Silicon Labs’ latest chip – Digi has done it for you on the Digi XBee platform saving you time and giving you the confidence to get connected quickly and easily. Providing quick, robust communication in point-to-point, peer-to-peer, and multipoint/star configurations, Digi XBee S2C 802.15.4 products enable robust end-point connectivity with ease. Whether deployed as a pure cable replacement for simple serial communication, or as part of a more complex hub-and-spoke network of sensors, Digi XBee 802.15.4 modules maximize performance and ease of development.

Digi XBee is a special product because of our customers: the innovators, the hackers, the problem-solvers — whatever you call yourself, Digi is dedicated to providing you with everything you need to quickly create wireless connectivity solutions. Let your imagination run wireless!

Click here for a “Digi XBee 802.15.4 Protocol Comparison” Technical Brief>>

What Are the Differences Between DigiMesh® and ZigBee® Mesh?

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Mesh networking is a powerful way to route data over an RF network. Range is extended by allowing data to hop node to node and reliability and resiliency is increased by “self-healing,” or the ability to create alternate paths when one node fails or a connection is lost.

One popular mesh networking protocol is ZigBee®, which is specifically designed for low-data rate, low-power applications. Digi offers several products based on the ZigBee protocol. Additionally, Digi has developed a similar mesh protocol named DigiMesh®. Both ZigBee and DigiMesh offer unique advantages important to different applications. The following chart highlights these differences:

ZigBee® Mesh DigiMesh®
Node types and their benefits Multiple: Coordinators, Routers, End Devices. End devices can sometimes be less expensive because of reduced functionality. Single: One homogeneous node type, with more flexibility to expand the network. DigiMesh simplifies network setup and reliability in
environments where routers may come and go due to interference or damage.
Battery Deployed Networks Coordinators and routers must be mains powered All nodes are capable of battery operation and can sleep. No single point of failure associated with relying on a gateway or coordinator to
maintain time synchronization.
Over-the-air firmware updates Yes Yes
Range Most ZigBee devices have range of less than 2 miles (3.2 km) for each hop. Available on XBee SX with range of up to 40+ miles for each hop.
Frame payload and throughput Up to 80 bytes. Up to 256 bytes, depending on product. Improves throughput for applications that send larger blocks of data.
Supported frequencies and RF data rates Predominantly 2.4 GHz (250 kbps) 900 MHz (Up to 250 Kbps), 868MHz, 2.4 GHz (Up to 250 Kbps)
Security 128-bit AES encryption. Can lock down the network and prevent other nodes from joining. Both 128 and 256-bit AES encryption. Can lock down the network and prevent other nodes from joining.
Interoperability Potential for interoperability between vendors. Digi proprietary
Interference tolerance Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS). 900 MHz: Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS). 2.4GHz: Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS).
Addressing Two layers. MAC address (64 bit) and Network address (16 bit). MAC address (64 bit) only.
Maintenance More sniffers and diagnostic tools available on market. Simpler addressing can help in diagnosing problems and setting up a network.

For more information on DigiMesh and Digi XBee click here.

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