Digi XBee3™ IoT modules go straight to the head of the class. One reason is outstanding flexibility. A single socket allows you to connect with IoT networks around the globe. Digi XBee3 pin-compatible footprints support multiple protocols and unified command frameworks while retaining superior implementation flexibility. As new protocols emerge, Digi XBee3 series will offer them using these same pin-outs, future-proofing your designs. Digi XBee3 also features programmable on-board intelligence. By creating applications on your Digi XBee3 using its MicroPython framework, you can implement business rules for money-saving solutions like intelligent bandwidth control, dynamic power conservation or full outage management. New behaviors can be dynamically implemented over the air so as your business changes, your solution can rise to meet the challenge.
Digi XBee3 currently lets you choose between eight different protocols, and easily change between them without learning new command frameworks, writing new code or even changing your board layout. They include:
- 802.15.4 for point-to-multipoint local connections
- ZigBee 3.0 for creating interoperable mesh networks
- DigiMesh for fast, single-source mesh solutions
- Cellular for gateway-free applications worldwide including:
- 3G for legacy compatibility
- LTE Cat 1 for modern connections
- LTE-M for lower data needs and improved power management
- NB-IoT when only minimal cellular bandwidth is required.
Plus, Bluetooth Low Energy is coming soon as a dual-mode add-on protocol for the entire Digi XBee3 line, enabling connections to external wireless sensors and smartphones.
Choice of Command Sets
Configure any way you like. Digi XBee3 offers four interchangeable methods for handling configurations, commands and communications. For easy access to the full configuration, all Digi XBee3 models support AT commands that can be issued from any serial terminal program. For structured interactions with microcontrollers and external devices, every Digi XBee3 supports a standard frame-based API that’s perfect for machine-to-machine transactions. Local configuration is made easy with the graphical user interface provided by Digi’s XCTU software, and remote configuration is enabled from the cloud using Digi Remote Manager. No matter which you choose, the command frameworks are all the same.
All Digi XBee3 AT commands and API frames are standardized across all form factors and protocols. All commands work the same way across all modules, with protocol differences kept to a minimum so that changing between modules is as quick and transparent as possible.
Choice of Gateways
Certain protocols require gateways to connect to the Internet. Digi offers a variety of Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Cellular Digi XBee3 Gateways for use with XBee3 in both commercial and industrial-rated packages. Third party gateways can easily be developed around Digi’s ConnectCore® 6UL embedded platform, or using a custom platform of your own design.
Modules in the Digi XBee3 series all run applications written in MicroPython, an embedded variant of the popular Python programming language. There are so many great reasons for intelligence at the edge:
- Saving bandwidth costs by only sending useful data
- Saving battery and replacement costs by using only the power that your application requires
- Controlling local behaviors dynamically without the cost of unnecessary cloud connections
- Managing directly connected sensors and actuators, to keep simple projects simple
- Allowing devices to behave intelligently during communication outages
- Caching data locally during network outages, then sending it immediately as soon as connectivity returns
- Adapting to changing business needs by securely accepting new behaviors over the air
- Testing and debugging deployed applications by dynamically modifying code over-the-air
- Addressing host device problems from the cloud rather than paying for needless truck rolls
Programmability doesn’t live on its own of course, it takes an ecosystem. Digi XBee3 has the tools and resources you need including full documentation online, software development environments, sample code, example programs, training and open-source expandability. Let your imagination run wireless!
How can programmability at the edge can make a difference in real-world IoT systems? Outdoor municipal street lighting is a perfect example. Street lights typically use considerable energy and government maintenance resources. Lights shine brightly all night, whether or not anyone is even in the area. When a streetlight malfunctions, repairs depend upon citizen reports, which may not occur for days or even months after an initial failure. This is a big problem, and just the type that can benefit from intelligence at the edge.
With Digi XBee3 wireless modules, the behaviors needed to improve energy use, reliability and safety can be installed right inside every streetlight. Apps running on each Digi XBee3 module can process motion sensor inputs and intelligently set that streetlight’s brightness accordingly. For example, while a street is unoccupied, lighting can be dimmed to 50%, then smoothly increased to 90% whenever a pedestrian or bicycle’s motion is detected. Since the application runs locally on Digi XBee3, no cloud communication or external microcontrollers are required. This improves reliability while keeping bandwidth and system costs low, at the same time saving so much energy that the system pays for itself. If a streetlight malfunctions, its neighbors can detect the outage locally and increase their own brightness to compensate. This level of safety can be maintained even through network outages, very important during major storms. Naturally the Digi XBee3 application will report outages to the cloud as soon as possible, so that maintenance can begin immediately. Municipalities can test out new ideas by loading upgraded application code to a subset of streetlights as a pilot, before deploying the new code to the entire city.
In this street lighting application, Digi XBee3’s programmability enables energy savings, improves customer service, maintains reliability and reduces maintenance costs while providing a clear path forward for innovation. It can revolutionize your systems in the same way.