Initial feedback on the Talisman V1 confirmed the requirement to minimise size and simplify the usage.
If the Talisman were able to connect directly to WiFi this would simply the deployment because the use of a bridge would no longer be necessary.
A search of the available radio modules resulted in the selection of an extremely low cost WiFi module from ExpressIf in China. The ESP-07 WiFi module provides WiFi ability. The module can connect to an existing internet WiFi network as a client. This network would be a user’s home WiFi network, or a WiFi network shared from the users roving mobile handset. Most mobile devices can act as a AccessPoint, sharing their cellular mobile internet access on a password protected WiFi network. This is simple to use and just requires turning on on a mobile device.
The ESP-07 also can act as an Access Point. This is useful because it allows the module to provide a WiFi network that the user can connect to. A user could connect to the module in the Talisman V2 using their laptop or mobile phone. The user would simply select the Talisman V2 provided WiFi network from the list of available networks on their mobile or laptop.
Once a user connected to the Talisman V2 they could browse to a Talisman V2 provided web page and enter the details of their home network.
Having the Talisman V2 provide a WiFi network with a single simple web page for entering network name(s) and password(s) allows the user to configure the Talisman to use their password protected home WiFi network.
The ESP-07 WiFi module can obtain the RSSI signal strength of nearby WiFi networks. This will be used to detect the close physical proximity of the Talisman V2 to beacons.
The ESP-07 also provides access to store data and downloaded apps. The ESP-07 can be programmed to run the apps. Therefore using the ESP-07 would no longer require a seperate micro-controller. This reduces the number of components, and allows the design to be shrunk in size.
Given that the ESP-07 radio module provides WiFi and can use RSSI to detect nearby beacons, the Bluetooth module can be dropped from the hardware design.
It is proposed that the Talisman V2 would use the ESP-07 WiFi module and no longer require or support the use of bluetooth.
All the features mentioned above are being tested to ensure the functionality works as expected. A more comprehensive post will be made showing this version 2 parts prototype.