How we built a custom dashboard to enable admins to quickly configure various Bluetooth and wifi devices and integrate them with a cloud-based iOT system.
BLEacon hired AccelOne for the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) dashboard and administration panel. BLEacon was creating this platform, marketed towards individuals and businesses, to enable movement and activity tracking of things such as shopping carts, shoppers, employees or products within digitally fenced environments like buildings, shopping malls, concert halls or retail stores.
An organization using this platform could place small, battery operated Bluetooth Smart embedded modules, called Locators, in a physical (or fenced) area to monitor variables, such as movement, temperature activity types and behavior, emitted by assigned Bluetooth Low Energy embedded devices. These devices may include digital bracelets, collars or tags worn by humans, or other labels or tags placed on moving objects within that area. Through wireless signals, real-time data on the movement, activity, and behavior of things acting within the fenced environment is emitted to base station computers.
The purpose of the dashboard and administration panel that BLEacon hired AccelOne to create was two-fold. The administration panel would allow the initial configuration and set-up of the IoT environment while the dashboard would allow the data to be rendered in a single control panel. This panel would allow administrators to configure the devices remotely as well as monitor and visualize the data on either a macro or micro scale.
A variety of users and departments could access and interpret the data for application in many business operations including security, marketing, VIP customer services, systems automation and more.
There were 3 key goals of the project:
Feature a clean, simple, UX/UI dashboard for micro and macro visualization of each of the devices’ status and the IoT system as a whole.
Allow access by various users with different permission levels.
Enable the administration of the IoT devices themselves, which would allow a user to configure and deploy the devices.
The project was planned and managed using the Agile framework. We split the project into 3 iterations: Startup, Development and Closure, which were each divided into multiple Sprints to accomplish the deliverables of each iteration.
In order to execute the planned solution we put together the following team configuration:
- Architect & Database Designer
Senior Front End and Back End Developers
AWS Certified Architect
Once the team was assembled, we had to do extensive research to understand the purpose of each type of available Bluetooth and Wifi hardware device and all of their parameters so that we could make them compatible with our solution.
We also had to build an internal simulator to provide our product with real-time data under different variables and conditions so that we could test the functionality of our product in the absence of an actual IoT network.
Finally, to conclude the project we built a separate testing interface to validate that the dashboard was fully functional through the application program interface (API).
The most complex technical challenge of this project was creating an organized and simple visualization of the incredibly large amount of data that was coming in from real-time events on the devices.
Our final product allowed for the widgets to be moved, sorted, grouped by types, minimized, maximized, etc. for the convenience of each user. Additionally, we created real-time graphs, which were automatically rendered and scaled in a relationship with many parameters such as time, date, location, etc.
The end result for the customer was a very technologically advanced, cloud-based product with a very clean and easy-to-use interface and flexible applications. This MVP version is currently on the market for licensing and in-use by many major organizations.
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