Blog 2Smart (EN)

Learn your way around the IoT platform - create your first device and control it from your smartphone without an MCU

2Smart Cloud is an IoT platform designed specifically for the experienced vendor’s needs as well as DIY users and IoT startups. We attempted to combine professional features with a simple and clear interface. You can now see how well it has worked out.

Even without a microcontroller that is used to create a simple device at hand, you can utilize our virtual device. It is designed distinctively to demonstrate the capabilities of the platform.

By using a virtual device as an example in a demonstration, a smart lamp will allow you to test the full functionality of the 2Smart Cloud platform as well as look at the finished product through the eyes of a real user. This will help you control your device by using a mobile app.


Registration on the platform and a how-to on using a virtual device as an example


1 - Follow the link: https://cloud.2smart.com/.

2 - Create a new account or sign in with your Google or Facebook account. When you sign in via social networks, you will receive an automatically generated password to your Email - you can change it in your dashboard. The password may be needed to connect third-party services without authorization through a social network.

Authorization window on the 2Smart Cloud platform

3 - After registering, the system will suggest creating a test product based on a virtual device. Click "Let’s go!" to get started.

New user welcome screen with an offer to create a test virtual product

4 - During all stages of the demonstration, you will be assisted by detailed tooltips in the lower right corner of the screen. You can hide it by clicking the ">" icon or the "OK" button, and summon it again by clicking the "i" icon in the same place on the screen.

Controlling the wizard tooltips

5 - When working with an actual device, firstly, you need to select the microcontroller based on which the scheme is going to be built. Since we are working with a virtual device, you can only select the "Virtual MCU" option. Do this then click "Next".

Select microcontroller screen

6 - At this stage it is recommended to enter the name of the device and download an icon for it. If it is a real product, this is the information that will later appear in the device market of the 2Smart Cloud mobile application. In sandbox mode, you can skip this step by instantly clicking the "Next" button.

Complete general product information

7 - The next step is the configuration of the firmware. There are several options to choose from when working with a real device.

For the ESP32 controller, the ESPHome base is available. This does not require any basic programming knowledge. An alternative option is custom firmware which is prepared according to the documentation of the 2Smart Cloud platform and gives the vendor more possibilities.

Custom firmware is already prepared for the virtual lamp. By clicking the "Connect device" link, a new browser tab will open a ready-to-use virtual device with all the necessary settings needed. Wait until a notification appears in the upper right part of the screen which confirms the device has been successfully connected to the test environment of the vendor's dashboard.

Device firmware variant selection screen


8 - Return to the vendor's dashboard. Once you are there, a tooltip pop-up with the link to the virtual device will close automatically. Click "Next" to proceed.

Device firmware variant selection screen

9 - A notification on the new screen informs you that the device has been successfully detected by the system.

Notification of successful connection of the device

10 - Click the "Preview State" button. After doing so, the device’s sensor data preview window will open. Similar to this, telemetry can be obtained from the real device already at this stage of the wizard.

Preview screen of the sensor data

11 - After closing the sensor data preview window and clicking "Next", you will proceed to the following step which is the settings of the mobile application interface.

The basic application interface for any new device is created automatically. This is based on the sensors specified in their schematics. You can improve the interface as needed.

Widgets are used to control the device which can be grouped in different tabs. The platform offers an extensive library of widgets, many of which are interchangeable. You can use different widgets to control the same sensor. This, of course, depends on which one is more convenient for you to use with your device.

The settings screen for the mobile app interface to control the device

12 - Note that you can control the device directly from the application emulator. For example, by setting the glow color to red in the "Color RGB" widget, you can see that the virtual device reacted instantly and executed this command.

Control the device from the mobile app emulator in the browser

Control the device from the mobile app emulator in the browser

13 - After customizing the mobile app interface, click “Next”. A window will open with instructions on how to add your device to the mobile app.

Instructions for adding the device to the mobile app

14 - Install the 2Smart Cloud application on your smartphone and enable Sandbox mode. Sign in with the same login and password that you used when you logged in to the platform. Remember to follow the instructions which are opened by the link in the demonstration window.

Your virtual device is on the Devices tab.

“Devices

15 - After clicking on the name of the device, you will see the same management interface as in the vendor's dashboard in the browser. If you have made any changes to the interface, it will be shown in the app.


Open the tab with the virtual lamp in your browser and make sure that it responds to all the commands from the mobile app. You can change the brightness of the lamp, its color, and turn the device on and off.

Device management screen of the 2Smart Cloud mobile application

16 - Return to the platform demonstration window and click “Next”. This will open the final stage of developing the product and publishing it on the 2Smart Cloud market. When working with a real product, publishing the device will allow users to add it to the mobile app using the standard pairing action.

The device publication screen in the market

17 - The system will suggest returning to the mobile app so that you can evaluate the device through a final-user’s perspective. .

Make use of this opportunity as it will be your own smart device, instead of a virtual lamp, which will fall into the hands of your customers. Put yourself in their position and observe just how convenient it is to operate the device.
Additional control methods available to all 2Smart Cloud users are:
voice commands, phone calls, and a Telegram bot.

To start, click the "Test" button to open a new wizard with step-by-step instructions.

The screen to test the device control from the mobile app

18 - Install the 2Smart Cloud mobile app on your smartphone. Starting off, you need to sign out of your account in the app, disable Sandbox mode in the settings on the authorization screen, and then log back in with any login. Your device will no longer be in the list of devices. It will need to be paired using the standard pairing action.

Instructions for installing the 2Smart Cloud mobile application

19 - When adding a real device to the app, you can use two primary methods: standard pairing via the market, or the device's built-in web interface.

Description of how to attach the device to the application

20 - The usual methods are not suitable for connecting a virtual device. To add a virtual lamp to the app, click on the suggested link.

Instructions for attaching a virtual device to the mobile app

21 - In the new window, enter the user's email and access token. These can be found in the Account settings window of the mobile app. If you can't find it, use the visual tiptool that opens when you click the "I can't find" link.

Instructions for attaching a virtual device to the mobile app

22 - After entering the email and token, the virtual lamp will appear on the "Devices" window of the mobile app.

“Devices

23 - The interface for device management is the same one that was configured in the vendor's dashboard. Changes can be made at any time and will be displayed to users after restarting the mobile app.

Instructions for setting up the mobile application interface

Device management interface in the mobile app

24 - Have a go at controlling the virtual lamp from the application. Similar to testing in Sandbox mode, the lamp responds instantly to commands. You can change the color and brightness of the lamp, and turn it on and off.

Selecting the lamp color in the mobile app interface

Turning off the virtual lamp from the mobile app

25 - In addition to full control via the mobile app interface, you can also use other features, which you'll get familiar with shortly. You can learn about the app's functionality from the tips, or you can try out all of the additional features right away:

  • Adding frequently used widgets to the main application screen, "Favorites",

Description of the Favorites' functionality of the 2Smart Cloud mobile application

  • Getting notifications from devices on the "Notifications" screen,

Description of the Notifications functionality of the 2Smart Cloud mobile application

  • Using voice commands to control devices,

Description of the Voice commands functionality of the 2Smart Cloud mobile application

  • Сontrol with a phone call at no cost,

Description of the Phone call control functionality of the 2Smart Cloud mobile application

  • Control from 2Smart Cloud’s Telegram bot,

Description of the 2Smart Cloud Telegram bot

  • The ability to share control of the device with other users.

Description of the 2Smart Cloud mobile application’s Sharing function.

We recommend trying to control the virtual lamp from the Telegram bot using voice commands and a phone call to see just how easy and user-friendly it is. These additional methods can be used when controlling your real device as well.

You can share access with your family members or friends to control the device. They will also be able to operate the virtual lamp from a mobile app on their smartphone.

If you encounter a complication, detailed instructions for each of the control methods can be found on the 2Smart Cloud blog.

You might be interested in how to add a real device to the 2Smart Cloud IoT platform. Have a look at the next article in our series to learn more about it.

Links:


All articles about IoT device creation and support

  1. Learn your way around the IoT platform –  create your first device and control it from your smartphone without an MCU
  2. How to create a Wi-Fi switch to control via a mobile app and Telegram bot
  3. 4 stages of using the platform to create a new IoT device
  4. How to create an IoT device on a printed circuit board and take it from prototype to finished product
  5. How to write firmware for an IoT device based on an SDK
  6. How to update the firmware and mobile application of ready-made devices within 5 minutes
  7. Collection and analysis of statistics –  a useful tool for product improvement


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