Getting to Know the Cirrent Solution

Published by Roshan Paiva November 03, 2017

You’ve heard us talk in depth about the benefits and value of our solution (there are many!), but perhaps you haven’t delved into the other parts of our website to learn more about the solution. People are often surprised at the depth of Cirrent’s solution.

Companies making connected products work with Cirrent to make their products easier to use and more secure, to reduce development time, support and returns cost, and to accelerate time to market. Although it’s very easy to implement our ZipKey technology into your product, there’s a lot going on and a lot of tools at your disposal. Cirrent provides all of these tools and technologies to ZipKey enable your product.

So in this blog post, we’re going to lay it all on the table for you -- all the nuts and bolts of our solution.

ZipKey Hotspots

Cirrent provides a global network of ZipKey Wi-Fi hotspots through partnerships with Internet Service Providers like Comcast, which allow ZipKey-enabled products to connect to the Cirrent Cloud automatically, simply and securely right out of the box.

ISPs like Comcast provide home Wi-Fi routers to subscribers that are remotely managed. Many of these ISPs now put home hotspots in their Wi-Fi routers so subscribers can get internet access at other people’s houses and in public spaces.  This hotspot is isolated from the user’s private network and doesn’t take bandwidth away from the home subscriber.  You can learn more about xfinitywifi home hotspots here.

Normally when you connect to one of these home hotspots you can only access the “Captive Portal” page, which asks for your ISP login.  If you’re a business traveler you’ve seen the captive portals at hotels and airports around the world.

Cirrent has negotiated to let ZipKey products connect to home hotspots to access Cirrent’s cloud.  These ZipKey hotspots today cover more than 67 million homes in the US and Western Europe, and will be expanding dramatically in 2018.  Companies making ZipKey products can have their products connect to the cloud automatically in all of these homes by simply working with Cirrent.

Cirrent Agent

The Cirrent Agent is embedded code that goes inside of the product and implements all of the functionality necessary to ZipKey enable a product. Cirrent’s agent is compatible with Linux, OpenWRT, and a variety of RTOS platforms. Integrating the Cirrent Agent into your product is very straightforward.

For products using Linux, developers can download the agent directly from Cirrent’s support site for free, and chat with our developer support team to get up and running quickly.

The Cirrent Agent is delivered along with the leading Wi-Fi chip SDKs (like Samsung ARTIK), so it may be available in your development tools already.

The Cirrent Agent has a set of programmatic interfaces so your product can control it directly, and the agent is not in the path of ongoing communications once the product is connected, so integrating the agent is typically a straightforward process.

You can read more about the Cirrent agent here.

App Software Development Kit

Cirrent provides a rich SDK to make updating iOS and Android apps easy. This SDK handles all aspects of communicating with the Cirrent cloud and addresses the lifecycle events for connected products.

iOS and Android apps are often the face of connected products, and Cirrent is committed to making your products work well. Cirrent’s SDK takes care of the plumbing of Wi-Fi onboarding and lifecycle issues so you can be confident that the flows will work well and have your app development focused on the design and the overall user experience.

To update your App to work with ZipKey, you’ll need to update the app flows and design app pages consistent with your branding. We provide a best practices template.

The SDK does the API calls, error handling, and more, so you really just need to implement the screens.

You can learn more about Cirrent’s App SDK here.

Cirrent Cloud

Cirrent operates a high-availability, multi-region, multi-tenant cloud that acts as a clearinghouse of information between apps, networks, and companies.  The cloud is accessed by ZipKey products, apps, and external systems through Cirrent’s APIs, and also provides a set of tools and functions through Cirrent’s Management Center at go.cirrent.com  

The Cirrent cloud has a rich set of tools and pages for a variety of different users from product companies, including:

  • Developers.  Cirrent provides the tools and services to make development and testing of ZipKey products easier.  With detailed logs and status updated in real time, and a set of emulators for apps and products, developers can get up and running quickly and be confident that products will work in the field.
  • Support. Cirrent’s system has the relevant information to identify, diagnose, troubleshoot, and actually fix products in the field.  Because products connect to the Cirrent cloud through ZipKey hotspots, Cirrent can help support agents proactively fix connection issues even when the consumer can’t get the product connected.  This is a breakthrough for many companies making high-volume products for mainstream consumers.
  • Product management.  Cirrent’s tools provide insight into how products are used, where they are sold, and how Wi-Fi issues impact customers.  Cirrent’s tools brings this information to light in a way that is digestible and actionable.
  • Operations.  Manufacturing teams need to provision products through online systems and through APIs. Cirrent’s tools integrate with your manufacturing and operations process to keep costs low and products secure.

As you can see there are many technologies and tools at your disposal, all of which will help you improve the overall customer experience with your connected product. If you want to learn more, check out our Knowledge Center or get in touch with us.

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