Spring is a time associated with growth and new beginnings. This year, here at RAKwireless, we took that very seriously with the Big Tech Bloom and the RAK Spring Launch 2021. Innovations are blooming like Sakura petals and ideas are taking form.
We had an idea for a while that is now a reality. An idea inspired from our aspiration for a better user experience for our clients. We wanted to unify the software environment for all our WisGate Edge gateways. Thus, WisGateOS was born!
What is WisGateOS?
It is easy to answer with the simple: The Operating System of our WisGate Edge gateways!
Nevertheless, let us dig deeper for a better understanding. When you hear the term “Operating System”, you probably automatically imagine the one for your PC or smartphone (like Windows and Android), right?
There are many varieties of operating systems out there and all of them share the same basic principle: it is the software that tells the device how to behave. In the case of our gateways, this role is for the firmware. If you want a detailed description of what the firmware is in its essence, ask your nearest system integrator, engineer, or developer. The details are way too technical to discuss at length, but the idea is that the firmware is the software that makes the gateway act as a gateway and not like an expensive paperweight.
To take the answer to the question “What is WisGateOS?” further: WisGateOS is the feature of RAK’s commercial gateways. It replaces the different firmware for the different WisGate Edge gateways (as every model has its own firmware now) with a unified operating system with the name WisGateOS.
That will allow for a better user experience and overall increased value due to improved management time and efficiency.
Understanding all that, you may wonder: How is this going to be managed by the user? After all, the operating systems for your PC or smartphone do have a graphical interface that you see on a screen and you can interact with it, the gateway does not have a screen? This problem is solved with WisDM. RAK’s own cloud-based Device Manager platform allows you access to your devices in real-time from your PC anywhere. WisGateOS connects your gateway to WisDM making configuration and management of the device as easy as browsing the internet!
Managing over the air with WisDM
Why are we doing through all this hustle? To make all our products more unified and user-friendly! Time is money for our customers, thus making those innovations results in faster and easier management of our products. Developers, IoT solution makers, system Integrators, all can benefit from better management options.
Increased stability is a benefit of the new OS that is not to be ignored, as are all the other benefits that come from that unified operating system. When designing WisGateOS we focused on including new and useful features, turning what was a mere firmware into a full-blown OS.
We are taking the opportunity of implementing this new operating system to officially update our gateways’ LoRaWAN specifications. Now, they feature full LoRaWAN 1.0.3 Stack support!
Moreover, WisGateOS supports the newest baseband processors from Semtech – SX1303! At the same time, it offers full support to the already existing and used SX1302. WisGateOS, in combination with our newest gateways and concentrators based on the SX1303, offers functionalities like Listen Before Talk communication and Fine Time Stamping. The first will make WisGate Edge gateways universal for use in different countries with different requirements for broadcasting. As for the Fine Time Stamp, it is essential in the triangulation process. It will help the gateways do it, which means that the end-devices (nodes) won’t need GPS on board and that will lead to less power consumption. One small innovation makes such a big difference in the whole process! It gives ground for new and different IoT solutions altogether.
The MultiWAN option is another great addition to the list of features supported by WisGateOS. It is a feature that allows gateways to manage multiple network connections simultaneously. For example, you can establish a dedicated Internet connection for the gateway via Ethernet as the primary link, and an Internet connection via cellular (3G/4G/LTE) network as backup. A real scenario would look like this: A customer with an industrial solution has the main gateway connected to the internet via Ethernet, where there is the possibility that the internet service provider could present failures in the service provided. In case of failures, the gateway will not work correctly when managing the data of the different devices deployed since it is not connected to the internet, in this case, having a backup internet connection via a cellular network will be the ideal solution to maintain the correct operation of the gateway.
We take integrations seriously with the new operating system. Therefore, we listened to our community's needs and took our time to implement more. Now our clients can choose between The Things Industries (TTI) using the full capacity of the LoRa Basics™ Station, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Orbiwise, and LORIOT.
We included another neat little feature for our WisGate Edge gateways with the implementation of WisGateOS – the so-called “dying gasp”. A feature that is basically an alert that the gateway gives before going down due to power issues, either power outage or battery dying.
For the fans of personalized software, we’ve implemented the option to change the logo and the color scheme of the Graphic User Interface (GUI). Match WisGateOS with your company colors and vision and make it your own!
The future of RAK’s WisGate Edge gateways is WisGateOS and it is here!