Cirrent provides Wi-Fi onboarding for connected products, including products with an app (like a home security camera), products with a display (like a TV), and network operator CPE (like a Wi-Fi set-top box). Cirrent's ZipKey solution provides a different user experience in each of these cases, but all cases are built on the foundation of ZipKey.
ZipKey products run the Cirrent Agent, a piece of embedded code that implements the ZipKey Wi-Fi onboarding process. When a ZipKey product turns on, the Cirrent Agent automatically does a Wi-Fi scan and identifies whether there is a ZipKey Hotspot nearby. A ZipKey Hotspot is a public Wi-Fi network that ZipKey devices can connect to to get limited internet access (xfinitywifi for example). This process is called the Automatic Cloud Connection.
Once the product connects to the internet via the ZipKey hotspot, it uploads its Wi-Fi scan to the Cloud. The device then awaits instructions from the Cirrent Cloud.
The user downloads the product company's mobile app and logs in, then clicks "Add a device" to set up a new product. When the user does this, the Cirrent Mobile App SDK in the mobile app connects to the Cirrent Cloud and uploads the location and Wi-Fi information for the mobile phone. The SDK then asks the Cirrent Cloud for any products that are 1) nearby (based on the location and Wi-Fi information from the product and the mobile app), 2) of the right product type, and 3) were recently turned on. The process of matching a user with a specific product is called Device User Binding.
In this process, the Cirrent Cloud also identifies the internet service provider (ISP) the mobile phone is connected to (if it connected to Wi-Fi). If the ISP is a ZipKey partner, the Cirrent Cloud calls a private API to verify whether the phone is on a Wi-Fi router managed by the ZipKey ISP. If it is, then the Cirrent Cloud sends the ISP logo to the SDK for display in the mobile app. The user can then onboard the product without having to type in a password.
When the user approves the product to join the Wi-Fi network, the Cirrent Cloud initiates the connection between the ZipKey ISP Wi-Fi router and the product. This is called Secure Credential Distribution. Once the product is connected, the user is done!
The Wi-FI onboarding process for products with a display and for network operator CPE are slightly different, but follow similar steps. You can see the user experience in the video below, or try out the Walkthrough on your own smartphone using the ZipKey Dev Tool app on iOS or Android.
You can get started and try it out yourself with this ZipKey Getting Started Guide.