Customers connecting to WiFi

We’re looking to have a WiFi setup option that is as easy as possible for customers.

We are currently using the 2-Legged-Auth method and connecting customers via our webapp and the SoftAP server on the device. This method works fine, but not 100% of the time.

I am wondering if it would be possible to simplify this flow for customers by taking care of most of the setup work ahead of time and then have them simply turn on the device, “Connect to WiFi”, by entering their network credentials, and bam, they’d be online.

Ahead of time we would need to:

  • assign the device to our product
  • generate a claim code, add a customer email that is associated with that device
  • get the device setup on WiFi

Are there any issues with this plan? Since I haven’t seen it mentioned on the forums, I’m assuming I’ve missed some glaring small detail…

Yes, you can pre-claim a device.

The most common scenario for this is cellular devices, were it’s common to claim all of the devices to a single account. A few Wi-Fi products do this as well, though it’s not as common.

But you can also claim to individual customers if you are preparing devices to order for each customer. It will be more work at setup time for you, because you’ll need to bring the device online and breathing cyan so you can claim it, but it does remove a few steps of the process for the customer. You’d then basically just use the iOS or Android SDKs to set the Wi-Fi credentials only and not adjust the claiming.

Or you could use another technique like a SoftAP device-hosted page. Pre-claiming is especially advantageous in this case, because without the need to claim, setup is greatly simplified.

Pre-claiming sounds like it will work for us! We need to connect each device to WiFi before shipping anyway, for QA/testing purposes, so pre-claiming may not end up being significantly more work for us, and will likely lead to fewer customer complaints.

I think we could also use a device hosted page to create a basic HTML interface for inputting network name and password. It is good to know that the mobile apps work as backups though!