Is anyone here put out with the Gen3 SoftAP deprecation?


#1

Just wondering… (all provisional and setup purposes aside for this discussion, please)

With no plans for incorporating this with Gen3 hardware, does anyone else utilize the SoftAP as a means for serving up information in an html based UI? What appeals to me for this approach is browser-based agnosticism, effectively not caring about the device that’s attached. Sure, there’s the Gen2 P-Series, but there’s far more capability with an Argon, and, what’s the longevity of P-Series products going forward?

Thanks in advance for weighing in.


#2

Soft AP (for serving web pages) is not supported on the Argon, and is not likely to be.

The hardware theoretically could support it. It would require a custom version of Device OS to bring up the AP and route traffic to it. The esp-at firmware running on the ESP32 should support AP mode, but I’m not sure it supports simultaneous mode (APSTA), so it might require custom NCP (network coprocessor) firmware as well.

And, at least on Android, I think Web BLE is way better than Soft AP. You can host the pages on the Internet so size and updates are less of an issue. You have to be closer to the device, but it’s much better to be able to leave your mobile device connected to its normal Wi-Fi network and still be able to communicate with the Argon/Boron/Xenon by BLE.


#3

Thanks for the info and your input here, Rick. In my specific use case, however, the mobile device won’t have an Internet connection which is why the SoftAP was so attractive and integral to its implementation. I guess it’s a P-series device for this project…


#4

This is disappointing to me as well. I have an application which forwards data to any listeners in range, and so wifi is far better for this than BLE.

My application topography:

  • Distributed BLE sensors (Xenon)
  • Base station Wifi (Argon) network for subscribers. Said subscribers are not necessarily mobile phones.
  • Optional cellular gateway (Boron) for data upload

Soft AP is required because its much more device agnostic than Web BLE. The workaround is to attach an ESP8266/ESP32 to the Boron so that there is still an ability to have Soft AP. The disadvantage is that the heart of the base station becomes the Boron instead of the Argon.

Although I respect the decision not to focus on the Soft AP, I hope that the functionality can return. There are definitely use cases for it.