What is an API?
API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. The Cambrionix API is a collection of software building blocks which enables a user or developer to develop their own software which accesses the professional hardware and software features inherent within Cambrionix products.
What can the API be used for?
The API can (subject to your coding skills!) be used to monitor and control the ports on your Cambrionix product. Some examples of what you can do include:
• Measure the current consumption of a device connected to a port
• Change the state of a port from charging, sync (data transfer) or off
• Read the unit temperature, fan speed, voltage levels
• Read the USB Vendor ID, USB Manufacturer ID and USB Serial number of a device (tablet, phone etc) connected to a port
• Find out how long a connected device has been charging or whether its charged.
• Access some of our GPIO pins for driving LED indicators or driving an LCD display
• Send text to a connected LCD
• Read and act upon switches connected to our GPIO
What you do with the information, and ability to control GPIO, is entirely your choice but we have listed a couple of examples below:
A secure charging and sync station for military, aerospace or healthcare applications
Our API allows a system developer to read the USB VID/PID and serial number of connected devices. What this means is that it is possible to develop a system which will only charge or transfer data to connected devices which are on an approved devices list. This is particularly of interest in industries where tablet devices are used as to assist employees and require regular updating and charging, for instance in healthcare. The system prevents unapproved devices being charged or inadvertently having data pushed onto them. The above example is applicable also to schools who use tablet devices as part of their teaching plan but is relevant also to retail, and prison services amongst others.
Phone remarketing and technology logistics
In this instance a company may need to be able to monitor the types of devices they are testing and ‘making new’ for re-sale. On the other hand they may simply need a robust method of connecting multiple devices to a host computer in order to ‘ﬂash’ them with the latest operating system or carrier-speciﬁc software. The API certainly offers an easy method of monitoring how a particular device charges and also an easy way to log the devices tested/ﬂashed as part of an audit trail.
A tablet device hire system
There are instances where an institution may wish to hire or loan tablet devices to either employees or visitors and the tablet devices need to be kept charged and ready for hire. They also need to be wiped of data from the previous user. Our API can signiﬁcantly help the system designer to make this project a reality. By offering the ability to log which devices are connected and disconnected from the system (through the API reading the VID/PID etc) they can automate the billing process or be able to ﬂag to the hire company when a device hasn’t come back to base within a certain timeframe.
The API, and its ability to measure charging current, charging time and charging complete, means a hire company is also able to keep stats on device battery charging. Historical battery stats (linked to the device VID/PID/Serial Number) can give some big indications as to whether a device’s battery is beginning to fail. Aside from the ‘behind the scenes’ work the API can assist with, the API makes it easy to provide user feedback on system status without ever opening a laptop or booting a computer. Simply attach an LCD to our expansion header (U16S) and send text to it via the API. Alternatively, address up to 48x LEDs using simple API commands. The above example is applicable to museum tablet or audio player hire companies, general tablet (or other USB devices) hire companies, healthcare (patient hires tablet device to watch movies/TV or to send email, make calls etc) and many more.
As you can see, the API can really open the door to some novel USB device management systems applicable to lots of industries. Most of which we operate within. If you are a systems integrator or designer, IT professional or a company about to deploy mobile devices in large volumes, then our products plus API will help your project become a reality, and with a feature-list larger than you originally anticipated!