Device — a virtual instance of a real tracker

Core element in flespi - dedicated storage, telemetry, remote configuration, data transformation, analytics, etc.

Essentials

  • A device is a virtual instance representing your physical tracker in the flespi platform.
  • Devices in flespi are distinguished by a unique ident which most of the time corresponds to the tracker’s IMEI.
  • You can configure different models of trackers from a single friendly interface (or via the API). Bulk updates are also supported.
  • Devices can store messages in flespi for up to 10 years.
  • flespi currently supports 1000+ device types.

Important: You must have at least one channel to make your flespi devices work.

How devices work

Devices extend the functionality of channels in the following ways:

  • Each registered device has its own message buffer (100 MB for the free account, 10 GB for the commercial account) with up to 10 years of storage period.

  • You can perform calculations on device messages — extract trips/stops, detect geofence ins/outs, and a lot more.

  • You can apply plugins to device messages to modify their content.

  • You can configure your telematics devices remotely via API or a Setbox tool.

  • Devices feature telemetry that contains the latest values of all parameters received from the device and the time they were updated.

  • You can integrate video telematics features into your application.

  • Device location can be visualized in TrackIt! — open-source web application for basic GPS tracking.

  • Charts with values from historical device message parameters can be visualized in grafana.

  • You can also export trips for your device in KML, GPX, or GeoJSON format.

In terms of IoT, a registered device is a kind of thing twin in AWS IoT hub or device shadow in MS Azure IoT. Even if your physical device is offline, you can get its last telemetry and plan to send a command as soon as the device connects to flespi. Moreover, the device can be configured via SMS which allows you to force the device to do something.

How to create a device?

  1. Log in to the flespi panel
  2. Navigate to Telematics hub -> Devices and click the "+" button in the bottom right corner to add a new device:
    create flespi deviceNote: you should have a channel of the proper protocol created; however, if you don't, you will be reminded to create a channel upon device creation.
  3. Give the new device a meaningful name and pick the device type from the drop-down and enter the device identifier (usually an IMEI):
    flespi device configuration
  4. If you've already pointed your GPS tracker to the proper channel, you should soon start getting messages inside your flespi device. Open the Logs & Messages tab for your device to check:
    flespi device logs messages

Devices API

To perform any operations with the devices, use the devices API.

To store in devices any custom user data you may use metadata. JSON object fields inside metadata can also be used to select device for any REST API operation.

Troubleshooting

In case of any issues, check the Logs & Messages tab on the device screen:

device logs and messages

Use raw traffic viewer to investigate parsing issues. By mouse right-click on the error log you may select "View error traffic" to see exact byte that caused parsing issue.

If you accidentally removed device messages and need to restore the data from it, you may download the snapshots using this API call. There are 2 snapshots for each device for 2 last days. Snapshot is archived text file of JSON messages array taken once per 24 hours. There is no native UI tool to restore device messages from snapshot to device storage.

What's next?

  • To forward the parsed data from your devices, explore our streaming options.
  • To transform device messages, use plugins.
  • To apply real-time analytics to device messages, use calculators.
  • Connect grafana to your flespi device to visualize message parameter values.

Before you will start using flespi on a full scale we suggest to watch detailed videos from our conference. Invest your time into watching them now to save much more time and money later, when you will implement your project:


See also
Apply webhooks to events from calculators to invoke your lambda upon an aggregated event happened to the device
A comprehensive overview of video telematics functionality integration into your application with flespi.