Assuming WiFi connection for most of these I’ve been pondering how you would do the initial configuration (i.e. establishing the connection to the wireless AP) if these appliances are headless (no touchscreens or external keyboards/screens). E.g. a smart bedside radio/alarm clock that looks not much different to the ones that have been around for thirty odd years, but with web or smartphone configuration to set things like radio stations, 7 or 365 day alarms (no more unwanted early mornings on the weekends because you forgot to turn it off), time from an ntp server and auto daylight savings adjustments,etc.
A couple of options I’ve thought of so far:
- Development of a new protocol to be supported by APs that allow entry of a unique code (not unlike a MAC address) which then goes and finds the appliance and sets up WPA and whatever else it needs to from there.
- Using flash media. The appliance manufacture provides a little app, possibly web based, that writes the config parameters to a USB drive or an SD card which then plugs into the appliance that subsequently downloads those config parameters and connects. This has the advantage over option 1 in that it doesn’t need a new ‘standard’ protocol developed but adds cost to the appliance (it needs a card/USB slot and is more fiddly).