ESP8266 and ESP32 browser-based installation + configure Wi-Fi via Bluetooth LE @Home_Assistant

Home Assistant is a popular open source home automation suite. The authors are now advocating two methods which provide easier methods of installing software and configuring devices for internet access.

ESP8266 and ESP32 are microcontrollers made by the Chinese company Espressif. Microcontrollers are teeny tiny computers with little processor power, memory and space that can interact with sensors, send infrared commands and many other things. In your home, microcontrollers are the eyes and ears while Home Assistant is the brain.

But these projects all have a common problem: it is difficult to get started. We identified three pain points:

  1. Installing the software on the microcontroller.
  2. Connecting the microcontroller to your wireless network.
  3. Configure the software on the microcontroller.

We have created ESP Web Tools. ESP Web Tools allows project websites to offer a great onboarding by enabling users to install the software on their microcontrollers via their browser. All the user has to do is connect their microcontroller to their computer and hit the install button on the website. ESP Web Tools will automatically select the right build for your microcontroller and install it.

This works for both the ESP8266 and ESP32 and with any project for these devices. This technology is powered by Web Serial, a web standard for serial communication that is part of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

ESP Web Tools uses code written by @MakerMelissa from Adafruit. We’re currently relying on an enhanced fork that can fit a wider range of use cases, including ours. We have a pull request open to get our changes contributed back.

See the video below and more on the blog post and the ESP Web Tools website.


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