SpinDance is Happy to Announce CallBox 1.1!

February 13, 2024

CallBox, SpinDance’s in-house framework for production-grade IoT products, streamlines the development of consumer and commercial connected products. Check out our landing page to learn more about the framework’s many benefits. 

With over 100 improvements and a smattering of bug fixes, the 1.1 release builds on the stability of our 1.0 release with some great quality-of-life improvements. 

Among the major updates, three in particular should improve the experience for operators, manufacturers, and developers:

  1. Streamlined over-the-air updates with AWS FleetHub – CallBox now fully integrates with FleetHub, AWS’s no-code tool for building web-based IoT portals. This makes it much easier for operators to manage firmware updates across large and diverse device fleets.
  2. Secure Firmware Downloads for Manufacturing – CallBox’s desktop manufacturing tool can now securely download firmware directly from AWS. This speeds up the manufacturing process, and helps enforce a strong “chain-of-custody” for firmware. 
  3. CallBox Demonstration Mobile App – Developing great mobile applications for IoT products can be extremely difficult. There are a large number of best practices and design patterns required to create fast, secure and intuitive products. This can make it tricky for developers to come up to speed with IoT. To ease this burden, CallBox now comes with a complete demonstration app for both Android and iOS. The app can be used as a reference implementation for low-level technical use cases, as well as user experience patterns.

This release also improves many technical improvements, including:

  1. Command-and-Control Improvements – CallBox’s command-and-control pipeline now supports verification that commands were received and executed by the device. This is in addition to receiving notifications that the device received the command. This enables cloud, web, and mobile applications to better support retry and timeout scenarios.  The Demonstration app walks through how to do this via a simple RGB LED example. 
  2. Customizable User Notification Channels – We added infrastructure for fine-grained user notifications across different communication channels, such as SMS, email and push notifications. This is the first step in making notifications both bulletproof and easy to manage. 
  3. Device Hierarchies – Production-grade device management requires knowing where a device is installed. CallBox 1.1 includes a robust set of components for managing devices as a hierarchy, including campuses, structures and rooms. 
  4. Enhanced CI/CD DevOps processes – Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) are important DevOps best practices for any software product. CallBox is no different. We’ve improved how components are tested and released. This delivers faster time to market while ensuring a high degree of quality. 
  5. Cleaner Software Development Kits (SDK) – We cleaned up a few lingering issues with the APIs for the firmware and mobile SDK. This makes it both easier to integrate CallBox with application business logic, and easier to upgrade the SDKs for over-the-air updates.

CallBox 1.2 is right around the corner and promises to deliver even more IoT goodness, including:

  • Support for using a Yubikey within the manufacturing utility.
  • The first version of a fully customizable web-based admin portal, including fleet metrics and device management. 
  • Additional enhancements to the cloud-based notification services.
  • Support for bandwidth-friendly, sub-second time series data.