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ALTA Sensor Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA) Updates

While ALTA® Gateways offer user-upgradable firmware, ALTA Sensors currently don’t. Iotplus is in the process of adding a feature to allow user-upgradeable sensor firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates. We expect this feature to be released in the next 18 months, though no firm release date is set.

When the FOTA feature is released, sensors with firmware version 22.x.x.x and later will be user-upgradeable through the Iotplus online portal. Sensors with firmware before 22.x.x.x will not be user-upgradeable. We added the infrastructure to our sensor firmware that helps complete a reliable upgrade in the 22.x.x.x version. Sensors with firmware before this version have a high failure rate, and when the failure occurs, you must send the sensor back to Iotplus for reflashing. The older the firmware, the higher the failure rate.

In cases of exception and where the risk of failure is acceptable to the end-user, Iotplus may offer a sensor firmware update on the back-end. Iotplus Support or Engineering will attempt the update on sensors that are currently under warranty. Currently, this is a tedious and manual process with a possible failure rate greater than 20%; but the potential to perform the upgrade exists. Generally speaking, we should only attempt this process to address a specific issue related to firmware as determined by Iotplus Support or Engineering.

Sensors must meet the following conditions to complete a FOTA update attempt. The sensor must be:

  • Checking in with an Ethernet or LTE Gateway
  • Checking in with the Iotplus (sensor firmware updates are not available through on-premises versions of Iotplus software such as Express, Enterprise, or MINE)
  • Receiving at least a consistent 60% signal (we recommend 80% or better)
  • Using at least firmware version 10.x.x.x or later (firmware 17.x.x.x or later is recommended)
  • Not checking in on a large sensor network

If there’s a sensor firmware update failure, you must send the sensor to Iotplus facility for reflashing. The cost for a sensor firmware update and reflashing of a sensor out of warranty that we have to perform at our facility is $25 per sensor.

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