Skip to main content
imp003EVB Getting Started Guide

A Simple Connected Security System

This project brings together all of the fundamental concepts of the previous examples to illustrate how easy it is to create a fully functional Internet-connected security system. It uses the EVB’s on-board accelerometer to detect movement, the EVB’s buttons to arm and disarm the system, and the board’s multi-color LED to signal the system’s state. The example uses agent-device communications to signal a change of state and, if necessary, the agent sends the user a warning by way of an SMS message transmitted by Twilio, an SMS web service.

Peripherals Used

APIs Used


Create a Developer Account and add your EVB to impCentral™

  1. Create a free Developer Account to access Electric Imp impCentral and log in.
  2. Download the Electric Imp app from the App Store or Google Play store on your iOS or Android device, and log in using your Developer Account credentials.
  3. On the Connect an Imp page, select your WiFi network.
    • The imp only operates using 2.4GHz 802.11b, g or n. 5GHz networks are not supported.
  4. Use BlinkUp™ to configure your EVB for Internet access. Power up the EVB then press Send BlinkUp in the Electric Imp app. As soon as you hear the countdown tones, place your tablet or phone’s screen against the EVB’s imp003/LBWA1ZV1CD breakout board until the screen stops flashing and you hear a second set of tones.

If you are having problems getting the EVB online, please consult the BlinkUp Troubleshooting Guide.

A successful BlinkUp operation is indicated by a slowly flashing green LED on the EVB. The EVB will be listed in impCentral’s ‘My Development Devices’ list (accessed via the devices menu in the black bar at the top). The number presented in impCentral is the EVB’s unique Device ID. You can, if you wish, give it a more friendly name as follows:

  1. Click ‘Settings’ in the ‘MANAGE’ column.
  2. In the ‘Device Settings’ panel, enter a new name, eg. ‘LBWA1ZV1CD EVB’, ‘imp003 EVB’ or ‘My EVB’, and click ‘Update’.

Create a New Product and Device Group

  1. Click on your account name in the grey bar at the top of the window to view a list of your Products — this will be empty initially. If it isn’t, select the “EVB” Product, click ‘Create New Device Group’, and go to Step 4.
  2. Click ‘Create New Product’.
  3. Enter a name for the Product: “EVB”.
  4. Enter a name for the first Device Group: “Security”.

Add Code

  1. Copy the device and agent code from our GitHub repo and paste it into the impCentral’s code editor ‘Device Code’ and ‘Agent Code’ panes, respectively.
  2. Register with Twillio to obtain your Twillio API access credentials.
  3. Enter your Twillio details at the appropriate place in the agent code: look for the constants TWILIO_SID, TWILIO_AUTH and TWILIO_NUM.
  4. Click ‘Build and Force Restart’ to transfer the device code to the imp003/LBWA1ZV1CD and the agent code to Electric Imp impCloud™, and to run them.

What’s Going On

This example provides a rudimentary but complete Internet-connected security system. When armed, the system will send an alert SMS to the cellphone number of your choice if a door in your office or workroom is opened. The EVB, with suitable AA batteries in place, is attached to the door you want to monitor.

imp003 EVB door alarm

By default, the system is unarmed but always actively detecting motion. Buttons BTN1 and BTN2 respectively arm and disarm the device. When you arm the system, the multi-color LED glows orange. If motion is detected, the LED will turn red, and the agent is signalled to activate the transmission of a warning SMS. The LED stays red for a programmable period of time elapses. This timeout prevents additional alarms — and therefore SMS messages — from triggering during that time. You can configure the timeout, specified in seconds, in the device code here:

// Change Timeouts as desired


What the Device Does

The device has a few more things to do than set the timeout. It is responsible for handling button events, accelerometer events, and alerting the user through its LED and, via the agent, SMS.

The LIS3DH accelerometer is an I²C device. We need to configure the pins already connected to the accelerometer to use I²C signalling. You’ll note that we have implemented the LIS3DH code not merely as its own Squirrel class — which we instantiate as the object accel — but that this is a sub-class of an existing class, sensor. The sensor class defines general parameters and functionality for connected data-generating devices. The class lis3dh uses the Squirrel keyword extends to incorporate all that generic functionality with its own accelerometer-specific functionality.

class sensor {...}

class lis3dh extends sensor {...}

This is a powerful facility: not only can classes easily be used in multiple projects, but sub-classing them allows broad categories of classes to be adapted for specific circumstances. You can read more about how Squirrel provides classes and objects in the Squirrel Programming Guide.

The example’s classes contain a special initialization function marked with the keyword constructor. The lis3dh class takes an imp i2c object as a parameter, along with a pin to be used to wake the imp003/LBWA1ZV1CD from the deep sleep mode it will be programmed to enter to conserve battery power. Only one imp003/LBWA1ZV1CD pin can be used this way: pin W.

i2c <- hardware.i2cAB;
accel <- lis3dh(i2c, hardware.pinW);

In addition, we have a third class, Security, which manages all of the higher level application behavior: it takes as parameters an lis3dh instance, and references to the arming and disarming buttons, and the multi-color LED’s green and red components. The Security class is essential a simple state machine. When an event is triggered, it responds by checking state variables and then decides whether an alert needs to be send:

function event() {
    if (MOVEMENT == null) {
        MOVEMENT = true;

        switch(STATE) {
            case ARMED:
                server.log("ALARM CONDITION");
                agent.send("alarm", null);
                imp.wakeup(ARMED_TIMEOUT, function(){ clearMovement(); }.bindenv(this));

            case DISARMED:
                imp.wakeup(DISARMED_TIMEOUT, function(){ clearMovement(); }.bindenv(this));
                server.log("FAULT CONDITION");

        server.log("I moved!");

It is the agent.send() seen above in the ARMED condition that tells the agent to send the SMS. We have no data to pass, so we simply add null as the data payload.

What the Agent Does

The agent is responsible for sending the SMS via the Twillio web service. We have implemented a Twillio library — you can find out about it here — for your use in any application and we’ve used it here too. It makes use of the http object to interact with the restful interface that Twillio provides.


The class is instantiated with your Twilio credentials as parameters.

#require "Twilio.class.nut:1.0.0"


To send an SMS message, call the class’ send() method, providing a phone number, the text of the message and, optionally, a function to handle the response. If a callback function isn’t provided, the class sends the request to Twilio synchronously; providing a callback ensures that the request is send asynchronously.

twilio.send(numberToSendTo, "MESSAGE", function(resp) { server.log(resp.statuscode + " - " + resp.body); });

Aside from this, the agent needs a way to register its interest in messages from the device. This is established with a callback assigned with device.on():

device.on("alarm", function(val) {
    server.log("ALARM CONDITION");
    twilio.send(numberToSendTo, "ALARM CONDTION!", function(resp) { server.log(resp.statuscode + " - " + resp.body); });

The first parameter, "alarm", sets the message name to match the identifier the device will send. The second parameter is the callback function to execute. The callback takes a single parameter for data sent by the device; in this case there is none, but we need to include a dummy parameter in any case. When an "alarm" message is received by the agent, the callback function logs the event and calls on the twilio object to send an SMS message to the specified cellphone number.