RAKwireless Releases the RUI3 Source Code, Aims to "Benefit Everyone" Using Its Hardware

Source code now available, but "must only be used with a RAKwireless product."

Internet of Things (IoT) specialist RAKwireless has announced the release of its RAKwireless Unified Interface 3 (RUI3) software development kit (SDK) under an open source license — albeit restricted to exclusive use on the company's own hardware offerings.

"RAKwireless initiated the development of RUI3, a well-designed SDK specifically for IoT scenarios. We recognized that many IoT developers prefer open source solutions, which is why Arduino is widely used in sensor-related products," RAKwireless' Ken Yu explains of the tool's origins. "However, Arduino was designed for general embedded devices, not specifically for IoT. It falls short in terms of connectivity support and power consumption optimization, which are critical for IoT applications."

The company's efforts began two years ago with the development and release of a board support package (BSP), designed for minimal power consumption, but has grown considerably since then: RUI3, the company says, includes more than 120 application programming interface (APIs), including those tailored towards LoRa, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and cellular connectivity — though the latter, Yu warns, is currently at the beta stage.

"So far, we have achieved what we set out to do. All the 'must-have' features for IoT scenarios have been implemented and well-received by users," Yu says of RUI3. "But we believe there are still many 'nice-to-have' features that could make RUI3 even more versatile in IoT scenarios. We think it's time to give back to the community and build an awesome IoT together.

"In China, we have a saying, '人多力量大' (more people, greater strength). Tools are meant to help people realize their dreams. We believe it's time to make RUI3 benefit everyone, rather than being a 'blackbox' that delays innovation."

As a result, RAKwireless has taken RUI3 and released it under an open source license — and is accepting contributions from those outside the company who wish to extend it further. The only catch is to be found in the fourth clause of the company's custom license: "This software, with or without modification," it reads, "must only be used with a RAKwireless product."

For those already in the RAKwireless ecosystem who don't mind this restriction, the source code has been published to GitHub under the aforementioned custom license; more information on RUI3 is available on the RAKwireless website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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