Firmware Update rolls out counter actions for custom tags

During the last days Boxine did an OTA updated of the Toniebox Firmware. That means that all Boxes that went online over Wifi received this update already.
In earlier times Boxine informed their customers with an information web page at their http://www.tonies.de site. But they did not update this page for quite a while.

So what are the changes?

The latest Release has the internal version number 3.0.8 and was compiled at the 14th of Oct. We recognized this update already by the 6th of Nov. to be on at least one of our boxes. But it took until today (9th of Nov. 2020) to see some effects.

Members of the Team RevvoX Telegram Chat Group experienced that their custom tags would stop working. Detailed inspection showed, that the custom files on the internal SD Card of the Toniebox were missing. Further inspection revealed that files only get deleted if the linked custom tag was placed onto the Toniebox. All the other files were still left on the SD card.

What happens exactly?

The following steps will show exactly what happens within the Toniebox if a Tonie figurine or a custom tag will be placed ontop the RFID reader:

  • Toniebox recognizes a RFID Tag (iso15693 standard) is placed ontop the box
  • Toniebox tries to disable the privacy mode either with the Boxine PW or the standard NXP PW
  • if the privacy mode is disabled it will read the UID and the content of the memory
  • as soon as the 40 bytes are received it is enabling the privacy mode again
  • the UID and the memory content is send to the Boxine Cloud Server.
  • the cloud servers answers with an audio ID of the content that is linked to the specific UID (only stored within the Boxine Cloud database)
  • if the content on the SD card has the same audio ID, it starts playing the already existing content. If it is not existing on the SD card, or the content on the SD card has another audio ID the Toniebox will load the audio content from the Boxine Cloud Server.
  • (THIS IS THE NEW PART!) => if the UID is NOT existing within the Boxine Cloud database, it will delete the linked file on the SD card.

What needs to be done?

This process shows that only files will get deleted if the linked custom tag is placed on the Toniebox AND the Toniebox is connected to the Internet.
If the Box is offline or is in Offline Mode, it has no chance to sync to the cloud and has to play the file that is available on the SD card.

This leads to the following rules for working with custom tags:

  • You can only use the custom tags if your Box is not connected to the Internet. This can be archived by putting the Box into Offline Mode (pressing both ears for 5 seconds at the same time until a sound can be heard. Then release the ears and press again one of the two ears for another 3 seconds.)
  • If you want to download audio files from the Tonie Cloud Server by using original Tonie figurines, you can go online and place the figurine onto the Toniebox. Nothing will happen to your custom files as long as you are not placing any custom tags onto the Box.
  • Going back to Offline Mode lets you use the original Tonie figurines and the custom tags.

Resume

With these actions Boxine started the cat and mouse game with the custom tag community. With the mentioned steps you all will still be able to use custom tags AND original Tonies at the same time. But you have to live most of the time within the Offline world.

Is this bad for the custom tag community? Not really. The members of this community are controlling their content on the SD cards already so that there is no need to stay online the whole time.

Out of my point of view this has more of a down side to Boxine than it is to the custom tag community.
Before they forced this community to go into the offline world, Boxine was able to see how many people are using how many custom tags and how often because of their logging feature where everything that happens gets to send home. So they were able to judge how big this community is in comparison to their normal customers.
But now all this will take place while the Boxes are offline. In this state the Box will not send any information home what it usually sends while it is online.

Personally I am curious what the next steps of Boxine will be. To be honest: I am wondering a bit about the first step. Because this community is compared to the regular number of customers such a small group that I did not expect they would react to them. (the size of the community can be measured with the members of the Team RevvoX Telegram Group. And even this number seems to be to big, because not everyone is an active member…)

Let the games begin…

7 Gedanken zu „Firmware Update rolls out counter actions for custom tags“

  1. Hi

    Thanks for this information.
    I cann suggest also another option:
    – make a DHCP reservation on you router for the toniebox, so that it always has the same ip
    – add a firewall rule that blocks all traffic from the toniebos IP to the internet

    so that doesn’t need the offline mode. but it takes 5 seconds until it starts to play (would be the timeout to the tonie cloud).

    another plus is that if you are not in offline mode you’re own tags will not be deleted automatically

    Antworten
    • Hallo,
      Thanks for your post. But your way has two down sides. First, when the Toniebox is connected to the WIFI, but blocked to the Internet, it tries for 5 seconds to reach for the Tonie cloud server. This happens every time you place a tonie on top of the box.
      The second issue is, that if you want to go online because you got a new original Tonie figurine, you have to change settings within you DHCP Server.
      If you just go into offline mode, the box plays immediately to audio and you can easily switch back to online mode to download new content from the cloud.
      And if you are not placing any custom tags ontop of the box while it is online, no files will get deleted.

      Antworten
  2. maybe there is a way in the middle. I’m using a fritzbox and put the toniebox into forbidden mode (for every http request the box get an instant response from the fritzbox that access is not allowed).. Maybe i didn’t get the firmware update but selfmade tonies are starting instantly.

    Antworten
    • There is no need for a mid way solution.
      As long as the box stays in offline mode the box will play all custom files. Even in online mode you can work with the official tonies, but not with the custom tags. As soon as you are back in offline mode, all custom tags will still work.

      It is just a question how to keep the box offline. Out of my point of view the easiest way to just use the build in offline mode of the Tonie box. Everything that needs to be done with the router or fritzbox is by far to complicated. To go into the offline mode or back again to online mode is just some seconds of ear button pressing

      Regards,
      Gambrius

      Antworten
  3. Hello Together

    Do I see it correctly that the offline mode is deactivated every time the box is turned off? I had noticed this because my custom tag was deleted after switching on.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    BR
    Sven

    Antworten
      • OK

        I find the answer! The disabling where OFF after I removed the SD-Card from the box to put new files into. Now with card inside the box and the box goes to sleep, after wake up by pressing one of the ears, the WIFI ist also OFF, I can see the aquamarine blue light on the box.

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