New Kit Enables Simple Home Automation
The Internet of Things (IoT) has significantly changed human interaction and connectivity over the past decade, and these connections are predicted to drastically increase. According to researchers, there will be roughly 212 billion connected “things” worldwide by 2020, grossing about $8.9 trillion.
“Increasingly people are wanting to know what’s going on in their physical environment,” says Clive Watts, CSR senior product marketing manager. “It’s now possible to connect all kinds of sensors and actuators and make the information that they hold or the capabilities that they offer accessible, whereas previously it was too difficult, too costly, or too complex to provide that access.”
The CSRmesh Development Kit will allow developers to get even more hands on with CSRmesh Bluetooth Smart protocol, a solution that lets users control a limitless amount of Bluetooth Smart devices from their smartphone, tablet, or PC. The kit, which launched in July, includes development boards, a USB programmer, and access to the development platform (SDK).
According to Watts, the SDK is initially offered with software supporting networked lighting applications. “We focused on home lighting as an application of our products, because it is one case of the Internet of Things that most people can understand and access quite readily,” he says. “We’ve tried to simulate some light bulbs that you might want to control in your home.”
The kit is comprised of three simulated lights that can be controlled directly from a smartphone application. Using the Bluetooth technology, the user can connect his/her smartphone to those lights and integrate them into a small control system.
CSR plans to announce updates for home automation and other IoT applications in October. Watts explained that aside from lighting, there are many other things you may want to control in your home. “The most obvious application is your heating and air conditioning,” he says. “You may want to have different settings throughout the day depending on the use of your room. And, most importantly, you might want to be able to control those things from your office, driving home, or waiting in traffic.”
CSRmesh is receiving a lot of interest from small white goods manufacturers, such as producers of robotic cleaners, copy machines, and other devices that could be controlled from a smartphone.
Though IoT has been around for well over a decade, it’s only become easily accessible and affordable in the last six to nine months. “Five or six years ago, buying a surround sound system for your living room would have been a big deal,” says Watts. “Now, it’s been brought to the point where you can go to the local electrical retailer and buy something, plug it in, and it all just works.”
Many Tier-One lighting manufacturers are already adopting the CSRmesh technology, most notably Samsung. The company has been working with CSR for several months and went to market in select stores across the U.S. in early August. “They really wanted to become the first to market with this technology,” says Watts. “If you want this kind of capability, buy a Samsung system using CSRmesh.”
For more information about the CSRmesh Development Kit, visit www.csr.com.