BiKN Technology Platform: 802.15.4 Wireless Sensor Network

NXP and Treehouse Labs has unveiled BiKN technology platform that uses low-power 802.15.4 wireless chip technology from NXP Semiconductors to enable the “Internet of Things”  and opens new markets and applications for affordable wireless sensor and control networks.

This technology allows to track “Smart Objects” tagged by wireless sensors and monitor (and possibly control) them via an application running on mobile devices, PC or Cloud servers.

BiKN Technology Platform can be used in a range of applications including home and industrial automation, smart energy management, improving tracking and monitoring of equipment and inventory in retailing and hospitality, enhancing safety monitoring and security in healthcare, social services, athletics and educational environments.

BiKN Technology Platform works by integrating hardware and software, operating through mobile and web-enabled devices, and leveraging IEEE802.15.4 low-power networking standards.

Treehouse Labs uses the NXP JN5148 ultra low-power wireless microcontroller and the JenNet-IP open source wireless network protocol stack optimized for low-power, low-data rate, and cost-sensitive applications. Using an enhanced 6LoWPAN network layer based on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification, JenNet-IP enables a network that helps BiKN track, monitor and control up to 500 devices. JenNet-IP features an extensible API, DIPL (Device Interface Protocol Layer), which makes product development straightforward for application developers using familiar methodologies. NXP JN5148 solution also has the ability to support other wireless network protocols, including ZigBee, RF4CE, and other proprietary 802.15.4 protocols.

BiKN routers and gateways
BiKN reference designs

Smart Objects can be anything a user wants to connect and control. The BiKN reference hardware and software development kit allows integration of 802.15.4-based smart objects into a BiKN-enabled network — be it a light bulb, a temperature sensor, a RFID tag, or heart monitor.

There are 3 reference designs available:

  • BiKN Gateway: Running standards-based JenNet-IP 6loWPAN stacks, the gateway can provides an interface to Ethernet, WiFi, or directly to smartphones. Smart Objects within a 3.0 km range can talk to BiKN apps and servers.
  • BiKN case for iPhone: Short-range mobile version enabling users to connect and control smart objects from an Apple iPhone 4.
  • BiKN Router: The router can create a mesh network with one another, allowing for broad coverage, and with BiKN distance technology, smart objects can be tracked.

The wireless sensors can be monitored and managed via SNAP / SNMP.

The BiKN Technology Platform includes apps for Apple and Android devices, as well as web interfaces that enables users to read and control Smart Objects from any internet-enabled device.

A BiKN server can be set up locally or in the cloud for data collection and system-wide management and the platform provides the ability to control user permissions and accounts, manage billing, view and download system performance metrics, push firmware and software updates, set event triggers and more from a web interface.

The first product developed on the Platform is BiKN for iPhone, a radio-enabled smart case driven by the myBiKN app and clip-on tags to keep users connected to the things that matter most to them whether the iPhone is turned off or in sleep mode. The case includes an embedded 32-bit NXP JN5148 microcontroller – 128 KB of RAM and 4 Mb of flash memory. The solution supports 6LoWPAN, JenNet-IP, ZigBee, RF4CE and proprietary 802.15.4 protocols. The system is powered by independent, rechargeable lithium polymer 300mAh batteries that allows the case to collect data while the phone is asleep or off. The battery can be recharged via the iPhone micro-USB port at the same time as the phone battery.

Watch the promo video below to see how to track and manage “Smart Objects” (you know Objects like kids and dogs…) using BiKN Platform Technology.

Treehouse Labs will debut BiKN for iPhone, the first consumer product based on its platform, at Unveiled on January 8th 2011 in Las Vegas, before showcasing commercial applications during CES 2012 on January 10 – 13, booth # CP8. Android based solutions are also available.

Further information about the technology can be found on BiKN Technology Platform page and on NXP JN5148 page. Check out the previous blog post “NXP to release “Internet of Things” source code”  for details on JenNet-IP open source IoT software stack.

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