Samsung Introduces $250 SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit

Samsung has recently launched SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit including a SmartThings hub, a motions sensor, two multi-pupose sensors to detect when windows or doors are opened, and a smart outlet for home automation and monitoring via mobile devices. Some of SmartThings Hub technical specifications: Ethernet for connection to router Communication Protocol – ZigBee, Z-Wave, IP Range – 15 to 40 meters Power Supply – In-wall power adapter with about 10 hours of backup power from 4 included AA batteries Dimensions – 10.67 x 12.45 x 3.3 cm Weight – 218 grams Operating Temperature: 5 to 35°C (Indoor use only) They’ve decided not to include WiFi, or omitted in the product page, so it would have to be close to your router. The multi-purpose sensors, and motion sensor are powered by a pre-installed CR-2450 battery, while the smart outlet takes 100 to 220V (12A @ 120V max). All three devices communicate […]

Freescale Kinetis KW41Z Wireless MCU Supports Bluetooth 4.2, Zigbee, and Thread

Freescale has unveiled a new wireless micro-controller part of their Kinetis MCU family with Kinetis KW41Z, based on an ARM Cortex M0+ core, and supporting both the latest Bluetooth 4.2 specifications, as well as a 802.15.4 radio allowing support for Zigbee and Thread. Kinetis KW41Z main features and specifications: ARM Cortex-M0+ core @ 48 MHz, with up to 512 KB Flash memory, up to 128 KB SRAM, and an integrated balun Multi Protocol Radio 2.4 GHz radio, Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2 compliant IEEE 802.15.4-2011 standard compliant radio Receiver Sensitivity (Typ.) –  BLE: -96 dBm;  802.15.4:  -102 dBm Programmable Transmitter Output Power up to +4 dBm I/Os – 2x I2C, 2x SPI, LPUART, TSI, CMT and GPIOs with interrupt capabilities Analog modules – 16-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC, 6-bit High Speed Analog Comparator (CMP) Security – AES-128 Accelerator (AESA), True Random Number Generator (TRNG) Operating Voltage Ranges Bypass Voltage: 1.71V to 3.6V […]

KDDI Unveils Tiny BLE/Zigbee Development Board Running Mozilla Firefox OS

KDDI has recently announced Open Web Board, an HDMI TV stick powered by Rockchip RK3066, and running Firefox OS, just like the recently announced MatchStick. The board is however aimed at embedded and web developers who want to create apps for Firefox OS, and interface with external devices over Bluetooth Low Energy or Zigbee (optional module) communication, optionally using Gluin, a web based graphical “application development tool that enables simple linking programming between electronic devices”. Open Web Board specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3066 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.6 Ghz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU System Memory – 1 GB RAM Storage – 8 GB flash Video Output – HDMI USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB for power Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (AP6210 module), Bluetooth 2.1 (HFP/A2DP/AVRCP)/4.0 GATT. and optional Zigbee via external module Dimensions – Small This dongle runs Firefox OS 1.4. KDDI showcased […]

$79 STACK Box Home Automation / IoT Gateway Supports Wi-Fi, Ethernet, BLE, XBee, X10, Z-Wave and More (Crowdfunding)

Cloud Media (Syabas) is better known for their Linux based “Popcorn Hour” media players, and last year I reviewed their FreeOTT streaming media player powered by a Cavium ARM11 processor. The company is now entering the home automation market with the STACK Box (aka XuanBox) also powered by a Cavium ARM11 processor, and supporting various connectivity options to interface with popular smart “things” such as Belkin Wemo and Philips Hue, as well as a Raspberry Pi Bus (26-pin header) to support add-ons. STACK Box specifications: Processor – Cavium ARM11 processor @ 640 MHz (possibly Cavium CELESTIAL CNC1800L. TBC) System Memory – 256MB DDR3 Storage – 512 MB flash + SD card slot Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet Wi-Fi 802.11n with WPS Bluetooth LE 4.0 (included) Z-Wave (included) Dust Networks (extra module required) XBee  (extra module required) X10 (extra module required) Insteon (extra module required) RF433/315 (coming soon) EnOcean (coming soon) ZigBee(coming soon) DCLink(coming […]

Thread is a New IP-based Wireless Protocol Leveraging 6LoWPAN and 802.15.4 Standards

Wi-Fi is a neat way to connect devices to Internet, but it has two main inconveniences: relatively high cost and power consumption. Luckily there are standards that addresses the cost and power consumption issues. Radio chips based on IEEE 802.15.4, a standard which specifies the physical layer and media access control for low-rate wireless personal area networks, are common place and found in many existing devices relying on higher level wireless protocols such as ZigBee, ISA100.11a, WirelessHART, and MiWi. AFAIK, Zigbee is the most popular of the aforementioned protocols, but is hindered by the requirements of the license for commercial products (annual fee), Zigbee membership requirements conflict with many open source license such as GPL, and the standard suffers from lack of interoperability and IPv6 support, and power requirements that are too high for some applications. So a consortium of seven companies namely ARM, Big Ass Fans, Freescale, Nest, Samsung, […]

Soap is a Touchscreen Enabled Router Supporting Gigabit Ethernet and Lots of Wireless Standards (Crowdfunding)

Soap is a strange creature, and I’m not convinced there are that many use cases for such hardware, but I find it interesting that the developers decided to pack a Freescale i.MX6 Solo/Dual or Quad SoC powered Android 4.4 tablet and a router supporting five Gigabit Etherner ports, as well as WiFI 802.11ac, Wi-0Fi 802.11 b/g/n,  Zigbee, Z-wave, Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE), Insteon RF, X10, 433Mhz, NFC, and infrared into one and only device which they call an “Intelligent Home Management Hub”.  It’s also complete with an HDMI output port so that you can use it as a media player. Let’s go through the specifications for the four version this little monster (Soap Solo, Soap Dual, Soap Quad, and Soap 8.4): SoC Soap Solo – Freescale i.MX6 Solo single ARM Cortex A9 @ 1 GHz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU Soap Dual – Freescale i.MX6 Dual dual ARM Cortex A9 @ […]

Texas Instruments Releases Zigbee Home Automation Gateway Reference Design Based on BeagleBone Black

Texas Instruments has recently release a complete Linux based Zigbee home automation gateway based on BeagleBone Black development and CC2531 Evaluation Module Kit hardware which you can purchase for about $100 in total, and including Z-STACK Ubuntu gateway installer, as well as Z-STACK Home, a ZigBee Home Automation (ZHA 1.2) compliant protocol stack for the company’s CC2530 and CC2538 SoCs. I won’t go into details about the BeagleBone Black as I have already covered it into details previously. However, the hardware has slightly changed since the initial release, as the 2GB eMMC has now been replaced by a 4GB eMMC, and price has been increased to about $55. CC2531 evaluation module kit is comprised of CC2531 USB Dongle which you can connect to the USB port of a PC, or in this case a BeagleBone Black, for 802.15.4 / ZigBee applications. TI also provides CC2531 USB Firmware Library on their site to let developers […]

Atmel Introduces ARM Cortex M0+ based SmartConnect Wi-Fi Modules and SmartConnect Zigbee SoCs

In order for the Internet of Things to take off, wireless connectivity solutions with ultra low power, lost cost, and small footprint are needed. Atmel seems to have made a step in the right direction by launching SmartConnect Wi-Fi modules and Zigbee SoCs featuring an ARM Cortex M0+ core. SmartConnect Wi-Fi does not appear to be a single chip solution, but instead Atmel has created a family of Wi-Fi modules integrating the company’s ultra-low power Wi-Fi SoChip with an ARM Cortex M0+ based MCU. These modules will enabled battery-powered Wi-Fi connectivity for IoT endpoints such as thermostats, and temperature sensors in a cost effective way. The company will provide a software solution with application and security protocols such as TLS, TCP/IP stack and an RTOS, all of which can be downloaded via Atmel Studio 6 Integrated Development Platform (IDP). SmartConnect ZigBee SAM R21 combines an ARM Cortex M0+ core with […]