Bluetooth in Home Automation and Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 14, 2017 2:25:11 PM / by Jonathan Witthoeft posted in Bluetooth, home automation, Internet of Things, IoT, smart home

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Home automation has been on the rise as the cost of integrating wireless communication in devices has dropped significantly. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Apple’s iCloud, and Google’s Cloud have given people the means to remotely monitor and control their homes. However, where does this leave Bluetooth in home automation and the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Bluetooth for Local Access

Bluetooth has not been a stranger to local automation with many devices that we control using it. From wireless speakers to LED light bulbs, many manufacturers provide smartphone apps to control their devices via Bluetooth. The newest Bluetooth specifications have incorporated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which has made smart, battery-powered devices more accessible without having to recharge or change the batteries on a frequent basis. This gives Bluetooth an edge over Wi-Fi, which is a more power hungry technology. Now, you can place home automation products anywhere without being restricted to power outlet locations. No more need for power strips and bulky power supplies when devices can run for months on a single battery. This is great for local home automation, but since Bluetooth cannot connect directly to the Internet, how can we access these devices remotely?

Smart Home Hubs for Remote Access

This is where we introduce the smart home hubs. Recently, the biggest players in IoT have been releasing voice-activated assistants for your home. Apple just announced HomePod which brings the voice control and intelligence of Siri to your home. This is to be compared to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Google Home. All of these popular home assistants have two things in common: voice control and Bluetooth radios.

Through the appeal and convenience of a voice-controlled home assistant, these companies have placed a Bluetooth-to-Internet gateway in your home. These smart home hubs serve a dual purpose by providing the user with voice control as well as remote access to their Bluetooth smart home devices. Currently the Echo and Google Home can only be used to communicate with the devices already on the cloud with local Bluetooth devices currently needing their own proprietary solutions to relay information to these corresponding clouds. Apple, on the other hand, through the HomeKit protocol, has defined its own standard for IoT inter-device communication. As long as these devices are designed according to HomeKit specifications, a user can access the HomePod, an Apple TV, or an iPad left at home to control local Bluetooth devices remotely. Google Home, on the other hand, has taken the approach of communicating with other proprietary smart home products, but has not yet utilized a standard for smart home devices. Therefore you are limited to a number of specific manufactures if you want compatible smart home accessories.

With the use of in-demand smart home assistants and the wireless power saving advantages of BLE, Bluetooth has an edge over Wi-Fi when it comes to home automation and IoT. Devices can be designed smaller, with greater battery life, and installed virtually anywhere in the home. Imagine Bluetooth sensors for door locks, temperature, lights, windows, motion detection, leak detection, power outlets, blinds, and much more. Bluetooth devices are now accessible from your fingertips anywhere in the world and are truly the future of home automation.

 

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Smart Home Real Estate

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 15, 2016 11:51:53 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in ConnectSense, connectsense, General, home automation, Internet of Things, IoT, REAL ESTATE, smart home, smart house, smart outlet

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By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

Imagine moving into a house where the thermostat could adjust automatically depending on the time, where all of the lights could be controlled with the touch of a button, and where the doors could be locked from the comfort of bed. Houses with these technological innovations installed are becoming increasingly popular within the real estate market as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to transform the way we live our lives. Turning a home into a smart home with various IoT technologies can increase the value of a house substantially.

Smart technology brings a plethora of benefits to the home environment. The most attractive feature of the smart home is its ability to reduce monthly expenses such as electricity and heating. Home buyers and owners are very attracted to the idea that a smart home could help reduce the amount they are paying monthly as the cost of paying off a home can be cumbersome by itself. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet can help a home owner manage and control any electrical device from the comfort of their smart phone. The Nest Thermostat is able to learn the users schedule to adjust the temperature at the right times of day in order to prevent wasting energy on heating or cooling a home when no one is home. Automated devices like these can help manage and reduce power usage while making everyday tasks more convenient and efficient at the same time.

It is important to consider future growth of the IoT and its relevance in the home environment. Smart devices are increasing in popularity at an exponential rate. This means that more homes will be implementing smart technology in an effort to create a connected network of devices. The smart home will be the future of the real estate industry. As internet-enabled technology becomes a standard in homes, more home buyers will expect that houses come with this smart technology built in.

Smart home upgrades are not expensive to make and they can go a long way in increasing the value of a home. Devices such as smart locks, lights, outlets, and thermostats are relatively cheap and easy to install. An ecosystem of devices that enable a home owner to completely control their environment can be created with a couple hundred dollars. This is a cheap price to pay for the power these devices bring to the user, especially when they will help reduce the cost of monthly bills. Implementing smart technology within a home environment will increase the value of houses and will create additional incentive for home buyers to purchase a home.

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The IoT in 2025

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 24, 2015 2:33:19 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Ecosystems, General, home automation, Internet of Things, interoperability, IoT

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When we talk about the future, wandering minds drift toward watery visions of flying cars, personal robots, and hover boards where all work is banished by fully automated technology. I tend to picture this kind of future a bit more like Wall-E: humans as a race of fat sluggish incompetents surrounded by an entirely preset system. Thankfully this vision just doesn’t line up with reality.

The Internet of Things (IoT) in its current state is almost a tongue-in-cheek phrase representing the market for connected devices. Familiarity with smartphones that connect to the internet has sparked all sorts of new devices with similar compatibilities. These devices range from shades that sense the heat and direction of the sun, adjusting accordingly, to the already-standard Nest thermostat. What makes this technology unique is a dual-compatibility to “sense” its surroundings and to connect to the internet.

That is today. When we look at the future of the IoT, we need to take into account our world’s culture values. Technology is driven by what consumers want, but most people don’t really want to end up with how Wall-E depicts automation of experience rather than of environment. No one wants their computer to pick how they are going to dress. What they would like is a computer capable of  presenting all their options, helping them find what they are looking for, placing an order, and delivering the package. The concern comes when looking at automating joyful activities: think of a computer taking over the technical joy of sailing, biking, writing, playing an instrument, etc. It’s a horrible thought. People don’t want to automate enjoyable difficulties.

Opening up the concept of the IoT, we discover that as time goes on, this technology should become, in a sense, less noticeable. As the design and technology behind the products becomes more powerful, homes will connect automatically in the background and every device will be infused with a sense of awareness. Picture waking up on a beautiful day, your shower’s temperature is set right where you like it, shades open automatically when you wake  to let in the sun and you can hear the coffee maker beginning to brew downstairs. This is all set by a chain of events which will become even more subtle and seamless as time goes on. At some point, the house should even be able to recognize special days throughout the week and year and make change the environment accordingly. Other environments will be updated in a similar manner: restaurants will know what you ordered last time and waiters will be able to offer suggestions based on your past choices; and grocery shopping will be triggered by they way you read the recipe logged on your phone and direct you to the aisles. Simply put, every electronic device will have some level of human awareness. Products will fit into a greater web of connectivity, providing for simple transitions between the appliances that we use every day.

The Internet of Things is just the modern preliminary to the modern ecosystem, where objects are bound together in a way that promotes automation while preserving the activities you love.

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Grid Connect is Connecting the Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 22, 2015 9:25:54 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in app, Cloud, connection, connectsense, Consumer, custom engineering, General, Grid Connect, hardware, home automation, Internet of Things, IoT, knowledge, manufacturer, networking, OEM, serial to wi-fi, software, technology, white paper, White Papers, wifi

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Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customers while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams.

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is a phrase used to describe making everyday objects “smart” by adding networking and connectivity to them. Grid Connect Inc.’s DNA has been IoT from the very beginning.

Grid Connect can supply your team with technology, custom engineering, expert knowledge and support at all levels of the IoT pyramid. We provide end-to-end solutions starting with your existing product and ending with a truly smart device.

All of our solutions are designed to fit your company’s needs and can include:

  • OEM solutions
  • Custom hardware
  • Custom firmware
  • Cloud development
  • App development

To further illustrate Grid Connect’s knowledge and abilities within the IoT marketplace, consumers can purchase our own product line of IoT-connected devices. ConnectSense is a family of wireless sensors for your home or business. Each sensor uses the Wi-Fi network in your location and communicates to the ConnectSense cloud application. The ConnectSense cloud stores data from your sensors and generates notifications when a rule you have set applies to your environment. For example, if the ConnectSense Water Sensor in your basement detects water, the sensor will communicate this change to the cloud application. From here, the cloud application will then determine what to do with this new information, such as send you a notification so that you can react appropriately.


If you are looking to add connectivity to your product, download “10 Internet of Things Design Considerations” and call Grid Connect at +1 (800) 975-GRID or fill out the form here.

 

10IOTDESIGNCONSIDERATIONS_BANNER

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Tech In Motion Panel: IoT: More than Just a Buzzword

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 18, 2015 10:39:38 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Adam Justice, American RFID Solutions, Aubrey Jackson, business, buzzword, Chicago, connected devices, Events, future, General, Grid Connect, Harold G. Clampitt, HERE, home automation, interconnected, Internet of Things, IoT, Jason Kolb, Kaplan, Mahesh Ramananjaiah, Matt Krzus, panel, speaking, Tech In Motion, TechNexus, technology, Uptake, wearables

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When: March 25, 6:00PM
Where: TechNexus, 20 N. Wacker Drive Suite 1200, Chicago, IL

Session Title: IoT: More than Just a Buzzword

What the heck is the Internet of Things? Everyone's heard of it, but it seems like few have the ability to articulate what this buzz phrase actually means. Part of that is because the definition of IoT is so fractured. Everyone seems to have their own take on it.

For this event, we're talking to several panelists whose companies specialize in interconnected devices, whether they be for businesses, for the home, or wearables, and asking them the hard question: What is the Internet of Things to YOU? We'll also be talking about the future of this phenomenon.

Panelists:
Adam Justice, VP and General Manager of Grid Connect
Harold G. Clampitt, CEO and Founder of American RFID Solutions
Jason Kolb, CTO of Uptake
Mahesh Ramananjaiah, Senior Architect at HERE
Aubrey Jackson, Senior Software Engineer at HERE

Moderator:
Matt Krzus, Lead Data Scientist at Kaplan

About Tech In Motion:

Tech in Motion is broad by design, the goal of this group is to be interactive and allow technology enthusiasts to learn from other professionals, have questions answered in real-time, discover new tech, and hear stories that inspire. This group is a place for technology professionals who wouldn’t normally cross paths to meet, collaborate, and learn about what their peers are doing across the city. To learn more about Tech in Motion, click here!

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IWCE Panel: What You Need to Know About the Internet of Things

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 26, 2015 9:43:26 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Adam Justice, connected, connected devices, Events, General, Grid Connect, Hassan Bawab, home automation, International Wireless Communications Expo, Internet of Things, IoT, IWCE, Las Vegas, M2M, machine to machine, Magic Logix, networked society, social web, Sudhakar Marthi, technology, what you need to know about the internet of things, ZOHO Corporation

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When: March 20, 8:30am-12:00pm
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV - Room N259

Session Title: What You Need to Know About the Internet of Things

Whether you call it the Internet of Things, machine to machine, Connected Devices, the Social Web of Things or the Networked Society, it is hard to deny that more and more "things" are being connected every day. The Internet of Things has exploded! From light bulbs to automobiles to buildings, things are getting a digital makeover as the IoT connects people, devices, and applications wirelessly, turning them “smart.” IoT applications have the potential to transform every sector of business by allowing enterprises to take informed decision, optimizing the process, and supporting innovative business models. The combination of ‘low-cost’ connected devices with the need for data drives Internet of Things. Examine business opportunities in everything from M2M to green buildings to smart devices, explore how to create a wireless business ecosystem with IoT platform, and what limitations IoT might have technologically.

Panelists:
Adam Justice, VP and General Manager of Grid Connect
Hassan Bawab, Author and CEO of Magic Logix
Sudhakar Marthi, Vice President Global Business Development of ZOHO Corporation
Barry Einsig, Global Transportation Executive, Internet of Things Group at Cisco

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About IWCE:

Since 1977, the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) has been the authoritative annual event for communications technology professionals in the working world. IWCE features over 350 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends in the industry. Over 7,000 individuals attend from a diverse group of industry professionals including government/military; public safety (law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical & 911); utility; transportation and business enterprise. This year’s show will be held March 16-20, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Conference Website: http://www.iwceexpo.com

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January 2015 Newsletter - Link Round Up

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 20, 2015 3:52:56 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Apple HomeKit, cellular carriers, CES, CES 2015, connectsense, General, home automation, Internet of Things, IoT, Las Vegas, M2M, machine to machine, newsletter, Newsletters, smart home, smart outlet, white paper, ZigBee

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10 Internet of Things Design Considerations [White Paper] - Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. > Download the White Paper

How the First Apple HomeKit Products Will Work - The first collection of Apple HomeKit-compatible products were quietly announced last week at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, and we saw everything from smart plugs and sensors to garage door openers and locks. There’s nothing too sexy about those types of appliances, but we were able to learn more about how Apple HomeKit and its vision for the smart home will work. > Read more at Mashable

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet Will Give You Command of Your Walls - After months of speculation, we're finally getting some dirt on which products will work with Apple's HomeKit once it launches. The Grid Connect ConnectSense Smart Outlet replaces a standard wall outlet and includes a USB port. It's available for preorder now and should start shipping this quarter. > Read more at CNET

My 2015 Internet of Things Wishlist - The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most hyped technology of 2014 and 2015 promises even more innovative IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology will surface. Building on the growth of IoT in 2014, the IoT will see even more explosive growth and innovation in 2015. Although I have several predictions of what will happen in the IoT world this year, I have one big item on my wish list that involves cellular carriers. > Read more at Embedded Computing Design

Grid Connect's Biggest Takeaways About the Smart Home Space at CES 2015 - A few members of the Grid Connect and ConnectSense teams were excited to attend CES this year. While a lot of time was spent in the booth demoing the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, we were able to stretch our legs and explore many other CES exhibits as well. Home automation was a big aspect of the show this year and we were definitely proud to be contributing to it. > Read more at ConnectSense.com

 

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CES 2015: Grid Connect's Biggest Takeaways about the Smart Home Space

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 19, 2015 7:41:38 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in CES 2015, ConnectSense, connectsense, Consumer Electronics Show, Events, General, Grid Connect, home automation, Internet of Things, smart device, smart home, smart outlet

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A few members of the Grid Connect and ConnectSense teams were excited to attend CES this year. While a lot of time was spent in the booth demoing the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, we were able to stretch our legs and explore many other CES exhibits as well. Home automation was a big aspect of the show this year and we were definitely proud to be contributing to it.

Now that it's been a week since we've returned to the office and had some time to reflect, here are some takeaways we gathered from the Smart Home section of the show...

"Home automation was the belle of the ball at CES 2015. There were a lot of new and exciting products.  I feel like 2015 will be the year that home automation comes into focus and goes mainstream.  The winners in this market are going to be those who focus and build best in class devices that interoperate with other companies devices through standards like HomeKitAllSeenOICThread and others. The losers in this market will be those that try to do it all themselves and build every device under the sun on their system. In the end, what is good for consumers is good for this market. Companies that keep that in mind will do well."

Adam Justice, Vice President of Grid Connect and Founder of ConnectSense

"Wow! As always, the CES was an amazing event. We saw companies in the home automation space introducing products to broaden their product line, while others jumped in where they hadn’t played before.  There seems to be more and more devices every time I check Gizmodo or Mashable. Unfortunately, a lot of them are the same ol’ same ol’…innovation wins with me every time!

The big question is, what company will win the platform war? Are you developing your own ecosystem of devices 'on an island' of their own? Companies need to make sure the applications or the products are upgradable to future standards to take advantage of new features and capabilities. The last thing anyone wants to do is continually replace their devices or systems when new features are enabled."

John Marchiando, Vice President of Business Development at Grid Connect

"There are a lot of people and companies who want to be involved. Many devices are similar to each other so companies must separate themselves from their competition through the features and benefits of their products. They must also make sure to deliver on their promises about the capabilities of each device. Consumers are going to have to research different companies and their products to make sure they are finding the right devices for their needs and ideally, compatible with other home automation products they have now or will have in the future.

As a consumer, my biggest takeaway was that any product I buy needs to be worth the price tag. If the features and benefits are not up to par, or if it just plain doesn't work, it's not going to be in my house."

Brittney Borowicz, Marketing Manager at Grid Connect

And on the first time exhibiting at CES...

"As a first timer, the CES show is massive. The investment of the big companies like Intel, Samsung, LG are unbelievable. Our booth was in the Innovation area, which was fun to see all the different types of companies that were doing cool things. Our new Smart Outlet was well received and demoing it with Siri is a cool feature.  We will be back at CES next year, in the Smart Home section of the show."

Mike Justice, President and CEO of Grid Connect

What was your biggest takeaway about the smart home from CES 2015?

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Grid Connect Launches ConnectSense Line of Wireless Sensors for Home and Business

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 29, 2014 12:35:57 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Amazon, ConnectSense, connectsense, DIY, DIY Home Security, embedded networking, General, Grid Connect, home automation, IIC, Industrial Internet Consortium, Internet of Things, IoT, IPSO, IPSO Alliance, Press Releases, Sensors, Wi-Fi, wifi, wireless sensors

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NAPERVILLE, IL--(Marketwired - Apr 29, 2014) - Grid Connect (gridconnect.com), a manufacturer and distributor of embedded networking products, entered the rapidly-growing Internet of Things (IoT) industry with the launch of ConnectSense (connectsense.com), a line of wireless sensors to automate home and business. ConnectSense sensors will be showcased at Sensors Expo, Booth 517, June 24-26, in Rosemont, Ill.

ConnectSense is a platform of low-cost, cloud-based Wi-Fi 802.11b/g wireless sensors that monitor changes in the user's environment and then sends notifications via phone call, email, text or Tweet. Sensors are available to monitor temperature, humidity, water, motion, security and light.

ConnectSense devices transmit alerts using Wi-Fi, the ubiquitous wireless technology found in business offices and homes. ConnectSense allows users to leverage their existing Wi-Fi network without the need to purchase any additional hardware or gateways. Users set alert scenarios using ConnectSense.com, a cloud-based interface that can be accessed via a PC, Mac, tablet, phone, or any other device with a web browser.

Unlike other monitoring systems that require expensive installations and recurring monthly monitoring fees, ConnectSense is a Do It Yourself (DIY) system that does not require monitoring fees.

Sensors are portable and can be battery or wall powered, allowing them to be used in places without traditional electrical outlets, such as boats and greenhouses.

Grid Connect has an exclusive retail relationship with amazon.com for ConnectSense sensors. They also are available at shop.connectsense.com.

ConnectSense is a new member of IPSO Alliance, a global collaborative forum of leading IoT companies, and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a new organization to further development, adoption and wide-spread use of interconnected machines, intelligent analytics and people.

About GridConnect
Grid Connect, an ISO 9001:2008 company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products that enable the Internet of Things. The company's custom engineering services and attentive customer support ensure that all networking technology products sold by Grid Connect work to customer specifications. In-stock items usually ship the same day, and all products come with a no-risk, 30-day money back guarantee. Grid Connect also can be found on Twitter @GridConnect and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/grid-connect.

For information contact:

Linda Muskin
847-432-7300
Email Contact

Mara Conklin
678-825-2000
Email Contact

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