IoT Design Considerations: Cost

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 12, 2015 3:28:08 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 10 IoT Design Considerations, Bluetooth, Cloud services, Ethernet, General, Internet of Things, IoT, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee

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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 allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer, while discovering new product uses and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. However, these added benefits come with a cost. Connected devices come with a higher manufacturing overhead, but may also be sold with a bigger price tag.

Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections can be added to products for less than $10 in bill of materials costs. Other technologies, such as ZigBee, Z-Wave and Bluetooth, can be added for a lower price, but may require a separate bridge to connect to the Internet and access Cloud services.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

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Grid Connect is an All-Inclusive Development Partner

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 20, 2015 9:52:42 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 900 MHz, Android, app, applications, apps, BLE, Bluetooth, build, CE, certifications, Cloud, connectsense, design, embedded, encryption, engineer, engineering, Ethernet, FCC, General, Grid Connect, hardware, iOS, layout, networking, OS, prototype, RoHS, security, Serial, smart phone, software, SSL, UL, web page, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, wifi, Wireless

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A Complete Development Partner for Hardware, Software, Apps and Cloud Services

Grid Connect Inc. has one of the best engineering teams in the world. Our strong development team can quickly and effectively implement your partial or complete networking/cloud-based or embedded product. For more than 20 years we have been helping customers put networking technology into their products. In the past the focus has been Ethernet, serial and propriety networks. Now days, the focus is on wireless networks like Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth/BLE and 900 MHz.

A few of Grid Connect’s many development capabilities include:

  • Designing, layout and quick turn prototype hardware
  • Designing, programming and debugging embedded software
  • Designing and building iOS and Android smart phone and tablet applications
  • Designing, building and rolling out complete cloud/web applications
  • Embedded Linux or Real-time OS driver development
  • SSL security and hardware and software encryption option
  • Production of custom hardware
  • Embedded Web page development
  • Pre-loading of custom/customer firmware on to standard modules
  • Complete diagnostic testing of hardware and software prior to shipment
  • Work with test labs to complete FCC, CE, UL, and RoHS certifications
  • Custom labeling

 

The ConnectSense Case Study

With the ConnectSense brand of products, we took Grid Connect’s embedded networking expertise and put it to use in the consumer home automation/Internet of Things marketplace. In creating ConnectSense, we built a full end-to-end solution, which incorporated custom hardware, embedded Linux development, a custom cloud solution, and custom enclosures and sensors.

Since releasing ConnectSense to the market in 2013, we have continued to move our technology forward. With the ConnectSense Smart Outlet we have made great strides in easy setup and provisioning of devices, smaller and more affordable designs and development of apps for iOS. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet also represents the first generation of devices that are Apple HomeKit-enabled allowing for great features such as Siri voice control, end-to-end encryption and ease of use.

The ConnectSense product line allows Grid Connect to prove out its technology at scale and improve it over time. This allows us to then take that same great technology and help customers implement IoT solutions in their own products. Rather than starting from scratch, our customers benefit from our wealth of knowledge developing IoT products. This allows for quick time to market, lower cost implementations and less custom work required on projects.


To discuss development partner solutions for your company, please call the Grid Connect office at +1 (800) 975-GRID or fill out the form here.

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Wi-Fi - High Performance (A11) Modules

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 6, 2015 9:33:55 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 3.3V operation, 802.11b/g/n, A11, access point, antennas, baseband processor, CE Certified, circuit board, configuration utility, Dial Switch, DIP, Ethernet, Ethernet MAC, ethernet to wi-fi, external antennas, FCC, Flash memory, General, high performance modules, Internal chip, IPEX/U.FL antenna connector, IPEX/U.FL connector, IPv4, IPv6, Linux Operating System, local chip antenna, Low Cost High Performance MCU, networking stack, power amplifier, Products, RAM memory, Remote Firmware, RF transceiver, RoHS compliant, router, Serial to Ethernet, serial to wi-fi, Serial UART, SMA antenna connector, SMA connectors, Smart Link, SMT, STA / AP / AP+STA Modes, surface mount, Wi-Fi, wireless firmware, WEP / WPA / WPA2 security modes, Wi-Fi modules, Wi-Fi protocol, Wireless, Wireless MAC, wireless modules

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The High-Flying A11 modules are design for high performance applications normally, using 802.11b/g/n, Ethernet, and local serial ports. The A11 is available in two formats – SMT (surface mount) and DIP (2x7pins). A11 integrates an Ethernet and Wireless MAC, a baseband processor, a RF transceiver along with a power amplifier. The on-board software includes a complete Wi-Fi protocol, configuration utility and networking stack. Applications include access points, routers, serial to Ethernet, serial to Wi-Fi, Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridging and many others.gc-hf-a11_1_1The A11 integrates all Wi-Fi functionality into a low-profile SMT or DIP module package that can be easily mounted on a printed circuit board. The different A11 modules connect to antennas using the local chip antenna (INT), external antennas through the standard IPEX/U.FL connector, or directly through the on-board SMA connectors.

Features:

  • Serial UART, Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n applications
  • WEP / WPA / WPA2 security modes
  • Low Cost High Performance MCU
  • AP, Router, Bridge, converter applications
  • Includes all the protocol and configuration functions
  • Supports STA / AP / AP+STA Modes
  • Supports Smart Link Function
  • Supports Wireless and Remote Firmware Upgradeable
  • External IPEX/U.FL antenna connector option
  • Internal chip or SMA antenna connector options
  • Supports Dial Switch to Control Power
  • Additional Flash/RAM memory for applications
  • Compact SMT or DIP modules
  • Full IPv4 and IPv6 stack
  • Embedded and Flexible Linux Operating System
  • FCC, CE Certified
  • RoHS compliant
  • Single supply – 3.3V operation

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 4.30.35 PM

 

Ordering Information
Part Numbers / Description / Call for OEM volume pricing

GC-HF-A11-EXT A11 External IPEX/U.FL connector
GC-HF-A11-SMA A11 SMA antenna
GC-HF-A11-INT A11 Internal chip antenna
GC-HF-A11-EVAL A11 Evaluation Kit

GC-HF-A11-SMT-EXT A11 Surface Mount External IPEX/U.FL connector
GC-HF-A11-SMT-INT A11 Surface Mount Internal chip antenna
GC-HF-A11-SMT-EVAL A11 Surface Mount Evaluation Kit

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Sensors Expo 2015: Grid Connect contemplates the wireless factory

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 18, 2015 10:56:33 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Adam Justice, BLE, Bluetooth, Featured In, General, industrial networking, internet, Internet of Things, Mike Justice, Sensors Expo, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, wifi

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Grid Connect recently moved into what could be considered the ‘consumer’ space through its ConnectSense subsidiary, which provides plug n’ play sensor solutions for a variety of applications through devices such as their recently released Smart Outlet. The parent company still focuses on more traditional embedded connectivity, but according to Mike Justice the industrial networking landscape has started to shift as factory operators become increasingly interested in wireless communications.

Justice admits that Wi-Fi is still a no-no in most plant settings because of the unknowns it introduces, but says that Bluetooth and ZigBee are making considerable strides as they provide no direct connection to the Internet and subsequent security issues.

Read more at Embedded Computing Design or download the PDF now.

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The Customer is [Away from Home]

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 10, 2015 10:51:17 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Apple HomeKit, Brillo, Corporate Transparency, General, Interconnectability, Internet of Things, IoT, Privacy, Wi-Fi, Works with Nest

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At its inception, the Internet was never meant to have the capacity for household devices logging on; it was only ever used for record keeping and academic purposes. Today, a myriad of technological devices, ranging from sensors to smart cooking appliances, are being developed to connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi and other network protocols, with companies like Apple and Google leading the parade.

However, interconnectability has its own unique requirements. Our understanding of privacy, for instance, will have to change dramatically. Google’s purchase of the Nest self-programmable thermostat (as well as the recent announcement of Brillo) shows that this fortress of information will now be grabbing that data directly from our homes and daily rituals, as well as from our internet searches. Yet, as creepy as this may sound, much of the information gathered is harmless, but only if the company is transparent about its techniques. This requires that companies cannot simply be a far-off entity anymore: they must actively communicate with their customers to give them control over privacy options and notification settings.

Read more at http://bit.ly/1HJJE1f 

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Where is the standard for the IoT standards?

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 8, 2015 11:45:57 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in API, Apple, BLE, Bluetooth, Cisco, General, Google, HomeKit, Intel, Internet of Things, interoperability, IoT, Nest, Network Standards, OIC, Open Interconnect Consortium, RFID, Rival Protocols, Samsung, security, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, wifi, Works with Nest

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The rapid progression of device communication has resulted in a formidable roadblock to the Internet of Things (IoT). Too many rival standards have emerged from big company alliances and individual expansions. While companies like Samsung, Intel, and Cisco have united around the Open Interconnect Consortium, individual corporations like Apple and Google are beginning to make headway on their own API projects.

In order for the IoT to work, every device pair must have identical network standards. Without matching protocols, individual objects won’t be able to communicate. For example, in order to play music from a smartphone through a Bluetooth speaker, the phone must connect to the device over Bluetooth, and not through Wi-Fi. This can get far more complicated than just the internet connection. In addition to network standards like Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Wi-Fi, there are also application and security standards that must also be identical. Two devices that run on Wi-Fi still can’t work together if one runs on the Apple HomeKit protocol and the other is designed for Works with Nest.

Inevitably, the jumble of standards has drawn all sorts of lines in the sand as far as companies developing for the IoT are concerned. This process has begun to follow a similar mess that occurred with the development of radio-frequency identification (RFID). It took 15 years to develop a common protocol for the RFID market, because of competing corporate interests.

Without standards, there is no possibility for interoperability, but it is important that companies work together to come up with fewer, more universal standards. Reducing the amount of these protocols opens up more avenues for product developers, and allows the consumer more product choice, rather than having to be selective based on the protocols they are already using in their home.

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Join Us at Sensors Expo 2015!

[fa icon='calendar'] May 21, 2015 3:43:11 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in California, Events, General, Internet of Things, IoT, Long Beach, MEMS, Sensors, Sensors Expo, technology, Wi-Fi, Wireless

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Sensors 15_ variations#7_dates_0

 

 

 

 

When: June 10-11, 2015
Where: Long Beach Convention Center - Long Beach, CA
Booth #: 745

The market for sensors and related technologies is expanding at a phenomenal rate. With the convergence of MEMS, Wireless, Wearables and the Internet of Things, the sales of sensors in the U.S. alone are expected to climb to nearly $15 billion in 2016. With this growth, the importance of education and access to the latest technologies is critical. For 30 years, Sensors Expo & Conference has established itself as the nation's leading event focusing exclusively on sensors and sensor-integrated systems. Join us at the industry’s premier gathering to find the solutions for your present challenges while exploring sensing technologies that are driving tomorrow's solutions.

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

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Grid Connect Introduces ConnectSense Handset Telephone with Ten-Number Memory Dial to the Smart Home Space

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 1, 2015 5:00:09 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in April Fools, April Fools Day, ConnectSense, connectsense, cord, General, Grid Connect, joke, Press Releases, smartphone, technology, telephone, Wi-Fi, wifi

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NAPERVILLE, IL--(Apr 1, 2015) - A new easy-to-use telephone with ten number memory connectsensetelephonedial is now available for pre-order from Grid Connect. The ConnectSense Telephone features nine speed dial memory buttons that enable users to call frequently used numbers and a redial function to quickly dial the last outgoing number.

This reliable and affordable telephone is designed for those who want to avoid hassles and frills of smartphone technology and cordless handsets.

The ConnectSense Telephone can be placed on any convenient surface or mounted on the wall to save table space. This surface or wall mounting option provides quick and powerful access to make or receive calls in one room of your home. With its simple, corded design, users will never have to worry about misplacing their handset anywhere throughout their house.

Other features that make the ConnectSense Telephone unique include:

  • No need for Wi-Fi set up or programming of notification and call ringtones.
  • Plugs directly into your wall so there is no need for users to charge their ConnectSense Telephone before use.
  • Ten-number memory dial so users can quickly call frequently and recently used phone numbers.
  • Illuminated keypad with push button technology for use in darkly lit rooms of the house.
  • Ringer and handset volume control for personalized, user loudness customization.
  • No Caller ID means no need to stress about who is calling.
  • Mute button so users can silence their side of the conversation while in noisy rooms or while ridiculing the other party under their breath.

The ConnectSense Telephone is available now for pre-order at www.connectsense.com/telephone and will ship in the third quarter of 2015. Priced at $8.99, the ConnectSense Telephone offers tremendous value compared to smartphones and cordless home handsets, as it includes a cord.

 

About Grid Connect 

Grid Connect (www.GridConnect.com), an ISO 9001:2008 company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products that enable the Internet of Things, including the ConnectSense line of wireless sensors. Grid Connect can be found on Twitter @GridConnect and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/grid-connect. ConnectSense can be found at www.ConnectSense.com and on Twitter @ConnectSense

 

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Grid Connect Product Featured in Discovery Video - Sign Climbing

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 4, 2015 11:41:06 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Bridge 802.11, Discovery, Discovery Channel, Featured In, General, Industrial Wireless Access Point, Products, Video, Wi-Fi, wifi, Wireless

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We had one of our customers share this Discovery Channel video with us!

On the arm of the machine used to inspect highway road sign structures, they are using Grid Connect's Industrial Wireless Access Point / Bridge 802.11 b / g / n (Part # GC-IND-WIFI-AP).

How cool! Check it out by clicking here.

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Putting User Interface at the Start of Your IoT Design Process

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 9, 2015 11:35:25 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in app, connected devices, data, gateway, General, Internet of Things, IoT, IoT design, IoT devices, laptop, LCD, LCD display, LED, LED display, module, network, product design, smart homeg, smart phones, soft access point, soft AP, tablet, UI, user interface, UX, Wi-Fi, White Papers, Wi-Fi modules, wifi

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How are your buyers going to interface with your product?

This is one of the toughest aspects of Internet of Things (IoT) product design right now. Today’s consumers and business owners expect multiple ways to access and control the world around them and options for connected devices are numerous.

User interface options for IoT design range from using a smart home panel or gateway to an on-product LCD/LED display. The LCD/LED display can then be paired with LEDs or push buttons. In addition, apps to monitor and control connected devices can be web-based or available for on-the-go consumers with smart phones.

To determine what kind of user interface your product design needs, you must consider two things:

  1. The type of product
  2. The use-cases for this product

For example, is this product going to be used strictly in one location or on the go? Will it need to by physically touched to work or will it need to be operated remotely or both? Where will the user want to see the information that the device is collecting and how are they going to use that data?

Wi-Fi-enabled IoT devices may also have the ability to act as a soft access point (soft AP) to allow a user to “join” its network locally with a smart phone, laptop or tablet. Soft APs make product LED/LCD displays unnecessary since the screen of the connected device will serve the same purpose. Using a soft AP does not preclude the module from also connecting to the Internet and cloud-based services with some Wi-Fi modules though. This dual-mode is very attractive because the user can access the product remotely and locally, depending on the features and use-cases for the product.

So, what interface will provide the best user experience for your buyers? This needs to be one of the first questions you ask when designing a product for the IoT in order to provide the easiest and overall best experience for your customers.

10IOTDESIGNCONSIDERATIONS_BANNER

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