There is hardly any product category in the home appliances and consumer electronics space that is not affected by the trend to offer connectivity. In the Internet of Things (IoT) world, there is a "smart" version of everything and all manufacturer have to think about a connected version of almost every device in their product portfolio as they might otherwise lose their customers to competitors.
A very common problem is that Internet technologies are usually not core skills of such companies. But having to design a connected product means answering many questions:
- What hardware platform to use?
- Which programming language to use for the device firmware?
- What (radio) protocol to use?
- How to solve authentication and secure communication?
There are many different answers to these questions and they highly depend on the specific product. Most of it is somehow related to embedded hardware design and low-footprint firmware programming, which is still in reach of a typical hardware development team. The real problems start with the "I" of IoT:
- Customers need to access the device remotely, when not at home
- Apps need to be built for at least 2-3 different smartphone platforms in different languages
- Firmware updates must be remotely provisioned and installed
- A Smart Home requires the device to talk to a zillion other devices from different market segments.
- Applications and rules must be made available that support very specific use cases across all the different devices from different vendors.
All of this is nothing that a normal hardware manufacturer can design and build on its own - the ones trying to do so usually end up with a siloed solution with many constraints what does not really match the expectations of customers. It is therefore easier, to build the product in a way that it nicely integrates with existing smart home platforms of solution providers. But which one to choose? As a manufacturer you won't be dependent on the weal and woe or the business strategy of a single other company. Building the product compatible with multiple platforms at the same time can mean a lot of additional effort though.
How does Eclipse SmartHome™ help?
It first of all does not
require you to adapt your hardware in any way. Instead, you use the
existing connectivity features of your device and implement a
connector (a so-called "binding") to Eclipse SmartHome, which
integrates your device through the technical means that you have
Secondly, you benefit from the fact that more and more smart home solutions on the market are based on Eclipse SmartHome and thus share the APIs. This means that you only need to implement the binding once and by this you have achieved the technical pre-requisites to offer your devices foro many different solutions at the same time.
How to start