There are many opportunities for Taiwan in the emerging field of home automation since the country already possesses computer and networking expertise, which are critical in smart home implementation, said Ralf Kilguss, Dialog Semiconductor’s Sales Country Manager based in Taiwan.
Kilguss made the comment in an interview at SMAhome Expo 2017, a smart home exhibition organized by Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media.
Smart home is not just about simple things like automate light switching, Kilguss said. There are also medical and senior care applications, and many Taiwanese companies have begun the endeavor, making devices that track blood pressure and blood sugar levels, for example, Kilguss said.
The notion of Internet of Things (IoT) and home automation were not commonly known in Taiwan, due to the lack of well-known companies investing heavily in the industry.
This is starting to change, however, in the last 2-3 years, Kilguss pointed out, noting that there are even “companies that we never heard of” starting to study home automation. Even big players like Quanta Computer and Foxconn have established R&D centers that focus on home automation study.
Asked what has fueled the change, Kilguss said industry standards play a big part. “There was home automation since I was little, but without a common standard, every company just establishes their own.” But with standards like Apple HomeKit, Thread and those of other alliances, home automation can be enabled relatively faster, he said.
Given Taiwan’s strength in computer know-how and its close tie to smart home applications, Kilguss believes home automation presents a great opportunity for Taiwanese businesses. Taiwan has many original design manufacturers (ODM) and their advantage lies in making value-added products, which are developed based on established standards.
Dialog is aware of this development, of course, because all the OEM from Taiwan are its potential customers. Dialog wants to be ready to supply its turnkey solutions when Taiwanese companies decide to jump in automation manufacturing.
Dialog offers single-chip solutions that support Apple HomeKit and the Thread protocol, while the former capability has been certified by Apple. Since Dialog specializes in power management, its system-on-chip boasts the lowest power consumption feature, according to Kilguss.
Kilguss believes Dialog’s solution will lower the barrier for smart home device development. The company’s DA14681 HomeKit Development Kit supports all Bluetooth low energy profiles and provides wireless connectivity to a variety of battery-powered devices.
Dialog’s SmartBond DA14585 is the smallest, lowest power and most integrated Bluetooth solution available. Possible applications include remote control, connected medical devices, wireless charging, just to name a few.