GreenPeak Technologies demonstrated its single radio multi-protocol and multi-channel chipset for ZigBee and Thread networks at CES 2016. Announced earlier this year, the company said the GP712 is the industry’s first radio communication controller to support ZigBee and Thread in a single device with fully independent channel selection – at the cost of a single protocol solution.
The GP712 uses GreenPeak’s patented multi-channel feature that will allow simultaneous listening on different channels for both ZigBee and Thread communication packets using a single radio. It simultaneously supports up to three network protocols in a concurrent and transparent way on different channels and allows interoperability between ZigBee PRO, ZigBee RF4CE and Thread.
“This is a major cost reduction for designing single-SKU, multi-protocol and future-proof gateways, connected thermostats, and intelligent sensors,” said Cees Links, CEO and Founder of GreenPeak Technologies.
Standards War Slows Down Markets
Commenting on the current standards war in the Smart Home market, Links said, “GreenPeak’s strength is the radio frequency technology. We cannot determine who will be the winner. We just do not like it, because we are seeing the standards war slowing down the market – slowing down the Internet of Things growth.”
“By supporting the current leading Smart Home protocols in one multi-channel radio chip, we offer a future-proof platform for gateways and set-top boxes. Our customers’ gateways are ready to support a whole new variety of connected devices for the home.”
“My hope will be to see the convergence of standards happening this year. Many ZigBee members are also Thread members. The good news is that EnOcean is now joining forces with the ZigBee Alliance. So more parties will begin to realize that the standards war not only creates a lot of hassle, but also new opportunities. I do pray that 2016 will be the year of convergence,” Links cited.
“Selling” Smart Home Values
Links also noticed that the industry is not doing enough to instill Smart Home values. “There is a lot of hype about the Smart Home and devices with sophisticated designs are often a bunch of new-fangled technology churned out for the sake of novelty. However, generally-speaking, the average consumer does not want connected sensor devices, but seeks applications that watch over his home and family, which are our most valued assets in our daily life.”
Currently, GreenPeak is working with the world’s leading service providers to transform a “house with sensors” into the “Smart Home” with the Family@Home application. Family@Home is based on a self-learning algorithm with behavior pattern recognition. No rule-based programming is required and exceptions are automatically reported. Family@Home provides intelligent status updates in a dashboard app and generates alerts when something unexpected happens at home or with family members.
This new smart service combines sensors for monitoring family activities with a variety of automated home applications like temperature and climate control, home monitoring, lighting systems, appliance control, intruder detection, etc. One system does it all. In addition, this new solution can incorporate sensing and geolocation technology from key fobs, door contacts, smart phones and occupancy sensors, to provide a larger understanding of where family members are, what they are doing and when they will be home.
“Without making the Smart Home solution into a control system or a privacy intrusion system, we have created a solution that connects us with our precious family members and home.”
According to Links, GreenPeak has been working with over 10 major operators in the United States, Europe and China. “These MSOs possess a substantial subscriber base. With telephone and internet services, the entire infrastructure is in place to get things done. This is why operators are good channels for us to market.”
“Of course every operator has its own values, own differentiations. They will choose which platforms they want to integrate with. It is difficult to sell a total solution. So we bring with Family@Home a complete reference design to the market which can be adjusted and branded in compliance with the needs of the operator’s business and market requirements”, he added.
Despite the standards war in the market, Links perceived 2015 as a growth year. “We grew a significant 30 percent compared to 2014 and we also project significant growth this year, which will be achieved under the basis of convergence.”