To enable a true smart home, it is essential to integrate devices from different brands and running on different protocols into one network, which is a difficult task, and we are still far from it, said gateway manufacturer Ardomus.
“We have not really reached the stage of Internet of everything,” Ardomus co-founder Chinru Lin said, as companies tend to create their own ecosystems so that only their devices can talk to each another. Ardomus wants to solve this problem, by providing a gateway that links everything together, so that devices made by Xiaomi, Haier and Huawei, for example, can all communicate and work together.
Lin said Ardomus wants to facilitate a true Internet of Things, where devices “big or small, fast or slow, wired or wireless, many or few in quantity,” can all be linked together. “It is not an easy task,” Lin pointed out.
Lin believes the notion of smart home is still relatively new. The automation functions, such as turning on the lighting, are only “nice to have,” but not addressing any pain points, he said. In the end, it needs to bring greater convenience to people’s lives, or to make it an indispensable “service.”
But reliable network is the foundation of good services. Ardomus aims to provide a robust connectivity to ensure the indispensable smart services go uninterrupted when they become available.
The company makes wireless and wired gateways which can link different smart devices at home and support various protocols like ZigBee, Wi-Fi and RS485. The gateways then connect to a router and therefore the Internet, to enable control through user interface like mobile apps.
Smart home is expected to grow increasingly popular. There are currently two business modes in the emerging industry; companies either serve the DIY market or the professional installation market.
Ardomus is in the professional installation market, and participates in project-based home construction, where desired smart home functions are designed and built into new houses.
The company works with system integrators that install various devices and appliances. Ardomus may perform customization work to link to all the devices and appliances in a project. Every family may have different needs, and a different gateway will be required in each case.
There is something delicate at play. The gateway has to not only connect different communication protocols, but also separate them at times. For example, the network used for Internet surfing is better separated from the network reserved for IP camera, air conditioner or lighting devices. This can prevent the latter home network from being compromised if the former is hacked.
Ardomus’ wireless gateway supports protocols like Zigbee, Z-Wave and IQRF. The company’s wired gateway supports protocols like RS485 and RS232 needed for building automation.
To fulfill the function of a gateway, Ardomus will continue to improve its interoperability ability, in order to be able to communicate with more protocols and devices, Lin said.