Just to let you know that you don’t have to wait longer for home automation gadgets based on Bluetooth 4.0 or ANT any more. Radio beacons and tags on BLE and ANT have become available at present. These can be deployed as miniature beacons in buildings, parking garages, shopping malls and airports without significant installation effort. They allow a communication between the home automation system, your wireless RF tags on BT 4.0 / ANT and your smartphone or on a paired wireless location logger device. The installation of miniature radio beacons eliminates the need for costly Wi-Fi infrastructure and power cabling. Each beacon / RF tag consumes much less energy than Wi-Fi and runs on a coin cell a long time. The back link to the home automation system can be done on ANT wireless easy. You have the freedom to use an ANT to wired bridge as well. Some elderly homes already have a wired bus system in all room. However any AC plug can run as wireless to power line communication link too.
The RF tag and the beacon in the evaluation kit has several sensors already on the main PCB:
I. Temperature sensor
That means it any beacon in the evaluation kit is a wireless thermometer. It is also waterproofed. You can use it at your terrarium, aquarium of or doghouse.
II. Magnetic sensor
Just stick the RF beacon to your door or window and the home automation system will know the status of all doors and windows
III. Acceleration sensor
Just stick it to your door and get a message, as soon somebody is knocking it. Or you stick it under a table in a restaurant and get a message as soon somebody is knocking on.
IV. Active RFID
Each tag or beacon is able to transmit its unique ID around the clock for months. You also can combine it with the acceleration sensor. Based on that you can detect who is in the room and power on/off the light. You also will know if your cat is back and in which room your pet is sleeping.
V: Direct link to iPhone
You can connect the low power Bluetooth 4.0 link to your iPhone, iPad or a lot of other smart phones and tablet as well. This means that a small and simple application does not have a need for a complete home automation system. A lot of can be achieved with an app on the iPhone easy.
VI: Customisation of firmware
All RF beacons and tags offers the option on customisation of the firmware. The customisation can be done by the manufacturer, the system integrator or by a third party.
VII: Customisation of hardware
All RF tags and RF beacons in the evaluation kit offers the links as below:
- Serial: UART, SPI, I2C
- Digital and analogue I/Os
- PWM, counter …
If somebody miss a sensor, then everybody has the freedom to ask for connection of further. Anyhow, I assume you will be busy a long time will all the features and sensors in the design like it is.
With the new combined BT 4.0 / ANT beacon evaluation kit you can test both wireless technologies easily. The kit comes with an iOS demo app for reading and monitoring of the Bluetooth LE beacons (with Android coming up soon). For testing ANT you can get an ANT USB dongle for your PC. ANT App development for Android devices are available on demand.
The demo kit for Home Automation comes in three versions right now:
- 5x Radio Beacons BLE, 5x Radio Beacons ANT, 1x ANT USB dongle plus Beacon Viewer and Beacon Browser
- 9x Radio Beacons ANT plus 1x ANT USB dongle plus a PC based Beacon Viewer
- 10x Radio Beacons BLE plus Beacon Browser on iOS
BTW, I own the first version of the beacon, the second version, and I will match the latest version with my Samsung S4 soon. Who can´t wait longer is welcome to email harald.naumann (at) gsm-modem.de