Gunitech sees vast potential of Bluetooth Mesh in connected home and vehicle

Gunitech sees vast potential of Bluetooth Mesh in connected home and vehicle
As a pioneer in developing smart devices based on CSRmesh, Gunitech has fine-tuned its direction for the smart home to now offer an entry-level smart home kit called CHEKKA. Released earlier this year, the CHEKKA features no-screw installation and no-hub setup. The company believes that the smart home market needs to see more entry-level products like the CHEKKA to encourage adoption for end users. The company previously offered standalone smart lamps, smart plugs and smart remotes.

 “The CHEKKA provides a Bluetooth platform with a star or mesh topology as well as positioning capabilities. We have designed the kit to be easy-to-install so it can reach end users directly without involving system integrators. Our goal is to simplify people’s smart lives through the use of Bluetooth technology, which brings convenience to users by eliminating the need for a hub, and product design that allows for simple installation of near field smart devices,” said Ray Shiu, associate vice president of Gunitech.

The kit consists of a smart plug and a PIR/light sensor. The PIR/light sensor is specially designed to make installation and maintenance easy – users can just plug the device into any outlet and then rotate the front portion of the device, where the sensors are located, to face a certain direction where events may occur. No tools or battery replacements are required.
Besides the smart home, the company has also begun tapping into the fields of connected vehicle and industrial IoT (IIoT). Having applied Bluetooth mesh technology to its smart home products, Gunitech is now working on applying Bluetooth mesh, or Bluetooth mesh combined with beacon, to connected vehicle and IIoT.

“So far Bluetooth technology has played an important role in car electronics, and now we are working on applying Bluetooth mesh technology to car lighting. We can play with the ambiance in cars by changing the color of lights to keep drivers relaxed, for example. How light affects human physiology is an area we wish to explore,” said Shiu.

According to Shiu, the company has supplied Bluetooth mesh enabled interior ambience lighting and auxiliary headlights to car electronics companies since around February. The partnership is based on mutual interest – the car electronics companies are seeking connected vehicle solutions, and Gunitech is seeking applications for its technology.

“We are also working on applying Bluetooth mesh technology to other verticals of the connected vehicle space including parking management systems and car locating systems,” added Shiu.

He explained how Bluetooth mesh sensors combined with Bluetooth beacons may be used in parking management systems and car locating systems. For parking management systems, Bluetooth mesh sensors and beacons can be installed at each parking space, so that the system can let the car drivers know of the nearest parking space that is available when they enter the parking lot. For car locating systems, with Bluetooth mesh, drivers can find their cars using only Bluetooth connection. The company is looking to partner with parking management system providers who need terminal devices.

As for industrial IoT, Shiu thinks that Bluetooth mesh technology has characteristics that make it a competitive candidate for protocols to be used for IIoT, and he expected to see real world applications soon.

“For industrial IoT, Bluetooth mesh sensors can be placed at workstations for real-time status report, for example. Bluetooth mesh technology provides a flexible framework where each node in the network can be individually configured, and with smartphones. While ZigBee also supports mesh, since all the data transfer has to go through the hub, it is less flexible in individual node configuration. Moreover, with Bluetooth beacons, more versatile applications can be enabled,” said Shiu.

Other than Bluetooth beacons, the company is also actively developing Bluetooth mesh beacons based on CSRmesh. It expects to launch the first Bluetooth mesh beacons in mid-year 2016.

Product Adopted:
Wireless Transmission

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