Imagine a reality where complete control of your home is just a touch away. That idea is what inspired eztechs to launch a Kickstarter campaign for ezcontrol, a home automation unit that lets you control virtually every electrical device in your home — all from your smartphone. “From your table lamp, to your garage door, to your AC, ezcontrol gives you the power to control all your devices whenever you want it, wherever you are,” says the eztechs team.Most devices in your home are controlled by one of two connecting technologies: infrared (like your TV´s, cable boxes, and receivers) or RF (such as your garage door or roller blinds). Taking advantage of these existing connections, eztechs created a control unit that understands and controls your devices through technologies they already use. One control, one app, that simple.
There aren’t many sectors doing especially well right now in the stock market, so the pullback in semiconductor stocks isn’t exactly surprising, let alone unique. As about a quarter of the industry’s revenue comes from industrial markets, and meaningful amounts come from computing, consumer devices, and phones, it is not so surprising that investors are worried about the outlook for 2016 even though multiple semiconductor CEOs have opined that the slowdown will be briefer and shallower than past downturns.This brings me to Silicon Labs (NASDAQ:SLAB). The shares of this microcontroller, sensor, and RF chip company have fallen around 15% since my last update, more or less matching the decline in Microchip Technology (NASDAQ:MCHP) and outperforming NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) over that period. While the company has definitely had some challenges with more commoditized competition in segments like TV tuners, the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) business continues to grow nicely.
Finalists showcased solutions for home automation, monitoring bed bugs and tracking shipping pallets at event sponsored by the LoRa® Alliance.Semtech Corporation, a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, today announced that its LoRa® wireless RF technology was used by the three finalists of the Global Internet of Things (IoT) Challenge to develop exciting new IoT applications, including a home automation system, a bed bug monitor and a pallet tracker. More than 200 companies from around the world participated in the challenge, and solutions were judged by Machina Research and the Board of Directors of the LoRa® Alliance on criteria such as degree of innovation, overall business potential and go-to-market approach.
RFaxis, Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company focused on developing innovative, next-generation RF solutions for the wireless connectivity market, today announced additional products to its expanding portfolio of RF front-end integrated circuit (RFeIC™) solutions for the global IoT / M2M (machine-to-machine) market. The new products further expand RFaxis’ family of RF front-end ICs for the sub-GHz and 2.4GHz frequency bands commonly used for range extension in many classes of wireless communication systems for IoT.
What you see above may look like an unremarkable slice of electronics, but it can theoretically power a low-energy device forever, and for free. If that sounds like a big deal, well… that’s because it is. Drayson Technologies today announced Freevolt, a system that harvests energy from radio frequency (RF) signals bouncing around in the ether and turns it into usable, “perpetual power.” Drayson isn’t exactly a household name, but the research and development company has a particular interest in energy, especially where all-electric racing is concerned. And now it’s developed the first commercial technology that literally creates electricity out of thin air.
Xcerra Corporation (Nasdaq:XCRA), today announced that Nordic Semiconductor, a company that specializes in ultra-low power (ULP) 2.4GHz transceivers, notably for the Bluetooth Smart and wearables segments, has selected the Diamondx from Xcerra’s semiconductor tester group, LTX-Credence, for high volume production test of their Internet of Things (IoT) products. Nordic will use the Diamondx in combination with NighthawkCT, an industry leading instrument for low cost RF test of connectivity devices.
By moving remote-controlled outlet and light bulb switches onto a local Wi-Fi network, Hook promises to enable a smart home for under $100.The new Kickstarter project taps into cheap light bulb socket caps and outlet switches that are already on the market. These switches usually come in multi-packs for as little as $6 apiece, and include an RF remote control for turning the switches on or off.
Itron has launched a new smart metering solution that features the OpenWay CENTRON 4G LTE meter, which provides broad territory coverage, low latency, and network longevity. The OpenWay smart grid solution enables utilities to deploy any combination of cellular and RF mesh communications, including 4G LTE, all under the same network management system.
According to Itron, “4G LTE communication is particularly useful for hard-to-reach locations or territories or for opt-in scenarios. Due to the low latency of the 4G LTE network, the new solution is also a good option for DA/SCADA applications or utilizing smart meters as grid sensors to monitor distribution system conditions.”
“Smart Grid” to this day has been mainly about the meters.
Years ago, actual meter readers would read your meter for billing purposes. Then came AMR (Automated Meter Reading), which provided one-way directional communications to meter readers, who could be in the driveway or in their trucks and still collect the readings.
Then AMR transcended into AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure), which is meters with advanced communications technology that require no meter reader at all. AMI came in many flavors, using RF communications (both licensed and unlicensed bands), PLC (power line carrier) or even Wi-Fi based communications. In North America, self-identifying, self-forming and self-healing mesh networks are quite popular.
The electromagnetic radiation from radio frequency (RF) measured on smart meters at homes in the Maui Smart Grid project does not create a hazard, according to findings from a study by Cascadia PM, an engineering and project management service company. The findings are outlined in a report released by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), as part of HNEI’s research into health effects from the meters.