smart home
smart-home


WiSmart Features for SmartHome
Products and Applications

  • WiSmart Software
  • Smallest Size (8x8mm)
  • Lowest Power (12uA)
  • Thin Profile
  • Lowest eBOM
  • ProbMe One Touch Configuration
  • Secure Configuration
  • Programmable 32bit MCU
  • Cloud Service APIs
  • Integrated Antenna
  • FCC, CE, IC, TELEC, RoHS
  • 4MB of Flash



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Home Automation

Although home automation has been around since the 1970’s, it did not achieve high market penetration due to high costs, proprietary communication standards, and reliance on installers/users with high-tech savvy. With the use of miniaturized modules that leverage 802.11bgn Wi-Fi home networks, and run at ultra low powers, it won’t be long before every device in the home is connected to the home network and accessible directly, over the home network, and even remotely from across the world. These connected home devices will be able to coordinate energy usage, consumer convenience, and possibly accurately and consistently anticipate the needs of the people who dwell in the homes. Many analysts believe that the point of inflection has been reached where the cost of enabling products for the home with Wi-Fi is outweighed by the advanced features, updates, user convenience, and data collection and analytics (and possible subscription revenue) that could come from devices connected to the internet and ultimately to cloud services. It is no longer a matter of if, but of how soon. Consumers are beginning to look for wireless capability on their devices they buy for their home, and new home construction is increasingly installing wireless enabled devices as the default installation choice.

Case Example – Smart Keyless Lock

One of our customers has used the Econais EC32L module family to implement everything needed to control, collect, and capture information and video to and from door locks for the doors in your home. The locks connect to the home network and allow home owners to grant access remotely (even from the other side of the world), view images from the door lock’s point of view, and even schedule access for various users and various times – and no physical keys are needed. Permission can be granted and revoked as simply as accessing a web page or app setting on a smart device.


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Lighting

Everywhere you look, lights are being converted from incandescent, to fluorescent, to LED – all in the name of power savings (and perhaps size of light and tune-ability of the color of the light). It is only natural that so many companies have been introducing lights that are connected wirelessly via Wi-Fi to allow users to access them remotely. Remote access allows for programming them as parts of profiles – romantic, theatre, party, etc. – and also to dial in custom colors to satisfy interior and exterior design objectives. Wireless lights not only allow the residents to turn on/off lights from across the house, but it also allows them to integrate the lights, the color of the lights, and amount of light directly into their moods and movements around the home. The same lights can be bright and white in a workroom while the same type of light can be set for a deep blue hue near and around the pool. The possibilities are almost endless when mixing light colors and brightness.

Case Example – Controlling Lights

Our engineers worked with some colleagues to construct and configure an app and hardware to control lights remotely from a phone. Here is the video to one of the implementations.


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Appliances

What if every appliance, electronic device, or thing with a plug in your house had the ability to be switched ON/OFF from anywhere in the house (or while away from home)? Imagine the peace of mind that comes with the ability to confirm the OFF status of a stove, iron, washer, drier, or desktop computer after leaving home for a long trip. Or the ability to turn on a set number of floor lamps for a neighbor who is going to be coming over to your house at night to make sure everything is in good shape while you are away? Consider that a family caring for an elderly relative could make sure that certain appliances would/could not be turned on without authorization, or would only be allowed on at certain times for a set period of time, all in the interest of protecting the relative and also protecting the other inhabitants of the home. Add in the ability to monitor the energy uses of these appliances with “Smart Plugs” and homeowners would know in real time which things were on in the house, how much it was costing them to run them, and the ability to shut them off immediately to reduce waste that they were previously unaware was going on in their own homes. Talk about empowerment.


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Thermostat

The Nest®, the Lyric®, and many other Wi-Fi enabled thermostats that have been introduced to the market in the past 5 years have served as the tip of the arrow for ushering in Wi-Fi enabled devices for controlling things in the home and net energy savings, convenience, comfort, and connections to other services in the cloud to help optimize user experience. These devices allow users to connect directly to set the temperature while at home, while on the way home, or on the way away from home. No more jumping up, running downstairs, changing the thermostat, running back upstairs, getting to cold/hot, and running back downstairs to set it back to where it was. As temperature sensors find their way into smartphones and other devices around the home, it won’t be long before the sensors we carry on our bodies are the new paradigm for “set temperatures” and the thermostat knows where we are, what temperature we want the room we are in, and adjusts the various dampers, vents, and sources of air to help us achieve the desired comfort level as efficiently as possible. And possibly just as important, reduce the effort to maintain temperatures in rooms or areas of homes where we aren’t or where we don’t frequently visit.

Case Example – Thermostat

One of our customers has used the Econais EC19D module family to implement a Wi-Fi thermostat used to monitor, manage, and control a very specialized type of device for home comfort and therapeutic home health. The device required ultra thin, ultra small footprint, and very low battery consumption (since the device is backed up by a battery). Ultimately, the designers were completely impressed with the design of the module, the extensive library of software and the incredible support from the Econais technical team throughout the design, test, validation, and production processes.


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HVAC and Hot Water Heaters

Whether it is a geothermal, gas-pack, heat-pump, swamp cooler, or some other design of a heating and cooling system for the house, this is one of the areas for the greatest reduction in energy that modern homes have to offer. Estimates for the amount of energy consumed in the average house approaches 40% due to the HVAC system alone. Purchasing a highly efficient HVAC can be quite costly as a replacement option – but not such a tough decision in new construction. Thus, managing what is in place, as efficiently as possible, provides an area of real potential savings to homeowners, to the community and most directly to the power producers in the area. With a Wi-Fi enabled HVAC system, the status, the history, and predictive future of the components of the system can be shared with the manufacturer to anticipate needed maintenance in advance of the system breaking down – a 110 degree day in Houston, TX with a broken AC will convince anyone to connect their HVAC to the cloud if it guaranteed no loss of cooling. Also, the ability for the HVAC to coordinate power usage with the water heater, the furnace, the refrigerator, the freezer, and other items that draw substantial power, could help shift power usage to times of the day with energy costs are lower and save homeowners money.