Case Studies

Ultra Low Cost IoT Home Gateway - Case study

Worldwide leader in universal control and sensing technologies wanted a ultra low cost IoT Home Gateway with associated cloud and mobile applications for securing home against fire, flood and freeze.

Executive Summary – Ultra Low Cost IoT Home Gateway

The customer is a universal leader who offers sensors and products for the professional market, Home Automation and DIY market. The companies purchase the sensors and products from the customer are looking for hubs that can work with these sensors.  Also, selling an IoT Home gateway to customers that are looking for a low cost hub to use with existing products allows customer to push more sensors/products into the marketplace.    

Gadgeon architect the complete system including hub, backend cloud application, iOS and android mobile application and browser UI application. The complete system is designed highly scalable to handle millions of gateways with the  overall cost of the individual gateways will be minimum. With this solution:-
- The homeowner would receive notifications if there was a water (flood), temperature (freeze), or fire (smoke detector) event. By receiving notification early, they can thus take action and prevent a catastrophic event.
- In the case of flood or freeze events, the home owner can take action from their mobile app by shutting of the water valves and thermostat.
- Installing the system may allow home owner rebate on a portion of their homeowners insurance policy cost.
- Heavily optimized solution to reduce number of messages and cost

 

The Problem / Challenge

The customer currently offers sensors and products in a range of sub-gig frequencies for the professional market as well as Z-Wave products for the Home Automation/DIY market.  In the Home Automation/DIY market, there are several companies/users that purchase sensors from customer but are looking for hubs that can work with these sensors.  The companies/users are also looking for a “sub-gig frequencies sensors + Z-Wave enabled” hub for applications where the users want to have installed Z-Wave products like thermostats and lighting controls. There are opportunities in HVAC, DIY, Home Automation, Insurance, and the remediation market for an easy to install hub + sensor kit that allows the homeowner to monitor flood/freeze and fire events via a simple to use app.  

The customer is looking for low cost hub where the hardware cost and the running cost should be minimum. The customer will be selling this product as a combo of IoT Gateway + a few sensors.

The Solution

We have developed simple and reliable IoT home gateway along with backend cloud application and mobile applications.  This involved hardware design, development of firmware,i OS & Android mobile apps, Web UI, and backend cloud server application.

The details of the solution are given below:-

Hardware design with low cost optimization, prototyping, board bring up  - Cadence allegro

Feasibility analysis for meeting sub 20$ BoM cost . Compared multiple MCU and MPU based system designs to arrive at the lowest cost option. Identified pin compatible alternatives for memory with different capacities (SPI flash and DDR) for future proofing the software.

Hub:

Gadgeon designed an ultra low cost hardware based on MT7688 chipset capable of running OpenWRT Linux. Gateway supports Ethernet and WIFI interfaces for communication with home router. Gateway supports 433MHz radio and Z-wave for sensor communication. 433MHz based sensor nodes detect events like fire, flood and freeze and communicate that to the Hub. The hub informs the event to the cloud, which notifies the users.

iOS & Android mobile apps

UX Design - Native iOS and Android App development

Mobile app alerts users of the events using APNS and FCM push notifications. The app allows users to control valves and thermostats. Mobile app also helps the user to set up the hub and sensors/actuators by guiding through each step of the installation process.  The app communicates directly with Hub over WIFI for initial configuration. REST API calls are used in this process.

Cloud application:

Cloud server was hosted in Amazon. The hub will intimate the events to cloud via MQTT protocol. The cloud will intimate the event details to the users via Text, eMail or push notification. AWS SNS, AWS SES and FCM services are used for notification. REST APIs (AWS API Gateway) is used to communicate between the cloud and mobile app.

Microservice architecture using AWS Lambda, was used as a serverless compute service that runs code in response to events and automatically manages the compute resources required. Amazon DynamoDB, AWS S3 and ElastCache were used for data and cache management.  The application followed the security practises that ensures high security using services like IAM, Certificate Manager etc. Angular based web application hosted on AWS S3 is used for Administrator UI. It has the functionalities of user and hub management, firmware upgrade etc.  The entire cloud server application is architected to optimize cost without compromising security, scalability, and features.

The Benefits Delivered

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