APPNATION IoT Influencers Summit Panel: THE CONNECTED HOME – THE PLATFORM WARS

 

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When: June 21, 2015, 12:10pm
Where: Stage 1A, Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara, CA

The connected home has emerged as an epic battleground for the consumer. Dozens of companies are vying to be the primary gateway and on-boarding point for the connected home and literally hundreds of hardware manufacturers and app developers are competing to capture our attention (and money) while we are in our connected homes. This session will dive-in to the broader connected home platform debate and discussion and the related app development and consumer engagement opportunities.

SESSION LEADER: MARK SPATES, HEAD OF CONNECTED HOME, LOGITECH

PANELISTS:

  • JASON JOHNSON, FOUNDER & CEO, AUGUST
  • ROB MARTENS, DIRECTOR OF CONNECTIVITY PLATFORMS, SCHLAGE (ALLEGION BRANDS)
  • KRIS BOWRING, DIRECTOR, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, IRIS (LOWE’S)
  • ADAM JUSTICE, VP & GM, GRID CONNECT

Conference Website: http://iotinfluencers.com/siliconvalley/

The Dangers of Protocol Overkill

Standards in the Internet of Things (IoT) are the platform by which devices can communicate. This provides a language for devices to speak in order for them to recognize one another and work in unison. Unfortunately, in recent years, corporate agendas have overshadowed the ideal consumer experience by infusing the market with an overload of protocols, creating a significant barrier to the interoperability of devices in the smart ecosystem.

Adam Justice talks more about this issue and possible solutions here: http://embedded-computing.com/guest-blogs/a-solution-for-standards-overload/

Grid Connect is Connecting the Internet of Things

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Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customers while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams.

The “Internet of Things” (IoT) is a phrase used to describe making everyday objects “smart” by adding networking and connectivity to them. Grid Connect Inc.’s DNA has been IoT from the very beginning.

Grid Connect can supply your team with technology, custom engineering, expert knowledge and support at all levels of the IoT pyramid. We provide end-to-end solutions starting with your existing product and ending with a truly smart device.

All of our solutions are designed to fit your company’s needs and can include:

  • OEM solutions
  • Custom hardware
  • Custom firmware
  • Cloud development
  • App development

To further illustrate Grid Connect’s knowledge and abilities within the IoT marketplace, consumers can purchase our own product line of IoT-connected devices. ConnectSense is a family of wireless sensors for your home or business. Each sensor uses the Wi-Fi network in your location and communicates to the ConnectSense cloud application. The ConnectSense cloud stores data from your sensors and generates notifications when a rule you have set applies to your environment. For example, if the ConnectSense Water Sensor in your basement detects water, the sensor will communicate this change to the cloud application. From here, the cloud application will then determine what to do with this new information, such as send you a notification so that you can react appropriately.


If you are looking to add connectivity to your product, download “10 Internet of Things Design Considerations” and call Grid Connect at +1 (800) 975-GRID or fill out the form here.

 

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Employee Spotlight: Mary Miller, Customer Service Representative

Because Grid Connect is such a tight-knit company, many of the employees of our company end up doing a myriad of jobs. Mary Miller is one of these people. As our customer service representative, she spends her day answering phone calls, handling grid_connect--12-2RMAs, working in shipping with Budd Justice, and periodically working as an auditor for our ISO 9001:2008 certification.

Mary started working with Grid Connect five years ago, after she heard about the company from Mike Justice’s brother, Dave. Ever since then she has been an integral part of our community. Mary is responsible for organizing many of the special events that make our office unique. She is an avid ping-pong player during the lunch hour. This is when she has time to spare, as she can often be seen helping out with a multitude of things in the office. Thankfully, Mary is not typically described as a creature of habit, “I like how the work is different all the time” Mary says, “There’s a lot of work to keep me busy, so I never get bored.”

Mary enjoys playing and beating her husband, Peter, in ping-pong (but any game will do), cooking new recipes, and being outdoors.

Sensors Expo 2015: Grid Connect contemplates the wireless factory

 

Grid Connect recently moved into what could be considered the ‘consumer’ space through its ConnectSense subsidiary, which provides plug n’ play sensor solutions for a variety of applications through devices such as their recently released Smart Outlet. The parent company still focuses on more traditional embedded connectivity, but according to Mike Justice the industrial networking landscape has started to shift as factory operators become increasingly interested in wireless communications.

Justice admits that Wi-Fi is still a no-no in most plant settings because of the unknowns it introduces, but says that Bluetooth and ZigBee are making considerable strides as they provide no direct connection to the Internet and subsequent security issues.

Read more at Embedded Computing Design or download the PDF now.

Employee Spotlight: Matt Cote, Technical Support Engineer

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Matt is our technical support engineer here at Grid Connect. He holds a degree in img_0562electronics and computer technology from DeVry University. Matt joined our staff about 14 months ago and fit right in. His knowledge of all things computer technology enables him to answer the variety of questions that he receives about the Grid Connect and
ConnectSense products.

During a typical day, Matt gets into the office at around 8am and starts by going through his emails and technical support cases. Matt spends most of his day taking tech support calls and answering emails with occasional work on RMAs (return merchandise authorizations). He has a proficient knowledge of the ConnectSense sensors, and has been able to help many of our customers resolve their product misunderstandings. “My favorite part of the job is that I get to talk to people from all over the world.” Matt says, “I also get to learn new things about tech from my coworkers at Grid Connect. It’s really cool to be able to interact with all the engineers.” Matt’s dedication to customer service is a great representation of what it means to be a part of the Grid Connect team.

            Matt enjoys playing guitar, building custom guitar pedals and hanging out with his two children, Riley (9) and Layne (6).

The Difference Between Industrial, Commercial and Residential Sensors

One of the most memorable movie lines of all time is one word: plastics. In 1967’s The Graduate, a recent college graduate struggles to figure out his destiny and is told that the future is in plastics. If that movie were produced today, the line would have been “sensors.”

Mike Justice’ new article offers insight on the differences between industrial, commercial and residential sensors. Industrial sensors tend to be more rugged, as they have to withstand wide ranges of temperature, consistent vibrations, and the possible infiltration of dust and water. Sensors of this level must be calibrated to ensure the accuracy of the device. Commercial sensors are used in components of other products such as the measuring system of a gas pump.   Sensors of this type are often required by law to receive calibration, and for the rest it is strongly advised. Residential sensors, although less impervious to temperature and damage, are subjected to rigorous tests to receive certification.

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/1F6sMzR

The Customer is [Away from Home]

At its inception, the Internet was never meant to have the capacity for household devices logging on; it was only ever used for record keeping and academic purposes. Today, a myriad of technological devices, ranging from sensors to smart cooking appliances, are being developed to connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi and other network protocols, with companies like Apple and Google leading the parade.

However, interconnectability has its own unique requirements. Our understanding of privacy, for instance, will have to change dramatically. Google’s purchase of the Nest self-programmable thermostat (as well as the recent announcement of Brillo) shows that this fortress of information will now be grabbing that data directly from our homes and daily rituals, as well as from our internet searches. Yet, as creepy as this may sound, much of the information gathered is harmless, but only if the company is transparent about its techniques. This requires that companies cannot simply be a far-off entity anymore: they must actively communicate with their customers to give them control over privacy options and notification settings.

Read more at http://bit.ly/1HJJE1f 

Where is the standard for the IoT standards?

The rapid progression of device communication has resulted in a formidable roadblock to the Internet of Things (IoT). Too many rival standards have emerged from big company alliances and individual expansions. While companies like Samsung, Intel, and Cisco have united around the Open Interconnect Consortium, individual corporations like Apple and Google are beginning to make headway on their own API projects.

In order for the IoT to work, every device pair must have identical network standards. Without matching protocols, individual objects won’t be able to communicate. For example, in order to play music from a smartphone through a Bluetooth speaker, the phone must connect to the device over Bluetooth, and not through Wi-Fi. This can get far more complicated than just the internet connection. In addition to network standards like Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Wi-Fi, there are also application and security standards that must also be identical. Two devices that run on Wi-Fi still can’t work together if one runs on the Apple HomeKit protocol and the other is designed for Works with Nest.

Inevitably, the jumble of standards has drawn all sorts of lines in the sand as far as companies developing for the IoT are concerned. This process has begun to follow a similar mess that occurred with the development of radio-frequency identification (RFID). It took 15 years to develop a common protocol for the RFID market, because of competing corporate interests.

Without standards, there is no possibility for interoperability, but it is important that companies work together to come up with fewer, more universal standards. Reducing the amount of these protocols opens up more avenues for product developers, and allows the consumer more product choice, rather than having to be selective based on the protocols they are already using in their home.