At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Zonoff Inc launched its Zonoff Distributed Radio Architecture” (ZDRA) which which it thinks will solve a key problem for consumers while also opening new opportunities for consumer electronics OEMs.
The new Zigbee-wireless based architecture includes hardware reference designs for an ultra low cost wireless radio solution code-named “Sentry” that was demonstrated at the CES.
According to Mike Harris, Zonoff's CEO, ZDRA and Sentry are designed to facilitate communication back to the home's primary automation controller, which houses the “brain” of the connected home via Zonoff Home Software.
“Other companies have traditionally depended upon a dedicated home automation controller box to contain both their control software and the specific radios required for RF standards used in home automation, such as Z-Wave, ZigBee and others,” he said. “Essentially, we have separated the control software from the radios, enabling the radios to be placed wherever they may be needed in the home, without the need for a wired Ethernet connection.
Two important benefits of this approach, he said, is 1)consumers can use their existing WiFi network to add any home automation device in any location and 2) it makes possible for any virtually on and connected CE device – including such things as HDTV, Blu-Ray players, set top boxes, routers, NAS devices, etc. – to be added easily into a home automation framework.
With the radios now handled by small, low-cost Sentry devices scattered throughout the home, he said, OEMs can deploy the Zonoff Home Software in either newly shipped CE devices, or add it to existing components in consumer's homes via a software upgrade “push” over the Internet.
Zonoff's modular, cross-technology approach includes Home, Cloud and App Software which can be combined to deliver best-of-breed home automation, remote control, energy management and safety monitoring.