Redwood City, Ca. – Now available from Arrayent, Inc. is the Internet-Connect DevKit, an end-to-end communication system that the company claims allows developers to connect their products to Internet services at low cost and high reliability in a single days.
According to Arrayent’s CEO, Shane Dyer, the DevKit is designed to allow embedded system designers to connect their products wirelessly to web applications hosted in the “Internet cloud” as quickly as possible, typically in no more than 24 hours.
“These applications are typically used by consumers to monitor and control devices in their home or small business office from a browser on a Smartphone or a PC,” he said, “Cloud based servers enable a simpler and less expensive solution than embedding a server into the product.
“Smartphone shipments exceeded PC shipments in 2008 and are becoming the de facto universal remote monitor/controller. Because smartphone adoption by consumers continues to accelerate, consumer product brand owners are now looking for ways to connect their products with smartphone applications.”
But he said many product companies lack RF design, communication server software design expertise, or both. “Filling that design know-how gap is Arrayent’s business opportunity,” said Dyer.
Wirelessly connecting a product to a web application hosted in the Internet cloud is a complex design task, so a successful implementation will have to satisfy five criteria, according to Dyer:
1) Connectivity must be achieved at the lowest BOM cost possible.
2) To avoid retailer product returns in-home installation has to be “dumb simple.”
3) Reliable Web application presence is required to protect the brand image.
4) Product shipments that can run in the tens to hundreds of thousands of units per year, with a server computing infrastructure that can be scaled to ensure low operating costs.
5) A Web application development environment that will allow Web designers to program at a much higher level of abstraction than embedded programmers normally do.
Designed as an off-the-shelf system that meets these five design challenges, the Arrayent Internet-Connect DevKit targets embedded system designers that know how to design a product around low cost microcontrollers.
“They may have a product concept around connecting their product to a smartphone or web browser, but don’t have an easy way to put a demo together to demonstrate the idea to management,” said Dyer. “The DevKit enables embedded system engineers to connect their product to web browsers in less than a day.”
He said three components in the DevKit to make this rapid connectivity and prototyping possible:
The RF Module , a wireless connected board that has terminals and I/O to make an easy connection between the product and the Ethernet. I/O available on the board includes: digital input lines to sense on/off conditions, digital output lines to control devices such as relays or LEDs, analog input lines to sense proportional signals such as temperature or light, and a RS-232 interface for in-depth integration with the product.
The Ethernet Gateway , which provides an “Internet dial tone” to Arrayent enabled devices in the home. Once the RF Module and the Ethernet Gateway are respectively connected to the product and Internet, developers can remotely control and monitor their products via any web browser on a Smartphone or a PC.
Proprietary Arrayent Software , Web based applications that includes a library of application utilities (graphing, scheduling, etc.) and a Web Services Virtualization Interface that connects a web application to the consumer product without additional software development.
The Arrayent Internet-Connect DevKit is priced at $1,899.95. To learn more, go to www.arrayent.com.