System transforms home appliances into smart connected devices

03-12-2015 | Nordic | Design & Manufacture

Nordic Semiconductor has announced that OORT, a Wroclaw, Poland-based company specializing in connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), has selected Nordic's multiple award-winning nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart System-on-Chip (SoC) for its OORT Bluetooth Smart controllers.

OORT's Bluetooth Smart controllers enable home appliance manufacturers to turn any electronic or electromechanical device into a wirelessly connected one, thereby allowing consumers to directly control their smart devices via the OORT app on their iOS or Android Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphone or tablet. With the addition of a Bluetooth Smart Ready and Wi-Fi compatible OORT SmartHub, devices can also be operated when away from the home from a mobile device or through OORT's Cloud platform on a standard web browser.

The Nordic-powered OORT Bluetooth Smart controllers can be embedded into any existing device - for example, washing machines, ovens, refrigerators, kettles, and coffee machines - without any changes to the original hardware, allowing manufacturers to turn the device from a prototype into a wirelessly connected one within six to nine months.

From the iOS or Android app on the smartphone or tablet, users can locate any OORT connected device in range of their smartphone or tablet, name it, and add it to a group within the app, for example based on the room in which the device is located. The user can then control all of their wirelessly connected devices, setting rules, and creating scenarios around the operation of each device, for example turning on kitchen appliances in sequence as they are required.

With the addition of the OORT SmartHub, the user can connect to their home remotely via the Internet and control all of their devices from their smartphone, tablet, or via a web browser accessing a dedicated cloud platform. The SmartHub communicates with all the user's connected devices via Bluetooth Smart and then uses Wi-Fi to 'push' data to the Cloud. From the OORT SmartHome Cloud platform automatic actions can be configured between connected devices, while the user can also collect information from the devices and process them into different reports, for example detailing how often each device is used or its power consumption.

Nordic's nRF51822 is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth Smart and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver is fully compliant with Bluetooth v4.2, the latest Bluetooth Smart specification. In the OORT Bluetooth Smart controllers, the nRF51822 SoC provides wireless connectivity to both iOS and Android-compatible Bluetooth Smart Ready devices, says the company.

"We picked Nordic because it is a reliable partner and provided lots of useful support," says Szymon Janiak, Chief Marketing Officer for OORT. "Nordic tries to meet our needs with its new solutions, so in business terms we see Nordic as a partner rather than simply a vendor. We considered other forms of wireless technology but we selected Bluetooth Smart because it has lots of competitive advantages. It consumes much less energy, pairing is simple, and with Bluetooth Smart you are able to simultaneously control more than 400 devices, which is really important if you want a lot of connected devices in your home."

Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's director of sales and marketing, added: "With its Nordic-powered Bluetooth Smart controllers, OORT has cleverly brought wireless connectivity to appliances and goods that traditionally don't have this capability. A modular approach also makes it easier for product designers that don't have wireless expertise to add connectivity to make their products smart. A further key innovation from OORT is the Bluetooth Smart Ready/Wi-Fi SmartHub which enables users to control appliances even when away from home. This is a major step forward for smart home technology."

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