Ericsson Develops Smart Home Services based on OSGi
In the competitive landscape of the digital home, there is a need for the operator to quickly launch appealing new services. This includes VoIP and IPTV as well as new services such as home energy management and home security.
Ericsson’s solution leverages existing infrastructure, such as the operator’s broadband modem and remote management infrastructure. This is largely made possible by the newly approved specification for “Software Modularity on the Home Gateway” released by the Home Gateway Initiative. The requirements initially focus on OSGi but also open up for any modular execution platform.
This provides a cost efficient way for the operator to quickly deploy new services, with the means to simplify installation and maintenance procedures of the home equipment.
Ericsson is currently looking into several service areas, such as:
- Home Media: Remote access, backup and sharing of media, as well as multi-room TV using DLNA
- Home Security: Including home and fire alarm with door and access control
- Home Energy Management: Monitoring and visualization of energy consumption and technologies to lower energy consumption and optimize heating
- Landlord Services: Enabling individual reading of water and heating, entry phone integration and other services such as laundry room booking
In 2011, Turkcell (in collaboration with Ericsson) completed the first phase of the Connect Me 2 Home (CM2H) project, developing and commercializing Cep Kumanda – an innovative media application that allows in-house media management.
Fatih Eyup Nar, the Technical Project Leader for CM2H, says Cep Kumanda makes a lot of business sense. “Connected TVs, Blu-ray players and game consoles are at the top of consumer electronics sales lists in Turkey. These devices are DLNA certified for network connectivity and Cep Kumanda allows users to manage them from a single point, harmoniously.”
Together with Vestel and a major gateway vendor, Ericsson is introducing OSGi based Smart Home services on both set-top-boxes and home gateways.
“As of 2006, Vestel was the largest TV producer in Europe with more than 8 million units sold, accounting for a quarter of the European market. Vestel and Ericsson have been partnering in communications area; now we are enriching our partnership in connected home and the smart environment applications area,” says Mr. Nar.
Nils-Petter Tisell, the Strategic Product Manager for Ericsson Remote Device Manager (RDM), explains that the Ericsson solution provides the home broadband services full plug-and-play capabilities “through automatic settings – service provisioning and supervision. In other words, [it provides a] hassle-free experience for the consumer, not only for the broadband service itself but also for associated services such as home control.”
The services are deployed on the open execution environment which is managed by RDM. The management handles all the device configuration, software management, troubleshooting, statistics and customer support for all devices in the solution including sensors.
The end-user can use standard sensors and actuators already available off the shelf in the open market, which ensures the consumer of the persistent value of the device investment. Currently both Z-Wave and ZigBee is supported, with 6LoWPAN/CoAP waiting around the corner.
Not only can the smart gateway can be re-used to launch added value services, but the sensors enable several new services: a motion sensor used for a home alarm system can also be an integral part in a home energy management or home care solution.
Ericsson’s platform also opens up for integration with third-party service providers:
- The service provider Manodo (now part of KTC) collects relevant sensor information from the home, analyzes the data and presents it in a compelling user interface for the consumer. This interface allows the user to control the home (e.g. lighting, heating and home security). This is presented in a coherent way on all four screens: phone, tablet, IPTV STB, and PC. KTC also provides an interactive guide to help the user install sensors, alarm panel and switches.
- The security service provider receives alarm reports from the gateway and their call center informs the consumer. Depending on the service agreement, the security service provider informs their call-out service. The security service provider integrates to the residential gateway via a standardized interface provided by the Ericsson Gateway Platform.
- The Ericsson Social Web of Things (SWoT) is a concept that is currently being developed to aid consumers in managing the growing number of connected devices in their everyday life. In a playful way, the consumers can interact with their devices and combine them with service providers in new, innovative ways.
"When an eco-system is well-aligned with operators, only your imagination limits how creative you can be with the connected devices. That is why we are happy to work with Ericsson in providing Home Energy and Security Management to the mass-market. Not only is this a strong eco-system, it is also the next step in the evolution of the Internet of Things." - Rikard Strid, Business Development (KTC)
So, what are your thoughts on the Smart Home? Do you think it's something you would want in your home and what would be your wishes from a developer point of view? Feel free to leave comments below or in our developer community forum.
-- Stefan Avesand