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Smart Home Device Hub for Full-scale Configuration-less Home Automation

The client, one of the long-term partners of R-Style Lab and an electronics engineer with a line of its own smart home products, has turned to our team to get full-cycle assistance with custom software for its novel connected home solution. The final product is designed as a smart home device hub, but taken a step further. The solution will enable automated home management scenarios and will require no further administration from a home owner.

The client, one of the long-term partners of R-Style Lab and an electronics engineer with a line of its own smart home products, has turned to our team to get full-cycle assistance with custom software for its novel connected home solution. The final product is designed as a smart home device hub, but taken a step further. The solution will enable automated home management scenarios and will require no further administration from a home owner.
Technologies & tools
C++, Lua, Node.js, Angular.js, Android, PHP
Project team
2 С++ developers, 2 Android developers, 2 full-stack web developers

Solution

The product functionality is being gradually incremented with each iteration. The solution is capable of smartly adjusting ambience. The typical use case scenario is as follows - it brings room temperature to a comfort level by controlling multiple thermostats installed in a room, having received just a desired setpoint input from a user or having learnt their behavior over time. The solution automatically switches the lights on/off, adjusts color hues and its temperature, and makes other changes to the settings based on the collected data.

R-Style Lab was tasked with development of the following components of the system:

  • smart home device controller– connects numerous smart home devices equipped with various sensors, enables their interaction and orchestrates their performance. The hub monitors such ambient conditions as lights, temperature, humidity, presence, air conditioning, just to name a few, and unifies thermostats, switches, dimmers, RGB-controllers, heating devices and more.
  • drivers for Plug-&-Play device set-up & OTA updates – make device installation, as well as upgraded versions of software and firmware available out-of-the-box since an effortless configuration process and minimized user involvement are the top priorities for the solution usability.
  • integration API layer & custom protocol for sensor data – ensure compatibility of data from various types of sensors and different third-party smart home products: specific routines are used to harmonize sensor data and send it to the server for further analysis.
  • advanced stats analytics at the back end – processes sensor data, performs complex analysis of a set of metrics and usage patterns, generates automation scripts that control devices and sends smart home optimization notifications, thus, delivering truly automated home management workflows.
  • Android-based solution for touchscreen control panel – installed in each room a user wants to manage, gives master control of the home automation solution and enables on-demand settings changes by a home owner.
  • web front-end dashboard – сreated as an alternative to touchscreen control panels and intended for checking smart home environment statuses, overriding automated settings on-demand, and providing access to a price configurator where home owners can choose their personalized home automation plans.

The smart home automation system offers two configuration options:

  • with a smart home device management controller installed locally;
  • with smart home device ecosystem managed via a cloud. This option has no controller on the premises and sensor data is sent directly to the cloud for processing and device orchestration.

The plan for the final release is to turn the system into a smart digital assistant, which will go beyond device performance automation to handle daily routines of home owners - from booking tickets to tracking their timetables to doing automated shopping via authorized partners.

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