NXP's low-power wireless chips are being used for new technology for control, tracking and monitoring machine networks from US startup Treehouse Labs. The Treehouse BiKN Technology Platform is using the Jennet protocol, developed by UK company Jennic that is now part of NXP.
"Imagine being able to build an end-to-end, low-power wireless sensor or control network in weeks rather than months at a fraction of the development cost," said John Howard, president and CEO of Treehouse Labs. "Every company has 'endpoints' that they want to talk to or monitor. Using NXP's low-power wireless technology, our BiKN Technology Platform enables the creation of large, scalable mesh networks. Built on standard protocols, BiKN interoperates through major smartphone OS software platforms, essentially eliminating the need for custom readers. We make the process accessible and easy to accomplish."
Treehouse is showing BiKN for iPhone, the first consumer product based on its platform, at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.
"The BiKN Technology Platform is a revolutionary solution that demonstrates how 'smart' wireless technologies can make the Internet of Things accessible to consumers, developers and commercial enterprises," said Sean McGrath, general manager, smart home product line at NXP. "We look forward to working with Treehouse Labs as the company works with its growing developer community on innovative applications that significantly change how we interact with the world around us."
Treehouse Labs uses the NXP JN5148 ultra low-power wireless microcontroller and the JenNet-IP wireless network protocol stack optimized for low-power, low-data rate, and cost-sensitive applications. Using an enhanced 6LoWPAN network layer based on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification, JenNet-IP enables a robust, self-healing network that helps BiKN track, monitor and control up to 500 devices. JenNet-IP features an elegant and extensible API, DIPL (Device Interface Protocol Layer), which makes product development straightforward for application developers using familiar methodologies.
The BiKN Platform includes customizable apps, web interfaces, gateways, routers, and end-to-end management and security, allowing customers to build low-power wireless sensor networks that connect and control smart objects from a smartphone, iPad, PC and cloud server.
The BiKN reference hardware and software development kit allows customers to easily integrate their 802.15.4-based smart object into a BiKN-enabled network -- be it a light bulb, a temperature sensor, a RFID tag, or heart monitor. Ready-to-deploy BiKN tags, PCB modules, or a customer's own hardware can work with our open-standard software stacks to quickly plug everything together.
The Platform has three connectivity options. Running standards-based JenNet-IP 6loWPAN stacks, the BiKN Gateway provides an interface to Ethernet, WiFi, or directly to smartphones. The Gateway allows smart objects within a 3.0 km range to talk to BiKN apps and servers. The BiKN case for iPhone is a short-range mobile version enabling users to connect and control smart objects from an Apple iPhone 4.
Commercial applications of the BiKN Technology Platform include home and industrial automation, smart energy management, improving tracking and monitoring of equipment and inventory in retailing and hospitality, enhancing safety monitoring and security in healthcare, social services, athletics and educational environments.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.