Designing Wi-Fi Smart Thermostats is Simple With GainSpan Thermostat Application Development Kit
Oct 29, 2013
San Jose, CA and Barcelona, Spain (Internet of Things World Forum) – October 29, 2013 –GainSpan® Corporation, a leader in ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity for the Internet of Things, today announced the Wi-Fi Thermostat Application Development Kit (ADK), a complete reference design for a thermostat with wireless connectivity. Connected Thermostats can be accessed locally from a PC or smartphone, or from the cloud via an infrastructure network. This ADK is also an excellent starting point for development of Smart Thermostats that adjust to homeowner usage patterns, thermal characteristics of the home and outside temperature, helping lower home heating and cooling bills and saving energy.
The Wi-Fi Thermostat ADK includes thermostat hardware, complete hardware design package and software suite with reference source code for the thermostat embedded application and iOS and Android based mobile applications. The embedded software enables creation of connected thermostats right out of the box and accelerates time-to-market for development of next-generation Smart Thermostats. The iOS and Android mobile applications allow users to set heat and cool temperature targets, set time, view relative humidity and program temperature settings that can be applied to weekdays, weekends or selected days of the week. Settings can be saved into 4 pre-defined profiles and each can be programmed individually.
In addition to the ADK, a Wi-Fi Thermostat Application Evaluation Kit (AEK) is also available that provides a binary version of the software and can be used to evaluate and demonstrate smart thermostat operation.
The thermostat ADK is based on a GainSpan GS1011M Wi-Fi module interfacing to a Renesas RL78L13 host microcontroller (MCU), along with temperature and humidity sensors. The Wi-Fi module and MCU communicate over SPI, using AT commands. The GainSpan embedded software offers complete Wi-Fi functionality and networking stack and services, wireless security and provisioning software. It supports mDNS/DNS-SD based device and service discovery, allowing users to automatically discover and connect to the thermostat.
Communication between the MCU and the smartphone application is based on HTTP REST APIs. The GSLink feature provided as a part of the Serial-to-Wi-Fi software allows translation of XML over HTTP into a format that can be easily parsed by the MCU. In addition, the embedded application includes provisioning software that allows configuration of the Wi-Fi module in Limited AP or Client modes, and provides over-the-air firmware upgrades.
The Wi-Fi Thermostat ADK allows developers to add application software and services, and customize the end product’s user interface. The reference source code included in the kit provides a very fast time-to-market and lets customers rapidly build custom features suited to their end applications.
"Renesas is partnering with GainSpan to provide solutions for smarter homes. Such solutions efficiently manage the energy consumption of heating and cooling homes and provide connectivity with smartphones and over the cloud," said Ritesh Tyagi, senior director of microcontroller product marketing at Renesas Electronics America. "With on-chip LCD driver, the RL78/L1 series of microcontrollers enable low power systems, particularly systems with LCD displays such as thermostats. By combining the RL78 MCU and the GainSpan Wi-Fi module, the Wi-Fi thermostat ADK lets customers lower power consumption and add Wi-Fi connectivity to designs."
“Using the new ADK as a starting point, customers can build connected thermostats that let consumers monitor and control home energy usage from anywhere, at any time,” said Bernard Aboussouan, vice president of marketing at GainSpan. “They can also use the ADK as a building block for “Smart” Thermostats that take into account user behavior and preferences, as well as the thermal characteristics of the home and the local weather. Then, based on these factors Smart Thermostats determine when to adjust/change settings.
“With this new reference design, customers can quickly and reliably bring to market products that not only save money and energy, but inspire people to think more about how they can reduce home-energy consumption and their environmental impact,” added Aboussouan.
The Wi-Fi Thermostat ADK can be purchased at SemiconductorStore.com. Other GainSpan ADKs currently available include Audio, Video, Smartplug, and Temperature and Light Sensors.