Tuya Smart announces US launch of IoT platform for connected device makers

Tuya Smart launches IoT platform for connected device makers in the US

Chinese IoT platform company Tuya Smart hopes to help US-based makers of smart, connected devices get their products to market quicker. 

Companies often flounder in their attempts to launch IoT devices, because they aren’t able to build a strong application platform that not only works well in itself, but also supports interoperability with other devices.

That’s the issue that Tuya Smart is hoping to tackle, with an IoT platform that focuses on speeding up smart device development and ensuring interoperability.

The company was founded in 2014 by former Alibaba employees instrumental in the development of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s Alibaba Cloud offering, as well as others from well-known smart device makers. Last week, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Tuya announced the launch of the US version of its IoT platform.

Read more: Thingstream launches IoT Starter Kit for smart device makers

Getting ideas off the ground

Tuya Smart provides the Wi-Fi modules (appropriately certified, of course), the app template and the cloud connectivity that device makers need to get their idea off the ground. It claims to have its side of the device development side ready for mass production in 15 days, something a device developer starting from scratch could never hope to achieve.

On the app side of things, Tuya will take control of customisation if a device developer wants that, or they can go ahead and do the customisation themselves. Interfaces with platforms like Amazon Echo, Google Home, IFTTT and Google Nest can be built in, and other platforms can be supported as directed.

The pick and mix nature of the services on offer means that device developers can focus on what they do best and outsource as much of the rest as they need to.

Read more: IoT device makers: Tackle security or face legal action

Faster, easier routes to market

The whole point of the Tuya Smart platform is to provider faster and easier routes to market for device developers. And it even goes a stage further, because it’s not just the software that’s on offer here. At the Tuya web site, it is also possible to pick and choose from a range of products like smart lighting, smart switches, and a robot cleaner, configure its features via picklists, and consult on getting the product built.

Tuya Smart says it has helped with production runs that deliver millions of units a month. It works with more than 3,000 manufacturers in the supply chain to help with entry to global markets and provides its AI services to more than 10,000 customers worldwide.

The company also claims to offer long-term support for the devices its platform helps to create, too. Its ‘smart cloud’ apparently caters for millions of users, carrying more than 10TB of data every day.

While Tuya Smart might not be well known to the average consumer, many of the brands it works with are. For example, in the US, Tuya works with brands like Geeni, Energize and Philips, while in China it works with brands such asChanghong, TCL and Delixi.

Read more: ROI beats security as biggest challenge for IoT device makers

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Alibaba A.I. Labs Announces Strategic Collaboration with MediaTek on IoT Initiatives

mesh network

Alibaba A.I. Labs Announces Strategic Collaboration with MediaTek on IoT Initiatives

Alibaba Launches IoT protocol for Tmall Genie-controlled Smart Home Ecosystem.

Alibaba A.I. Labs, which leads the development of Alibaba’s consumer artificial intelligent (AI) products, and MediaTek, a global fabless semiconductor company, today announced a strategic collaboration in Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives including smart home protocols, customized IoT chips and AI smart hardware, with the aim of fostering the development of a connected world in the IoT era.

The two parties also announced the first Smartmesh connectivity solution in China that supports the latest many-to-many Bluetooth mesh technology, in an effort to speed up the adoption of this technology in smart home settings.

The solution, which is based on the Labs’ self-developed IoT protocol named IoTConnect and the Bluetooth chip co-developed by both parties, enables smart home devices to automatically pair with Tmall Genie, the Lab’s first voice-controlled smart assistant, leading up to a Tmall Genie-controlled smart home ecosystem.

Miffy Chan, Head of Alibaba A.I. Labs, commented:
“We are excited about partnering with MediaTek to explore collaboration in the IoT ecosystem. Our AI and cloud computing capabilities, along with MediaTek’s cutting-edge technology in chip design, provide unique advantages to our connectivity solutions for smart homes, offering real benefits to consumers in China and paving the way to a more connected world through innovation.”

Jerry Yu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Home Entertainment Business Group, MediaTek said:

“MediaTek is thrilled to partner with Alibaba A.I. Labs in building up a voice-controlled smart home ecosystem. This follows our collaboration in delivering the great success of Tmall Genie X1.”

“The smart home market is undergoing tremendous growth as technologies advance. With MediaTek’s strength in connectivity and baseband, computing and multimedia, coupled with Alibaba’s leading advantages in cloud computing and AI, we are confident that the collaboration will mark a milestone in the development of the IoT era,” Yu added.

The partnership comes on the heels of the successful collaboration on Tmall Genie, for which MediaTech provides chip technology support. Alibaba A.I. Labs launched the smart home assistant in July last year, with an aim to provide brand new interaction experiences for Chinese consumers. Over one million Tmall Genie devices were sold in China during Alibaba’s Global Shopping Festival on November 11 last year.

mesh networkIoTConnect is an open connectivity protocol based on Bluetooth mesh standard for smart hardware and smart home appliance manufacturers. Smart devices using the protocol can be automatically paired with Tmall Genie. The protocol aims to promote unified connectivity standards among smart devices, and hence lower the cost in developing connected devices and foster the development of voice-controlled smart home ecosystem.

The Smartmesh solution supports the latest Bluetooth mesh networking and Bluetooth 5 functionality set up by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the body that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards. Customized Bluetooth SoCs (system-on-chip) – MT7581 and MT7583 – for the solution are featured with Bluetooth smart mesh technology, automatic pairing, fast connection and low-power consumption. The two SoCs will be ready for the market in the second half of this year.

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Arrow announces acquisition of eInfochips

To strengthen its IoT positioning, Arrow Electronics, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire eInfochips. Arrow is optimistic as eInfochips works at every phase of technology deployment, including developing custom hardware and software and new IoT-based business models.

Acquisition will enable Arrow expand its IoT “sensor-to-sunset” platform by adding engineering, solution architecture, embedded software development, security, mobile device connectivity, app development, cloud configuration and management, and managed services including big-data analytics.

The transaction expected to close this month will expand Arrows IoT strategy and offerings, and rapidly grow their IoT services market. “As a result, we will deliver complex and connected IoT solutions and technologies across multiple cloud platforms. This acquisition adds over 1,500 IoT solution architects, engineers, and software development resources to Arrow’s already leading position in IoT design services,” said Michael J. Long, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Arrow. “

Connecting eInfochips’ IoT capabilities and engineers to Arrows eDesign platform will substantially augment the scale of eInfochips’ services, delivered via digital tools, to Arrow’s 125,000 customers.   Read more…

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To Advance WiFi and 5G Research, NI Announces MAC Layer Support

The wireless researchers can take advantage of the new multi-user MAC layer enhancements to the 802.11 Application Framework from NI. The support will enable to go beyond the PHY layer to address complex network-level problems that must be solved to make the 5G vision a reality.

5G brings the promise of unseen services and a broad range of use cases such as powering autonomous vehicles, smart factories and eHospitals. While many of these applications will be delivered over cellular links, many will also be served by private networks based on WiFi, which will make 5G a combination of both licensed and unlicensed wireless protocols.

There are many challenges that wireless researchers must address when working toward a more optimal delivery of joint WiFi and 5G cellular services. Wireless researchers can pair the 802.11 Application Framework with NI software defined radio hardware to rapidly conduct network-level, real-time, over-the-air prototyping experiments for a wide range of WiFi and 5G MAC/PHY research.    Read more..

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5G Americas announces new report on progress towards 5G Cellular IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is predicted to be a key business driver of  the telecom industry  and  its upcoming next generation. IoT will require new technology requirements for its varied use cases. 5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, mentions in its latest publication of LTE Progress Leading to the 5G Massive Internet of Things (Massive IoT).

“Some cellular service providers in the U.S. are already adding more IoT connections than mobile phone connections, and the efforts at 3GPP in defining standards for the successful deployment of a wide variety of services across multiple industries will contribute to the growing success for consumers and the enterprise,” noted Jean Au, Staff Manager, technical marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and  co-leader of 5G Americas whitepaper LTE Progress Leading to the 5G Massive IoT (MIoT).

Today, Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) is already gaining  attention and  it  is anticipated that cellular-based  technologies such as LTE-M (Machine) and Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) will become  the leading LPWA standards by 2020.

Operators can choose from several Cellular IoT  (CIoT) technologies based  on their spectrum portfolio, legacy networks, and requirements of their offered services.

The generic requirements for IoT are low cost, energy efficiency, ubiquitous coverage, and scalability (ability to support a large number of connected machines in a network). Alternatively, Critical IoT applications will  have  very high demands  for reliability, availability, and low latency which could be enabled by LTE or 5G capabilities. The whitepaper is available for free download.   Read more…


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