ubisys Strengthens Smart Home Service Platform

Smart Home by ubisys now features push notifications, advanced peer-to-peer remote access and a local JavaScript engine

Düsseldorf/Las Vegas, January 8, 2016. On the fourth day of CES 2016, ubisys presents the latest additions to its Smart Home service platform. The upgraded platform comprises the ZigBee/Ethernet Gateway G1, smart phone apps for iOS and Android, and new optional cloud services.

“From day one, our smart home solution did not rely on internet connectivity or even cloud services at all. This was very important to us, as it guarantees that homeowners keep control of what happens in their homes at any time. Robust local control is inevitable if you are controlling heating, closures, entry, etc. This approach not only safeguards user privacy, it also avoids unnecessary roundtrip delays and allows us to provide a premium user experience. Building on this rock-solid foundation, we’re excited to augment our platform with optional cloud services including push notifications and zero-configuration remote-access while on the road”, Dr.-Ing. Arasch Honarbacht, lead R&D, founder and co-owner of ubisys outlined.

Zero-Configuration, Peer-to-Peer Remote Access
Manually configuring remote access has always been possible using static IP addresses or third-party dynamic DNS services and these options remain as alternative or redundant ways to connect. Whether you were at home or on the road, the connection between your phone and the gateway at home was always direct – without relays in between. While this gives the best possible performance in terms of latency and throughput, one drawback is that the installer needs basic network administration skills to setup port-forwarding and dynamic DNS in the internet router. It also requires a public IP address, which is not always available. For example, remote access was not easily possible behind carrier-grade NATs, which mobile data provides often employ in their cellular networks. There are also ways around these limitations, like VPN tunnels, but they are often tedious and cumbersome to configure and maintain.

The new ubisys peer-to-peer (P2P) service allows users to establish a direct connection, in most cases without any configuration. It assists in connecting the two peers (mobile phone and gateway) but thereafter it is no longer involved in communications. Only in rare cases with certain NAT typologies the P2P service will also serve as a relay, i.e. be part of the data flow. This service uses authentication to make sure attackers cannot connect to arbitrary gateways.

This is similar to how services like Apple’s FaceTime work and gives users an optimal blend: Like with a cloud-based dispatching queue service there is no requirement to configure anything. At the same time, the connection being immediate means it is super-fast and contributes to the protection of customer’s privacy, too. There being no single point of attack, it does not pay off for attackers to spend their time hacking this service: Unlike centralized databases, they will not get access to a vast number of user accounts and sensitive data by breaking into a single system. The distributed architecture poses an inherent barrier by itself.

Push Notification Service
A further ubisys cloud service delivers push notifications via Apple and Google infrastructure. These notifications can be sent by the Gateway G1 in reaction to triggering events like motion being detected, doors or windows being opened, water leaks being detected, lights being turned on or off, electrical appliances starting or stopping to draw electrical power from a smart mains power outlet like the ubisys S1 etc. The Possibilities are almost endless. In addition, the gateway can notify users of new firmware updates being available and also use this communications channel to reach out to the active customer base when it has to spread important information.

Advanced local processing with built-in JavaScript Engine
Setting up timers and scenes via app has always been intuitively easy and covers many basic automation scenarios, like having your window blinds open and close automatically near sunset and sunrise or at specific times of the day. Yet, there are certain cases where advanced users require more control. For example, combining weather and lighting conditions with presence information, time of day, and power consumption reports to determine whether a certain action should occur can be very difficult to achieve with a purely graphical configuration scheme, whereas the same can be achieved in a couple lines of JavaScript.

“When we decided to enhance our Gateway G1 with a scripting language, JavaScript was a pretty natural choice. It is concise, powerful and flexible. Chances are that users are already familiar with it; for first-time users it is also easy to learn, given loads of resources available on the web. We’re proud of the lightweight, responsive implementation of this scripting engine on G1”, Honarbacht explained the choice.

About ubisys
Promoting the ubiquitous deployment of smart wireless systems, ubisys technologies GmbH is a leading Smart Home and Internet-of-Things company based in Düsseldorf, Germany. Its broad portfolio includes core technologies like certified ZigBee Golden Unit stacks, cloud services, advanced products including window covering controllers, dimmers, smart power outlets and heating regulators as well as complete, consumer-facing solutions with gateways and apps for iOS and Android.

Contact:
Marcel Apfel
ubisys technologies GmbH
[email protected]
+49 (211) 542155-00

Meet ubisys at the ZigBee Alliance CES Booth
To experience what’s next in smart connectivity, mark your calendars to visit the ZigBee Pavilion at CES, January 6-9, 2016, in Booth #71344 within the Smart Home section of the Tech West emerging technology zone, located in the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

ZigBee: Control Your World
The ZigBee Alliance creates, maintains and delivers open, global wireless standards that enable everyday objects to work together and control your world in the Internet of Things (IoT). An open, non-profit ecosystem of 425 companies, the Alliance is developing and promoting the world’s leading IoT standards across a wide range of consumer, commercial and industrial monitoring and control applications. For more information, visit www.ZigBee.org.

Contacts:
Mark Walters
ZigBee Alliance
[email protected]
+1-206-972-9883

Heather Chesterman (for the ZigBee Alliance)
Magnet PR Group
[email protected]
+1-714-389-5588