Offering another approach to broadband-based home energy management, STMicroelectronics is proposing a line of sensors and controllers that can be distributed around the home that all communicate with a dongle that could plug into almost any device, including PCs, set-tops and gateways.
ST's GreenNet Wireless Sensor Networking technology comprises self-powered nodes that could, for example, sense temperature or carbon monoxide levels, or detect motion, and then relay that data wirelessly to a GreenNet dongle installed in a PC or set-top box.
The data could then be communicated to a smartphone or tablet to enable users to monitor and control their home systems, the company explained.
GreenNet nodes would combine a rechargeable battery and solar cell with an on-chip sensor and STM32W 32-bit wireless microcontroller.
ST said it is now demonstrating the system using a sample node that features an on-chip temperature sensor, a USB dongle and a service platform including a sample app store.
The wireless technology is IEEE 802.15.4, which specifies low-power communications in the license-free 2.4 GHz frequency band. (The ZigBee protocol is based on this standard.)
Solar-powered sensors and monitors can be distributed throughout the home and can connect through a gateway, set-top or PC.