An Australian company that has the Australian and New Zealand rights to what is claimed to be revolutionary smart home controller, the B.One Hub, is close to bringing the device to market in New Zealand.
Anup Raghavan, CEO of Sydney based Accumulus Energy Group (AEG) told Computerworld NZ that the company had signed a heads of agreement with “a large operator” in New Zealand and was very keen to launch the product “because the acceptance of new technology is better than Australia.” He added: “But we have to have the right partners.”
The B.One Hub has been developed by Blaze Automation, a company based in the USA and in Hyderabad India. It designed to work in conjunction with a smartphone app to enable the home owner to control a wide range of devices in the home, ranging from air conditioners, TVs, sound systems to curtains and locks.
According to Raghavan it is unique in that it has multiple different radio interface to extend the range of devices it can control: Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth Low Energy, infrared and RF for security devices. “We are the only one to support infrared,” he said.
One of B.One Hub’s key features, according to Raghavan, is that the IR remote control functions of 27,000 different products — air conditioners, TVs, sound systems etc - have been captured and replicated, and even if a piece of equipment has not been captured, the B.One is able to replicate its remote functions.
“We have walked into places and taken control of their air conditioner in minutes, where they have not had control for ages because they could not get a replacement remote,” Raghavan said.
He said a trained electrician could install a B.One hub and devices to fully automate a home in a couple of days.
Raghavan did not provide any details of the potential New Zealand partner but said, the company was hoping to work with a mobile operator because it has developed the functionality to enable full remote control of the B.One hub over a cellular network rather than over Wi-Fi to a fixed or wireless Internet service.
“At present we use cellular only as backup – you can get a text message if the Wi-Fi drops out. We have the software for two-way communications [via cellular] but we are looking for a partner like a Vodafone or a Telstra to be able to roll this out as a service. We have not had much luck yet but NZ seems to be more receptive to us than Australia.”
He added: “We need to find someone who is willing to do the right thing for the consumer, making sure they understand the technology and are willing to spend a lot of time working with electricians and technical sales partners. We come from an engineering background and we would not be able to sleep at night if we thought our products had not been installed properly.”