Chinese electronic giant plans smart home market entrance in 2016
Chinese electronic firm Huawei is looking to muscle in on the IoT space with a couple of technologies aimed at the smart home market.
It announced that it will launch an open source Operating System (OS) called the Huawei Lite OS aimed at smart home devices. There will also be a software development kit (SDK) called HiLink.
Both are set to launch in the second quarter of 2016, according to Huawei President George Zhao. The Lite OS has been design with the Internet of Things in mind, boasting a small, lightweight kernel around the quarter in size of existing IoT kernels and a start-up time of 7000ms. It is aimed at standardising technologies around IoT and Smart Home uses.
HiLink is also aimed at IoT products and connected devices in the home, such as refrigerators and washing machines. HiLink is said by the firm to understand all device languages and will communicate to them all in a standardised language. It will be able to use technologies such as ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Huawei said HiLink routers will understand commands and route them to the appropriate device in the home. HiLink products will create a mesh Wi-Fi network and a single app will control all routers. The approach taken by Huawei is not too dissimilar to Samsung’s SmartHub.
The firm has partnered with firms such as Haier and BroadLink to launch connected devices featuring the technology. As well as the software, Huawei will also produce a chipset for devices running HiLink. It said its Kirin 930 and 950 chips will be used in these devices.
Zhao said that up until now, smart home devices have disappointed due to the close ecosystems that shut out interconnecting devices.
“The scenarios being presented are impossible as the devices are from different companies and ecosystem,” he said at his company’s event held in Shenzhen, China.
The firm also said that routers that understand and contain HiLink, and communicate with devices within the home, will soon be available, not just from Huawei but other manufacturers too.
Jerry Liu, Founder & CEO of Broadlink said that by using the HiLink platform a traditional router can be turned into a smart platform.
“We are going to connect HiLink and LITE OS. have access to 150+ Enterprises and they will come on board with HiLink,” he said. “Broadlink is a competitor in connectivity space but we don’t want to fight. We want to improve the ecosystem across the board. HiLink will be the system that brings together the consumer giants together.”
Following the launch, Huawei will launch a chipset along with a certification for capable devices which reads “HiLink Inside” to show compatible devices. These device launch sometime in the third quarter of 2016.