Q&A about Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPAN during the event at c-base in Berlin.
Slides in upload here: http://www.box.net/shared/dhb87ifp9k7ox2o6fmil

c-base e.V.

The c-base e.V. is a non-profit organization to promote education in the areas of hardware, software and network technology. The multi-faceted non-profit organization is offering support to individuals, user groups and projects that are devoted to promoting knowledge and culture. Members of the organization were able to control the light (super troopers)  by their Android smartphones. The super troopers are using the DMX bus . The microphones for moderators and speakers have been wireless. The vending machine offers two price levels. One for members and one for non members. The authorisation at the vending machine has a wireless link by ZigBee to server at basement.


Android@Home of today is accessories connected by USB to Android Smartphone or tablet. With the next version of Android it will support Bluetooth 4.0. Bluetooth 4.0 covers Bluetooth Low Energy as well. Android@Home is not the Smart Home. It is just connecting external hardware to the Android device. To cover the smart home, a lot of technologies has to be touched. The latest Android@Home-PCBs holding 32-Bit micro controllers of Microchip with:

  • Microchip PIC32MX795F512 processor
  • 80 Mhz 32-bit MIPS
  • 512K Flash, 128K RAM
  • USB 2.0 OTG controller
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC,
  • 83 available I/O including dual CAN controllers, LIN controller, 6 UARTS ….
  • User LED

With such a PCB it it possible to connect buses at home. Ethernet is already supported by hardware and library. Other buses like  EEBus or KNX can be adapted. The same can be done with low power radio links like with ZigBee or 6LoWPAN, where I prefer 6LoWPAN because it is licence free, open source and already on IPv6. An Android@Home-PCB with PIC32MX795F512 processor, plus interfaces to your equipment and buses at home, plus an Android tablet in a new plastic enclosure will be a inexpensive smart home terminal, where the owner can run his own software on tablet and Android@Home-PCB. The Android@Home-PCB of my own I loaned to c-base. They have already a pool of hardware where the members can access to.

Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth 4.0

Bluetooth includes Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth high speed and Bluetooth low energy protocols. Bluetooth Low Energy is available as single and dual mode. Dual mode means, that Buetooth Low Energy and classic Bluetooth is supported. Dual mode will be used in smartphones, tablets and laptops. Apple already launched a new laptop supporting Bluetooth Low Energy. Single mode devices are supporting Bluetooth Low Energy only. Bluetooth LE is typical coin cell battery operated. A coin cell battery is enough.  Nordic Semiconductor has shown a reference design for a proximity tag at the Bluetooth Low Energy road show. They also presented a temperature data logger at the same event. The data logger is using the IC nRF8001 and some kind of ultra low power micro controller. Applications examples you get by watching the videos listed as below.

BLUETOOTH Automotive video Q&A: Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPANBLUETOOTH Consumer Wellness Video Q&A: Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPANBLUETOOTH Smart Energy video Q&A: Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPAN

BLUETOOTH Entertainment Video Q&A: Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPANBLUETOOTH Home Automation Video Q&A: Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPANBLUETOOTH Security Proximity video Q&A: Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPAN

BLUETOOTH Sports Video Q&A: Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth and 6LoWPAN
(Credit of pictures and videos: Bluetooth SIG)

There was a question about powering on/off classic Bluetooth in the Android Smartphone and still running the Bluetooth Low Energy engine. I can expect that this is possible, but I cannot guarantee. Even if the dual mode IC is supporting that, a software bug can make it worst and allow both 2400 MHz transivers on and off at the same time. We will see what will happen.


6LoWPAN is IPv6 riding on radio wave. It is mainly UDP/IP because acknowledge handling like with TCP/IP will just block the radio channel and waste energy. 6LoWPAN is a radio protocol like ZigBee. 6LoWPAN is in comparison to ZigBee licence free and the specification is open source.  6LoWPAN is IP communication from end to end and some 6LoWPAN radio modules supports IPsec. That makes it safe. 6LoWPAN can be bridged to your router. With ZigBee you need a gateway. A gateway often is a security risk. Nevertheless, there are radio modules available that can run ZigBee or 6LowPAN stack.
On Internet you’ll find hints that Google plans to publish a licence free 6LoWPAN stack on 868 / 915 MHz, using frequency hopping by end of 2011. More about 6LoWPAN by reading the blog posts here.

Near Field Communication NFC

Here the question was on range. The range of Near Field Communication is low, because it is planned to be used for payment. The longer the range the higher is the risk that somebody can listen in. NFC is a RFID technology. A device can be a tag, a reader or both = reader and tag. A smartphone the Google Nexus S is reader and tag. If you held two phones close together you can easily change your contacts wireless or exchange photos.
An access control system is often only a reader . The smartphone operates then as a tag for authorization or the passive key-fob is doing the same job. Key-fobs are passive. The energy will be transmitted by the reader and this energy is high enough to run the controller inside the tag and then to transmit the information stored on the tag back to the reader.

Typical range of the radio channels in an Android smartphone

Bluetooth V2.1 BLE NFC
RFID mode active active ISO 18000-3
Standardisation body Bluetooth SIG Bluetooth SIG ISO/IEC
Network Standard IEEE 802.15.1 IEEE 802.15.1 ISO 13157
Network Type WPAN WPAN Point-to-point
Cryptography available available not with RFID
Maximum range ~30 m (class 2) ~50 m ~ 0.2 m
Frequency 2,4-2,5 GHz 2,4-2,5 GHz 13,56 MHz
Bit rate 1-3 Mbit/s ~200 kbit/s 424 kbit/s
Set-up time < 6 s < 3 ms < 0.1 s
Power consumption varies with class < 13 to 23 mA (xmit) > 15mA (read)

The power consumption of Bluetooth Low Energy chips is not always equal. The IC of Nordic called nRF8001 tells 13 mA @ 0 dBm. Other suppliers tell 23 mA @ -6dbm. By a 6dB less power level they charge the double of the current! A temperature sensor or a proximity tag based on a nRF8001 will stay much longer alive then with IC of other supplier. BTW, with the coin cell batteries it is the same. Battery is not battery.

Indoor locating

The interest in indoor locating comes up in two face to face meetings. I linked the two developers together and promised to support them with further information after the show. One of my hobby-horses is locating. There are tons of stuff stored on my hard-disc. One blog post related on Microsofts human antenna is already published here. It sounds perfect for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). A further blog post regarding indoor locating will follow.

Smart Home, Ambient Assisted Living, Telemedicine

The Smart Home we have in our mind as long as we are young. For some people Smart Home contains the Smart TVs or playing video games by wireless game controller on Smartphone or tablet. It also can be the connection ofthe  smartphone to the sport equipment. Other people would like to save money for energy or just save the nice green planet. If you are older then the same wireless technologies will be used to create Ambient Assisted Living. Later on the samle wireless technology can be a part of the telemedicine equipment you will use.

If you are interested in Smart Home, Android@Home, NFC, Bluetooth, 6LoWPAN or any kind of wireless or wired technology then you are welcome to ask for an offer for a bundle of evaluation kits that will support several technologies, including antennas and design in aid for the integrated circuits/radio modules  and antennas to your product.

Just send an e-mail by using the form here or by e-mail to harald.naumann (at) gsm-modem.de


How to create the Smart-Home and Ambient Assisted Living for everybody?

The result of this brainstorming I would like to use as an input for the presentation and discussion at Android-Stammtisch on the 31th. of August in Berlin. Details of the event:

For a lot of people 6LoWPAN is just a piece of cake for the Smart Home or Ambient Assisted Living. My wish is a Smart-Home on a reasonable price level. In my opinion we need some kind of web based interface to get the coffee machine live on the display of the smartphone or laptop. Between this human machine interface on the mobile phone and the machine in the kitchen we need middleware. The HMI interface has to be open source and the protcol to the middleware as well.

I live in Germany and I would not like to bother you with the names of all the buses we have in our houses and smart metering. In TV, multimedia and streaming we get some pseudo standards to make our life easier. All the new TVs offer a triple tuner for cable, terrestrial and satellite TV. They all have a web browser and most of the TVs can be controlled by smartphone. To the digital video recorder I can access remotely even when I am on the road. For movies in 3D I still need some glasses, which are not compatible between the suppliers. I can’t take my 3D glasses with me to have some fun by watching 3D TV at my friends home. Anyhow, this is a rose garden in comparison to have access to the coffee machine, oven or just the jalousie. In kitchen and at the windows, doors or garage gate nearly nothing is compatible. Everybody is creating his own standard. How to find a way out?

Is Google maybe the answer?

They offer software tools free of charge and makes everything worldwide equal.

  • Google App Engine with Java and Python (free of charge, only at higher volume they start to charge)
  • Android – not only in smartphones and tablets – it is already in our cars
  • Google+ – not just a Facebook copy, it is much better
  • Google Android@Home to create accessories easy – no license fees to plug a piece of hardware to a phone
  • Google Android 4.0 will support Bluetooth 4.0 and not block Bluetooth devices like the other company with the fruit in the logo

Will we get a Google Maps at home? Will this Home Maps linked to Google+ ? Where is the difference to chat with my friend or with my coffee machine? I can put all my machines in a circle and name it “my machines”. Just have a look on http://twitter.com/#!/M2Mapps and scroll some months down. You will find weather data we published each hour. It stopped because Twitter changed the API.

Anyhow, we all maybe would not like to wait for the open source 6LoWPAN stack of Google. It is nice for US, but in Germany we have only one channel for 6LoWPAN on 868 MHz band and a duty cycle of 1 %. If there are some more machines start to talk, then I will run in trouble. Nevertheless, I got my fingers on inexpensive 6LoWPAN modules on 2400 MHz. The way from my kitchen to the router in the cellar is short. My coffee machine will be able to update me. Last but not least, I can create the same application on chip level, without changing the firmware.

My opinion is that we need some more open source and share knowledge. This was one of the reasons to start the Google Technology User Group in Hannover with focus on Wireless M2M some weeks ago athttps://gtugm2m.wordpress.com/. It already has three members. It is me and two more from outside of Germany.

And this is not all. Next week I will talk about Android@Home and Smart-Home at C-Space in Berlin.
There will stay at least 30 people with skills in Android, some M2M customers of mine and a new business contact from Poland. Maybe we will stream all or a part of event to Internet. The only bad news is that the stream will be in German language only. This time – later on it in another city it can change.

Thank you in advance for any feedback by comment, email (harald.naumann at gsm-modem.de) , Retweet, Linkedin, Xing or what ever you like.

Presentation and discussion about Android@Home, Arduino, Microchip’s Ardunio Clone, Smart Home, Android 4.0, Bluetooth / Bluetooth LE support with Android 4.0, Accessories for Android on USB and Bluetooth. Google and the radio link protocol 6LoWPAN.  Mistakes of Google Power Meter and Microsoft Hohm.

Moderator: Benjamin Weiß
Speaker: Harald Naumann
Date: 31. August 2011
Time: 7:00 P.M – 10:00 P.M.
Price: Free of charge
Sponsor: Right now nobody, sponsoring is welcome
c-base e.V.
Rungestrasse 20
10179 Berlin
Address at Open Street Maps

I will try to have a Microchip Android@Home evaluation kit with me. Right now non of my phones is supporting Android 2.3.4 or non of my tablet PCs is supporting Android 3.1.

Android@Home supported Android Devices by (As of July 10, 2011)


  • A500 (Picasso)


  • Eee Pad (EeePad)
  • Transformer TF101 (TF101)


  • Streak 10 Pro (Streak10Pro)


  • Nexus One (Passion)


  • Streak 10 Pro (Streak10Pro)


  •  Optimus Pad (v909)


  •  Xoom (Stringray, Wingray, Wifi_hubble, umts_everest, umts_hubble)


  •  GT-P7500 (GT-P7500)
  •  GT-P7510 (GT-P7510)
  • Nexus S (Crespo, Crespo4g)


  •  AT100 (Tostab03)

German and English speaking Google Technology User Group in area Hannover. The focus is on Google Technologies which interfere the Wireless Machine to Machine market direct or indirect. The target is to to discuss Google technologies and share ideas and experiences amongst the group. All people interested in Google technology are highly welcome to join us, not only developers. The blog posts will be published in English language, for sharing information with GTUGs in other countries.

We look forward to meeting you, your recommendations and your inputs.

Deutsch und Englisch sprechende Google Technology User Group im Raum Hannover.  Der Focus liegt derzeit auf Google Technologien, welche den drahtlosen Machnine-to-Machine-Markt direkt oder indirekt berühren. Ziel ist es,  regelmäßig über diverse Google Technologien zu diskutieren und Erfahrungen und Ideen in der Gruppe auszutauschen. Alle Google-Interessierten sind herzlich eingeladen, unserer Gruppe beizutreten, auch wenn sie keine Entwickler sind. Die Blogposts werden bevorzugt in englischer Sprache veröffentlicht, damit auch GTUGs aus anderen Ländern von den Informationen profitieren können.

Wir freuen uns auf euren Besuch, eure Weiterempfehlungen und Beiträge.

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