Turn any mobile Bluetooth device into an IoT gateway

October 5, 2017 Rich Nass

Cell phones/smart phones—everybody has one. Some are bigger than others, and some are pretty colors. Some are powerful, some are outdated. But the common thread throughout is that they all (almost all) offer Bluetooth connectivity. Making those phones control just about anything is a great vision, one that’s coming closer to fruition, thanks to the phone-as-a-gateway (PaaG) platform, developed by Ayla Networks.

The PaaG capability works with most Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, as it lets the users connect to the Ayla IoT cloud without requiring an external IoT gateway. This removes a potentially significant cost burden on the end device maker. In addition, no changes are required in the mobile device.

The key to the Ayla platform is that it provides the IP protocols that are needed to connect the Bluetooth device to the Internet. The PaaG framework is pre-configured in Ayla’s mobile software development kit (SDK), thereby reducing the need for developers to write their own custom code.

Think about the possibilities; you can have just about any device in your home or office connected to the IoT network, including power tools, kitchen appliances, healthcare devices, consumer electronics, garage door openers, sprinkler systems, and so on. A consumer would know with 100% certainty the state of any device at any time.

Pieces of this type of connectivity are available today, but they are disjointed at best. The Thread Group is doing a good job at trying to connect the devices, but the PaaG technology makes it far simpler. The PaaG feature is built into Ayla’s mobile SDK and Agile Mobile Application Platform (AMAP). By building the SDK or AMAP into the mobile app that controls the Bluetooth device, OEMs needn’t retrofit shipping products to allow Cloud connectivity.

Once connected, the Bluetooth devices can use Cloud analytics and/or integrate with other Cloud-based products and services to provide end users with a richer experience. It also potentially gives OEMs access to new revenue streams through value-added services or integration with other connected products.

About the Author

Rich Nass

Richard Nass is the Executive Vice-President of OpenSystems Media. His key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OpenSystems Media’s Embedded and IoT product portfolios, including web sites, e-newsletters, print and digital magazines, and various other digital and print activities. He was instrumental in developing the company's on-line educational portal, Embedded University. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for UBM’s award-winning Design News property. Prior to that, he led the content team for UBM Canon’s Medical Devices Group, as well all custom properties and events in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 25 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, handling the Embedded and Custom groups and the TechOnline DesignLine network of design engineering web sites. Nass holds a BSEE degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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