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Development of Sensor Network System for Smart Homes

Tue, 10/04/2011 - 3:22am
Murata Manufacturing

Overview

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary SyChip Electronic Technology (Shanghai) Ltd. have developed a sensor network system for smart homes that supports construction of home automation and EMS (Energy Management System).

This system will be exhibited at CEATEC JAPAN 2011, which will be held at Makuhari Messe, Chiba from October 4 to 8, 2011.

Details

This sensor network system for smart homes gathers information detected by sensors via the ZigBee®*1 Gateway, and can transmit this information via Wi-Fi*2 or Ethernet*3 over the Internet or to a tablet terminal. This system was realized by combining Murata's sensor and communications technology. A total package that includes the Gateway, ZigBee® sensor nodes and an original user interface (UI) can also be provided.

This solution enables efficient use of energy and support for lifestyles of the elderly.

Sensor Network System for Smart Homes

Background

Recently, the concept of smart houses and small buildings that make use of IT technology to optimize energy consumption within the home or building is gathering attention.

Amidst this trend, Murata has promoted development to introduce sensor network technology to homes from the two viewpoints of (1) achieving "Smart" energy usage, and (2) enabling "Smart" support of the elderly.

Smart homes rely on EMS to perform detailed control of lighting and air conditioning while monitoring power usage and environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and lighting using sensors located throughout the home. This sensor network system for smart homes enables easy EMS construction.

As the aging of society progresses, smart homes should realize a safe, peaceful and comfortable living environment for the elderly. For example, sensors and IT technology can perform important roles such as remote monitoring and prevention of heatstroke. Murata feels that elderly-friendly housing is friendly to all people, and is working to realize this ideal.

In addition, in the future Murata intends to promote development of wireless network system technology with even less environmental impact by combining energy harvesting*4 technology and wireless communication with low current consumption.

Murata supports the concept of smart homes that make smart use of recyclable energy*5, and is participating in the planning of the Fukuoka Smart House Consortium and the Yokohama Smart Community.

In addition, Murata is pursuing tie-ups with local companies to help restore the disaster-hit Tohoku area, and is promoting efforts to introduce sensor network technology to housing for disaster-hit regions to support the safe, peaceful and comfortable lifestyles of residents.

Features

Sensors and equipment in various locations can be connected using ZigBee®, and monitored and controlled via the Internet.

Wireless LAN (supports 11b/g/n) and Ethernet functions are provided for communication between tablet terminals and mobile terminals used as controllers and the Gateway equipment.

The Android-based controller provides excellent operability.

Wireless monitoring and control both indoors and outdoors

A total package that includes the Gateway, ZigBee® sensor nodes and an original user interface (UI) can also be provided.

Applications

  • Home automation systems
  • EMS (Energy Management System), etc.

Terminology

*1 ZigBee®: A low-cost short-range wireless communication standard that features low power consumption
*2 Wi-Fi: Wireless LAN equipment standard
*3 Ethernet: Wire-based LAN communication standard. This is currently the most commonly used standard.
*4 Energy harvesting: Recovery of the slight amounts of energy lost to vibration, heat, light and other factors, and conversion of this recovered energy to electricity
*5 Recyclable energy: Endless energy that can be extracted from wind power, geothermal and other natural phenomena
 

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