The TV in your living room or bedroom, could easily become the brain of your Smart Home.
STB’s devices saw a huge evolution in recent years. A long time ago we first witnessed the appearance of Linux powered STBs, which brought a sort of innovation in the way we consume audio visual content, as well as our interaction with the device itself.
Those devices, although now considered as outdated, are still an important part of the Telco and Cable Operator ecosystems, as they are practically the last mile for content to reach your screen and pleasure your eyes.
Nowadays, we are witnessing a surge of more powerful and robust STBs, running on the Google Android TV operating system or on Amazon FireTV OS (an AOSP flavor of Android) that, per default, comes with some of the most important features, such as Google or Amazon Alexa voice assistant. These features can be used right out of the box to interact with smart devices you already own and have deployed in your household.
According to the Statista Research Department, it is estimated that 26.6 billion electronic devices already have Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities. If we take things even further, by 2025, this number is expected to rise up to 75.4 billion, giving it a fivefold increase from 2015. The opportunity is there!
In Pacton every single one of our newly created devices will come by default with extended support for IoT, meaning that inside our products we started adding a small SoC, which will allow our devices to communicate with others, using some of the well-known protocols. Not to mention that, by default, all of our devices already have integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with extended support for BLE mode.
In general, the majority of IoT devices (or things how we like to call them) are either using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave or Thread as a standard or protocol to communicate with other things and their hubs.
At the time, when we were thinking about which path to take, we had to consider multiple factors in order to stick with a protocol to focus ourselves on. The core of our business is to provide next-generation services and solutions to Telcos, Cable operators, Broadcasters and ISPs, meaning that whichever solution we came up with, it should be secure, scalable and easy to deploy and maintain.
Our first iteration of the STB with the additional SoC for IoT only had Zigbee support as a smart home protocol, while today, with the evolution of these small SoC’s we are able to support Zigbee, Thread, and BLE in concurrent mode.
The ideal implementation of any Smart Home system is to be simple and easily operated, so that any family member can easily interact with it.
Role Of The Smart Hub
Considering that virtually everyone is interacting with an STB on a daily basis to get their favorite audiovisual content, it is a considerable advantage for this device to be the brain of your Smart Home.
Consumers are already familiar with the user interface or the middleware running on their STBs, so operating and running a Smart Home directly from it should be seen as a natural extension, that would make their lives easier by having all smart features accessible with a single press of the remote control.