Case Study: Real-time IoT Home Automation Mobile App

The Client

  • The client is an Australia-based leading air-conditioning provider and a global leader in developing energy-efficient cooling and heating products. The vision is to lead the world in creating climate control solutions which continue to be highly innovative, of premium quality and inspirational in their delivery of energy-efficiency.

Business Needs

  • Design and develop a gateway product to manage the interaction with client’s Wall Controller, acting as an intermediary between the air conditioning system and a local home Wi-Fi router for sending and receiving secure communication to registered devices over the Internet.
  • It not only allows access to interact with remote devices from a centrally managed cloud-hosted environment, but it is capable of expanding a business’s core services, particularly as it opens opportunities to capture large volumes of system or running data and makes available many further integration options to other internet services.

The Solutions

  • Establish an Account for a consumer in which both the Wall Controller and a Mobile App (iPhone in initial project) can securely connect. Once account and connection is established the Mobile App will be able to control all the major remote control functions of the Wall Controller, reacting within seconds to any request made by the user via the Mobile App. The Mobile App achieves this by forwarding requests to a hosted web service which authenticates and authorises requests made to an IoT Service hosted in AWS. This IoT Service then forwards requests to the correct IoT Device located on-premises connected to both the customers Wi-Fi system and the account holders Air Conditioner system’s ‘Wall Controller’ via the Modbus environment.
  • Requests received from on the IoT Device from the IoT Service are interpreted and communicated to the Wall Controller (similar to other slave devices on the Modbus network), which the Wall Controller (acting as Modbus master) carried out the command (such as turning on another device like a heater, within the system).

Benefits

  • IoT not only allows access to interact with remote devices from a centrally managed cloud-hosted environment, but it is capable of expanding a business’s core services, particularly as it opens opportunities to capture large volumes of system or running data and makes available many further integration options to other internet services.
  • Opportunities to provide proactive maintenance, inform design decisions when engineering new air conditioning system models, further desirability of a Seeley air conditioner by integration with other emerging IoT Home Automation Apps, assist in upsell of new features to existing customers based on consumer use, or even build stronger brand loyalty when customers move house or move into an existing house with a Seeley air conditioner.
  • Manage all installed air condition system in a centralized system, Identify and analyze the hazards in system.

Technologies used

  • Xamarin Mobile Application Framework
  • AWS (AWS IoT, AWS DynamoDB, AWS Lambda, AWS Cognito, AWS S3)
  • Modbus communication over RS-485
  • Hardware/Firmware development