CSR extends its mesh networking from lighting into Home Automation package

August 07, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Adding low power sensor and actuator models, and continuing to promote its own mesh networking concept against market alternatives, CSR has released the latest version of its Bluetooth Smart solution for the smart home – CSRmesh Home Automation – that brings low power Bluetooth® Smart connectivity to HVAC, security and other smart-home solutions.

The latest software release adds sensor and actuator models to build on the original protocol that was designed for lighting control. This makes it possible for developers to deliver a wider range of home automation solutions including control of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, door locks and window sensors.

The new flood mesh solution combines a configuration and control protocol based on CSR’s Bluetooth Smart devices, including the CSR101x family, and allows for an almost unlimited number of devices to be networked together and directly controlled from a smartphone, tablet PC or wearable device. The system does not require a hub or router to function locally, or an end-to-end IP connection, which means – CSR contends – that it offers a simple and seamless user experience. An encrypted network key, combined with other measures, ensures security against eavesdroppers, as well as man-in-the-middle and replay attacks.

CSRmesh for Home Automation significantly extends battery life for sensors and actuators such as door locks. Multiple devices can be grouped together with a mains powered proxy device in the group, for example a light bulb, holding data from a battery powered sensor device. This proxy device can then relay that information without ‘waking’ the battery powered sensor. By doing this, manufacturers can reduce the duty cycle of each mesh device to as little as two percent, ensuring long battery life without any impact to the consumer experience. Some battery powered devices, such as security sensors and light switches, need only wake up when they are triggered by user activation such as a window being opened. At all other times the devices would be in sleep mode, providing extremely long battery life.

A recent study commissioned by CSR found that consumers are increasingly interested in home automation, but a quarter (26%) are concerned connected devices would be too difficult to set up and too complex to use (25%). A significant amount is also anxious about security,