Everything and the Kitchen Sink: Cooking Up Innovation in Smart Kitchens

As the Connected Home evolution continues to advance, we’re seeing more and more IoT solution providers zeroing in on specific realms – from smart bathrooms, to smart garages outfitted for smart cars, to smart porches and front doors with cameras and alarms, to smart laundry rooms with washers and dryers controlled by smartphones.

One of the world’s most successful and innovative kitchen design, manufacturing and installation companies – Howdens Joinery based in the UK – contributes to nearly half a million kitchens a year is now moving forward the digital kitchen of the future, working with the DSP Group (a global provider of wireless chipsets solutions for converged communications) and Cloud of Things, a connected device software, security and management company.

Their recipe for success? Invention – integration – innovation – interoperability – and a commitment to deliver end-to-end solutions to developers and builders.

That recipe follows on the very inspiring story of Howdens, which since its establishment in 1995 as a pure startup with no name, products, facilities or staff, is now a thriving enterprise with nearly 9,000 employees in 650 locations serving over 450,000 customers.

Glen Isaacs, Director of Innovation and Strategy at Howdens is moving quickly and demonstrated their connected kitchen vision at the IFA 2017 electronics show. He said, “Howdens needed to bring connected kitchens to market securely, reliably, quickly, and affordably,” and chose the Cloud of Things IoT Gateway and DeviceTone solution because it makes “configuration, deployment and management simple and fast, while native ULE support guarantees range and link fidelity while ensuring compatibility with hundreds of products out-of-the-box.”

The native ULE support, contributed by DSP Group, brings in range coverage, which the companies explained is especially important in the UK, where building structure and material have proven challenging for connected deployments.

As is the case with gourmet cooking, fitting out kitchens is not cookie cutter – there are many different options for appliances, plumbing, gas and electric, lighting and other elements, so it’s important from the designer and developer’s point of view to unify across different types of appliances – including the super modern and beautiful Lamona kitchen and laundry appliances manufactured and supported by Howdens.

This makes implementation easier and ongoing management simpler for the end-user.

The DeviceTone platform was built from the ground up with software and a UX design that allows companies and consumers to monitor, manage, and control any device connected to any cloud platform one to one, millions at a time.
The platform includes the ability to connect with devices inside smart homes, and provides full security and privacy controls to the end-user. The data collected is used for predictive maintenance and other useful applications, while also providing Howdens with privatized data contributing to the evolution of future products with new and better features.

David Chouraqui, CEO and Co-Founder of Cloud of Things, said about the partnership, “We’re proud to be working with Howdens to help bring their connected kitchen to the market. This project is one of the world’s most advanced connected home initiatives. DSP Group has bought fantastic ULE capabilities to our IoT Gateway, opening the door for easy integration with any IoT product. At Howdens we’re seeing how our two technologies work effectively together to make IoT simple.”

Tali Chen, Corporate Vice President Corporate Development & Chief Evangelist, at DSP Group said, “We are very excited to work with two market leading companies to deliver best-in-class IoT solutions. Together we are truly shaping the future of IoT at home using our proven ULE and DECT technologies together with Howdens leadership in the smart kitchens and Cloud of Things best in class IoT management systems. ULE has proven itself to be the technology of choice for IoT solutions at home and a unifying force in the home automation market.”

DSP Group’s ULE solution is based on its DHAN-S module which uses the DHX91 chipset and is designed to work easily with even the smallest smart home nodes. The module serves as either a wireless connectivity channel for applications running on an external microcontroller unit, or as a standalone solution with the DHX91 internal ARM926® processor for smart device hibernation features.

All this allows IoT applications to benefit from extremely long battery life, which can allow battery-operated devices to run for years, as well as advanced functionality compared to most smart devices on the market. DSP Group’s ULE technology also offers outstanding range and robust and secure RF channels, making it an ideal solution for IoT ecosystems.