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Android home automation hub focuses on security

Apr 28, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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[Updated May 1] — The Android-based “ALYT” home automation system supports numerous wireless protocols, and offers self-learning algorithms and advanced security functions.

Italian based startup Link Your Things has 41 days left to raise the remaining $64,000 of its $100,000 Indiegogo funding goal for the ALYT (Affordably Link Your Things) device. Funding packages start at $149 for early PCB-only versions aimed at developers, and $199 for the sleekly designed finished product, both of which ship with a wireless PIR (passive infrared) detector and magnetic door sensor. A $299 version adds two more door sensors, and other packages range up to a $599 video security package with two PIR detectors, two door sensors, and two IP cameras.



ALYT (right) with sensor units and cameras
(click image to enlarge)

The ALYT combines surveillance, home automation, and energy management features managed by a self-learning, open spec Android-based automation stack. The device is controlled exclusively via Android and iOS mobile apps.

According to Link Your Things, the ALYT system differs from the many other new smartphone connected home automation gizmos in that it features professional security components and firmware. The founders are said to have extensive security expertise.

The ALYT hub offers an “extremely robust” wireless protocol with 128-bit AES encryption for managing sensors, says Link Your Things. It also ships with an on-board battery and 3.5G backup cellular communications to manage sensors.



ALYT hub (left) and internal PCB
(click images to enlarge)

With the addition of cameras, the system can deliver video verification to smartphone apps during power or communications failures. Although the ALYT makes use of cloud services, the surveillance system is still operable even if the Internet is down, says the company.

As noted above, the system ships with a few sensor devices and some optional cameras. However, like most home automation systems, the ALYT supports third-party, wireless smart device ecosystems. These include device families like Philips Hue, as well as a range of Z-Wave, ZigBee, and Bluetoooth 4.0 Low Energy (BLE) based smart sensors, actuators, and thermostats. In addition to the cellular backup line, other wireless technologies are said to include NFC, infrared, and an 868MHz security wireless protocol radio.



ALYT mobile app
(click image to enlarge)

The device runs an unspecified version of Android on an unspecified Cortex-A7 system-on-chip. The dual-core, 1.2GHz processor is backed up with 512MB of RAM, which is plenty, according to the FAQ, since all UI is located on your mobile device. There’s also 4GB of flash and microSD expansion.

The device is normally powered though its micro-USB port, by an external power supply. Additionally, it ships with a 3.7V, 2300mAh backup battery. Other standard features include a speaker and microphone.

The ALYT is billed as an open source DIY platform. Developers will receive SDKs and open APIs designed to enable Android and iOS apps, as well as tools for building customized hardware, says the company. An app store is also in the works.

Specifications listed for the ALYT base unit include:

  • Processor — Dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz
  • Memory:
    • 512MB RAM
    • 4GB flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless:
    • 3.5G UMTS/WCDMA (21Mbps) with HSDPA/HSUPA, GPRS/EDGE
    • 802.11b/g/n
    • Bluetooth 4.0 LE (also supports BT 3.0 and 2.1)
    • Z-Wave
    • ZigBee
    • Security wireless protocol (868MHz)
    • NFC
    • IR
  • Other I/O — micro-USB port
  • Sensor units/options — wireless PIR detector; wireless door sensor; IP camera
  • Other features — speaker; mic; RGB LEDs; 128-bit AES encryption
  • Power:
    • Via micro-USB port
    • Internal 3.7V 2300mAh backup battery
  • Operating system — Android

“We decided to make even our hardware design open so that developers and manufacturers can innovate using ALYT as a solid base,” stated Luca Gaetano Capula, Founder and CEO of Link Your Things.

 
Further information

Link Your Things expects to ship the ALYT commercially in Nov. 2014. However, early adopter packages on Indiegogo are available until June 7 at $149 and $179 for PCB-only developers models, due to ship in June and July, respectably, and a fully baked $199 model due to ship in July. Other, higher-end packages are expected to ship in November. More information may be found at the Link Your Things ALYT Indiegogo page.
 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

One Response to “Android home automation hub focuses on security”

  1. mirko says:

    Hi Eric, thanks for writing about Alyt, just a small clarification, the $ 149 Perk Alyt Guru also offers a pir sensor and a magnetic sensor

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