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D-Link floats a raft of Linux-based home automation gizmos

Jan 7, 2015 — by Eric Brown 5,467 views

D-Link expanded its home automation line with a wireless hub, water leak sensor, siren, security cameras, and 802.11ac routers, all running embedded Linux.

D-Link dipped its toes into the home automation waters years ago with its Linux-powered, surveillance-oriented Cloud Cameras. Earlier this year, the company waded in up to its D-knees with the similarly Linux-based DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug, an AC power socket for IP-based monitoring and control of lights and other appliances. Now the company is diving in all the way with a slew of new automation and security kits, including a Linux-based Connected Home Hub.

Left to right: Connected Home Hub, Wi-Fi Water Sensor, Wi-Fi Siren
(click images to enlarge)

Connected Home Hub


D-Link’s new $80 home automation hub is an AllSeen-compatible automation router built upon Qualcomm’s open source AllJoyn IoT interoperability framework.

Connected Home Hub (DCH-G020)
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The Connected Home Hub (Model DCH-G020) connects to four new D-Link sensors and sirens using WiFi and Z-Wave, and can also control third-party AllSeen compatible devices, including WiFi lighting solutions, says D-Link. The Hub is controlled by D-Link’s earlier mydlink Home app for Android and iOS, which links to D-Link cloud services.

Two of the four new peripheral devices run on embedded Linux themselves. The $60 Wi-Fi Water Sensor (DCH-S160) provides early warning of water leaks. It plugs into a power outlet and detects water near an attached cable.

Wi-Fi Water Sensor (DCH-S160)
(click images to enlarge)

The cable can wrap around pipes or potential leak sources like water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, and sump pumps. It connects via WiFi to the hub, and sends leak alerts to a mydlink-enabled mobile device.

Other potential trigger actions include turning off the device using the previously introduced Wi-Fi Smart Plug or sounding the new, similarly Linux-based Wi-Fi Siren (DCH-S220).

Wi-Fi Siren (DCH-S220)
(click images to enlarge)

This $50, WiFi-enabled siren device can play up to six different alarms based on the device and the action created to trigger the alarm. Mydlink users receive notifications regarding alarm events, and can manage the siren from the mobile device, adjusting volume and creating rules to interact with other D-Link devices.

The new hub also supports two new Z-Wave connected sensors that don’t run Linux. These include the $40 Z-Wave Open & Close Sensor (DCH-Z110) for detecting the opening of doors and windows, as well as a $50 Z-Wave Motion Sensor (DCH-Z120) that also incorporates temperature and light sensors. The Connected Home Hub and all four new peripherals are due to ship in the second quarter.

Open & Close Sensor (DCH-Z110, at left) and Motion Sensor (DCH-Z120)
(click images to enlarge)

D.I.Y. Security Kit

D-Link also announced two versions of a new camera-based D.I.Y Security Kit due to ship later this quarter. You get a choice of two Linux-based, 802.11ac-enabled cameras in kits that also include the company’s already shipping Wi-Fi Motion Sensor and aforementioned Wi-Fi Smart Plug. The devices can interoperate with earlier D-Link WiFi Cameras.

HD Edition (left) and HD Pan & Tilt Edition Wi-Fi Motion Sensors
(click images to enlarge)

The kit is available in a $190 HD Edition (DCH-101KT) and a $230 HD Pan & Tilt Edition (DCH-301KT). Both models work directly with the mydlink app and don’t require the new hub.

Users can remotely view live video feeds using either a fixed or pan and tilt camera, depending on the package. Using the same app, they can interact with the Wi-Fi Motion Sensor and Wi-Fi Smart Plug. Events can trigger actions that involve all three devices. If motion is detected, for example, you can instruct the Smart Plug to turn off the lights and have the camera record video on the separately sold D-Link Network Video Recorder (NVR). Alternatively, users can save ten 30-second clips per day on their mydlink Cloud account for free.

The HD Wi-Fi Camera, which is also separately available for $120, records 720p video, with 16-foot IR night vision and a 78-degree horizontal field of view. The Pan & Tilt model is also 720p, but has night vision that extends to up to 26 feet, and has a 98-degree horizontal field of view. It adds 340-degree pan and 120-degree tilt.

HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Baby Camera

D-Link also announced it is now shipping a previously-announced HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Baby Camera (DCS-855L), which appears to update an earlier Wi-Fi Baby Camera model. The $230, Linux-based device connects directly with the WiFi network and a mobile mydlink Baby app, and does not require the new hub. It does not appear to be integrated with the D.I.Y Security Kit.

HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Baby Camera
(click image to enlarge)

The 720p, pan and tilt camera lets parents remotely pan across an entire crib or nursery, and includes IR capability for seeing up to 16 feet in the dark. The device features sound, motion, and temperature sensors, each of which can be set up to send notifications. It also integrates two-way audio and five classic lullabies, as well as a microSD slot for playback of other audio.

“Ultra Performance Series” 11AC routers

D-Link’s new hub needs to connect to a WiFi router, and D-Link has you covered there, as well. Its three new Linux-based Ultra-series 802.11ac routers are some of the fastest around. They support a yet to be ratified 802.11ac 2015 standard better known as Wave 2, which uses tri-band beam forming technology.

Model AC5300 (5.3Gbps) 802.11ac wireless router
(click image to enlarge)

The devices can reach speeds of up to 5.3Gbps, according to the company. The speed factor is reinforced by a radical new design with red coloring and spiky, high-powered antennas, making it look something like an alien spaceship. The Ultra routers are available in AC5300 (5.3Gbps), AC3200 (3.2Gbps), and AC3100 (3.1Gbps) models, which appear identical to the AC5300 shown above, except they have eight, six, and four external antennas, respectively.

AC1900 Adapter
(click to enlarge)

All three models will ship in the second quarter. The AC3200 model is the only one that currently has pricing ($310). There’s also a spherical AC1900 Adapter version of the Ultra series, for plugging into a desktop computer, shown to the right.

The routers integrate a gigabit Ethernet WAN port and four GbE LAN ports in addition to supporting WiFi routing. USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports are also available. Other features include a QoS engine with a drag-and-drop UI, as well as WPA or WPA2 security and Wi-Fi Protected setup. More details on the routers are explored in this Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols post on ZDNet.

Further information

D-Link’s new home automation devices will ship over the next two quarters, with pricing and availability noted above. More information may be found at the D-Link Home Solutions page.

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