Tech & Product

Smart Home Communications : TUV Rheinland Hong Kong Sole Recipient of Several Accreditations from Bluetooth, KNX and ZigBee

October 6, 2014

HONG KONG -- According to IDC market research, the smart home market could reachUS$51.7 billion by 2020. Although the concept has existed for a long time, the inclusion of different home appliances in the smart home environment means that a unified standard has yet to be introduced. As such, certification and testing remains a problem, though smart homes currently have some commonly-used communication technologies such as Bluetooth, KNX, ZigBee, etc. TUV Rheinland Hong Kong is the only professional telecom testing laboratory with multiple accreditations from the major alliances of Bluetooth, KNX and ZigBee and can therefore assist manufacturers to enter the smart home market.

The applications of the smart home mainly include home entertainment, home care, security monitoring and smart home energy. The home automated network environment integrates network communication, sensor and monitoring systems to achieve safe and convenient functions. Different terminal devices such as security, lighting control and home environment monitoring are no longer a stand-alone operating system. Instead, communications can be exchanged and controlled between devices via mobiles or computers. With the continuous upgrading of some communications technology specifications in recent years, software and hardware manufacturers are becoming more active in planning smart home applications and services. Home automation is expected to be the next emerging market after wearable and portable devices.


Low Energy technology is also one of the top choices for home automation communications applications because it is supported by all smartphones, is characterized by stability and reliability, has low power consumption (Bluetooth core 4.0 Low Energy) and low cost, is globally recognized and can connect to Bluetooth-supported devices anywhere in the world. Bluetooth devices can serve as hubs for other Bluetooth smart devices after the Bluetooth 4.1 standard is announced, expanding the range of Bluetooth home applications. With more than 10 years of Bluetooth testing and certification experience, TUV Rheinland Hong Kong is the most comprehensive Bluetooth laboratory in theGreater China region and the only qualified Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility inHong Kong able to provide radio frequency and compatibility testing for the newest specifications version 4.1. Bluetooth Quality Experts (BQE) at TUV Rheinland can also help manufacturers obtain qualifications in the most economical and efficient manner, ranging from preliminary product development to product listing.

Since 2013, TUV Rheinland signed a partnership agreement with the KNX Association to perform conformity testing on future KNX devices. TUV Rheinland is not only the Accredited KNX Test Labs that are authorized to carry out the software testing of a KNX device but also the KNX "Associated Partners" which network, educate, share ideas and increase general awareness about the KNX Standard in the field of home and building automation. KNX is the only global standard for home and building control with a single, manufacturer independent design and commissioning tool (ETS). KNX is approved as different standards, include European Standard (CENELEC EN 50090 and CEN EN 13321-1), International Standard (ISO/IEC 14543-3), Chinese Standard (GB/T 20965), US Standard (ANSI/ASHRAE 135).

In terms of home automation application technology, ZigBee is a protocol built on IEEE 802.15.4 with wider application layers. In addition to being used for smart homes, it is also used in smart grids and smart buildings. In order to further expand the domain of the smart home market, ZigBee has announced the latest 1.2 home automation standard, creating an open and interactive wireless home control platform. ZigBee technology provides manufacturers with an optimized and reliable standardized wireless platform with low cost and low power consumption. TUV Rheinland is the officially-appointed testing laboratory of ZigBee Alliances, involved in formulating all ZigBee's testing, standards and procedures. TUV Rheinland Hong Kong and branches inAsia (Korea, Japan, Taiwan and mainland China), North America and Germany can also provide ZigBee Logo testing for products ranging from lower layer IEEE 802.15.4 radio conformance Protocol (ZCP) to the ZigBee application layer Public Profiles.

Each communications technology has its own advantages in the smart home. Each wired and wireless technology specification continues to be upgraded and integrated. Manufacturers must first grasp smart phone application know-how to gain quick access to the market. Selecting professional and experienced certification bodies can be very helpful in lowering R&D costs and gaining market opportunities.

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