Product Engineering Support and Wireless Interconnection over BLE for Home Safety Devices with Embedded Alexa Assistant

Client Overview

Connected Home and Security brand of a fortune 500 company with products like smoke detectors/ alarms, extinguishers, cookware, home fragrance, food storage, etc. making the world a better and safer place

Business Challenge

Launch a next-generation connected smoke detector product from sketch to scale within the same year starting from concept to product launch with following special features:

  • Cater both iOS and Android consumers with high star rating app
  • Connected Product with HomeKit compliance as well as Non-Homekit based product over BLE for iOS consumers
  • Provide wireless and wireline interconnect of safety devices in a home for alarm announcement with location information
  • Eliminate external Alexa Echo device dependency and embed virtual assistant into fire safety product to control smart home appliances via voice commands
  • Support multi-lingual voice services for Alexa: US English, French, Canadian and Spanish with audio quality exceeding Amazon Echo and Google Home performance
  • Support to Bluetooth speaker for content streaming via mobile from services like Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify etc.
  • Battery life of five years
  • The product has to pass Fire Safety Standards and Agency Testing

VOLANSYS Contribution

  • Architecture design, development, and QA of a Design-to-Manufacture product
  • Full ownership of FW development, mobile application development (iOS & Android), and AWS cloud connectivity
  • Firmware development
    • AC and DC models support
    • Code isolation of HomeKit specific code
    • Implemented non-HomeKit device and W-Fi provisioning mechanism
    • Cloud AWS IoT API and OTA changes in-line to cloud implementations
    • FW OTA for Wi-Fi and BLE modules
    • Private mesh network over BLE for alarming all devices in a house in case one device detects fire smoke
    • Firmware development on top of baseline SDK from semiconductor module vendor
    • MQTT agent for AWS cloud connectivity
  • End-to-end secured device, firmware, cloud, mobile apps provisioning, and commissioning
  • Battery optimization to increase battery life up to 5 years
    • Controlled Wi-Fi and BLE radio and optimized transmitting of data when needed
    • Implemented power saving by controlling radio module power consumption
    • Optimized BLE Mesh algorithm for the broadcasting mechanism 
  • Architected, developed and deployed Android and iOS mobile application using client’s AWS IoT cloud to support multiple safety devices
    • Alerts and notifications
    • LED color control
    • Device OTA
    • Battery status
  • Added support of generating mesh communication key in the mobile application for secured device communication
  • AWS cloud support
    • MQTT based secure cluster implementation
    • Device certificate management
    • AWS Lambda API implementation
    • Continuous Deployment implementation – Code auto deployment
    • Push notification configuration
    • Upgraded DynamoDB structure for better manageability
    • Developed configurable scripts for device OTA and status check
    • Upgraded cloud architecture from centralized to a distributed structure to make it fault tolerant
  • Developed user dashboard – Python-based web application for device search, user search, device diagnosis, log details, etc
  • Alexa skills development for device status check
  • Production and design team support, manufacturing test, flashing and factory serialization utility development
  • Conducted end-to-end manual and automated testing (sanity and regression analysis)
  • Support client’s internal Deliverable Acceptance testing
  • Quality Engineering – Test automation
    • Quality Testing with test automation tool – Robot framework and Appium for Android, iOS mobile applications and device firmware
      • On-boarding
      • Sanity
      • Regression
      • On-boarding using Home kit App for iOS
      • OTA process
    • Executed 750+ test cases for Android, iOS mobile applications and device firmware
      • Test case management using Test Rail
      • Maintain release in Bit rise, Bit Bucket and Jenkins
      • Build trigger in Jenkins

Solution Architecture

VOLANSYS-Embedded Alexa Assistant

Benefits Delivered

  • Enriched client’s safety device capabilities with seamless audio and mesh connectivity that helped them upsell the product
  • Helped customer grab higher market share with Android as well as iOS with non-HomeKit support added to control safety devices
  • Being one-stop solution provider, it reduced the hassle of multi-vendor support, coordination time and accelerated the product launch timelines
  • Delivered an edge against a competitor with faster time-to-market
  • Enabled safety agency certification on the first go to achieve safety standards compliance