Smart home company SwitchBot has launched a 4-in-1 Smart Home Hub capable of connecting to a variety of home automation devices. The ‘SwitchBot Hub 2’ can control air conditioners, lights, humidifiers, and other smart home products, and is powered using a regular wall socket.
This device includes temperature, humidity, and light sensors, allowing it to automate certain functions, such as turning on the humidifier when the room humidity drops below a set value, or using its geo-fencing capabilities to switch on the air conditioning when the user is close to arriving home. The ‘smart button’ function also allows the SwitchBot Hub 2 to execute certain pre-set ‘scenes’ – such as a bedtime routine that switches off all lights and closes the curtains. The user just presses the relevant button whenever they want to engage these functions.
The SwitchBot Hub 2 also supports legacy infrared (IR) appliances and can learn and mimic signals from existing IR remote control devices, such as air conditioning units. Users can also connect with other SwitchBot products via Bluetooth® LE and Wi-Fi, so they can control these devices using their smartphone both locally and remotely, for a more complete smart home experience.
This device is powered by Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52833 advanced multiprotocol SoC. The nRF52833 SoC is used to control the screen display, as well as process the key input and environmental data, using its powerful 64 MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU). This Bluetooth® LE connectivity is enabled by the nRF52833 SoC’s 2.4 GHz multiprotocol radio, with 8 dBm output power -96 dBm RX sensitivity for a link budget of 104 dBm - ensuring robust connectivity and good range.
The Hub 2 serves as the hub for SwitchBot’s series of products, allowing its Bluetooth LE devices to connect to the Cloud and support remote operation, voice control, and ecosystem automation functions.
The SwitchBot app (available for iOS and Android) can be downloaded to the user’s smartphone, tablet or smartwatch, providing a view of historical changes to the environment, as well as alerts (for example, when the temperature increases significantly). Using the app, users can also automate product actions and set the desired programs for each scene.
“We used the Nordic Software Development Kit [SDK] because it was able to provide comprehensive software development tools and resources, including code examples, API documentation, development tools, and testing tools, which greatly simplified the development and testing process,” says Michael Su, Product Marketing Manager at SwitchBot. “It also provided a complete software framework that was both efficient and secure, with excellent compatibility.
“The Nordic SoC also plays an indispensable role in the Hub2,” says Su. “The high efficiency and stability ensure smooth data reporting and control of Bluetooth LE [peripherals] while guaranteeing stable interaction communication with mobile phone apps. The Hub2 can deliver on its many requirements thanks to the outstanding performance of the nRF52833 SoC.
“Nordic's technicians regularly provided us with relevant technical support and consulting services, including help with SoC selection and technical problem solving, as well as appropriate suggestions and recommendations,” Su continues. “They also recommended related tools and software to help us better develop and test this product.”