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

Client Overview

A fortune 500 company specializing in connected home and security/safety products like smoke detectors/alarms, extinguishers, etc. making the world a safer place

Business Challenge
  • Design, develop and support the production and launch of a new variant of the connected smoke detector
  • Capture both iOS and Android market by implementing HomeKit as well as non-HomeKit support to control devices over BLE
  • 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.
  • Improve battery life
  • Faster time-to-market to compete with competitors (google safety products)
  • Support Fire Safety Agency testing
VOLANSYS Contribution
  • End-to-end architecture design, development, and QA of a Design-to-Manufacture product
  • Overall ownership of FW development, mobile application development (iOS & Android), and AWS cloud connectivity
  • Firmware development
    • AC and DC models support
    • Android and iOS applications 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
  • 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
    • Optimized BLE 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 connection
    • Device certificate management
    • AWS Lambda API implementation
    • CI/CD 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
Solution Architecture
Benefits Delivered
  • SLA’s dependent delivery that enabled the customer to launch product per schedule
  • Enriched client’s safety device capabilities (FW, Mobile, and Cloud) that helped them upsell the product
  • Delivered an edge against a competitor with faster time-to-market
  • Client could capture Android market with non-HomeKit support added to control safety devices
  • Provided 24/7 support to enhance customer experience and resolve issues as they got reported
  • Reduced customer support issues backlog for all variants by 75-80%
  • Enabled safety agency certification to comply with safety standards
  • Onsite support to develop scripts for the serialization efforts