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Treehouse Labs and NXP Unveil BiKN Technology Platform

01/05/2012 | 08:53am EDT

Seeking to revolutionize the way mobile networks and applications for control, tracking and monitoring are delivered Treehouse Labs today unveiled the . The Platform uses low-power wireless chip technology from NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) to enable the "," opening entirely new markets and applications for affordable wireless sensor and control networks. Treehouse Labs will debut BiKN for iPhone®, the first consumer product based on its platform, at Unveiled, January 8, 2011 in Las Vegas. Innovative commercial applications based on the Platform will be demonstrated during the International Consumer Electronics Show January 10 - 13, 2012 in Las Vegas.

"Imagine being able to build an end-to-end, low-power wireless sensor or control network in weeks rather than months at a fraction of the development cost," commented John Howard, president and CEO of Treehouse Labs, LLC. "Every company has 'endpoints' that they want to talk to or monitor. Using NXP's low-power wireless technology, our BiKN Technology Platform enables the creation of large, scalable mesh networks. Built on standard protocols, BiKN interoperates through major smartphone OS software platforms, essentially eliminating the need for custom readers. We make the process accessible and easy to accomplish."

The thesis behind the BiKN Technology Platform is three-fold: Integrate hardware and software; operate through mobile and web-enabled devices; and leverage a patented advantage by using IEEE802.15.4 low-power networking standards enabling rapid creation and scalability of sensor and remote control networks while reducing current development costs.

"The BiKN Technology Platform is a revolutionary solution that demonstrates how 'smart' wireless technologies can make the Internet of Things accessible to consumers, developers and commercial enterprises," said Sean McGrath, general manager, smart home product line, NXP Semiconductors. "We look forward to working with Treehouse Labs as the company works with its growing developer community to unleash innovative applications that significantly change how we interact with the world around us."

Treehouse Labs uses the NXP JN5148 ultra low-power wireless microcontroller and the optimized for low-power, low-data rate, and cost-sensitive applications. Using an enhanced 6LoWPAN network layer based on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification, JenNet-IP enables a robust, self-healing network that helps BiKN track, monitor and control up to 500 devices. JenNet-IP features an elegant and extensible API, DIPL (Device Interface Protocol Layer), which makes product development straightforward for application developers using familiar methodologies. In addition, the NXP JN5148 solution has the ability to support other wireless network protocols, including ZigBee®, RF4CE, and other proprietary 802.15.4 protocols.

The BiKN Platform includes customizable apps, web interfaces, gateways, routers, and end-to-end management and security, allowing customers to build low-power wireless sensor networks that connect and control smart objects from a smartphone, iPad, PC and cloud server.

Smart Object Reference Hardware and Software

Smart Objects can be anything a user wants to connect and control. The BiKN reference hardware and software development kit allows customers to easily integrate their 802.15.4-based smart object into a BiKN-enabled network -- be it a light bulb, a temperature sensor, a RFID tag, or heart monitor. Ready-to-deploy BiKN tags, PCB modules, or a customer's own hardware can work with our open-standard software stacks to quickly plug everything together.

BiKN Gateways and Routers

The Platform has three connectivity options. Running standards-based JenNet-IP 6loWPAN stacks, the BiKN Gateway provides an interface to Ethernet, WiFi, or directly to smartphones. The Gateway allows smart objects within a 3.0 km range to talk to BiKN apps and servers. The BiKN case for iPhone is a short-range mobile version enabling users to connect and control smart objects from an Apple iPhone 4*. BiKN Routers can create a mesh network with one another, allowing for broad coverage, and with BiKN distance technology, smart objects can be tracked.

User Interfaces

With a legacy of over five million app downloads, Treehouse Labs understands the importance of a great user interface. The BiKN Technology Platform includes easy-to-customize apps for Apple and Android devices, along with web interfaces enabling customers to read and control smart objects from any internet-enabled device.

End-to-End Security and Management

A BiKN server can be set up locally or in the cloud for data collection and system-wide management. We provide the ability to control user permission(s) and accounts, to manage billing, view and download system performance metrics, push firmware and software updates, set event triggers and more from an easy-to-use web interface.

The first product developed on the Platform is BiKN™ for iPhone®. This product combines a revolutionary, radio-enabled smart case driven by the myBiKN app and clip-on tags to keep consumers connected to the things that matter most to them whether the iPhone is turned off or in sleep mode.

To expedite market entry, BiKN for iPhone can be used in commercial* applications requiring a portable solution. Made-for-iPhone-certified, this intelligent case can function as a wireless technology gateway and interfaces with Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth easily gathering 802.15.4 data. The solution measures distances accurately regardless of signal strength, using NXP's time-of-flight technology. It includes an embedded 32-bit NXP JN5148 microcontroller - 128 KB of RAM and 4 Mb of flash memory. The solution supports 6LoWPAN, JenNet-IP, ZigBee®, RF4CE and proprietary 802.15.4 protocols. The system is powered by independent, rechargeable lithium polymer batteries. A 300mAh Li-Polymer rechargeable battery allows the case to collect data while the phone is asleep or off and does not affect iPhone battery life. It simultaneously syncs and charges the case plus the iPhone through a micro-USB port and its alarm sounds even if the iPhone is off or dead.

of the BiKN Technology Platform include home and industrial automation, smart energy management, improving tracking and monitoring of equipment and inventory in retailing and hospitality, enhancing safety monitoring and security in healthcare, social services, athletics and educational environments.

To see demonstrations of products created using the BiKN Technology Platform, visit Treehouse Labs and NXP at CES, booth # CP8 in the Central Plaza or in the Treehouse Labs hospitality suite in the Venetian Hotel, Suite 215.

A video explaining the BiKN Technology Platform is available at

* Applications are subject to approval by Apple. BiKN is a trademark of Treehouse Labs LLC. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries. The App Store is a service mark of Apple, Inc.

About NXP Semiconductors

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.4 billion in 2010. Additional information can be found by visiting .

About Treehouse Labs

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Treehouse Labs is an innovative IP and new product development company using a highly integrated approach to delivering seamless, low-power wireless networks. Our BiKN™ Technology Platform integrates hardware and software, operates through mobile devices and delivers a patented advantage through open-standard networking technologies. The hardware, software, and cloud-based components leverage 802.15.4 networking standards enabling the creation of low-power sensor and remote control networks and applications. For more information on developing low-power wireless network solutions, please see .

© Publicnow 2012
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