Ayla IoT platform adds phone-as-a-gateway capability for Bluetooth products

Ayla Networks, a global Internet of Things (IoT) platform for manufacturers, announced a new phone-as-a-gateway (PaaG) capability that will allow Bluetooth-enabled products to connect to the Ayla IoT cloud using a smartphone or other mobile device, without requiring IoT gateways or any changes to the Bluetooth products themselves. By extending Bluetooth products’ local IoT connectivity to the cloud, PaaG lets manufacturers gain the full value of the IoT data generated by their Bluetooth products.

Using Ayla’s phone-as-a-gateway capability, Bluetooth-enabled products such as power tools, low-cost kitchen appliances and gadgets, health and wellness devices, and irrigation and other outdoor products can be connected to the IoT cloud using only a smartphone or other mobile device.

As a result, PaaG extends IoT cloud connectivity to more kinds of products—and for Bluetooth products already leveraging an IoT cloud through a gateway, PaaG simplifies the cloud connectivity and provides access to the Ayla IoT platform’s full range of robust IoT services.

“Without a separate IoT gateway to provide connectivity to an IoT cloud, manufacturers of locally controlled Bluetooth products have been missing out on the most important benefits of the IoT: harnessing IoT data to help them improve their products faster, offer value-added services to their customers and discover new revenue channels,” said David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks.

“Our phone-as-a-gateway feature provides an easy, seamless way to use mobile phones to take IoT data generated by Bluetooth devices and transmit it directly to the cloud.”

The issue addressed by Ayla’s phone-as-a-gateway feature is that many connected products use Bluetooth connectivity and a mobile application to enable end users to set up, manage and control the products. But Bluetooth does not support the IP protocols required for Internet—and therefore IoT cloud—connectivity.

Traditionally, smart home products have achieved IoT cloud connectivity by taking advantage of an existing Wi-Fi network, with Bluetooth, ZigBee, Z-Wave and other non-IP-supporting networking protocols gaining access to the Wi-Fi network through a hardware gateway that plugs into a Wi-Fi router.

However, many Bluetooth-enabled products are too small, inexpensive or numerous to warrant an IoT gateway, or they operate beyond the range of the smart home network. Without a practical, inexpensive way for Bluetooth products to gain access to the cloud, their smart connectivity remains local—and manufacturers have no way to leverage the IoT data generated by their products.

Manufacturers can use Ayla’s PaaG to connect both existing and future Bluetooth products to the Ayla IoT cloud with a simple mobile app update, which allows the mobile device to handle cloud connectivity using its own Wi-Fi or cellular connection. As a result, entire new classes of smart products can use the IoT cloud without adding any cost or effort to manufacturers.

Ayla’s phone as a gateway expands IoT value for manufacturers

The new phone-as-a-gateway feature is built into Ayla’s mobile software development kit (SDK) and Agile Mobile Application Platform (AMAP). By building the Ayla mobile SDK or AMAP into the mobile app controlling their Bluetooth-enabled products, that manufacturers do not have to retrofit already installed products or redesign future products to extend their connectivity to the IoT cloud.

Once connected to the Ayla IoT cloud using PaaG, Bluetooth products gain access to the full range of Ayla IoT platform capabilities, including user and device management, IoT data access, device and multi-region support.

With Ayla’s PaaG, manufacturers of Bluetooth-enabled connected products can:

    • Use the Ayla IoT cloud to access, store and analyse IoT data generated by their products.
    • Use cloud analytics and cloud-based integrations with other IoT products and services to enhance the value of their products to end users. For example, manufacturers of power tools could include services that monitor and optimse battery management, enable remote control of the power tools, or upload tool settings for specific tasks so that even inexperienced homeowners can achieve precision tool control.
    • Add or enhance revenue streams through value-added services, consumables or integration with other connected products, including from third parties.

For instance, manufacturers could offer additional complementary products or consumable replacements based on individual consumer usage patterns. They could also provide subscription services for tailored feedback, providing weekly or daily guidance to improve watering and feeding of garden plants, or customised recipe suggestions to accompany a smart cooker or kitchen scale.

The phone-as-a-gateway feature is available now as part of the mobile SDKs and AMAP in the Ayla IoT platform.

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