DeB is the world's first device browser. It makes connecting with devices simple and fun for everyone. Just tap using NFC and it’s done.
Together with the ADRC Shield and Hub, DeB opens up a whole new platform for makers allowing you to create wonderful user experiences for your Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects via a smartphone.
We have written the 100,000 lines of code required to implement DeB and ported it to Linux and Android so you don’t need to bother with developing a smartphone app for your project!
Our system consists of three elements: Shield, Hub and DeB.
The ADRC Shield
Shields are boards that can be plugged on top of the Arduino printed circuit board (PCB) to extend its capabilities. We incorporated our Auto-Discovery Remote Control technology onto the ADRC Shield or just Shield for short. It communicates via 802.15.4 communications technology with the ADRC Hub because this radio gives longer range than Bluetooth and uses less power than Wi-Fi.
The ADRC Hub
The ADRC Hub or just Hub contains the other half of our Auto-Discovery Remote Control technology. It acts as a translator between Wi-Fi on the phone and the 802.15.4 radio on the ADRC Shield. Also it is able to run advanced apps such as a rules engine or an energy monitoring service which may be available in the future. And finally it will provide a secure interface to the Internet so that you can safely control your projects when you are away from home.
The Device Browser - DeB
The Device Browser or DeB for short, brings everything together into one coherent and easy to use system. Just as a web browser allows you to view any website, DeB allows you to interact with any ADRC device. DeB is a single app that runs on a smartphone and provides the ability for developers to create customised user interfaces without needing the skills, funds or time required to create a phone app. DeB comes with a set of device templates that work out of the box, allowing you to customise them to suit your needs. You will then enjoy learning and exploring how to create your own fully customised interface.
DeB - One app to connect with everything
For more info see the chapters ‘How does it work’ and ‘Technology Information’ below.
"We just backed the project and we are very excited to get one of the first ones!"
"It looks very promising. I am interested in the result. Keep me informed."
"Your shield looks amazing, somehow it looks simple and something I would start working on. It's good that even beginners can identify with your Kickstarter campaign."
"Awesome campaign and product."
"Looks great guys."
"Really like the campaign. Obviously a LOT of work has gone into this project. I am very impressed with your website, the white paper, and the Kickstarter campaign as well."
"Congratulations on your accomplishment and a tip of the hat to all the work that has gone into this amazing project!"
"It is VERY cool! It is just what I need for my project."
"Excellent, will be exiting now to see how it goes."
"Seems like a great idea and I love to support Aussie tech."
"It's clear, it's readable and understandable to your market. Would I buy one? Yes. Will I buy one ? Yes. Can I now walk into my local ham radio club, and convince then to try a project or two? Yes, and they are hard sells."
"I think it’s great that you ask for feedback, read it and then reply. That is how any product developed for this community should be handled."
"I love it. I can’t wait to see it on the market! Terrible.... caused me to pop for US$215+ :-$ Think it is really well done. Movie is just goofy enough but not overly so. Text does a good job of describing the project. Good luck, hope it gets funded."
"I thought the Kickstarter campaign was brilliant and very knowledgeable. It is cool, I think it would be useful for building a drone.... Very interesting work you are doing, keep up the good work!"
DeB is for anyone who wants to create the next generation of cool connected devices.
So if you are a hobbyist, student or engineer, a starter or expert, DeB is for you.
Don't wait for someone else to create the things you want. Now you can build the future yourself. It's fun, it's easy and because you already know Arduino or Raspberry Pi you can get going right away.
Educators in schools, universities and colleges will also find DeB an engaging tool for teaching technology to their students. We are developing pedagogy, exercises and tools that satisfy the Australian national curriculum for years 7 through 12.
- Make Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects that display their user interface on your smartphone
- Create projects that alert you when something happens via a notification on your phone
- Impress your friends by allowing them to tap their phones on your project and control it
- Store events and data emitted by your projects in a central database on the Hub
- Develop or install Raspberry Pi applications on the Hub
- Control legacy devices such as TVs, DVDs, Blu-ray, air conditioners via our Infrared Blaster
- Control and monitor simple appliances such as lamps, fans, coffee makers, heaters via one of our smart plugs
- Connect your projects together to do amazing things by creating rules. Rules can be written using Arduino’s coding language, Wiring and run on Arduino. For example, rules can designate the output of one device to become the input for another device. This requires a Wi-Fi shield and a separate Arduino to run the rules logic.
- Make toys, robots, drones, hydroponic gardens...
- Turn your home into a smart home
You know that 99% of the world is designed by a tech-literate 1%. That's a problem caused by: closed technologies, uninteresting top-down teaching and the need for expensive development tools.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. We see a future where a 15 year old kid working in their bedroom can be the inventor of the next exciting new thing. Using free and open software, low cost hardware like Arduino and Raspberry Pi, even a 3D printer and DeB, anyone can become a designer and maker.
The other reason is that we found, and I’m sure you’ll agree, that technology is getting more and more complex to use. For example do we really want 6-7 remote controls in our home or 100 apps on our phone? DeB comes to the rescue. One app that can control and interact with almost anything. And the best part… you get to make the future.
- No phone app development required, you describe your device and its user interface in a simple XML document. Up and running in minutes.
- One smartphone app that works for all your projects.
- Access to an extensive library of GUI widgets.
- Add the Shield to any Arduino project or to a Raspberry Pi via an adapter board.
- Supports NFC pairing with your project, nevertheless, the system works as well with smartphones which are not equipped with NFC technology.
- Expandable with our existing and future products for appliance control, energy monitoring, sensors and more. See www.xped.com/Arduino for more details.
Make projects with your friends, your dad, your sister it’s fun and bonding.
Our kit is also great for schools, hacker spaces, clubs, companies and places where people investigate and try out new ideas.
Make hardware, games with physical pieces, share your projects with your neighbors, classmates and people all around the world.
Automate your vegetable garden or aquaponics system. Using sensors, record the climate in your school or home and compare it against changes in other places around the world.
There are a million and one things you could do!
DeB emerged from 5 years of government approved R&D into advanced Internet of Things technologies.
It is based on a standardized way of describing devices, a simple but powerful communications protocol and a generic device browser.
It is implemented as three interconnecting parts: a smartphone app (DeB), a device server (hub) and a device proxy (Arduino shield or chip).
We have developed an XML-based language called Resource Modelling Language (RML). It is used to describe the API and data of any device no matter how complex it may be. You can think of it as being similar to HTML where HTML describes a webpage so that a web browser can draw it on screen, whereas RML describes a device so that a device browser or other ADRC client can interact with it.
See here for sample scripts, templates and more information about RML: www.xped.com/Arduino
RML code is stored as a file on the Shield and automatically transferred to DeB during the pairing process. You can store the RML for your device in the PROGMEM of the Arduino as a string and our library for the shield makes it easy to register your device's RML with the shield during the setup function.
The Hub is necessary because smartphones don’t provide 802.15.4 communications technology. It also provides the ability for out-of-location control via the Internet so that you can control your devices when you are away from your Arduino project. Another powerful feature of the Hub is that it can run apps. An example of a Hub app is a rules engine that can be configured to control your devices based on events emitted by sensors or information feeds. The Hub connects to your existing Wi-Fi router via one of the Ethernet ports on the back. To set it up you simply connect it to power using the supplied power plug pack and then connect it to the Wi-Fi router using the cable supplied. No other configuration is required.
Adding an ADRC Shield is the same as any other shield; simply plug it on to an Arduino board. The Shield can be configured via a set of eight switches to use different pairs of pins for UART communications. The Shield has NFC so you can tap an NFC-enabled smartphone to it in order pair with it or view its webpage or access its configuration menu.
Here is where DeB comes in. When you tap your phone to your project, DeB will prompt you about the discovery of the new device. Give your project a name. DeB reads your project’s RML file from the Shield and creates a user interface for it. Once this happens you can control the device.
You can visit our blog to get more detailed technical information: http://xpedadrc.blogspot.com.au
1) Build your project and add the ADRC Shield. In this case we want to be able to switch the LED on and off.
2) Fill in the Resource Modelling Language (RML) template document. Register the RML with the shield using a library function.
3) Tap and pair your NFC-enabled phone. If your phone does not contain NFC technology, don't worry you can also tap your project to the Hub as it also has NFC.
4) You’re ready to control.
Temperature sensor example:
Create single page user interfaces
Create multiple page user interfaces
Wireless appliance example:
Guitar effects pedal interface example:
To demonstrate how flexible DeB really is, we decided to model this guitar effects pedal. The pedal is quite a complex one so we decided to model it in DeB as three pages. The most used controls we put on the main page and the controls used only occasionally we grouped onto two other pages. This is how it turned out. By the way, the owner of Prophecysound Systems really loved our design and we are working with them to automate their pedals.
Our Auto-Discovery Remote Control (ADRC) platform provides these technologies:
- Near Field Communications (NFC) is used so users can pair controllers with devices by simply tapping them together. Also known as 'on-boarding' this is the easiest way possible to configure a networked system.
- Near Field Ping (NFP) is a proximity communications technology similar to NFC but was developed by Xped to use less than 1,000th of the power and provide faster speeds than NFC. It is mainly used for battery powered devices such as sensors.
- Personal Area Networking (PAN) using the 802.15.4 MAC layer communications protocol. This kind of PAN can provide greater range than Bluetooth and uses less power than Wi-Fi so it is friendly for battery powered devices.
- An application layer state transfer protocol called Resource Control Protocol (RCP) which can tunnel through any transport protocol including TCP/IP, UDP, HTTP or even directly over a raw UART connection. The RCP wire protocol that is processed by devices is very concise and easy to parse in-place. However it provides many advanced capabilities including block transfers, end-point association, error code management, routing to hierarchical device structures. It is a REST protocol which has been augmented to natively support devices emitting unsolicited events.
- DNS-SD (Zeroconf) is used so that DeB can find Hub services automatically without the need for any user configuration. This allows controllers to find a Hub and even fail-over to backup hubs should this be necessary.
- A generic device browser called DeB to whom you have already been introduced.
- A powerful device server (ADRC daemon) that manages the communications between DeB and devices making communications reliable, caching results in order to maximize network efficiency, handling file transfers with devices, implementing the native ADRC system functions and many other things.
- A generic device proxy (AKA a reverse proxy) that adds all the native system behaviors required of ADRC devices. This is the stack that is loaded into the ADRC Shield.
This is the X-touchpoint logo. Whenever you see it it means that you can tap DeB to this device and you are ready to rock and roll...
The ADRC Shield
- The shield presents as an NDEF Type-2 Tag with bi-directional communications capability.
- NFP proximity communications technology which is similar to NFC but was developed by Xped to use less than 1,000th of the power and provide faster speeds than NFC. It is mainly used for battery powered devices such as sensors.
- PAN using the 802.15.4 MAC layer communications protocol.
- An ARM Cortex M3 32-bit microcontroller.
- 256 KB of FLASH memory.
- FLASH file system.
The ADRC Hub
- Communications interfaces
- Ethernet for connection to Wi-Fi router
- 802.15.4 radio for connection to devices
- NFC for touch to devices and phone
- Raspberry Pi model B+
- SD CARD: 8 GB
- TCP networking adaptor
- ADRC device server
- RCP.host protocol via TCP adaptor for network clients
- RCP.host protocol via D-Bus for local clients
- Device API
- RCP.wire protocol via PAN interface
- Data warehousing
- Raw device event logs in compressed CSV text files
- Internet connection using SSL or TLS (development in progress)
- PAN connection using individual AES-128 point to point encrypted links
Prototypes for Xped Arduino Project
Xped has working prototypes of:
- ADRC Shield
- ADRC Hub
- DeB App for Android and Linux
- Arduino library for the Shield
These are demonstrated live and working in our Kickstarter video.
Work in progress
We are currently working really hard to implement the ability to control your projects when you are out-of-home via the Internet. This is extra software being developed for the Hub. You can expect this to be ready around the time product ships or very soon after.
Right now we have versions of DeB for Linux and Android and we are about to begin porting it to iOS. This is not a complex process because it has been developed using Qt which has a port for iOS. However, there are a few unknowns especially relating to approval by Apple. So right now our timing is looking like DeB for iOS will be available in August 2015. We'll do our best to deliver by then if not before. And of course we will keep you informed on progress.
A “Clever Green Innovation” South Australia State Government grant application was approved and has been successfully completed.
Xped had an article published in the South Australian Advertiser newspaper, on 29th September 2014
Tytronics - to develop IoT connected thermostat solutions for the air conditioning industry.
GSSI - to develop a 20 cm accurate IoT connected GPS receiver for geophysical applications.
Prophecysound Systems - to develop a whole range of phone controllable guitar effects pedals beginning with their famous PiPhase pedal.
Polaris Center / City of Salisbury Smart Cities Project - to explore how to make the City of Salisbury a smart city using advanced Internet of Things technologies.
And some prominent universities that we are finalizing arrangements with so we don't want to name them just yet.
Requirements Arduino project
- Arduino PCB (Zero, Uno, Due)
- Arduino IDE (free download)
- Computer with USB functionality
- USB cable
Requirements Smart Phone
- Android smartphone or tablet with OS version 4.2 or later
- iPhone or iPad with OS version 2.0 or later (DeB is about to be ported to iOS and is expected by August 2015)
- NFC (optional)
- WIFI router with RJ45 Ethernet connector
Primarily to develop the injection mould tooling for Hub's plastic enclosure, to bulk buy components to get a cheaper price and to make the automated test jigs required for mass production.
We love building things with Arduino and Raspberry Pi because they are open platforms and have active communities behind them. We are part of our local hacker space where we try out some of our ideas and get feedback directly from real users like you.
After our Kickstarter project is over we will make DeB and the Hub source code available on Git Hub under an open source license.
We believe in open source so much we decided to use Raspberry Pi as the engine for the Hub. This means that you can easily create your own software to run on the Hub and install other open source packages. The sky is the limit.
John Schultz, CEO & co-founder
John Schultz (B Eng. Uni of SA) is a serial entrepreneur founding and successfully growing several companies over the last two decades specialising in the design, manufacture and business development of electronics systems. John has a wealth of experience running design and manufacturing businesses, managing staff and subcontractors and secured significant international business exporting vehicle immobilisers to Malaysia for aftermarket distribution and direct fit to Honda. This contract saw a peak of 30 employees locally employed and managed at Technology Park. John’s involvement in this project will encompass system specification, design, product design and manufacture, resource management and developing initial commercialisation opportunities.
Christopher Wood, CTO & co-founderChris has extensive experience in large telecommunications companies developing mission critical software applications. Chris has architected projects worth up to $200M and supported by a pool of 200 IT staff. Chris is a domain expert in the areas of GPS, inertial sensors and communications. Chris also possesses substantial technology development commercialisation experience. In 2003 Chris founded Neve Technologies Pty Ltd, a company which developed and commercialised an augmented GPS system for positioning vehicles in areas where GPS signals are severely degraded. In the commercialisation process Chris established a joint venture with the University of South Australia. Neve secured COMET funding, raised capital and successfully commercialised its technology internationally.
John Stefanac, COO. John joined Xped in May 2014 from Qualcomm, where he served as President of Southeast Asia & Pacific. John is responsible for market strategies and manages Xped’s business operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications and information technologies industries. Prior to Qualcomm John was with Nokia where he served as Vice President and General Manager of Asia/Pacific.
Michael Partington, CSMO Michael holds an accounting qualification and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with the University of South Australia. He has extensive skills spanning a 30-year period in growing sales through B2B and wholesale distribution environments including electrical retail channel sales where he achieved exponential growth in his 6+ year position as State Manager NT/SA with Samsung Electronics Australia.
ADRC blog: http://xpedadrc.blogspot.com.au
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ADRCtech
Current technologies are building a future where we will be overloaded with hundreds of apps, remotes and protocols with the end user being overwhelmed by the complexities of managing these devices and the networks that connect them. Jamming all the current technologies into one box and calling it new does not fix the problem and certainly does not provide the interoperability we are all yearning for.
Our vision of the Internet of Things is different. We felt if we made a fresh start, it would be possible to build a new generation of devices that could be easily connected, managed and maintained with one consistent, easy to use interface for all devices.
We aim to make technology human again! This Kickstarter project is the beginning of a long roadmap of future products and services.
A. You will become part of of our drive to change the way connected things are designed and made.
B. You get the best and most advanced IoT technology currently available.
C. It will be lots of fun creating user interfaces for your Arduino projects that can run on your phone.
D. You can help us build and extend ADRC technology and together we can add even more advanced features.
Risks and challenges
1.) We are very excited at the prospect of users getting our shield to see how they might use it. But the timeline we’ve put down has some challenges as we have upcoming breaks like Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter and we must avoid delaying on our commitment to you. So right now we are talking to manufactures about this. We’ll ship goods according to our super early bird, early bird and regular pledges. We will notify our backers with important timeline information as production rolls out.
2.) At Xped we have decades of development experience behind us, so we know that we must continue our rigorous testing regime to ensure we deliver quality and reliability. Xped has a plan that goes long into the future and this Kickstarter is our first commercialisation of our amazing Internet of Things technology, we know you only get one chance to make a first impression, so how we perform here determines our reputation going forward. Please check our bio’s and website to see our team and their experience.
3.) Radio propagation can be challenging, each home or office will have its own environment so we have chosen our antenna types carefully and had them designed by our PhD expert RF engineer. In your environment you can expect a range roughly equivalent to your home Wi-Fi router, we will provide instructions on how to install your system to maximise range. During the process of “prototype to production” we will be testing and retesting to fine tune our systems maximising range and reliability.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)