If you are keen to find out more about how Imagination is transforming our homes, making them more efficient, more comfortable and more aware, Tony King-Smith, EVP of Marketing for Imagination, will be talking about the Connected Home in a session at the Future World Symposium ’14 conference organized by NMI. Furthermore, Imagination CEO Sir Hossein Yassaie will be exploring the implications, the drivers and the opportunity for connecting technology in a home context in the main keynote at the same event.

From digital TVs, set-top boxes or game consoles to digital radio, connected audio and an ever increasing number of smart home appliances, the connected home market covers a wide range of products we interact with in our living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens.

This growing segment of the consumer electronics industry has recently undergone an interesting transformation.

Imagination designs the smart technologies powering the connected home revolution

A decade ago, high-speed Wi-Fi in your home was a distant aspiration; now, it is a reality that most people take for granted and has transformed the way devices communicate. Imagination has helped push the boundaries of connectivity inside the home by designing the Ensigma radio processors that deliver comprehensive solutions for every form of communications and networking, including 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (up to 2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 4.0 (LE), FM, DAB and several others including demodulation of all of the world’s digital TV standards. By providing this unique programmable, multi-standard solution as a highly configurable family of SoC IP cores, we have helped our partners integrate communications onto their SoC, therefore creating a plethora of new connected devices and opening up new business opportunities.

Another area of focus is the home entertainment market. Five years ago, the concept of a smart TV simply implied a bigger remote; now, thanks to the high-performance PowerVR multimedia and Ensigma communications processors, smart TVs can run apps that are similar to smartphones or tablets, deliver multimedia rich, compelling UIs and make video calls, all while consuming very little power. Customers combining high performance, low power IP processors from Imagination have created new, exciting user experiences such as console-like gaming, fast 4K video decoding and realistic, immersive 3D environments on a wide range of platforms. Using the compute power of the graphics processors also enables gesture and face recognition for advanced interaction with the TV.

Smart TV SoCAn example of a Smart TV SoC platform that integrates of range of Imagination IP cores

This is only the beginning. The connected home experience today means you can connect your set-top box, smart TV and digital radio to the internet. Tomorrow’s connected home is a much more pervasive environment, where not only all audio and video equipment is connected – but all of your appliances too. Imagine seeing what’s in the fridge using your tablet, keeping track of expiry dates on food, checking who is at your door when you are out and much more.

The connected home extends to e-health and automotive

The Internet of Things infrastructure will include refrigerators, ovens, light bulbs, washing machines, heating, air conditioning systems and much more, creating a mesh of devices connected to the internet. This enables everything in your home to interact with you and your family, remembering everyone’s preferences and analysing your use patterns. Traditional services like healthcare or machine servicing can easily be integrated too. For example, e-health patches that monitor your vital functions and transmit data to the family physician via secure Internet protocols can be worn inside the house, therefore preventing unnecessary hospital visits and reducing the costs of healthcare.

 

Pure designs and sells connected radios and audio using innovative Imagination IP technologies

An important aspect of all of these new devices is security. At Imagination, we take security very seriously, both at the consumer and enterprise level. From implementing advanced security and anti-tamper capabilities in the hardware designs of MIPS CPUs to ensuring our FlowCloud software infrastructure platform includes the safest and most up-to-date security protocols, we provide the complete set of fully-interoperable building blocks that accelerate deployment of Internet-based platforms in a highly secure manner. As more devices become connected the potential for security to be compromised multiplies significantly; therefore it is vital that solutions in this developing market segment are truly, robustly secure.

FlowCloud - a technology platform designed for IoTFlowCloud connects every device to the cloud, from wireless audio speakers to e-health patches

In conclusion, we can already see how the home is going to change over the next decade. In the future, the connected home will become much more self-aware and able to adapt itself to its inhabitants and the environment. We believe the Internet of Things is going to play a major role in shaping new user experiences inside the home. By offering a diverse portfolio of SoC IP cores that can be combined to work together efficiently for the next generation of connected home devices, Imagination is already well positioned to drive innovation in this market.

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About the author: Simon Forrest

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Simon Forrest is Director of Segment Marketing for Imagination Technologies, responsible for promoting the company’s class-leading graphics, display and communications IP and establishing partnerships with OEMs, service operators and companies operating within the home consumer electronics sector. A graduate in Computer Science from the University of York, Simon possesses over 20 years’ experience in broadcast and broadband technologies and is author of several patents. Prior to joining Imagination, Simon held senior technical management positions within Pace plc.

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