Supply chain
NextDrive and partners jointly release IoT gateway-based smart lock
Chloe Liao, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES

Taiwan startup NextDrive has recently announced the latest application of its cube devices, a smart IoT gateway, to remote-control smart locking system developed in cooperation with Rohm Semiconductor and OHGA SmartThings, which is expected to generate new business opportunities in Taiwan's smart home market, according to industry sources.

NextDrive introduced its cube devices to the Japan market in September 2017, and has since won orders from many Japan power companies, as the devices can support Wi-SUN (wireless smart utility network) technology developed by Rohm Semiconductor as part of the home energy management system and go with smart electricity meters widely adopted in the country, the sources said.

NextDrive's cube devices have many other applications than home energy management. The latest one is use in smart locks developed by Taiwan-based OGHA SmartThings, which can be controlled by smartphones, Bluetooth and Wi-SUN technologies.

NextDrive chief technology officer William Liang said that the cube-based smart lock is the first lock available in the market with the Wi-SUN technology. Compared with Wi-Fi, Wi-Sun boasts lower power consumption, longer communication range, and much better penetration power, well suitable for home wireless transmission.

Liang said that home-use IoT gateway is basically an edge device like a microcomputer that can serve as a smart home hub. He continued that smart IoT gateways can be combined with web cameras, smart locks and dynamic sensors to build a simple home anti-theft system.

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