Z-Gate USB Dongle – the Key to Cost-Effective Home and Enterprise Automation

November 28th, 2019

DSR Zigbee Dongle

Nearly 1.6 billion smart home devices will be shipped in 2023, thanks to the market’s double-digit growth, according to IDC’s latest forecast. Affordable and easy-to-use solutions drive the adoption of new technology that makes our houses and offices more intelligent, comfortable, and eco-friendly. One such device is the Zigbee Dongle Gateway Enabler (Z-Gate USB Dongle) by DSR Corporation. All you need is a slick and lightweight USB-stick and an Android-powered set-top box (STB) or smart TV.

Zigbee is the only complete IoT solution, from the mesh network to the universal language that allows smart objects to work together. It was developed by companies from the Zigbee Alliance, which was established in 2002. Numerous Zigbee products, ranging from motion sensors to smart speakers, are used in home automation, security and monitoring systems, smart energy, and other smart building and environment solutions.

Due to its low power consumption and the ability to operate in a low data rate environment (250 kbit/s), the Zigbee standard is widely used to create wireless sensor networks, intruder warnings, smoke detector networks, and smart lightning.

Z-Gate USB Dongle

The Zigbee Dongle Gateway Software developed by DSR is a cost-effective and easy to use smart-home solution. Service providers can benefit from its affordability and transparent set-up process for the end-user.

The device is powered by the Nordic nRF52840 SoC which is certified as Zigbee Compliant Platform. DSR’s Z-Gate USB Dongle with Nordic SoC supports both Zigbee and BLE protocols concurrently. Nordic’s nRF52840 SoC helps enable this outstanding functionality.

Nordic Chip

The key advantage of the Z-Gate USB Dongle from DSR is the accompanying full-fledged Zigbee Gateway app running on an Android-powered STB, smart TV, or any Android device. No need to buy, install, and setup cumbersome traditional hardware gateways, adding more wires to power them on. All you need is an inexpensive Zigbee Dongle and an Android set-top box which Customers usually already have in their homes.

The IoT gateway is a device between the edge system, i.e. controllers, sensors, and the cloud. It processes, filters, and stores data, secures connected devices, and translates protocols. All data moving to and from the cloud goes through the IoT gateway.

Sensors are able to generate hundreds of thousands of bits of data per second. The IoT gateway preprocesses the gathered data locally in order to greatly reduce response times and network transmission costs by minimizing the volume of transmitted information.

DSR’s Zigbee IoT Gateway

DSR is a hardened veteran of the Zigbee ecosystem. Our company is one of the oldest members of the Zigbee Alliance and a well-established Bluetooth SIG participant. The Zigbee Interoperability Demo Wall at CES demonstrates, annually, the variety of Zigbee supported devices. The Demo wall was powered by a DSR IoT Gateway for three consecutive years and all the devices were integrated by our company.

Zigbee Demo Wall by DSR

DSR’s extensive experience with Zigbee enables us to proactively resolve any integration issues. Due to the vast range of companies and products available in the Zigbee marketplace, not every single device can be integrated with an IoT gateway seamlessly. Our engineers have been mastering their skills and troubleshooting techniques for many years, in order to quickly resolve integration and interoperability problems.

DSR IoT Expertise

Differences in the realization of Zigbee specifications by companies developing smart products sometimes leads to interoperability problems with the gateway solution. DSR’s team knows how to deal with technical challenges in a time-effective and cost-effective manner, ensuring interoperability for all Zigbee enabled devices.

DSR’s IoT Gateway guarantees seamless support of more than 200 Zigbee devices from more than 40 manufacturers.

Device Manufacturers

DSR IoT Gateway Advantages:

  • Interoperability proven by Zigbee Alliance
  • Optimized memory usage, small resources footprint
  • Automatic channel selection for radio-dense environments
  • Dynamic Zigbee device commissioning
  • Local APIs in Java and C
  • SDK for Integration with any 3rd party clouds including Amazon, Google, and Azure Clouds

Z-Gate USB Dongle Use Cases

Home Automation with STB

An STB (cable box or smart TV) can be used to connect various smart devices like LED bulbs, smoke sensors, power switchers with dimmer and meter, and smart wireless thermostats with the help of a single DSR Z-Gate Dongle. The user simple plugs the dongle into a USB port on the STB, installs the Z-Gate application, and controls the smart home system with the help of a mobile app for Android or iPhone. Apps are developed by DSR for specific project requirements. The fully-featured Zigbee IoT gateway runs on the user’s Android-based STB and transmit all the data to DSR’s IoT Cloud.

This solution not only eliminates the service-providers’ need to buy and setup an IoT hardware gateway, but also facilitates its integration into users’ device ecosystem. The functionality of the STB remains intact and fully available to users.

For example, DSR’s Zigbee dongle can be used as a white label solution for a smart home. The service-provider picks up from a wide range of Zigbee-enabled products (smoke detectors, water leakage sensors, roller shutter controls, motion sensors, power switches with dimmer and meter, smart electric bulbs, window shade motors, temperature sensors, smart plugs, wireless dimmers, smart locks, etc.) to configure into product bundles. Tbe DSR team of mobile software developers then create easy to Customize white label apps for Android and iOS to manage the desired smart home infrastructure. The end-user is presented with easy-to-use, customized home automation kit which includes:

  • The Z-Gate Dongle
  • A user-friendly mobile app
  • A wide range of smart home elements
  • A Zigbee IoT Gateway Android app for STBs, available for download on the Play Store.

Other Possible Use Cases

STBs are frequently found in hotel rooms around the world. With the help of a Zigbee dongle and IoT Gateway app, hotel rooms can be easily be turned into smart ones. End-user apps can give the guests control over the room’s temperature, lightening, window shutters, and power switches.

The Z-Gate Dongle can be also used to automate lightning in office buildings and meeting rooms, as well as booking systems, and other various corporate and home solutions based on Zigbee-enabled products.