Manufacturing News

Raya acquires Australian IoT startup

Raya has acquired Australian Internet of Things electronics company Xped, which has developed technologies to improve the control and monitoring of devices.

Xped was founded in 2008 by John Schultz, Chris Wood and Phil Carrig. The Xped Auto Discovery Remote Control (ADRC) IoT platform is based on centralising the control of IoT type devices and eliminating the need for multiple dedicated apps to control different devices.

The system consists of Near Field Communication (NFC) circuitry which is attached to the devices, an IEEE802.15.4 communications hub which allows out-of-location control via the Internet, and a “Device Browser” on an NFC-enabled smart phone.

To use the system, the user taps the smart phone to the device. The Device Browser will then automatically discover the device, set up a secure wireless network, gather any resources needed, and render the user interface for that particular device, allowing the user to “tap and control” the device without switching apps.

In 2014, the company successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign, raising $29,288 from 245 backers for an implementation of its system with Arduino shields, allowing enthusiasts to tap and control Arduino-based projects.

According to Xped, IoT is currently facing issues because of the lack of a common language and operating platform. The use of proprietary apps for individual devices means increasing development time and costs for product developers, and a lack of uniformity or compatibility between devices.

It also means the promise of IoT, to allow multiple devices to be controlled from a single point, remains unfulfilled: the user may work from only one smart phone, but has to switch between apps to control different devices. In contrast, the ADRC system allows true centralised control from a single control unit.

In addition to its software and add-on circuitry hardware, Xped has developed Gateway devices such as infrared blasters and smart plugs that allow non ADRC devices like TVs, DVD players, air conditioners, etc, to be controlled via its system.

The operations of Xped now span from its original base in Adelaide across to Singapore with its established corporate global headquarters. Further plans are currently underway to expand into the United States. It currently has eight patents underway: two granted, five in national phase and one in provisional phase across 14 countries and Europe.

According to Raya, upon completion of the acquisition, it will appoint former Qualcomm President of Southeast Asia & Pacific, John Stefanac as CEO of Xped.

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