CEL announces the release of its new Cortet IoT Connectivity Suite, extending the company’s deep portfolio of wireless hardware and embedded software offerings.   Cortet™ is a turnkey wireless solution which bridges the gap between ‘things’ and the cloud;  more specifically, it enables product manufacturers to quickly and easily link their physical ‘thing’ to the digital world.

The Drivers for Creating Cortet

As the name suggests, Cortet is an ensemble of four well-orchestrated connectivity layers – Radio, Software, App, and Cloud – all built around an incredibly strong embedded core.  This complete offering spans the entirespectrum of the connectivity space, with all of the critical components guaranteed to work seamlessly together.

When describing the need for developing Cortet™, Tom Benson (CEL Vice President & General Manager, Embedded Systems) stated, “Cortet™ simplifies the most difficult part of IoT connectivity – the part we felt compelled to develop after watching our customers struggle for years.  We know firsthand that working with wireless hardware, embedded software, apps and the cloud can be a daunting task, and many of our customers simply don’t have the expertise or even the desire to become system integration experts.”

Benson goes on to say, “We’ve found that other systems offer only one or two pieces of the total solution, thus forcing device manufacturers to combine a hodgepodge of disparate components with little if any optimization – and without any guarantee that these same components will work flawlessly together.  Our customers are constantly asking for full turnkey solutions from an experienced, well established partner who can take on the entire connectivity piece.  As our tagline states, CEL allows its customers to ‘Connect with Simplicity’; we essentially remove all of the complexity associated with IoT connectivity by providing these full turnkey solutions.”

Ben Kutell, Director of Strategic Programs at Qmotion Advanced Shading Systems, added, “CEL worked with us to develop and implement key parts of our ZigBee control system.  We were amazed that in under a month, CEL had our shades ZigBee enabled and connected to the cloud.  Their group of experts has become an integral part of our team.”

Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs, added, “We’ve enjoyed a long relationship with CEL, and we are delighted to see how they’ve integrated our industry-leading silicon into their Cortet wireless solution, which bridges the gap between connected devices and the cloud,” said Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs. “With Cortet, CEL continues to make great strides in providing connectivity, control and security to devices within the IoT.”

What makes Cortet™ Unique?

Cortet™ stands apart by providing truly latency-free local control and monitoring.  Competing cloud-based IoT systems that rely on cloud decision making and control suffer from two major compromises.  The first is slow response times and the second is a dependency on an often precarious, ‘always-on’ Internet connection.

Delayed response times directly affect the perceived quality of the connectivity solution; for applications like lighting controls, consumers demand that IoT devices respond immediately to control stimuli from apps or physical light switches.  Even the slightest delay will tarnish the perceived quality of the entire system.

Solutions that depend upon an ‘always on’ Internet connection are also problematic for critical applications like water damage prevention.  A number of events can disable the Internet or Wi-Fi connection, preventing the critical control actions to be triggered when most desperately needed.

Cortet™ solves these problems by offering an intelligent App that combines ubiquitous cloud access with latency-free local control.  When in the vicinity of the local network, the Cortet™ App automatically prioritizes local connectivity and local intelligence over cloud connectivity.   All control functions – including the execution of multi-device rules and scenes execution – reside within the local bridge.  Since the execution of the App commands are contained within the localized network, all local control and monitoring functions occur instantaneously.  As the App leaves the proximity of the network, it seamlessly switches to remote, cloud-based control via the Cortet™ Cloud.

Targeted Users of Cortet™

With the full Cortet™ suite at their disposal, device manufacturers can now easily create their own autonomous ‘point solutions’, or they can utilize just the radio and embedded software pieces to become part of an established ecosystem.  The ‘point solution’ option offers device manufacturers the added flexibility of being able to connect to other ecosystems via cloud APIs.  This latter feature makes Cortet extremely attractive for those customers seeking to employ a hybrid Go to Market strategy which concurrently supports both in-house and 3rd party ecosystem integration.

Cortet™ Radio – An Expansion of CEL’s Long Established MeshConnect Line

As the first connectivity layer, the Cortet™ Radio serves as the physical, wireless link between an end product and the Internet of Things (IoT).   This key component represents an expansion of CEL’s well established MeshConnect® line of wireless modules and IP bridges, directly leveraging the company’s dependable, 60 year heritage in providing wireless connectivity solutions.

Just last week, CEL responded to the strong market demand for its radio products by announcing the preliminary release of a new Wi-Fi® + Bluetooth® Mini Module, as well as two new system-in-package (SiP) ‘Nano Module’ offerings.  Each of these releases significantly broadens the scope and capabilities of CEL’s existing portfolio of Bluetooth® Classic, Bluetooth® Smart, Wi-Fi®, ZigBee®, and Thread solutions.

CEL is also continuing to expand its offerings for Internet-connected bridges that allow Bluetooth®, ZigBee®, and Thread products to connect to the Internet. Many of these devices were on display at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Cortet™ Software

To connect a ‘thing’ securely and reliably to other ‘things’ -as well as to the greater collective of the IoT – the wireless radio must employ exceptionally robust and proven embedded software.  CEL has been helping customers with code development since the introduction of its earliest wireless modules.  Bringing to bear CEL’s award-winning software capabilities with last year’s acquisition of Eagle Mountain Technology, CEL is now able to offer full turnkey application libraries with automated testing and ready-made applications for a variety of ecosystems.

Cortet™ App

In the world of the IoT, a mobile device app is an ideal way for a user to interact with a variety of connected ‘things’.  However, to be truly effective, these mobile apps must be able to connect directly to a localized network of things without requiring Internet connectivity.  This is where the Cortet™ App excels over competitive cloud-based connectivity solutions.

The Cortet™ App connects directly to a local network of devices using a gateway or a Cortet™ Radio IP bridge.  In this way, the Cortet™ App allows for users to interact directly with ‘things’ locally without latency and without requiring an Internet connection.  However, when the Cortet™ App is removed from the presence of the local network, it seamlessly connects through the Cortet™ Cloud to all the devices on the local network.

The Cortet™ App is available as a standard, off the shelf offering.  Alternatively, customers have the option of re-branding & re-skinning the Cortet™ App to make it their own, or to leverage the underlying Cortet™ App SDK to build a new app altogether.

Cortet™ Cloud™

Once a strong core is established and a ‘thing’ can connect to the Internet, the device must establish its digital presence and have a path to connect to anything in the cloud.  This is essentially the concept behind CEL’s Cortet™ Cloud.

The Cortet™ Cloud connects Cortet™ Radios (modules, SiPs, IP bridges, etc.) and the Cortet™ App to the Internet.  CEL has built a secure and reliable protocol to communicate between Cortet™ Radios and the Cortet™ Cloud, and this protocol is driven by the custom requirements of the specific devices.  In addition to basic cloud connectivity, the Cortet™ Cloud allows users to push over-the-internet (OTI) firmware updates to Cortet™ Radios, to monitor all connected Cortet™ Radios, and to connect remotely-connected Cortet™ Apps.

The Cortet™ Cloud includes a standards-based, extensible API that customers can use to establish reliable 2-way communications between their devices and any other cloud.  This flexibility is key since it allows customers to easily connect their systems to virtually any 3rd party ecosystem.

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