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Smart Home System With Electricity Usage Analytics

Smart plug that allows users to conveniently manage electric appliances and electricity usage anywhere, anytime


A multinational consumer electronics company with over $5 billion in annual revenue was expanding into the smart home market. Their first product was a smart plug. Because of our expertise in building IoT and cloud software, they hired us to help bring this product from concept to reality.

Requirements


We worked closely with the company's product management and development teams to decide on the following major features:

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  • Real-time tracking and analysis of electricity usage.

  • Overload protection.

  • Remote control via mobile app and integration with Alexa.

  • Scheduling functions to automatically set the power state of the connected appliance.


Overcoming Challenges

There are several challenges with building this product:

  • Low-end hardware is used in order to bring down the cost. On the other hand, the smart plug still needs to support a rich set of features.

  • A scalable infrastructure is needed to handle a large number of simultaneous connections from the smart plugs.

  • As a first product for a family of future smart home products, the design and implementation need to build a solid foundation for future development.

We carefully designed the client software to optimize for resource usage. We also structured the software to allow easy re-use of the code for different products and platforms. On the cloud side, we made use of light-weight technologies such as MQTT to enhance scalability.

Exceeding Expectations


Throughout the development process, we used the Agile development methodology to achieve results in each sprint. We also used the Continuous Integration methodology to ensure the code quality stays at a high level. At the end, not only we delivered a feature-rich smart plug on schedule, we also built a solid foundation for our client company's future smart home products.

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