omni-guide 2020-04-01T12:51:51+00:00

1. OMNI: THE FUTURE IN YOUR HANDS

1.1. OMNI brings your lamp into the future

OMNI is the hardware, software and services system for lamp manufacturers that makes lighting fixtures smart

OMNI allows you to easily offer innovative lighting products that take all the advantages of using the internet in the Smart Home of the future.
A complete turnkey package that allows you to be at the cutting edge in a changing market.
At the speed of light.
OMNI makes your lamp smart, always connected and easily controllable.

Even by voice

2. BACKGROUND: THE WORLD OF IOT

2.1. IoT and smart objects.

IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to internet applications involving so-called smart objects. To be considered “smart”, an object must be:

  • Equipped with a unique identifier in the digital world.

The Internet of Things is, indeed, an evolution in the use of the internet: objects become recognizable and acquire intelligence from being able to communicate data about themselves and, also, access aggregated information from others, thus creating a pervasive and interconnected system.

2.2. The Smart Home.

In the housing sector, the smart revolution started out with simple home automation before spreading more widely to commonly used objects around the home, from alarm clocks that check the traffic to the smart management of all kinds of household appliances. All of this technology surrounds us and is increasingly accessible.

  • Air conditioning
  • Heating
  • Lighting
  • Music control
  • Management and distribution of energy and water
  • Security, access control and dimmer systems
  • Creation of programmed scenes

2.3. IoT data and growth prospects

According to a recent report by the Internet of Things Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan School of Management[i], published in April 2019, the Italian IoT market continued to grow at a rapid pace again in 2018, culminating at a value of 5 billion Euros, an increase of 35% over 2017, driven by both applications exploiting traditional cellular connectivity (2.8 billion Euros, +27%) and those using other communication technologies

(2.2 billion Euros, +47%).

26 billion connected objects globally in 2020.
(stime Gartner)

The growth of the Italian market is in line with that of other western countries, oscillating between +25% and +40%, and mainly stimulated by services enabled by connected objects, which now account for around 36% of the market, equal to 1.8 billion Euros and an increase of 44% over the previous year.

2.4. Voice assistants

Voice assistants are synthetic operators based on artificial intelligence: in essence, programmes whose development is associated with machine learning and deep learning. They interact with users by voice, receiving commands and controlling compatible smart objects.

Voice assistants can be used via smartphones, smartwatches, smart speakers and smart displays installed with the appropriate app or natively enabled, as in factory set during production. The most well-known and popular voice assistants are those of Amazon and Google, which boast, above all regarding Amazon, a great variety of skills, both playful and functional.

As more and more users interact with such assistants, commercial opportunities relating to voice technology are growing rapidly, and currently represent a sales volume estimated to be as much as

80 billion dollars on a global scale.

2.5. The spread of assistants and growth prospects

In North America, as many as one in three families already use Alexa on a regular basis. According to a recent report by Strategy Analitics[ii] by the end of 2020 more than one North American family out of two will have at least one smart speaker and, in the course of 2019 over 130 million units will be sold worldwide.

Although voice assistants were made available to European consumers more recently than North American consumers, the market is in steady growth due to the constant development of compatible smart objects and dedicated skills in various languages.

Smart speakers are the fastest growing connected devices in the world. Indeed, the market analyst firm [iii] Canalys estimates  that, by 2021, there will be more smart speakers than tablets and that, in 2023, on a global scale, there will be more than half a billion units.

2.6. Already available Smart Home applications

Internationally, Google Assistant is installed in over 10,000 compatible smart devices from as many as a thousand different brands, many of which dedicated to smart home technology. Devices considered by Amazon to be compatible with Alexa currently number around 60,000, from over 7,400 brands, and are supported by a constant expansion of their “skills” (additional commands similar to smartphone applications).

The version of Alexa for the North American market currently boasts over 1,000 skills dedicated exclusively to the Smart Home, while, in Italy, where Alexa was launched at the end of 2018, it has approximately 300 as of October 2019.

According to recent statistics, 32% of the users of smart speakers already use them to control their lights or thermostat.

2.7. Why it is important to enter the market now

The market prospects for this technology are extremely positive. Indeed, according to recent research by  Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute[i], in the next three years, 40% of users will prefer to use a voice assistant rather than an app or website.

The OMNI system allows you to be at the forefront of this rapidly growing market with a solution that can be easily integrated into any of your lamps, thus quickly responding to the newly emerging needs of your consumers.

As with the “LED revolution”, it is critical to be among the very first to innovate. Waiting for the market to reach saturation is a highly counter-productive strategy.

OMNI allows you to effectively anticipate the market demand.

2.8. Why OMNI uses the wi-fi protocol.

OMNI uses the Wi-Fi protocol to connect wirelessly to networks and communicate with voice assistants because, unlike other protocols such as ZigBee, it is already compatible with all the various smart speakers on which Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are installed.

This ensures the maximum compatibility and flexibility of your lamps with OMNI dimmers, which are able to communicate with both assistants, whether they are installed in early smart speaker models or in those holding the very latest developments.

The Wi-Fi protocol also allows the manufacturer of the devices to acquire usage data. Using protocols such as ZigBee, on the other hand, this data is lost to those managing the smart home installation.

2.9. How the lamp control via voice assistant works

To control a lamp with your voice, both the lamp and the voice assistant must be set-up and connected to the internet. To activate the voice assistant, simply say the wake word or phrase, such as “Alexa” or “Ok Google”.

Thanks to machine learning and constantly updated algorithms, artificial intelligence is increasingly efficient in interpreting and understanding users’ natural spoken language.

To connect these objects, the command has to pass through 2 dedicated servers, one for artificial intelligence and one for the lamp.

  1. The words spoken by the user are transformed into text using a speech- to-text algorithm and sent for AI processing in the cloud, on the servers of Google or Amazon.
  2. The Artificial Intelligence then sends the right command to the server of the smart device manufacturer.
  3. The manufacturer’s server finally sends the command to the product, which executes it.

3. EXPLOIT ALL THE POTENTIAL OF IOT WITH OMNI

3.1. What the competition offers you

On today’s market, there are various other players offering simple solutions to managing a lamp via voice. What they all have in common is the use of their own server to manage the lamp, which the lamp manufacturer does not any have access to.

What does this mean in practical terms?

  • No access to data collected on the use of the lamp, which is, instead, completely transferred to the supplier of the dimmer used, often a foreign company.
  • Increased vulnerability of the data your customer has entrusted to you.
  • No long-term guarantee of the availability of the service.
  • No control in case of any server fault.

3.2. What OMNI offers you

OMNI uses a high performance server hosted on Amazon AWS (to date used by 34% of the developers working in IoT), with the possibility of exclusive access to all the data collected by the lamp, as well as a dedicated support service. Alternatively, you can take charge of the complete management of the database, hosting it on your own server at your discretion.

What are the advantages in practical terms?

  • Total access to the usage data on of your products.
  • Security of the data entrusted to you by your customers.
  • Certainty about the availability of the service over the long term.
  • Ability to promptly intervene in case of any server fault.

3.3. Customize your cloud service with OMNI

With OMNI, you can choose the level of customization of your cloud service according to the level of competence of your internal resources and development of your business, choosing the package that best suits your needs.

Sharing Package Outsourcing Package Owner Package
Access to the server Access is restricted.. Access to the personal data database. Your own server managed in complete autonomy.
Access to data No access to data. Full access to individual users’ usage data. Full access to usage data. Self-storage of data.
Support Via contact form. Dedicated telephone support service. Self-support.
Updates Automatic. Automatic or customized on request. At your discretion.
App use

IoT-Light app

App customized with your brand and corporate colours. App customized with your brand and corporate colours.
Who it is for To those not interested in accessing lamp usage data. Those who want to have access to the data collected by the lamps without worrying about the technical and operational management of the server. Those who already have technicians in their organization specialized in analysis of the data and advanced IT skills.
Sharing Package Outsourcing Package Owner Package
Access to the server Access is restricted.  Access to the personal data database. Your own server managed in complete autonomy.
Access to data No access to data. Full access to individual users’ usage data. Full access to usage data. Self-storage of data.
Support Via contact form. Dedicated telephone support service. Self-support.
Updates Automatic. Automatic or customized on request. At your discretion.
App use

IoT-Light app

App customized with your brand and corporate colours. App customized with your brand and corporate colours.
Who it is for To those not interested in accessing lamp usage data. Those who want to have access to the data collected by the lamps without worrying about the technical and operational management of the server. Those who already have technicians in their organization specialized in analysis of the data and advanced IT skills.

3.4. What data can be collected with OMNI.

Each logic unit can be associated with a unique ID and can collect geolocated data regarding its specific use. From this data, you can extract statistics with different metrics, monitoring individual uses, totals and averages on different time bases, such as daily, weekly or monthly.

The data you can collect about your lamp includes:

  • Name and contact email of the user
  • Date and place of installation
  • Number of power ons
  • Number of power offs
  • Duration of use for each power on
  • Light intensity adjustment
  • Hours of use
  • Consumption of the device in Watts (only with custom hardware)

3.5. The importance of the data for your business

The digital transformation has taught us that data is a very valuable source of information. Having measurable parameters allows us to evaluate theories and hypotheses on a concrete basis and to create products that respond ever better to customer needs, optimizing the choice of internal components according to actual use.

With OMNI you can collect data on the use of your lamp in order to develop other products that are specifically built according to the customers choices, which can be understood by analysing the answers to questions such as how long do they keep the lamp on, with what light intensity, what types of control do they prefer to use, do they set predefined scenes?.

3.6. Data use and privacy protection

The European General Data Protection Regulation, introduced in May 2018, contains a series of specific provisions relating to IoT (Article 25 GDPR) with a particular focus on the protection of personal data, which must form an integral part of the design of an object or service.

OMNI’s services take full account of all the legal provisions. Privacy, as well as cyber security, is managed, for the most part, via the big partners of the project: Google and Amazon.

To use the lamp, users must therefore accept the conditions of use of the Google and Amazon services, granting their consent to process the data. Only a small part of the responsibility is entrusted to the actual manufacturer of the lamp.

3.7. How to integrate OMNI in your existing lamp catalogue

Updating your offering by equipping your lamps with voice control is easier than you think. OMNI can be customized and integrated with the new lamps you are designing, or with the products you already have in stock.

Integration with your existing catalogue products can be done in 2 ways:

  • Adding the Wi-Fi module to an existing compatible dimmer
  • Connecting the external Wi-Fi dimmer to the lamp.

OMNI provides the possibility for remote software updates that can evolve with the IoT market. Such updates can be on request basis or installed by default, so that you can decide to support all the various OMNI dimmers sold over time.

A need might emerge, for example, to enable compatibly with other voice assistants that currently only have small market shares.

OMNI is a solution that stays at the cutting edge.

3.8. Time to market

OMNI is a quick solution to satisfy the demand for customized voice control lamps.

By choosing to use a standard dimmer with the IoT-Light app, you can achieve a time to market solution in a matter of a few days, since we stock various types of Wi-Fi dimmers ready to be assembled.

If you prefer a customized solution, we can design the dimmer on request to follow the specifications of your designers and technical department.

The app can also be customized in very little time. Generally, it only takes around 3 months to integrate with Amazon’s Alexa skills programme and Google Home devices, with the actual timing depending primarily on the approval times of such partners.

4. CUSTOMIZABLE DESIGN

4.1. Maximum flexibility and compatibility for your new projects

OMNI’s dimmer can be customized to your needs, both in terms of software and hardware. The size and shape can be customized so that you can hide OMNI in your lamp without affecting its design: you need only a minimum surface area of 10 cm2*.

* adding the Wi-Fi module to an existing dimmer.

We offer you the maximum software customization, the management of multi-protocol inputs and outputs and various control possibilities.

4.2. Software and hardware specifications

UL rated plastic
Can be integrated into the body of any lamp, and customized with your own brand.

Various communication protocol and control system options
DALI (Broadcast and non-Broadcast), DMX512A-RDM, 0-10V, 1-10V, PWM at different frequencies, and the latest generation wireless protocols (BLE Mesh, ZigBee, Wi-Fi Mesh, etc.).

Multiple manageable outputs
Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) at different frequencies, with analogue constant current or PWM, phase cutting for products at mains voltage, relays and dry contacts.

Connection system
Via UL certified terminal blocks. For custom designs, quick-fit connections or soldered wiring options.

Customizable size and shape
We design custom devices, both in size and shape.

5. SYNCRONIZED CONTROL OPTIONS

5.1. Three dimmer control options

With OMNI, the consumer can control the lamp in real time wherever they are, in a simple, intuitive and rapid way.

It is the only system that offers 3 different control methods: voice, app and button.

The user can manage the lamp in the way they prefer, at any time, simply by switching between methods. Indeed, the system is always synchronized and ready to use, whatever control method is chosen.

WHENEVER. WHEREVER. HOWEVER.

Switch it on with your voice, adjust the light intensity with the app, and switch off with the button, or vice-versa. Today you can.

Voice Control
You can control it with voice assistants via smart speaker or smart display, or from your mobile phone via app. In addition to the native Google Assistant on Android phones, there is also the Amazon Alexa app available for both Android and iOS.

Customized App
Configuring and using OMNI requires an app. The app can be used both remotely and near to the lamp, and allows full control of the system, as well as the creation of customized scenes. You can also access the system via smartphone, tablet or computer to set up automated routines.

You can use the standard app IoT-Light app, or customize it with your own brand and corporate colours in order to increase customer engagement with your brand.

Button
The OMNI system is the latest evolution in standard dimmers, preserving all the performance and characteristics of years of research. For this reason, it also works perfectly as a classic dimmer, offering not only Wi-Fi dimming via voice control, but also control via a physical button.

It is the perfect solution to meet the needs of those who are less familiar with the latest technologies. Furthermore, unlike our competitors, who do not provide this type of control, it guarantees you can use the lamp even if your internet goes down or has poor signal strength. OMNI is compatible with all open standard physical buttons, such as Vimar, Bticino, Legrand, Gira, Jung, etc.

6. SIMPLIFIED NETWORKING

6.1. What the competition offers you

Normally, configuring a lighting system with several light points via Wi-Fi takes a considerable amount of time. The dimmers must be connected to the mains supply and to the Wi-Fi network one at a time, repeating the identification and pairing of each individual lamp you want to connect.

In case it is necessary to reset the lighting system, for example, after any fault or change in the network, you will need to repeat all these operations, connecting the lamps one at a time, all over again.

6.2. What OMNI offers you

OMNI, unlike its competitors, envisages the initial configuration of the lighting system via Bluetooth.

This facilitates the set-up of the network, since, after configuring the first dimmer, OMNI automatically recognizes other available elements and recommends a modular configuration to the user.

Therefore, the lamps can be connected to the power supply all at once, and it is faster to create scenes that combine different Wi-Fi light points.

Learn more about configuring a system at https://www.iot-light.eu/configure/

6.3. What the IoT-Light app offers

The application allows you to control and manage any lighting system equipped with OMNI Wi-Fi technology with just a few taps, ensuring you have everything under control on your smartphone or tablet.

Only with OMNI you can:

  • Make your lamps smart and collect data on their use.
  • Control the lamps via button, as well as app and voice control.
  • Simplify the networking of light points even on complex projects via Bluetooth.
  • Fully customize a dimmer both in terms of hardware and software.

7. OMNI: YOUR LAMP, EVOLVED

7.1. Why OMNI is the solution of the future

OMNI is the most complete and advantageous solution for quickly entering the IoT market as a leading player since it offers numerous advantages at a truly competitive price.

Only with OMNI can you:

  • Make your lamps smart and collect data on their use.
  • Control the lamps via button, as well as app and voice control.
  • Simplify the networking of light points even on complex projects via Bluetooth.
  • Fully customize a dimmer both in terms of hardware and software.

NOTES and SOURCES

Last content update: October 2019

[1] The Internet of Things Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan School of Management (April report 2019)

[1] Strategy Analytics – Research, Experts, and Analytics (May report 2019)

[1] Canalys – Smart Assistant Analysis (report di April 2019)

[1] Digital Transformation Institute – Capgemini (January report 2018)