Arrayent was founded to offer a turnkey end-to-end communication system that is low cost and reliable for consumer product companies that generally lack communication and scalable data center knowhow. Arrayent’s mission is “to enable major product brand owners to deliver superior Internet-connected products and stay connected to their customers.”
Arrayent founder Shane Dyer previously founded Propeller Head Studios, a toy development company that conceived the IM-Me toy concept, which was accepted by Mattel, and served as the foundation of Arrayent’s technology.
While company’s like Amazon, Apple, Nordic Track and Schlage, among others, have invested in gaining communication and networked server farm design expertise, most brand owners do not have the expertise to build a scalable internet connectivity system that can connect millions of endpoints to web-based services at low cost.
For these companies, Arrayent offers a solution to the Internet-connection gap by delivering a turnkey end-to-end communication system that connects brand owner’s products to web applications hosted in the cloud at unprecedented low cost, reliability and ease of install. Arrayent argues that its operating cost is so economical brand owners don’t have to charge their customers a recurring fee.
Arrayent offers two products: Arrayent Internet-Connect System and Arrayent professional design services. The Arrayent Internet-Connect System has three parts:
• Arrayent Server™ is an elastic server platform that virtualizes a web services interface (patent pending) between a web application and a consumer electronic endpoint device, and performs compute intensive communication tasks to the endpoints. Arrayent Server manages the simultaneous connection to hundreds of thousands of endpoints at very low cost via a switch-like communication architecture similar to E-Bay, Facebook and Google.
The Arrayent Server delivers an Internet “dial tone” to consumer endpoint products, and brokers transactions between product endpoints and web-based applications hosted in the cloud. Arrayent’s patent pending “web services virtualization” technology enables web application developers to communicate with a low cost 8-bit CPU as if it were a fully supported web server. Web application developers see the 8-bit CPU as full strength web server instead of programming to a dumb serial communication API, which adds coding complexity and development time.
• Arrayent Embedded is embedded firmware that resides on the consumer’s endpoint device that communicates to the gateway. Low cost 8-bit CPUs are more than sufficient for most consumer product applications like thermostats, sprinkler controllers and security alarms. Arrayent Embedded has been ported to low cost 8-bit microcontrollers with RF radios from top-10 semiconductor vendors.
Arrayent Embedded is a lightweight communication firmware stack that has been optimized to ensure TCP/IP level connection quality. Arrayent’s Embedded code is less than 16 KB of memory, which is one-eighth the size of a comparable Zigbee or WiFi communication stack. Arrayent firmware is designed for long battery life; typical radio subsystem on-time battery life is 12+ months powered by three AAA batteries.
• The Arrayent Ethernet Gateway reference design (in the case of non-WiFi implementations) connects low power wireless connected products to the Internet and is less than half the cost of conventional gateways. Arrayent currently supports 900 MHz, 2.4GHz and WiFi RF technologies.
Arrayent pushes expensive communication processing functions to servers in the cloud. For example, the Arrayent end-point and gateway software are relieved of having to figure out how to traverse the consumer’s router’s network address translation (NAT) firewall rules; instead NAT firewall traversal is performed by the Arrayent server in the cloud.
By moving many of the communication processing tasks (like NAT firewall traversal) to the Server, the Gateway reference design has been implemented with low BOM cost, about $4-$5, less than half the cost of Zigbee gateway implementations, and enable consumer product companies to add an RF radio to their product for less than $2.
Arrayent’s software is physical communication layer and microprocessor agnostic. Partners include TI, ZeroG and Microchip. Arrayent makes its hardware reference designs available at no charge and the customer can select which CPU and RF radio fits the price objectives. Arrayent-enabled products are very easy to install so that retailers do not experience returns.
Arrayent Professional Services group fills brand owner know-how gaps with RF communication, web server implementation, web application software and endpoint firmware services.
Potential applications include energy and water monitoring and control, home control, connected toys and entertainment devices, home health and presence monitoring, and automobile location, control and monitoring.
Arrayent technology powers Mattel’s IM-Me communication network. IM-Me is a wireless messaging system designed for girls ages 8 and up. Over 100,000 IM-Me units have been shipped in the USA, primarily though Target stores, and the UK. Because Arrayent’s connection cost is economical, Mattel does not have to charge a service fee to connect to the closed IM-Me network.
Other customers include Monster and Connect intwine/Radio Thermostat. Monster’s uninterruptible home theater power supply offers remote access IP Control based on Arrayent’s technology.
Shane Dyer, founder & President (previously co-founder & CTO of Propeller Head Studios, a toy development company that conceived the IM-Me toy concept, which was accepted by Mattel, and served as the foundation of Arrayent’s technology)
Dustin McIntire, Systems Architect (previously a senior design engineer at Sensoria and currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles)
Zheng Jiang, Software Architect (previously VP of Engineering and Software Architecture at Northern Star Digital)
Bob Dahlberg, VP of Sales and Marketing (previously a venture partner at Horizon Venture, VP of Business Development at ReShape and VP of Business Development at Synopsys)