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RF Communication Basics to Get IoT Ideas to Market

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Taking a Smart Door Lock from End-to-End for Hampton

Are you living in a smart home? It’s likely. The number of connected homes grew 31% year-over-year from 17 million in 2015 to 29 million in 2017. This sector’s growth reflects homeowners’ interest in energy efficiency, home intelligence, home comfort, connectivity, and home safety via a smart door lock.


When Hampton Products International wanted to open the door to an Internet of Things (IoT) revenue stream, it turned to XPNDBLS to realize its idea and get a smart door lock to market.


The Challenge


Hampton Products International was formerly known as Hampton Lock Company (changing its name in 1990). Needless to say, expectations of the nearly 50-year-old company’s lock hardware are high.

“We know that security starts at the front door with a quality lock, and our Connected Door Lock is the flagship product in our new line,” Kim Kelley, president, Hampton Products has stated.


The company had the idea of making a smart door lock that tells users if the door to their home is open, closed, locked, or unlocked. Working with XPNDBLS, Hampton wanted to design a new product offering that used as many existing parts as possible from already readily available Hampton lock products.


The Solution


Hampton turned its ChekLock idea over to XPNDBLS’s experts to design, engineer, manufacture and test the smart deadbolt product. XPNDBLS also developed an accompanying app that offers remote monitoring.

XPNDBLS’s industrial designers began by developing a product that would look like any other deadbolt on the market, yet be smarter than the rest. Then, product development was turned over to the electrical engineers and XPNDBLS’s radio frequency (RF) experts. Their objective was to optimize the deadbolt’s power consumption and the calibration accuracy determining the door’s status.


Traditionally long-range Bluetooth consumes too much power for small products. However, with XPNDBLS’s great antenna design, the BT was effectively doubled using a coin-sized rechargeable, replaceable lithium polymer battery. XPNDBLS’s team also designed a product that requires only one part — the deadbolt. Other similar products require a sensing door plate as well, which increases production costs.


Further demonstrating the value of being able to handle all steps in the lock’s development process in one place, XPNDBLS was able to manufacture its own prototype to demonstrate to Hampton. The high quality model was made almost entirely of metal, with only one plastic part, for heightened durability and safety.


Of course, a central component of the smart lock is its convenience for the user. XPNDBLS also developed and demonstrated an app that works with the lock in mobile devices.


Results


The ChekLock uses electronic sensing to make sure the user’s deadbolt is secured. The RF antenna uses Bluetooth technology to enable a long range. So, even when users are at home, but away from the main door, they can still check on the door status. The smartphone app even offering users peace of mind wherever they are in the world.


Hampton displayed the ChekLock prototype at both the Consumer Electronics Show in 2018 and 2019. XPNDBLS is proud of the single shop expertise it demonstrated in developing, engineering, and manufacturing this quality consumer product prototype for a highly competitive market.


Partner with XPNDBLS


From the day an idea is conceived to the day the product is shipped, XPNDBLS’s team is committed to excellence and the highest industry standards. Avoid having to find multiple partners to get an idea to market. Work with experts that provide end-to-end support from idea generation to product shipment.