Chipcon, a Norwegian company that designs, produces and markets high performance and cost-effective radio frequency integrated circuits (RF-ICs), wanted to develop a new communication protocol for monitoring and control scenarios that would be applicable with all their products.
The thesis proposes a new application-layer communication protocol for home automation named the Device Control Protocol (DCP). Being a completely transmission-layer independent and simple but flexible and extensible communication protocol that allows cost-effective embedded implementation in a wide range of application areas, DCP meets and exceeds the requirements given by Chipcon. In order to simplify DCP-based application implementations, the thesis also defines a standardized application program interface (API) for the protocol, which hides the complex details of the underlying transmission layer and provides a uniform interface to upper layers regardless of the selected transmission technology.
As an open, universal home automation protocol, the Device Control Protocol (DCP) provides a solid foundation for further development and industrialization by other other manufacturers seeking a simple but flexible communication solution.
The thesis also explores and confirms the possibility of using a mobile phone as a short-range remote control in home automation. Due to the platform independency and a strong market acceptance, Java Platform 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) is the recommended software platform for hosting the remote control applications. The recommended wireless technology is Bluetooth.
Various prototype systems are developed to illustrate the results of the thesis and demonstrate the practical application of the Device Control Protocol (DCP).