Australian IoT startup, Xped Holdings — soon to be listed on the ASX — has scored a role for its technology in a multiyear study being undertaken by the University of South Australia’s Barbara Hardy Institute into household electricity usage patterns, but has much grander plans for its IoT technology.
Xped has developed technology that can be incorporated into a wide range of equipment that then enables the equipment to be monitored and controlled via the Xped smartphone app.
For the UniSA research it has developed a smart plug that will be used to connect all household appliances to be monitored in the study. This measures power consumption and communicates the information via the Xped Hub into the cloud from where it can be downloaded by the researchers.
UniSA researcher, David Whaley, said the research team had scoured the world but been unable to find any other fully integrated system that completely met its requirements. “I was delighted to find that the solution we need can be produced in our own backyard,” he said.
ASX listing, $6.8m capital raising
Xped was founded in Adelaide and still maintains all R&D there but is now headquartered in Singapore. It is presently in the process of making a backdoor listing on the ASX through former geothermal exploration company Raya Group (ASX:RYG), which has appointed Sydney based investment bank KTM Capital to raise up to $6.8m to capitalise the company.
CEO John Stefanac told IoT Australia that he expected the process to be completed by the end of March. He described the UniSA project as “a bit of a sideline” and said the company hoped to see the first mainstream applications of its technology on the market by mid-year.
Xped has developed an Auto Discovery Remote Control (ADRC) technology to enable any devices incorporating its technology to be monitored and controlled from a smartphone app, once the phone has been paired with the device using near field communication. It hopes to sell the technology to both chip and equipment manufacturers for incorporation in their products. A module for incorporation in equipment by IoT DIY enthusiasts can be bought from its web site, and the company says it has sold several hundred of these.
The heart of its system, however is the ADRC Hub. This manages the initial setup of a new device and maintains the direct communication with it. The smartphone app then communicates with the device via the hub using WiFi or, remotely, the cellular network.
Stefanac said the hub was “essentially software” that could be deployed in a number of ways. “The deployment depends upon the application. We can provide it on USB stick that you could plug into your wireless router. It could be software on a PC or smartphone, or it could be in the cloud.”
He said that Xped was already in discussions with a possible cloud service provider partner but also that device manufacturers might prefer to make their own arrangements.
First Xped-enabled products by mid-year
He said that Xped was working with several companies to embed its technology in their products. “We have an agreement with Tytronics based in Adelaide. They are doing some trials. They are the largest provider of thermostats for the heating and air conditioning industry in the southern hemisphere.
“Another company we are working with develops a structured cabling system for new homes and office blocks. We are incorporating the ADRC into their solutions so that every power point, every light switch will have our technology in it, so a home will be an ADRC ready home. And we have companies outside Australia that we are developing products with for their customer base.”
Stefanac said the cabling company would be the first to have ADRC products on the market. “They will be installing their solution toward the middle of the year, and we will be making some announcements shortly.”
Stefanac said the company presently had a staff of 10 but expected to double that number this year. “We are moving into a business development phase. We are opening an office in the USA. We are deploying more people in Asia, we are adding on to our engineering group here in Australia.”
Technology licensing council planned
A timeline included in an investor presentation from December showed the opening of the US office planned for February, to be followed by the appointment of the first indirect channel partner for the ADRC technology in March, along with the start of development.
The timeline also shows plans to launch in February an “ADRC Licensing Council” under the name “Connexion”. At present the only information on this is a page on the company’s web site that says it is “coming soon.”
A detailed description of the Xped technology can be found in an independent review commissioned by Raya from Dr Daniel Floreani of Flocom Consulting.