Hardware

CES 2016: Boost for Bluetooth

January 5th, 2016
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Cassia Networks unveiled the Cassia Hub, the world's first Bluetooth router that can control up to 22 Bluetooth devices.
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The Cassia Hub also extends the range of Bluetooth communications to 1,000 feet in open space ¾ more than 30 times the standard operating range. The hub also comes with the Cassia mobile app, which integrates and automates control of all connected Bluetooth devices both inside and outside the home. Priced at $99.99, the Cassia Hub is available for pre-orders today at www.cassianetworks.com and will begin shipping in Q1 2016.

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Originally developed for personal area network devices like wireless mice and headsets, Bluetooth technology has traditionally been passed up as a communications protocol for the connected home due to limitations such as range (30 feet) and one-to-one connectivity. Using Cassia’s new proprietary and patented technology developed by Cassia Networks founder and former Cisco engineer and Aruba executive, Felix Zhao, the Cassia Hub can not only connect up to 22 devices at once, but it can also communicate and relay messages for Bluetooth devices up to 1,000 feet away (open space) or through three interior walls. This means no longer being tethered to your Bluetooth speaker or losing a signal when you enter another room.

Until now, Bluetooth devices have been limited by range and the number of devices that can be connected together. With the invention of the Cassia Hub, Cassia Networks has removed these barriers and is making Bluetooth the ideal communication protocol and default standard for the Internet of Things (IoT).

“We developed the Cassia Hub because we noticed there wasn’t a universal standard of communication between the ever-growing pile of Internet connected devices,” said Felix Zhao, founder and CEO of Cassia Networks.  “Bluetooth, with its open platform and universal presence, was an obvious solution but inherently limited by its capabilities. We thought if we could engineer a way to break free of these limitations, Bluetooth could become a viable contender, and thus the Cassia Hub was born.”

The Cassia Hub is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE and Classic) and does not require any modification or configuration of devices. This means previously purchased Bluetooth enabled devices such as smartphones, speakers, fitness trackers, headphones, lights, locks and countless other Bluetooth devices should readily and seamlessly connect to the Cassia Hub.  Moreover, with the Cassia Hub, users can stream music wirelessly from popular streaming services as well as local content on their phone throughout the house using Bluetooth speakers they already own, much like competing multi-room wireless speaker systems that sell for hundreds more.

The Cassia Hub also connects to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, which enables users to control their Bluetooth devices outside of the home. By using their internet-enabled smartphone or tablet to access the Cassia App, users will have access and control of their devices from virtually anywhere with internet access, something not possible with current Bluetooth technology.

In addition to the Cassia Hub, Cassia Networks is also unveiling several accessories available for purchase either with the hub or separately:

  • Cassia Bluetooth Speaker ($99.99): a powerful 2.1 stereo speaker that can work with your other Bluetooth speakers to play the same music in multiple rooms.
  • Bluetooth multi-color LED light ($29.99 for individual or $79.99 for 3-pack): a 16 million color light that pairs with the Cassia Hub for full light and color control with all your existing Bluetooth enabled lightbulbs.
  • Bluetooth Smart Plug ($29.99): a plug that makes it easy to automate and control consumer appliances from the Cassia Hub App directly.
  • Cassia Personal Safety Sensor ($99.99): this sensor has several features to help those in need of immediate assistance:
    • Users can simply push button to contact emergency services or pre-determined contacts when they need help
    • With built-in fall detection, an alert will be sent automatically if the user falls.
    • The sensor can also share where the user fell as long as it is paired with a smartphone or within range of the Cassia Hub

So, how does it work?  The Cassia Hub operates off two modes of communication:

  • Control Mode: The Cassia App controls all classic Bluetooth devices such as Bluetooth speakers, headsets and some Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices that are recognized by the Hub.
  • Transparent Relay Mode: Users can extend the range of BLE devices that are not recognized by the Cassia Hub where users are able to use their native apps with their BLE devices. In this mode, the Cassia Hub acts as a router and range extender for communication between native product apps on your smartphone and corresponding BLE devices.

The Cassia Hub can also connect to various devices and networks through Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz), Ethernet (10/100) and USB 2.0.

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