KNX on IoT and its role in home and building automation

KNX on IoT and its role in home and building automation
Casto Cañavate, Marketing Manager at KNX, discusses how KNX IoT enables third-party devices to be safely and securely integrated into KNX projects.

InteroperabilityHow has digitalisation has changed the residential and commercial automation industry?

Since the day it was conceived more than 30 years ago, KNX has always been best in class with regard to interoperability between different manufacturers’ products, and KNX’s rigorous third-party product certification scheme has also been of benefit here. However, the plethora of other home and building automation solutions (proprietary and others) and the widespread use of the internet have driven the expectation of being able to interact with any system via state-of-the-art IT industry mechanisms; and the means of doing this must be well documented.

Since 2004, KNX has offered the capability of communicating via IP, with the KNXnet/IP protocol. Numerous devices and solutions are available based on this technology but this approach has some shortcomings as regards IT friendliness and comprehensiveness. Therefore, KNX expanded into communication in the IoT world.

What does IoT contribute to home and building automation that earlier technologies could not?

In order for KNX to be open to any IT professional wishing to interact with KNX projects, it needed a solution that added a layer of universal language (semantic data) on top of KNX interoperability. The interface should exchange this KNX semantic data with state-of-the-art IT web technologies, not with KNX’s own protocol. In addition, state-of-the-art encryption and authentication on this interface are a must.

In other words, an IT professional would expect not to learn the KNX protocol but simply to be able to retrieve the necessary data to integrate the KNX project with any third party non-KNX devices. This is done by means of KNX IoT technology.

Examples of the data required might be: What rooms does the installation consist of? What is controlled in the installation: lighting, sun shading…? What is the function of each product or application?

What are the main (cyber)security concerns around IoT projects, and how can they be successfully addressed?

KNX SecureIt is very important to guarantee secure installations, as well as data protection. KNX is a secure technology and we are determined to keep it so. So it is important to stop external attacks that might access the installations and to prevent people from reading any information sent via the internet.

KNX Secure guarantees maximum security by offering a double protection. KNX IP Secure extends the IP protocol in such a way that all transferred ‘telegrams’ and data are completely encrypted. In addition, KNX Data Secure offers effective protection of user data against unauthorised access and manipulation, by means of encryption and authentication.

Is KNX IoT compatible with traditional KNX technology?

Definitely! The new KNX IoT technology includes two methods of communication:

  • Developers and manufacturers might use the KNX IoT third-party API, which is was designed to support a websocket interface that enables, for example, direct cloud integration with bidirectional communication to enable the worlds of non-KNX products to communicate with KNX. This is already available.
  • As a next step, KNX will release the KNX IoT Point API, a solution allowing IPv6 field level sensor / actuator (group) communication. This will allow KNX installations to be extended with devices that use other media to exchange KNX data. Thanks to this new KNX technology, KNX IoT products will have direct communication with KNX installations.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities for this technology?

KNX was born as a solution to integrate different applications from different vendors into one common project in the smart home and building industry. Over time, customers have demanded more complex applications and new possibilities. Today’s professionals strive to meet their customers’ expectations by delivering one comprehensive solution. That is why Services with KNX has been created, as a consequence of the unlimited possibilities that KNX IoT brings to the technology.

Thanks to Services with KNX, professionals will be able to extend their portfolio of possibilities to offer new services (such as a third-party contract for health monitoring in a home for elderly people). These new business opportunities will extend the possibilities for an end-customer to integrate all its customer´s needs into one single project.

View all News & Insights

Related News

ISE Partners

no content here, this panel is used only to display the main title

Media Partners