New Global Cache ‘Connect’ Platform Brings Smarts, Modularity to A/V and Home Automation
At Infocomm 2017, Global Cache intros ‘Global Connect’ modular A/V and home automation controllers, for the first time adding intelligence (Raspberry Pi, cloud services) and HDMI switching to its popular connectivity hardware.
Global Cache might not be a household IoT word (yet), but for 15 years the company has been network-enabling devices that otherwise would not be controllable by an IP-based home automation system. If you have electronics that are controlled via IR, relay, serial or sensor-based commands, then Global Cache can control them over IP.
At Infocomm 2017, the company introduced Global Connect, adding modularity and intelligence to its popular connectivity hardware. In the past, Global Cache made useful, but kinda dumb devices that bridged the network divide – IP dongles, basically – but it was up to third-party developers to bring their own processors and make stuff work together over the network.
Global Cache brings some of that third-party burden in-house with the new Connect Platform, by way of local computing (Raspberry Pi), on-board HDMI switching and “advanced and more powerful” relay options.
Like all the Global Connect modules, the Raspberry Pi is optional, but it's a great tool for local processing and cloud connectivity.
As always, Global Cache itself doesn't provide home-automation software, says marketing director Rusty Keller: "We are strictly the hardware."
But the company does publish APIs for integration, and most home-technology installers and manufacturers use it at some point in time.
Many providers like iRule, Simple Control (Roomie Remote) and Bang & Olufsen have actually developed home-automation software around Global Cache hardware. It just gets a little unwieldy when the installer has to use a bunch of dongles to control end devices.
With the Global Connect platform, integrators (and vendors) can order configurations that suit their needs, and load software on the Pi, eliminating a bunch of boxes and dongles.
Just pick a chassis, and then populate it with a selection of modules -- each with its own IP address.
Global Connect offers seven chassis options – a 19-inch rack-mount unit or free-standing options available in 4.5- to 15-inch sizes.
The module options include (images below):
- GC-IP: 1 slot; single RJ45 10/100 ethernet connection
- GC-IP2: 2 slots; 2 ports RJ45 10/100 ethernet switch (required with Raspberry Pi)
- GC-IP-P: 2 slots; 1 port RJ45 10/100 PoE (802.3af) connection
- GC-IP2-P: 2 slots; 2 RJ45 10/100 ethernet switch. Port 1 is PoE enabled, Port 2 is standard ethernet
- GC-WF: 2 slots; 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n wireless interface; supports AP mode (WAP)
- IR (Global Cache has a vast IR database with SDK)
- Contact Closure
- Raspberry Pi
Global Connect will ship this fall.
So Many Combos ...
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at email@example.com
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