The NXT GEN Thermostat Platform is An Approach – Not a Single Product
OJ Electronics’ NXT GEN Thermostat Platform is not a single product, not even a product range. Rather, it is a robust and adaptable in-house R&D set-up where components and years of know-how come together, enabling rapid product development while keeping everything fully reliable. As product manager Henrik Jensen says: “A lot of what we call the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform is basically about streamlining our know-how. It lets us put our years of experience to efficient use as we combine tried-and-tested tech with all-new features to meet the new market needs we see on the horizon. It is not just about the physical, mechanical bits: the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform also includes connectivity, cloud and app aspects, encryption protocols, data safety and admin support. The platform makes it much easier for us to come up with creative solutions that are future-ready – and can be easily updated, too.”
The Many Components of the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform
So what does the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform include, exactly? Lots of things: physical elements such as our GFCI and different display technologies, as well as less tangible aspects such as cloud connection, apps, API and encryption protocols. But let us begin with the physical bits.
We are glad to say that here at OJ Electronics, we use a state-of-the-art GFCI module. For example, it brings you vastly superior noise immunity plus added safety features such as extended automatic monitoring, improved self-check and welded contact detection. [For more on this GFCI module, including how it tackles power line noise, see this article]. This GFCI is the basis of almost all our thermostats for the North American market, including the new UWG5. It is the perfect base for the various front elements – buttons, LED lights and LCD screens. We insist on quality components here, too, because they greatly influence the final feel of the product. The sleek design of the UWG5 thermostat is a case in point.
Connectivity is a Key Component
Connectivity is a key part of the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform. There are many connectivity options on the market, and there will surely be more to come! Within this field, the tech trickles down rapidly – what used to be reserved for premium options gradually becomes standard. Our platform set-up lets us respond quickly to the trickle-down effect and puts our customers at the forefront of that curve. The current platform includes cloud, mobile apps, and communication interfaces. To get specific, we incorporate local Bluetooth® as well as WiFi capabilities to make sure that contractors and end-users can both set up and control the thermostats with perfect ease – for example, having Bluetooth® means that contractors do not need to ask clients for their WiFi passwords. And of course, users can manage their heating systems from anywhere, anytime.
Security is a crucial issue in today’s digital landscape. The NXT GEN Thermostat Platform incorporates the latest TLS 1.3 security protocol to ensure robust encryption and protection of data transmissions. This is a really important point! Security is a key part of our platform and is wrapped around every aspect – communication between the thermostat, cloud, app, all of it. Many do not quite realize the importance; they think “What are hackers going to do to a thermostat? Turn it down?”, but the issue is far wider than that: if malicious intruders intercept the communication to and from the thermostat, this could compromise the security of other parts of the installation, too. As a leading thermostat manufacturer, we insist on using the latest TLS encryption technology available – it is the right, future-proof thing to do. Speaking of future-proof features, Henrik also points out that the regular updates to maintain top security has other benefits, too: “Our approach to data protection and data privacy makes it easy for our customers to fully comply with all legal requirements – and minimizes the time required to extract data if you get a request for that.”
The OJ Electronics admin support module is another part of the flexible platform set-up. Essentially, our admin module makes it much easier for us to handle firmware updates and manage users and thermostats. With the support tool, we can manage hundreds of thousands of thermostats with ease, manage accounts and update software. As our customer, you can get access to parts of the support tool as well, which lets you carry out streamlined customer/end-user/installer support. You can help your customers, end-users and installers reset passwords, find usernames, and read out data from thermostats. This is obviously a much more efficient way of identifying errors and handling diagnostics than sending out someone to do it. Quite simply, it becomes easier for you to support the thermostats you sell.
Combining Pieces to Match New Needs
Summing up, Henrik Jensen sees great potential in the NXT GEN Platform, particularly when it comes to meeting new market needs quickly and reliably: “Obviously, a wealth of components, features and connectivity options can be combined – from GFCIs to apps – so it may help to envision the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform as a collection of carefully tested pieces of a puzzle that come together, ready to be augmented by new developments. The platform creates a firm foundation for getting creative and innovative: it maximizes our flexibility, minimizes time to market and still maintains full security and reliability. We invite our existing and new customers to explore the innovation potential of the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform with us.”
The NXT GEN Thermostat Platform in Brief
- New in-house R&D set-up dedicated to thermostats – based on years of market-leading experience.
- Ensures rapid, flexible combinations of physical elements, connectivity options, apps, cloud etc.
- Combines creative innovation with tried-and-tested reliability.
- Cutting-edge security features with TLS 1.3 encryption technology.
- The ideal base for building the thermostat tech of tomorrow.
Meet the UWG5® WiFi Led Touch Thermostat
Our first thermostat arising out of the NXT GEN Thermostat Platform