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Infosys Develops Smart Home Gateway Using Atom, MeeGo

Infosys Technologies has developed a digital smart home gateway as part of its strategy to develop intellectual property that can be reused across a large customer base.

The gateway links multiple home devices, enabling consumers to manage them from a WiFi console, smartphone or remotely through the Web, the company said on Tuesday.

Designed around Intel's Atom processor E600 series and MeeGo open source software, the gateway can be configured for service providers, medical device companies and utility companies for a variety of applications such as the delivery of remote healthcare, entertainment, and energy management in homes, said Abhishek, vice president and delivery head for product engineering at Infosys.

IT spending in the consumer market is outpacing that in the enterprise market, presenting an opportunity that service providers and other companies are now targeting, Abhishek said.

Currently most service providers offer gateways dedicated to their application such as security or entertainment, according to Abhishek. Infosys is positioning its gateway as a horizontal platform that can be used for a variety of applications.

Infosys hopes that rather than have a number of gateways into homes, service providers and other companies will be able to offer consumers a single gateway for all the client devices and applications in use in the home, Abhishek said. "We would like to tell the entertainment provider for example that he can use the same box that is provided to the consumer by the utility provider," he added.

Last December, Infosys, India's second largest outsourcer, introduced a platform for delivery of mobile applications, called Flypp. It is marketing that to mobile operators who want to set up their own branded app stores.

The technologies for the app store and the new gateway are part of Infosys' strategy to get into lines of business with a variety of revenue models including technology licensing and revenue sharing, Abhishek said.

Indian outsourcers currently offer services predominantly on a "time and materials" basis where the pricing of the service is based on the number of people deployed and the duration.

The company plans to market the gateway to service providers as a "white label" product that can be configured for service providers and then offered by them to their customers, Abhishek said.

The gateway can for example be used for remote health monitoring. Physicians or medical practitioners can interact with in-home patients via video conferencing, access their health records on a secure channel and also undertake patient monitoring and remote diagnosis, Infosys said in an introduction to the technology on its web site.

Security companies can provide enhanced services with the integrated video surveillance and motion sensor features available in the gateway, it added.

The providers and other customers will decide where to have the product manufactured, Abhishek said.

Infosys decided to design the gateway around the Atom E600 series processor as it wanted to use a "futuristic" technology that would be obsolescence-proof for a number of years, Abhishek said.

Intel unveiled the E600, which was formerly known as Tunnel Creek, in September at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The E600 is designed to be used in embedded applications.

Using the Atom E600 also enables Infosys to offer the product in a small form factor, which is critical in consumer markets, Abhishek said. He declined to comment on whether Infosys had evaluated other processor architectures.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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