Retail Smart Home Device Showcase - Bridge Networks

Contact Sales

BACKGROUND

Exhibiting activated products in electronic retail stores are effective in demonstrating to potential customers that the products work exactly as they are marketed. It not only lets users evaluate the exterior design but also lets them experience using the software interface and test the performance quality as if they are using the products at home. Some of the most common display units are media devices such as home theater, consoles, TV screens, audio streamers, etc.

New generations of media devices use various types of network bridge to let devices communicate with each other to perform synchronized functions, the most common units are smart TVs and wireless audio streamers positioned in different locations of the room communicating with each other and streaming a synchronized media file.

Project Requirements

Well-performing electronics showcase project in a retail store environment requires a network that can establish reliable network connection with many devices that may span over a large store area. It must also be compatible with common bridge networks available in the market, and the setup must also be prepared to handle all connected devices being active and transmitting data at the same time with high resistance to signal interference. The requirements are:

  • Convenient deployment
  • Internet access may vary depending on the available network infrastructure in different retail locations, including ethernet connections in an enclosed mall or cellular connections in an open-air mall. The deployment should be flexible to operate.

  • Bridge network compatible
  • Selected smart home devices that are remotely controlled by smartphones, or devices that use bridge networks like DLNA, the network should have reliable and low latency to ensure a smooth control over the devices. In addition, the network device should also be able to provide Wi-Fi to staff members and a captive portal for guest networks if needed.

  • Long range coverage
  • Depending on the store size, the network should cover the entire store location. In a large store area or store locations with multiple floors, multiple devices should be deployed.

  • Remote management
  • A remote access option can simplify network maintenance of many devices by eliminating the need to physically access the device.

TOPOLOGY

Solution

The most suitable device for this scenario is Puli (GL-XE300) - A cellular router that supports Wi-Fi and optional Bluetooth protocols. The device offers a 300Mbps (2.4GHz) Wi-Fi speed, cellular CAT4/CAT6, an optional Bluetooth module, and two internal antennas for long range connectivity and improved wall penetration capabilities.

Puli (GL-XE300) is compatible with most bridge networks available in the market, including DLNA. It is most useful for splitting up network traffic into multiple segments for reducing traffic load and isolating potential network vulnerabilities posed by older devices.

A Puli (GL-XE300) will be deployed before multiple network segments, with each network segment containing a group of showcase devices such as a display unit and multiple audio streamer units that make up a home theater setup.

Convenient deployment

Puli is a well-rounded router that provides four types of connection methods, including Ethernet, Repeater, Tethering, and Cellular that makes it flexible to deploy in a wide range of environments despite the available network nearby.

An Ethernet connection connected to the modem, or an active wall socket is the option with the fastest network speed and is available in most retail stores. However, in an electronics store, Puli can also provide a Repeater option for reducing or eliminating the effort of extending cables across the store. In the scenario of demonstration in exhibitions or in a sales presentation, Puli can also conveniently provide a portable Cellular network when there is no nearby network equipment.

Backup power

GL-XE300 is equipped with a large-capacity 5000mAh lithium polymer battery that acts as both an auxiliary power supply under power outage scenarios and a portable network for sales demonstration during travels. In stationary use, the battery also supports continuous charging without damaging the battery life, extending the service time before requiring a replacement unit.

Customizable firmware

Puli runs on open source OpenWrt operating system; it comes with our user-friendly Imagebuilder application for an easy customization of firmware packages.

Security

Puli is pre-installed with OpenVPN and WireGuard® supporting 30+ VPN services, it automatically encrypts traffic to the store’s server, guest internet traffic, and bridge network traffic before passing to internet service providers. The network runs on the latest version of Internet Protocol IPv6, and it also supports Cloudflare DNS over TLS security protocol, ensuring a secure network.

Remote access and management

Puli comes with GoodCloud, our remote device management platform. It lets users conveniently import multiple Puli devices deployed in different floors or different retail locations for remote configuration, monitoring device usage and conducting batch firmware updates.

The device provides the option to remotely access the admin panel for network settings including guest Wi-Fi and captive portal or access the device terminal via web-SSH for in-depth diagnostics and settings configuration.