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Over-the-Air (OTA) Updates Empower Intelligent Gadgets to Continually Evolve

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Connected products with a seamless blend of sensors, processors, data storage, and the emergence of ubiquitous wireless connectivity have not only reshaped consumer experiences but have practically unleashed a new approach to utilizing technology.

​​​​Navigating and thriving in the world of smart, connected devices has become increasingly challenging. When you think of intelligent gadgets, a few things that come to mind are voice-enabled smart speakers, smartwatches, smart TVs, and smart locks. These everyday devices that once used to be based on single-purpose use cases are now more complex, software oriented, and connected, transcending traditional product boundaries.


Whether it is a smart home hub or a connected car, bringing a product to market today is only the beginning. These devices need to evolve and continually remain current with the emerging trends, standards, and security requirements. Have you ever wondered about what it takes to update and keep these intelligent devices functioning efficiently? One of the widely adopted mechanisms to upgrade software, achieve operational excellence, and continuously upgrade product features is the Over-the-Air (OTA) update technology.


Performing software updates on connected devices scattered across the network would usually exhaust limited resources such as network bandwidth, RAM space, processor cycles, and storage constraints of the device. In addition, executing software updates when the device is connected to an unreliable network with low bandwidth will increase failure rates and security concerns, deliver a disjointed experience and will ultimately result in dissatisfied customers. That is where a smarter approach to over-the-air updates is the need of the hour.


A simplified OTA software updating service to delight customers continually


HARMAN’s OTA update solution with Smart Delta technology provides organizations with the ability to distribute updates to their connected smart devices via a secure, standards-compliant software and device management service. The solution allows any software-enabled device with an OTA agent to be updated over-the-air, irrespective of device or network resource constraints. The Smart Delta technology ensures these updates are resource-efficient, failsafe, and secure to provide reliable service and excellent user experience.


Smart Delta technology produces a 10-fold reduction in software payload sizes and an 80% increment in update delivery speed, eventually decreasing the amount of network data consumption.


In the last decade, over 2-billion devices adopted the OTA agent to provide high-quality support. The OTA update solution with Smart Delta technology is helping organizations, both big and small, add new product features, fix bugs, and enhance product behavior even after it leaves their manufacturing facility.


For more real-life examples, here are five use cases that deliver a compelling experience by utilizing the OTA update solution with Smart Delta technology:


1. Smart Speakers with Digital Assistants




Voice-controlled smart speakers like HARMAN Kardon Invoke featuring Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant can play music, set reminders, look up directions, and deliver the latest news. Similarly, the JBL Link smart speaker family supports Google Assistant as well as Chrome Cast. Regular OTA updates delivered through the OTA solution ensures that the devices are up-to-date and are delivering better performance and user experience.


2. Healthcare Devices




Smart medical devices that range from intelligent asthma management kits to remote diagnosis devices can send data, live images, and video to a doctor’s PC. As per the health regulatory standards, the medical devices and the data they send have to be fully secure. To comply with these stringent requirements, these medical devices need periodic firmware upgrades. Using OTA with Smart Delta technology would further reduce update process risk by shortening update time while also ensuring a failsafe process.


3Smart Locks




Smart locks, programmed to operate with a touch of a button come with features like geo-fencing, issuing remote keys, and individual access schedules. Despite the fact that smart locks are safe, they are vulnerable to a host of security issues. In many cases, smart locks communicate using very slow wireless networks such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Using Smart Delta technology to reduce the update payload by as much as 90%, smart lock manufacturers can securely upgrade the firmware to the latest build, while saving time, battery life, and improving the user experience.


4Smarter Automobiles



HARMAN’s Smart Delta technology and remote vehicle update offering facilitates full-vehicle management from the head units down to the smallest ECUs. The technology is designed to eliminate system failures, reduce vehicle recalls by remotely addressing system malfunctions, and decrease time-to-market by updating the software while the vehicle is still on the production line. Thus, software updates delivered through the OTA software management ​solution have gained paramount importance for automakers.


5Remote Setting and Diagnostics Features 




OTA’s device remote monitoring and diagnostics solution facilitates easy-to-use administration services that enable system administrators or support technicians to provide the necessary IT support to mobile and connected devices. 


One of our clients, the Japanese telecommunications operator, KDDI, uses the OTA application to diagnose and troubleshoot smartphones remotely. Using our technology the customer care representatives have drastically reduced the average troubleshooting time from six minutes to two minutes. Thereby, increasing customer satisfaction rates from 80 to 90 percent.




This level of adoption for this technology demonstrates that the solution can support the most critical of IoT applications under demanding environments. To know more, please read our brochure and whitepaper on Smart Delta technology. 


To view our OTA solutions in action, visit us at the HARMAN Innovation Showcase on the sidelines of Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018, in Las Vegas, anytime between Monday, January 8th, and Thursday, January 11th from 8 AM to 6 PM (except 4 PM on Thursday). If you would like any additional information or to schedule a demonstration, please feel free to contact us.