The Green Case


Cees Links (Cees is pronounced as “Case”) is founder and CEO of GreenPeak.
He is a pioneer of the wireless data industry, a visionary leader bringing the world of mobile computing and continuous networking together.

Cees' opinion pieces appear regularly in several leading industry magazines like EETimes, EDN, M2M, Embedded Design, Automation, Industrial Embedded Design and many more.

Below is an overview of these opinion columns which reflect Cees' refreshing approach to business and the industry GreenPeak is supplying to. Cees writes with a voice of a visionary and forward thinker. The articles often contain a humorous take on real life situations and put them into perspective of the wireless industry.

Enjoy reading!

Most recently added blog article


Go Green… Save Money?
There’s been a lot of talk lately about smart homes. The convenience, the security, the gadgets, even the health benefits—like a smart refrigerator that tracks nutrition. But can a smart home fatten your wallet at the same time that it’s shrinking your waistline? It’s easy to understand how being more efficient with energy usage can reduce day-to-day energy costs, but what about unexpected expenses like accidents in the home and equipment failures?[...]


Previous opinion pieces

Sic Transit - Do you remember what this Latin phrase means?
The full phrase is about the demise of the glory of the “world” and it stems from the 14th century when people were concerned as much, if not more, with the heavenly hereafter as with the profane here-and-now. These days we still look forward to a future when we will be released from the restrictions of today and everything will be faster, smarter, better. Techno pundits are main the prophets of this belief. Popular articles of faith include TV White Space, Cognitive Radio, most recently, Radio Virtual Machine [...]

Smart Home Services – A window of opportunity for Operator success
The world’s Cable and TV Operators are facing increasing competition in their core business, providing “free” television and pay channels for entertainment. This evolution in customer demand and behavior is motivating Operators to increasingly innovate to find new services and revenue streams and the answer could be Smart Home Services. [...]

What do IoT and Smart Home device makers need to know in order to connect their devices to the web
Worldwide, thousands of technology companies are viewing the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Smart Home as the Holy Grail for their products and profits. Most industry analysts and leaders are predicting that hundreds of millions of homes will want these new technologies. However, before the device makers begin to design and develop new solutions, they need to understand that this market is rapidly changing and evolving, especially when looking at the Smart Home and the consumer electronics market. This is a moving target that manufacturers need to understand. [...]


Competition or Compliance?
The differences in wireless regulations between the US and Europe. The origin and development of WiFi provides an interesting illustration of the impact of regulatory policy. [...]


Unlicensed Value
When we think of “license” and “value” we think of auctions and multi-billion dollar/euro/… transactions. We might also think of the monthly “mobile” bill that we pay to get wireless access to the internet, Google, Facebook and other great social media. Little wonder then that license and value have become [...]


The Internet of Things to come
New technologies always show promise, at least until the inevitable disappointment with first out products sets in; after that infamous trough of disillusionment, successful third generation products create new optimism and rising sales [...]


ZigBee and Thread move towards mesh network interoperability
The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group recently announced that they are collaborating to aid development of connected home products. This agreement opens doors for the ZigBee Cluster Library Application Protocol to run on Thread networks. This is a big step forward to making the Internet of Things and the Smart Home real. [...]


The impact of the Internet of Things on consumers
The IoT is creating a new world, a quantifiable and measurable world, where people and business can manage their assets in better informed ways, able to make timely and correct decisions of what they want or need to do. This new connected world will offer fundamental changes to society and to consumers in society. [...]


WiFi and Thread - Similarities and benefits for the networking community
Recently Google/Nest, together with Samsung, ARM, Yale Security and others, announced
“Thread” perceived by some as a new standard for the Smart Home and Internet of Things.
However, that is not truly accurate [...]


What is the Smart Home?

What do Consumers expect from the Smart Home? And how are we going to deliver it to them? So why are our homes are still so primitive? What is taking so long for our homes to become smart? [...]


Low-Power Wi-Fi exists today, and it is called: ZigBee…

It is always interesting when new communication standardization activity is in development, in particular when it is in the area of WiFi, the ubiquitous standard that many of us are using on a daily basis, if not continuously [...]


ZigBee and the Smart Home: is security an issue?

Quite recently there was an article in the Wall Street Journal that provided examples of situations where “computer experts” can break into our Smart Homes via the internet and take over control over basic functions. [...]


Who will win the battle of the wireless standards in the Smart Home? There is no battle...

Several technologies pushing in the Smart Home market are trying to gain traction. However, ZigBee has already been chosen as the preferred technology [...]


Cable & Service Providers Fifth Play - The new Smart Home is the really Smart Home
The new Smart Home is much more than just the connected home – it is about a truly smart
home that combines the best of the connected home, the new Internet of Things, as well as
the Internet of Tiny Things


The Internet of Things, starting at the Smart Home
More applications for smart phones are becoming available every day making the smart
phone a center piece of communication for the future smart, connected home. In spite of the longstanding promise of the home of the future, many of the electric devices at home still live on isolated islands, disconnected from the internet and unable to connect to each other. [...]


About solar panel monitoring and smart junction boxes
As an addition to energy efficieny in the Smart Home, GreenPeak proposes its wireless technology for tracking, monitoring and control of individual solar panels in PV systems [...]


From Flash-matic to RF4CE – we honor the memory of Mr. Eugene Polley, the developer of the first wireless TV remote control
Televisions did not always come with remote controls, in the past, someone had to get off the couch and trudge across the room to change the channels or adjust the set [...]


When the cat decides what's on TV tonight
How our favorite pet can take control over what is being watched [...]


Is the TV Remote Control doomed? Will the smart phone replace the TV clicker?
Nope! Remote controls will not be going away but they will be evolving [...]


Here comes the next generation home networking - It’s all about Cable Companies and the set-top box service providers who will deliver the smart, automated home
Many technology watchers have predicted that the arrival of automated smart home – that
home owners will seek out and install the latest, coolest gizmos that will make a house truly
smart. Well, it isn’t going to happen that way [...]


Brainstorm on Low Power Design: What are the primary drivers for developing low power designs? Cost savings, movement to green, longer life for batteries?
More and more wireless devices around us in our homes are running on batteries: remote controls, thermostats, temperature, smoke and security sensors, etc. As a consequence, we have to often replace or recharge those depleted batteries. This can be quite a nuisance especially when they start beeping in the middle of the night. [...]


How can the many standards organizations better cooperate with one another to improve the way things are done?
Competing companies offering different technology solutions for the same problem create market confusion for OEMs as well as for customers. For example, 3D TV market has stalled because of different 3D rendering technologies (using active glasses, passive glasses, or – no glasses at all).
The various associated standardization bodies competing for the market have created an
additional level of confusion [...]


The secret success of Steve Jobs: WiFi and wireless internet
Many have lauded Steve Jobs for his vision and leadership that changed how people use computers, how they consume personal media, and how they communicate with each other. Everyone knows about i-Books, i-Phones, i-Pods and i-Pads. What is much less known is the fact that Steve Jobs is the godfather of WiFi [...]


ZigBee RF4CE vs. Bluetooth
When Bluetooth was announced in the late nineties, it was positioned as making WiFi redundant. Unfortunately it was not successful in this. Bluetooth is for short range (say a room), whereas WiFi is for medium range (say a home, or a department floor in a company) [...]


What is Green Technology?
Everyone talks about recycling, ROHS, etc. but no one really address the issues of batteries used to power a wide range of industrial and electronic devices. Disposable batteries are a leading pollution issue. In addition to the large amounts of power required for mining and refining the raw materials, manufacturing and then disposal, batteries are also filled with heavy metals and toxic chemicals. [...]


Have new product designs suffered as a result of the going green movement or have they benefited?
In general, new product designs have not suffered from going green – but frankly, product developers have had a much more challenging time [...]


Standards, a blessing or a curse?
First the curse: it usually takes an endless amount of time for a standard to come together, and once it is completed, often it feels like compromise that does not fully serve everyone’s interests. But clearly there are blessings as well [...]


ZigBee compared with Bluetooth Low Energy
Within the communication and electronics industry there have been a lot of speculative predictions and hype that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) will eliminate the need for ZigBee. There are several arguments against this [...]


How to make the next generation smart home wireless network GREEN
In a SMART home, control devices and monitoring sensors throughout the house are wirelessly connected to each other and a central control station such as a set top box.  This box in turn can talk to the outside world by a cable or Internet connection.  These devices and sensors can include home security systems, home health monitoring, entertainment such as music, TV and video [...]


GreenPeak’s Environmental Management System - An interesting approach of the penny wise, pound foolish pitfall
As a fabless semiconductor company, with no production facilities, the environmental impact of our activities is limited and the implementation of a formal Environmental Management System is not obvious [...]


The wireless home of the future: the third home wireless network – Smart and Green
For many years – decades even, we have been waiting for the automated "smart" house – a house that is as technically advanced as our automobiles [...]


RF remote controls will wipe out IR
When economic times are tough only exciting differentiators that can be offered at no extra cost will be adopted by consumer electronics. Radio-based remote controls (instead of Infra Red ones) for TVs, DVDs and settop boxes offer just that by providing a radically different
and improved end-user experience. [...]


The ZigBee Umbrella
The ZigBee standard was always positioned as the solution for low power (sense- and control) networking. But low power networks come in a variety of flavors and it took some time to recognize and classify them [...]


GreenPeak's commitment to Quality
The most efficient way of introducing a formal approach to quality is by implementing and certifying for a globally recognized quality label. GreenPeak has chosen to introduce its Quality Management System according to the ISO 9001:2008 standard for quality [...]

ZigBee RF4CE and Bluetooth Low Energy
Let’s go back in history. When in the late 90’s Bluetooth was announced it was stated that this was going to be the death of IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN’s… for the simple reason that Bluetooth was going to be everywhere and solve it all [...]


Will RF4CE be the Killer App for ZigBee?
Recently the RF4CE Alliance got themselves adopted by the ZigBee Alliance, a clear example of a win-win situation. For the RF4CE Alliance it means an immediate broad adoption in the consumer electronics industry, while avoiding the cost of setting up a “marketing machine” to achieve this [...]


GreenPeak at the World Economic Forum
The relevance for GreenPeak of being selected as of the 34 Technology Pioneers 2009 of the World Economic Forum can only be appreciated by going the WEF Conference in Davos and understand what an important get-together this is[...]


Green GreenPeak
There is a general consensus amongst scientists that the world is warming up based on overwhelming data. There is also a general serious concern about the impact from rising sea levels to the extinction of animals. There is still a serious debate whether the cause of this global warming is largely natural fluctuation or whether there is a dominant impact of human activities,
but at the same time companies are looking at what they can do about it, largely lead by a concept called “carbon footprint” [...]


Say Good Bye to Infrared and Hello to Radio based Remote Controls
Sometimes things are as they are for no specific reason, other than that was the way it was. One good example is the “point-and-shoot” of infrared-based remote controls. Why are we still using IR to control our home electronics? [...]


No more batteries
After cordless phones and wireless Internet there is a third wireless wave coming: wireless sense and control networks, connecting all kind of equipment in our homes from freezers to light switches, from consumer electronics and remote controls to sensors [...]


Macro problems solved at micro level?
Sometimes crises can become overwhelming and in particular the combination of global warming and the energy crisis is an overwhelming one. At the same time it is clear that there are tremendous sources of clean energy around (the sun, wind, tides, etc.) that solving the energy problem is a matter of time, money and persistence [...]


A powerless infra-structure…
In one or another way we are all familiar with base stations for wireless. Both on a large scale: and on a smaller scale [...]


The Internet of Things – the next Internet revolution
We are all starting to get familiar with the world of Internet as a world on its own, even to the point that you may wonder how the world was organized without it? [...]


Wireless Sensor Networks – for a Green World
Our factories, refineries, warehouses and offices all waste energy. However, by using the next generation of ZigBee based wireless sensor networks, not only can we greatly reduce wasted energy, we can also reduce the amount of energy required to actually operate these networks [...]


The third wireless revolution – sensor networks
If you ever had the foresight in 1970 to wonder along what sequence of events wireless technologies would start penetrating society, you probably would not have started first with high quality voice networks, then followed with high speed data-networks and finally ended with low data rate, low duty cycle simple sense and control networks. Most likely you would have suggested a sequence the other way around [...]


A quiet revolution – redefining sense and control networks
We are all too familiar with sensors, in particular temperature sensors, but of course also with motion sensors, carbon monoxide sensors or what about parking sensors? Actually let’s realize: sensors are everywhere [...]