FAQ

Organization and activities

The ECHONET Consortium was established in December 1997 with the aim of creating an abundant 21st-century society where people and the environment live in harmony and to develop and disseminate standard specifications for home network infrastructure technologies, which enables various devices to be interconnected.

As described in Membership and qualification in Membership and qualification system, companies that have interest in ECHONET can join us as general members and educational organizations that have interest in ECHONET can join us as academic members, regardless of nationality. ECHONET IoT MASTER is a qualification that can be acquired by those who have attended a technical seminar and have been certified, and can participate as an individual. The managing members are companies recognized as being able to make technical contributions to ECHONET.

By connecting devices from different manufacturers with the ECHONET Lite standard, not only energy saving but also home security, home healthcare, remote control and monitoring of home appliances can be utilized, and a more comfortable, safer and more secure life becomes possible.

ECHONET Lite is a “shared language” that enables communication of IoT home appliances, housing equipment, energy generation and storage equipment provided by different companies.

It will be a “shared language” for connecting devices from different companies and will become a standard specification for home network infrastructure technology for responding to environmental problems, energy problems, reduction of CO2 emissions, and an aging society.

There are roadmaps such as “Define 200 types of device control commands by 2025” and “Introduce home controllers to all households by 2030”. For details, see “Roadmap for promoting popularization.”

Participating in ECHONET Consortium and becoming a member has the following main benefits. For details, please refer to the Membership and qualification system.

  1. You can view the draft of the ECHONET standard and present your opinions. You can also request to add a new device object or change the properties of an existing device.
  2. You can exhibit and introduce your products and technologies and give lectures at forums, symposiums, and exhibitions.
  3. You can participate in the Plugfest and test the interconnection with other members’ products and technologies.
  4. Once you have obtained the conformity certification, you can attach the ECHONET, ECHONET Lite, ECHONET Ready, and ECHONET Lite AIF trademarks to your products.
  5. You can obtain the manufacturer code required for developing products that comply with the ECHONET standard.
  6. You can use the ECHONET Lite Web API experimental cloud to support service development for ECHONET Lite devices.
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  • Steering Committee
    • ECHONET Lite AIF Certification WG builds an AIF certification mechanism.
    • Certification WG has jurisdiction over authorized test laboratories and authorized certification bodies certified by the ECHONET Consortium and manages ECHONET Lite certification.
    • International Standardization WG promotes the international standardization of ECHONET Lite in ISO, IEC and ISO / IEC (JTC1).
    • Intellectual Property Rights and Legal Issues WG is responsible for managing the trademarks owned by the consortium and for legal matters.
    • ECHONET 2.0 Technical Seminar WG builds a ECHONET IoT MASTER system and a technical seminar course for it.
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  • Technical Committee
    • Systems Architecture WG considers the architecture of the entire network.
    • Smart EMS Study WG promotes the addition and revision of Detailed Requirements for ECHONET Device objects.
    • Interoperability WG is in charge of holding Plugfests to maintain interoperability.
    • Web API WG builds the ECHONET Lite Web API mechanics.
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  • Promotion Committee
    • Publicity WG is in charge of external activities such as websites, pamphlets and exhibitions.
    • Domestic Promotion WG is in charge of cooperation with various domestic related organizations.
    • Global Promotion WG is in charge of collaborating with overseas organizations and exhibiting at overseas exhibitions.
    • Data Linkage Method WG explores how the ECHONET Lite standard works with other standards.
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It is an event held twice a year for members to report on the efforts and activities of the ECHONET Consortium and introduce the products of each member company. For past content, please see the Forum Report (for members) or Forum, Symposium and Exhibition (for non-members).

It is an event held once a year for members and non-members to know about the ECHONET Lite and the activities of ECHONET Consortium. Special lectures by outside experts, lectures by related ministries and agencies and related companies / organizations, and activity report of the ECHONET Consortium are also conducted. For past content, please see the Forum, Symposium and Exhibition.

General members can participate in general meetings, forums, symposiums, Plugfests, etc. General members can also propose device objects and participate in WGs at the request of the upper committee. For details, see Membership and qualification in Membership and qualification system.

Academic members can participate in forums, symposiums, Plugfests, etc. Academic members can also propose device objects at the request of the upper committee. For details, see Membership and qualification in Membership and qualification system.

ECHONET IoT MASTERs can participate in forums, symposiums, etc. ECHONET IoT MASTERs can also propose device objects at the request of the upper committee. For details, see Membership and qualification in Membership and qualification system.

Since ECHONET Consortium is an independent private organization, it is not directly involved, but we are cooperating in efforts to popularize smart meters and HEMS.

In addition to receiving advice from Professor Isshiki of Kanagawa Institute of Technology as a fellow of the ECHONET Consortium, we are also receiving support for overseas expansion and holding of plug festivals from the Smart House Research Center in Kanagawa Institute of Technology.  We are also supported by Vice President Tan of Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology who has been appointed as a Fellow of the Consortium, and Professor Umejima of Keio University.  In addition, we are also cooperating with universities that are academic members.

As a regional strategy, ECHONET Consortium is working on the basic strategy of adopting the ECHONET Lite standard in Asia, linking data between standards in Europe, and studying strategies for large-scale platforms in North America. ECHONET Consortium is also energetically exhibiting at overseas exhibitions.

In addition to cooperating with the W3C, ZigBee Alliance, Wi SUN Alliance, etc., ECHONET Consortium also exchanges information with organizations such as IGRS, KASH, CABA, and AHNC.

“ECHONET Lite communication middleware”, which is the main part of the ECHONET Lite standard, is certified as ISO / IEC 14543-4-3, ” Detailed Requirements for ECHONET Device objects” is certified as IEC 62394 and the “AIF specifications between home air conditioners and HEMS controllers” of ECHONET Lite AIF specifications is certified as ISO / IEC 14543-4-301, as an international standard. In addition, with the expansion of standards, ECHONET Consortium is gradually proceeding with maintenance of international standards.

ECHONET IoT MASTER system

In order to acquire a certain level of skill, it is necessary to take the course for two consecutive days.

It is to take the entire two-day technical seminar curriculum and pass the “skill check test” conducted by an accredited educational institution. For details, please contact the authorized educational institution listed in ECHONET IoTマスター制度について (only in Japanese).

At the moment, the only certified educational institution is the Internet Academy, but ECHONET Consortium plans to increase it in the future.

Development, standards, licenses

The ECHONET Lite standard will be revised as necessary. The addition and modification of ECHONET device objects and service objects will be developed by soliciting proposals from members twice a year and focusing on the Smart EMS Study WG.

For general members, there is no fee to adopt the standard if you pay the membership fee. In order to sell products that adopt the standard, it is necessary to obtain a certification registration number through a certification body, so that fee will be incurred. There is also a fee to test at a testing institution.

ECHONET Consortium provides ECHONET Lite Web API-related tools, but not software. Some general members provide middleware, development support tools, maintenance tools, etc., so please contact them directly.

You will install or support a communication system that conforms to the standard, and develop software (application) based on the standard. General members have companies that support development, so please contact them if necessary.

ECHONET consortium itself is not patented. ECHONET Consortium believes that anyone wishing to adopt the ECHONET standard should be able to reasonably and non-discriminatory use the intellectual property rights necessary to commercialize products that comply with this standard. Of these intellectual property rights, the handling of patent rights and utility model rights, which are technically unavoidable in order to satisfy this standard, is stipulated in the Regulations on the Handling of Intellectual Property Rights, so please refer to that for details.

You need to become a member and obtain a manufacturer code. In order to sell equipment and services that have adopted the standard, it is necessary to obtain a certification registration number through a certification body.

There are AV-related equipment such as TVs, cooking / home appliances-related equipment such as rice cookers, and air-conditioning-related equipment such as home air conditioners. For details, refer to the ECHONET standard APPENDIX Detailed Requirements for ECHONET Device objects.

ECHONET Consortium conducts a plug fest to check compatibility. ECHONET Consortium is also working with industry groups to formulate interface standards for eight key devices such as smart meters.

It is not specified. In the ECHONET Lite standard, as the 4th layer and below of the OSI reference model can be freely selected, popular transmission media can be used.

Even non-members can download the interface specifications for application layer communication. However, the certification test specifications corresponding to the specifications are available only to members.

ECHONET Lite standard certification

Please submit the “Manufacturer code application” in Various Application Forms after becoming a member.

The company applying for product certification must be a manufacturer code holder.

Companies that are not members of ECHONET Consortium cannot obtain product certification, but they can sell the certified products.

About 10 working days from the date when the certification body receives the application form, the certification body will determine and notify you of the conformity or nonconformity of the application documents. Please contact each certification body for details.

In principle, you can apply for certification at any time during the business day of the certification bodies. Please contact each certification body for details.

Please contact each certification body.

Certification application is currently available in Japanese which can be found here. “Certification test specifications” can be obtained from Test Specifications. Please use the latest documents when applying. The detailed procedure for obtaining certification is described in the booklet distributed by the certification body, so please contact the certification body first.

If only the ECHONET Lite standard is certified, the application document including the test results based on the certification test specifications submitted by the applicant will only be examined in writing by the certification body, and no certification test by the certification testing body is required. If you want to obtain AIF certification for a low-voltage or high-voltage smart energy meter, you need to carry out the certification test related ECHONET Lite standard and the ECHONET Lite device at a certified testing organization.

It is possible. However, the manufacturer code installed in the product must be the manufacturer code owned by the applicant.

It is recommended to obtain the certification with the latest standard version, but it is possible to develop and obtain the certification with the old standard version. However, please use the latest certification test specifications corresponding to the old and new standard versions you wish to obtain.

Since products sold to general consumers are subject to certification, evaluation boards for developers cannot be certified. For details, please refer to “Guide for Applying for ECHONET Lite standard conformity certification (self-certification)” issued by authorized certification bodies.

Software that consists only of software that cannot provide ECHONET Lite functions to users by itself, such as DLLs, plug-ins, libraries, and middleware, is not subject to certification. For details, see “Guide for applying for ECHONET Lite standard conformity certification (self-certification)” issued by authorized certification bodies.

Refers to the scope of “ECHONET Lite middleware” described in the “ECHONET Lite Specification” (mainly Part 2).

Even if it is an OEM product, because the product certification is required to sell certified products, you need to become a consortium member and apply for certification. However, there is no problem that the OEM company will act for the certification application after your company becomes a member.

ECHONET Lite Web API

It is a Web API for services on the cloud to operate ECHONET Lite devices and refer the status of them. As a guideline for that, we have prepared two types of documents: “API specification section” that summarizes the definition guideline of Web API model and mapping guideline from ECHONET Lite specification, and “device specification section” that summarizes the Device Description for each device.

ECHONET Lite Web API experiment cloud is for the purpose of supporting the understanding of the specifications of ECHONET Lite Web API guidelines and verifying the operation of each Web API. You can use various Web APIs to check the operation of device operations (list acquisition, device SET / GET, etc.) requests and responses.

We currently offer two types of tools that support the ECHONET Lite Web API. Both are client-side software. They are the learning support application “ELWebAPIStudy” for beginners aiming at intuitive understanding of the API specifications, and the operation verification GUI tool “ELWebAPITool” for developers who can check the transmission and reception of detailed commands based on the API specifications.

Network

There is no such thing, but by using a device that supports ECHONET Lite standard, you will be able to receive services such as energy saving and cooperation with various IoT home appliances.

ECHONET Consortium envisions a small range of possible extensions to the home and does not cover large building systems or building management systems.

Each company has released a system that controls ECHONET Lite-compatible devices by linking ECHONET Lite-compatible controllers and AI speakers such as Amazon and Google.

ECHONET 2.0

Society 5.0 is a human-centered society that achieves both economic development and solution of social issues through a system that highly integrates cyberspace (virtual space) and physical space (real space). ECHONET 2.0 will realize Society 5.0 by making it possible to operate home appliances and housing equipment in physical space on the Web, which is a cyber space, and by expanding cooperation with services on the Web.

ECHONET Lite and AIF will be treated as technologies that support the service platform for the ultra-smart society on the cloud in ECHONET 2.0 and will continue to be expanded by increasing the number of target devices.

With ECHONET 2.0, IoT life services will also be provided from the Web, more convenient and comfortable life is realized.

For example, a service that allows a certified care worker to grasp the health condition and living environment of a person who need a care with one single application before visiting. It can reduce his/her work burden and a person who need care will be able to live with peace of mind too.

Application

Home control systems such as energy saving and home appliance control, home care, health management services, security services, etc.

ECHONET Lite is used in IoT devices to realize energy saving, convenient and comfortable life, such as control of air conditioners and water heaters, management of solar power generators, and health services.

ECHONET Lite is used in monitoring and control of air conditioners and lighting equipment, security equipment monitoring, and store showcase monitoring systems.

Currently, it is premised on operation by HEMS controller, but ECHONET Consortium is also starting to consider a system that does not use HEMS controller. From a ECHONET Lite-compatible HEMS controller, you can control ECHONET Lite devices and refer to their status. The service is not limited to the energy management system (HEMS), but is expected to be used in comfortable life support services, remote maintenance services, home healthcare services, etc.

Others

Air conditioners, home controllers, water heaters, solar power generators, storage batteries, electric vehicle chargers and dischargers, etc. For details, see Products.

Eight devices that JSCA determined to ensure interoperability with HEMS in 2013, which are Smart meter (B route), solar power generator, storage battery, fuel cell, Charger / Discharger for Electric Vehicles, air conditioner, lighting equipment, and water heater. It is recommended to use ECHONET Lite as a publicity available standard interface between them.

There is no permanent exhibition like a model house. As ECHONET Consortium is introducing what can be achieved with ECHONET Lite at ECHONET Consortium symposiums and various exhibitions, please come and join us.

Anyone who is a corporation and can carry out activities in line with the activities of ECHONET Consortium can participate.

ECHONET Consortium is working to increase the number of device types that define the details of device control commands to 200, and to introduce home controllers to all households in 2030.

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