A photo of Tuya's Matter announcement at CES with smart light bulbs

What is Tuya and How it Works

Everything you need to know about the Tuya IoT platform and the devices it powers.

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The backbone for all smart home devices is the platform they connect with to provide all the benefits and security we expect today. Platforms are the brains that make all the smart products work seamlessly together to provide a safe and secure experience inside our smart home. How important is it for a manufacturer to have a reliable and secure platform to get their devices to work together and power an app and integrations with other smart home systems? It is essential these days, especially from a consumer's perspective. Companies need a solid foundation for their systems to work on, or consumers will not buy it. We have been exploring many of these platforms that power many smart home platforms and recently spoke with Tuya about their unique global platform for IoT.

Who is Tuya?

In case you have never heard of Tuya, they are a Chinese company with an artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) platform founded in 2014. They provide a cloud development and management platform to developers, brands, and OEMs to program, manage, and monetize smart home and IoT devices.

What does that mean? They are the maker of the software that runs the plumbing for your smart home. Their platform comes with a variety of features that make it easy for companies to develop and bring smart products to market. For instance, their cloud-based development platform provides developers with everything they need to develop and manage smart products, including hardware design, firmware development, cloud connectivity, and mobile app development. The company also has a global network of partners and a wide range of hardware modules that companies can use to create new smart products. You might have heard of some of these companies - Schneider Electric, Philips, and Midea.

Tuya can also assist manufacturers in making smart devices on any wireless connection, which helps solve our industry's most significant issue today: interoperability. They can design hardware modules that work on various wireless connections like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, and now Matter modules. They also have a comprehensive mobile app that allows users to control their smart products from their smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

a photo of Tuya's booth at MWC in SpainTuya IoT PlatformTuya

What makes Tuya different from all the other IoT platforms

Tuya provides an extensive platform that is expensive and enables manufacturers, brands, and developers to develop smart devices and applications quickly and cost-effectively. In speaking with the company, we found five main features of Tuya's offerings. Here is an in-depth look at each of these features:

1. Cross-ecosystem interconnection: Tuya enables customers to realize cross-protocol, cross-ecosystem interconnection quickly. As an early participant and promoter of Matter, Tuya has worked closely with Amazon, Apple, and Google to build cross-protocol and cross-ecosystem device interconnection, allowing customers to manage their devices and mainstream ecosystem devices through one interface. This has opened up a path of interconnection for customers. In other words, it makes it easy for users to get their smart devices to speak to each other no matter the wireless connection.

2. High-efficiency and customization: Tuya offers hardware development kits, modules, and reference designs, enabling developers to create smart devices quickly and efficiently. The Tuya-enabled hardware ecosystem covers eight major product groups with over 2,700 categories, including energy conservation, health and sports, office and travel, electrical lighting, security and sensors, large and small home appliances, digital entertainment, and industry and agriculture. Based on their needs, global customers can quickly customize and enhance their product capabilities through the Tuya IoT Development Platform.

Tuya's cloud platform provides secure, scalable, and reliable services for device management, data storage, and remote control. It supports various communication protocols, making it easy to integrate different devices. For example, in smart homes, Tuya supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Thread, Sub-1GHz, NFC, UWB, and other protocols. Tuya supports GPRS, Wi-Sun, NB-IoT, LTE, and others in outdoor travel. On the ecosystem level, Tuya has broken barriers between mainstream ecosystems such as Matter, Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.

Furthermore, Tuya provides a customizable app development platform that allows businesses to create branded smart device apps for customers to control and manage their devices. The platform includes a range of templates and tools to simplify the app development process.

3. Cross-platform compatibility, automation, and scheduling: Tuya's platform is compatible with a wide range of devices from various manufacturers, making it easy for users to manage their smart devices using a single app (Tuya Smart app). Its platform also enables users to set up automation rules and schedules for their devices, making their homes more energy-efficient and convenient.

Tuya recently launched the world's first 5-inch Smart Control Panel Solution for smart homes that features Matter and Alexa Built-in. The target is the North American markets, and can address issues with ecosystem compatibility and product connection. Due to issues like their products not functioning when the network has been cut off and not being compatible with the mainstream ecosystem, many smart home device manufacturers are hesitant to approach the international market. With the Smart Control Panel Solution, customers can create independent, controllable, and more distinctive smart home devices under their own brands based on Tuya's PaaS2.0, which can be connected and controlled by a central control panel, and further develop a comprehensive software and hardware ecosystem and expand their smart home business into international markets.

4. Security and data privacy: Tuya strongly emphasizes the security of its platform and user data privacy. The company employs encryption, authentication, and access control mechanisms to ensure the safety of user data and device communications. Tuya fully embraces and supports the 12 initiatives to safeguard global IoT security proposed by RCGCG an ioXt, and national-level security standards, such as the U.S. cybersecurity labeling program and China's Global Initiative on Data Security. These crucial standards act as a bulwark against the fragmentation of IoT cybersecurity standards and help differentiate trustworthy products in the marketplace.

5. Ecosystem partnerships: Tuya has established partnerships with many major players in the IoT ecosystem, including manufacturers, chip vendors, and cloud service providers, creating a robust and well-supported IoT platform for developers and users alike. The most notable companies Tuya has partnered with include Haier, ABB, Siemens, Cree, Hampton, Lenovo, Lidal, Orange, and TCL.

How does Tuya's Platform work?

Tuya's platform is similar to other smart homes or smart device platforms. It enables the development of a wide range of smart devices, from smart door locks and home security systems to smart appliances, ensuring seamless connectivity and control across your smart home ecosystem.

The company's primary offerings include smart device development, cloud services, and app development. All three are vital to a smart and secure smart home system. For instance, using their IoT modules and development kit for assistance, Tuya provides developers with tools to create smart devices, such as smart plugs, lighting systems, home security devices, and appliances. Then the manufacturer can leverage Tuya's cloud platform to connect, manage, and control their smart devices remotely. This platform is scalable, secure, and supports various communication protocols. And, of course, you need an app to control your smart device, es. So manufacturers can work with Tuya on developing a customizable app that allows the manufacturer to create a branded smart device app for its customers to control and manage their smart devices.

a photo of a room with products powered by TuyaTuya powers many well-known smart devices.Tuya

Who uses or leverages Tuya's Platform?

Tuya's solutions have been widely adopted across various industries, such as smart residential solutions, smart hospitality solutions, smart commercial lighting and building solutions, smart house & real estate, and energy management. The company has partnerships with many major players in the IoT ecosystem and has a significant presence in the global market.d. This includes major Fortune 500 companies.

For example, in the smart home market, Tuya is used to develop and manage smart devices like smart plugs, smart lights, smart locks, smart thermostats, and smart appliances that can be controlled remotely and integrated into a smart home ecosystem. One company, Lloyd's Electronics, a Mexican company with over 20 years in the electronics market, including security equipment, has leveraged Tuya's platform to build a line of smart devices and systems enabling users to control, customize, and interact with their devices anywhere, by leveraging Tuya's platform achieved digitalization and grasped a more significant a bigger market share of not only Mexico but Latin America.

Another good example of how companies have leveraged Tuya's technology is the company's work with energy management. Many manufacturers are implementing sustainability programs to help save the environment. Having their smart devices monitor a user's energy usage to help reduce costs is popular today. We have reviewed many smart plugs that can monitor a home's energy usage. Tuya can customize its platform to help manufacturers develop smart devices that allow users to monitor their energy consumption, such as smart power strips, smart thermostats, and energy-saving light bulbs. One company using Tuya to do this is a company we have written about, Schneider Electric's Wiser. They have a global deal with Tuya to power their Wiser Smart Home in Asia.

For this article, we are focusing on the consumer side of IoT and want to help you learn how all these devices and systems work, especially since you might see on your smart devices a Tuya logo and wonder who they are and what they do. But, we should also note that Tuya services Industrial IoT and has smart city solutions. Their platform can also develop and manage smart devices and applications for industrial and urban environments, like smart street lighting and waste management systems.


As I said at the start, the key to a successful smart home is the platform that gets all devices and systems to work seamlessly for the user all the time. It also has to be easy to use and secure. Tuya is a global company that services companies all over the world. They have clients in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Africa who are being serviced by over 782,000 registered developers in more than 200 countries and regions. The company also has over 7,600 customers worldwide, and there are approximately 120,000 stores globally selling smart devices powered by Tuya. It's a big ecosystem.

However, their platform is not well-known among consumers because their customers are manufacturers of smart devices and systems. And the company doesn't plan to market to consumers. But they do provide a wide range of tools and services that power many smart devices, like Midea's home appliances: air conditioners, coffee machines, fans, air fryers, dishwashers, water purifiers, water heaters, steam ovens, and plans to explore new energy, IPC, and gateway control categories.

So the next time you are looking for a smart device and notice it was made by Tuya, know the company behind that product has been working with the manufacturer to make it easier for you to adopt and benefit from smart devices and technologies it can do inside your smart home.

And if you need help finding out what smart devices work with Tuya, you can use The GearBrain, our compatibility find engine. It will help you find, buy, and connect any smart device, including the ones that are compatible with your existing smart home devices.

The GearBrain, First Compatibility Find Engine for Smart DevicesGearBrain's mission is to simplify the Internet of Things or new connected devices for consumers. Many of today's new connected ...

Wi-Fi Gateway Remotely Control, Tuya Bluetooth Gateway, Only Support Tuya Device (2.4GHz WiFi), Smart Home Wi-Fi Bridge, Work with Alexa, Google Assistant & SmarThings ((Not for ZigBee))

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