The smart home cannot thrive in a vacuum – interoperability will be the defining pillar of success for the future. As more players enter the market, the Alliance has our sights squarely set on our goals and how Z-Wave will continue to provide value to members and, in-turn, to smart home customers. If the past several months serve as any indication for how busy 2023 will be, Z-Wave is in for a monumental year. Within the last quarter alone, a vast amount of momentum has been generated as Z-Wave welcomed new board members rounding out an already elite group of industry-leading experts from across the IoT space. Additionally, we announced the completion of the Z-Wave Source Code Project, a prolonged effort with massive payoffs ahead. Let’s look at these two achievements to drill into why leadership and legacy will bring Z-Wave into it’s most exciting chapter yet.
Leadership for the Future:
First and foremost, Z-Wave has led the charge on interoperability for decades. As new organizations join the conversation, it’s exciting to see a meld of new and legacy members joining ranks to lead Z-Wave. We’ve welcomed Jonathan Adams, a young and emerging technology leader at Amazon as Chairman of the Board. Furthermore, the Alliance continues to benefit from the knowledge and expertise from the collective board, which includes leaders who are founding participants of Project CHIP and who currently hold chaired positions within both the Thread Group and the Connectivity Standards Alliance.
An Evolving Legacy
Following the ratification and move to a Standards Development Organization (SDO), the Z-Wave Alliance has been working to open Z-Wave and to make it more widely available to members has been a top initiative. Providing Z-Wave members with a rich development environment containing the Z-Wave source code is a giant leap forward and partners are paying attention. At Z-Wave Summit, Exegin Technologies demonstrated the successful porting of Z-Wave Source code to third party silicon which is an update we all have been eagerly awaiting as the implications point towards members having choice when it comes to chip provider and development options.
In addition to the Z-Wave Source Code Project, Silicon Labs, one of the primary code contributors to both Matter and Z-Wave, has developed a multi-protocol software development kit, the Unify SDK, for Matter-based hubs and bridges. The software tool provides for interoperability between the different wireless IoT protocols, including Z-Wave. The Unify SDK offers a how-to kit for manufacturers and developers to connect both new and legacy Z-Wave devices with new Matter devices.
While buzz-worthy companies have entered the space with Matter, we know that in order for Matter to truly fulfil its promise, it cannot make it challenging for homeowners to include their legacy devices within their system. With a massive, certified ecosystem (4,100+ devices and counting) Z-Wave will continue to be critical as bridging technology will play a key role in connecting Matter to legacy devices and becoming interoperable with new Matter networks.
2023 is burgeoning with opportunities for Z-Wave, and as we start this exciting chapter, there truly has never been a more exciting time to be involved with what comes next for Z-Wave. The Z-Wave Alliance is independently run and member-driven. Member ideas, input, and feedback have a direct result on the steps we take in the coming year. This is your call to get involved! Visit the Alliance website to see the full list of committees and working groups you can join, as well as membership opportunities. Help us chart the course for Z-Wave in 2023 and beyond!