What You Missed at Z-Wave Alliance Summit & Unplug Fest Part I

If you’ve been following Z-Wave across our social channels you’ve seen all the updates that were posted as members gathered in Austin earlier this month. We’re not going to gatekeep all the great insights and updates that were shared at the summit so let’s dive into part I of summit highlights:

Unplug Fest

At Unplug Fest, Eric Ryherd, aka Dr. Z-Wave, led participants in testing the RF range of their devices along the Colorado River. This exercised proved to be a challenge testing environment due to the high volume of  RF noise and other radio frequencies from cell phones, walkie-talkies, and more. Check out this video in Causeway to see just how far Z-Wave Long Range (ZWLR) works in a real-world environment.

In the spirit of friendly competition,  we would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s Unplug Fest winners!

  • Homeseer PS100 – 0.7-mile range
  • Nabu Casa (Home Assistant) Controller – 1130-meter range
  • Ring several devices – 1130-meter range

Abundant  Growth for Z-Wave Long Range (ZWLR)

Excitement surrounding ZWLR extended well beyond the Unplug Fest as Summit host sponsor, Silicon Labs,  helped continue the momentum later that evening as they hosted the Z-Wave Welcome Reception. To help kick off the start of summit, a panel of experts took the stage at Silicon Labs’ HQ to discuss how ZWLR is helping Z-Wave expand into new markets and supporting new use cases.

The growth potential for ZWLR and exciting use cases tracks with our certification numbers. Q1 2024 certification figures have revealed  that 80% of new products certified supported ZWLR. The Alliance expects  that number to continue to grow especially as Trident IoT has announced their new Taurus Series of chips that includes system-on-chip (SoC) solutions and modules designed to support Z-Wave Plus, Z-Wave Plus v2, and ZWLR.

Cybersecurity Labeling Programs

ICYMI – Z-Wave Alliance announced its full support of the latest cybersecurity labeling programs for IoT and connected devices, including the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) Product Security Verified (PSV) Mark and the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark. The good news for Z-Wave members is that the Z-Wave protocol security framework meets, and in some cases exceeds, the regulations and requirements set forth by the recently announced U.S. Cyber Trust Mark. If you have questions about the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark and the PSV Mark – check out Mike Dow’s Summit Presentation for all the details on what it means and what comes next.

As we chat with members after the event, we are all invigorated by all the progress that Z-Wave is driving forward. As member Paulus Schoutsen from Home Assistant shared on his blog:

“Meeting Alliance members, I can see they are enthusiastic about the future, but it’s the community that will drive the next chapter of Z-Wave. Further opening Z-Wave will empower both the vendors and the community – and help build an open home that serves everyone in it, providing greater privacy, choice, and sustainability.”

Stay tuned for part II of our key takeaways where we will dive into AI, new alliance work groups and more. As always, thank you to our generous sponsors who helped us make Summit a great event: Silicon Labs, Alarm.com and Trident IoT.

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