NEWSLETTER - Q4 2020

Opportunities and Trends to Reach Success in a Post-Pandemic World

By: Mitch Klein, Executive Director
 

The entire world entered a state of flux earlier this year, as a result of the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic, and the smart home industry was not exempt from its impact.  

While many challenges occurred as a result of the pandemic, from supply chain delays to retail closures, social distancing requirements to economic impact, there are still countless opportunities for industry growth and they are providing manufacturers, integrators, retailers, and others with the ability to contribute to building a better smart home experience for consumers and end-users.

During the development process of our 2020 State of the Ecosystem Report earlier this year, we asked industry experts across a wide range of verticals for their insight into the greatest opportunities facing the smart home market in 2020 and beyond. Here are some of the areas they focused on:

Wellness:

Wellness will be a major opportunity for integrators going forward. According to one expert, “consumers are rapidly learning about smart home technology and the next phase of that educational process will be the benefits of wellness and services such as circadian lighting, water, and air purification, as well as other similar amenities.”

And amid the COVID-19 pandemic, right now is a critical time for manufacturers to deliver advanced technology that can promote healthy living and well-being in the home. It is something that customers will undoubtedly begin expecting in their smart home technology purchases in order to keep themselves and their families safe.

Environmental Impact:

One of the biggest opportunities for the growing smart home market is the potential for the environmental impact it can have. Smart devices and automated homes can help with energy management and cost savings for the home – this can be a great value proposition to homeowners looking for ways to get the most of their technology. Something as simple as a sensor can ensure that lights and temperature control, for example, are only being used when they are needed, eliminating energy waste and costly expenses.

We’ve already seen this energy management trend take hold on a larger scale in the European market. In those countries, leading utility companies have begun offering incentive programs and installing controls for HVAC, lighting, heating, as well as smart meters.

Changing Consumer Expectations and Interest:

Consumers are beginning to expect that the products available to them are going to simply be ’smart’. Already there are white-good manufacturers whose flagship kitchen products all come connected as the standard, and that is expected to evolve into other areas of the home including tools, storage, bathrooms, decorations, and more. Homeowners will not only demand smart products for automation and the like, but for self-diagnosis, self-cleaning, and so on. Consumer interest will also shift to technology that makes it easier for them to connect with others, as we face extended time working and learning from our homes – we’ll likely see substantial growth in the smart entertainment category for 2020 and beyond.

It is also likely that the term ’smart home’ will die out eventually as people just assume and expect pretty much everything in their homes to just be connected and smart.

Demand for a Robust Home Network:

The need for a robust home network with reliable, even coverage throughout (and even beyond) a home or building is more important now than ever before, as the number of devices per home increases and offer more advanced capabilities. Users need to know that they can rely on their network infrastructure to operate at its very best and if it doesn’t, they want to ensure they have a trusted professional who can fix it quickly, especially while they work, learn, and socialize from home. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, dealers will have the opportunity to build even stronger foundations for networked devices.

While the future remains undefined, knowing that opportunities are still expected to arise within our industry, even amidst this year’s unparalleled events, helps us plan and shift business strategies for an uncertain future.

Attention Members, 

Are you taking full advantage of your Z-Wave Alliance membership? The Technical and Marketing Committees, as well as the various Working Groups have begun their regular meetings under the new SDO structure and welcome all members to participate! The groups, their charters, and initial work items are available in Causeway in their respective group pages.

Please create your Causeway account and be sure to contact administration@z-wavealliance.org with questions on joining the groups.



CES 2021
January 11-14, 2021, All-Digital
NOTE: Z-Wave Alliance will not have a virtual booth, but CES-related award and
Show Daily editorial opportunities are being tracked and shared in Causeway.

The Z-Wave Alliance recently announced that we completed incorporation as a solely independent nonprofit organization with seven founding members under our new standards development organization (SDO) structure. 

Under the new SDO, Z-Wave Alliance members will be provided with new opportunities to participate in the organization with new membership levels and structure, as well as workgroups and committees. 

The seven Z-Wave Alliance founding members are leading manufacturers of innovative new products for the smart home and IoT markets who are working to advance Z-Wave technology. Get to know the Z-Wave Alliance founding members:

Alarm.com
Alarm.com creates innovative technology that deepens the connection between people and the things they care about most - their families, homes, and businesses. Alarm.com security and automation services are exclusively sold, set up and supported by a nationwide network of authorized service providers. 

Assa Abloy
Assa Abloy is a global leader in door-opening solutions. Assa Abloy offers a variety of traditional and new products that can be combined to create a large number of different door environments. The group offers products for different climates, different buildings, and differing security and safety requirements. 

LEEDARSON Group
LEEDARSON Group provides dynamic and sustainable platforms for the next generation of the lighting and IoT industries. LEEDARSON’s luminaire products have long-served DIY and residential clients. With intelligent design, LEEDARSON continues to move forward in innovation by offering smart, application-specific lighting solutions to existing and future partners. 

Qolsys
Qolsys has partnered with best-in-class providers to bring innovative solutions to the security and home control market. The Qolsys IQ Panel is the industry’s first self-contained security platform that is an open compute platform with applications, six wireless radios, a 7” touchscreen and other systems breakthroughs delivering unprecedented levels of security and seamless upgradability. 

Ring
Since 2013, Ring, an Amazon company, has been on a mission to make neighborhoods safer, together for everyone. Ring is committed to making security accessible and convenient for everyone - while working hard to bring communities together. 

Silicon Labs
Silicon Labs is a leading provider of silicon, software and solutions for a smarter, more connected world. With award winning technologies, internext infrastructure, industrial automation, consumer and automotive markets, the Silicon Labs team creates products focused on performance, energy savings, connectivity, and simplicity. 

STRATIS
STRATIS is the leading IoT platform for connected buildings and maximizes efficiency, user-friendliness, security, and return on investment. STRATIS creates smart apartments and intelligent buildings and is the only platform of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and student housing. 

We recently conducted a member survey to find out what was most important to all of you and to find out what you wanted to see from the Z-Wave Alliance in 2021. 
Below is a summary of your feedback:
 
What do you see as the core benefit of Z-Wave technology?
The majority of our respondents agreed that interoperability was the core benefit of Z-Wave technology, closely followed by backwards compatibility, ease of installation, and reliability. Other benefits not listed in the survey but noted by members included a large ecosystem which creates future-proof investments, freedom in choosing gateway hardware, knowledge sharing opportunities, and security.
 
Who are the primary target audiences you think the Z-Wave Alliance should be reaching?
The majority of our respondents noted that their primary audience consisted of manufacturers, followed by consumers and integrators. Other members mentioned that they were focused on reaching architects and building management system designers to educate them on the benefits of Z-Wave technology.

Under our new SDO structure, what kinds of marketing activities should Z-Wave Alliance be prioritizing in 2021?
Most of our members noted they valued webinars, virtual events, and newsletters as the most important marketing activities for the Alliance to focus on in the new year. Thought-leadership opportunities and whitepapers were tied, and paid sponsorships were ranked last. Other members specified they’d like the Alliance to drive consumer awareness and demand for automation through strategic positioning on social media and provide installer classes/online training and open certified Z-Wave training centers.

Didn’t have a chance to take the survey? Contact administration@z-wavealliance.org to find out how you can get involved in the conversations we’re having as we plan for 2021.



How one man made a smart, caring home for his wife using Homey
 

Paul and his wife Gerd live together in Flanders, Belgium. After battling a severe form of leukemia, Gerd was paralyzed from her waist down nine years ago, resulting in her becoming dependent on a wheelchair for the rest of her life, and making it difficult for her to complete everyday tasks. To help her manage and live comfortably in her home, Paul, a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, and nurse, looked into home automation but soon realized many of the specialized solutions available to the market would only solve part of their problems, and for a hefty price tag. Realizing there had to be a better way, Paul discovered Homey from Z-Wave Alliance member, Athom. He used Homey to link the Z-Wave sensors, modules, and plugs he had installed, as well as the Somfy shutters that were already there. The fact that Homey combined this connectivity with a friendly UI and an ever-extending platform of connected devices sealed the deal for Paul. Thanks to Homey, Paul was able to quickly automate their home and now both he and Gerd are able to enjoy independence, control, comfort, and peace of mind within their home.

To learn more about this project, click here.
 



Mariino Residents controlled by ComfortClick
 

The Mariino Residents smart apartment building located in the most prestigious part of Tallinn, Estonia, consists of 44 units ranging in size from 47,8 - 93,9 m². 

Implemented by the regional engineering firm INDOME OÜ from Tallinn, Estonia, the main objective for this project was to develop an easily-accessible GUI and reliable smart home system in the apartment building. The investor requested that every technical part of the apartment (heating, cooling, ventilation, consumption meters, and intercom) be controlled from one centralized place to make it easily manageable. The firm made sure to install the best devices for efficient monitoring and control in each unit, all centrally managed by ComfortClick Z-Wave gateway. By choosing the ComfortClick Z-Wave gateway, the firm was able to integrate the following systems:

  • Z-Wave controlled floor heating including temperature sensors and relays to control valves. The Z-Wave equipment was all from Fibaro.

  • Komforvent ventilation via Modbus

  • Mitsubishi cooling via Modbus

The best part is that future apartment owners can integrate additional Z-Wave devices as they expand their smart home. 

To learn more about this project, click here.
 

Do you have a case study or project you’d like to see featured in an upcoming newsletter, or on our social media pages? Email us at zwave@castercomm.com!

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