NEWSLETTER - Q3 2021
Celebrating 20 Years of Z-Wave Part III: What Will the Next 20 Years Hold?
 
As we reflect on a year of both challenges and new opportunities, as well as continued smart home adoption, we look forward to finishing 2021 and are looking forward to what 2022 will hold. The future of the smart home is bright and with new technical capabilities, adopters will rely on smart devices to improve the overall experience and usability across residential and commercial spaces. The mission and work around interoperability in IoT is critical to the future growth of the industry and Z-Wave will continue to champion interoperable technology as we welcome new protocols and alliances to the market. The Z-Wave Alliance looks forward to working with other industry protocols like Matter to bring interoperability across all smart home devices regardless of the protocol. To continue to succeed, the smart home market and beyond will require robust product ecosystems that can easily work together in a home or commercial system.
 

Since its inception 20 years ago, Z-Wave and the smart home industry have experienced a lot of change. As we look ahead to the coming year, decade, and beyond, we’re looking forward to continuing this legacy of innovation. One recent example is through new technical updates and capabilities like the Z-Wave Long Range specification, which extends Z-Wave connectivity to more than one mile range, expanding new use cases to commercial properties like hotels, apartments, and corporate offices. As the industry progresses forward, we expect manufacturers to develop products for new verticals, as well as update technical capabilities for popular verticals like voice control, security, and lighting. Emerging tech like AI will continue to make an impact on the way the smart home operates. Rather than having to command a device or physically open an app, devices will use cues such as time of day, temperature, and human detection to act on their own, making the smart home truly smart. 

The industry is headed in a positive direction and the Z-Wave Alliance looks forward to contributing to this growth. We’re interested in hearing what you think about the future of Z-Wave and the smart home industry as a whole. Give us some insight by answering a few questions. Click here to give us some feedback.









Case Study: Adding Z-Wave Smart Shading to a Luxury Home Development
Case Study provided by: Qubino
 

One of the product categories gaining popularity in the smart home is automated motorized window treatments. This is not surprising, as smart shading systems improve the security, privacy, and energy efficiency of the home. 

Smart shades are therefore becoming a new standard for comfortable living. That’s also why more and more real estate investors decide to incorporate smart shades into apartments, houses, villas, etc. -- especially if the property is high-end. Due to an increasing demand, the smart home market is booming and there’s a flood of different products out there. However, it can be a bit challenging to find the right device that will offer the right solution and be compatible with a chosen gateway.

Button or remote? What kind of motor?

When looking for an appropriate technology for turning a shading system smart, there are few factors that need to be considered in addition to compatibility. For instance, it’s important to know whether a button or remote is used to control motorized shades. Are they powered by line voltage (110-240V AC) or low voltage motors (12-24V DC)? 

These were the questions the real estate investors encountered when building an apartment complex in Palo Alto, California, USA. “The 430 Forest” project is a collection of luxury sustainable homes, including a penthouse, town homes, and apartments. Investors placed a great emphasis on modern approach, energy efficiency, and sophisticated comfort. Adding smart home features was therefore a logical move; they put a Samsung SmartThings gateway in each unit to control lighting, electronic locks, motorized indoor shades, etc. However, they ran into a few issues.

Motorized indoor shades (the same goes for fans, motorized windows, etc.) are often operated by low voltage motors. As there are many line voltage relays available on the market, it’s actually quite hard to find a smart device that can be used with 12-24V DC motors, which was also the issue in this case.

One of a kind Z-Wave solution

When looking for an appropriate device, the investors came across Qubino, an EU based innovator and manufacturer of Z-Wave smart home devices, focused on easy and quick installation and highest quality standards of the modules. Luckily, Qubino was able to offer them one of their innovations - Flush Shutter DC - which is the only Z-Wave device in the world that can manage 12-24V DC motors for shading systems. Using Z-Wave technology, the device speaks perfectly with the SmartThings hub, which they chose to use in the units.

Thanks to this perfect fit, residents of Forest 430 units can now enjoy all the benefits that smart indoor shading brings. This means that they’re not only able to control shades using their smartphone or set them to open/close according to schedule; connecting the modules to temperature sensors or creating different scenes can take the quality of living to a whole new level, speaking in terms of convenience and energy efficiency as well.

And that’s exactly what a smart home is all about, isn’t it?


Z-Wave Summit Members Meeting 2021 - Virtual

Join the Z-Wave Alliance for our annual Z-Wave Fall Summit. The virtual event will take place November 3-4, 2021 and will consist of two half day sessions with live business and marketing sessions, including a member town hall, for attending members. The Z-Wave Summit is a great opportunity to engage, learn, and network with fellow members, as well as hear from industry experts about trends in the future of IoT and the smart home. 


Wireless Congress 
November 10-11, 2021
Online Conference
Registration and more information about Wireless Congress can be found here


CES 2022
January 5-8, 2022
Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Pavilion Space is available HERE

We are excited to invite members to participate in the CES 2022 Z-Wave Pavilion. Located in the Sands Convention Center, the 5,500 sq. ft. Pavilion has a "cannot miss" prime location located at the front of the exhibit hall. The Z-Wave Pavilion is a destination location for attendees, press and analysts looking for everything Z-Wave. Take advantage of this prime location and strong brand presence. Co-locate with other leading Z-Wave Alliance members and show the power of interoperability! Reserve your spot today!

Notes from CEDIA Expo 2021

Finally! After more than 18 months of virtual events and connections I boarded a plane! Breaking away to Indianapolis for CEDIA Expo 2021, this was the first in-person trade show that I had attended since ISE in February of 2020. 

I admit being a bit nervous about heading out as the Delta variant was surging; though any concerns I may have had about safety were quickly abated. I felt comfortable in the airports and on board the flight as all those around me took similar precautions by masking and keeping distance where possible. I had a similar experience at the show; my only hesitation was dining at the local restaurants, which turned out to be for naught since this was a business trip and I was fortunate to have plenty of industry friends & partners around me, all of whom were vaccinated and cautious as well. (Side note: 18 days since I returned home and I have yet to hear of anyone spreading COVID!).   

Besides having the opportunity to see members and colleagues that I hadn’t seen in person for almost two years, one of the most memorable parts of the show was the panel session we hosted and I participated. Titled “Platform Playground: Shaping the Future of the Smart Home and Understanding Where Protocols Face Both Opportunities and Challenges,” I was joined by members of the Connectivity Standards Alliance and Matter working group, as well as smart home manufacturers, to have a never publicly held conversation around the future of smart home interoperability. We chatted about newer initiatives such as Matter, as well as legacy protocols and ecosystems, and how they’ll all come together on the same playground – and what integrators need to know about how to prepare.

Reflecting on my time spent at the show, as part of the panel session, and from the numerous conversations I had with our members, show attendees, press, and others, I have a few takeaways: 

The smart home continues to grow, but we need to address and educate around interoperability now.

Offering the widest breadth of choice has been a key Z-Wave tenet since its inception. We believe that Z-Wave will continue to be an important part of the overall smart home ecosystem – but it is in the best interest of both the Alliance and manufacturers to evaluate how we can best support other standards in their mission to create market-wide interoperability. A rising tide lifts all ships and we can all find ways to contribute to the greater good of our industry to ensure its continued growth.   

Standards organizations, manufacturers, integrators -- We all have more in common than we might think.

Despite some headlines and rumors suggesting otherwise, we all have the same common overarching goal: Make the smart home easier to implement and use, more accessible, feature-rich, and interoperable, offering consumers and end-users the widest, most sophisticated breadth of choice in the smart home. We aren’t competing head-to-head – Z-Wave, for example, brings technical capabilities that other protocols don’t, in addition to the largest smart home product ecosystem, with 20 years of experience to back it up. But new protocols, like Matter, also bring a wealth of benefits to the ecosystem that we have been prioritizing for years. We all need to come together to find ways to collaborate, instead of competing. 

Tradeshows and in-person events aren’t “dead” and we need to find ways to safely bring them back for the sake of our industry. 

People buy from people; relationships matter! Although CEDIA Expo was held on a much smaller scale, it reminded me of the reasons why I love coming together at events and shows – nothing virtual can replicate the benefits that in-person conversations and experiences bring. From ad-hoc meetings and networking, to watching product demos, the experiential differences that face-to-face interaction with both people and technology brings are exponential. It’s important that we continue to commit to finding a way to bring in-person back events in a way that is safe for all – our industry’s success depends on it. 

If you attended CEDIA, what were your key takeaways? Are you or your company planning on attending any upcoming events in the next year? Reach out at mitch@z-wavealliance.org and let me know.

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