Why home security is hot (again)
By: Mitchell Klein, executive director, Z-Wave Alliance
Five years ago, the conversation around smart home adoption was almost exclusively around physical home security. Retailers were generally clueless about smart home, Amazon hadn't invented the Echo yet and smart homes were still positioned as the home of the future. The only big movements were in legacy security companies like ADT, Honeywell and Vivint, who were giving consumers a way to interact with their home security systems remotely through connectivity and adding lifestyle devices like thermostats to the mix. Almost all consumers who knew what a "smart home" was, or had one, pointed to security as the main driver of their purchase or introduction to the concept.
While there will be a lot of buzz around the show floor at ISC West 2018 this week about the explosion of voice technologies in the industry, there's still a reason to bet on the security market as a primary driver for the smart home. Why is that, you ask?
2017 was the year of new security systems hitting the market, almost every big leading tech company that was touching smart home launched a new security offering. Samsung teamed up with ADT to offer a new SmartThings ADT Home Security system that could be installed by consumers; smart home hub manufacturer Wink launched Lookout, an all-in-one DIY solution; and Ring came out with Ring Protect and was recently bought by Amazon (!!). Even Nest, a big player in the smart home joined existing DIY smart security offerings from companies like abode and Scout with Nest Secure, a pricier but still DIY system.
Why all the new players to the DIY security space? It's pretty simple - keeping your home safe and secure is still possibly the most convincing use case for investing in smart technology. And while a slew of new DIY offerings in the market might be competition to security dealers, it's important to remember where the bulk of home security purchases still are - with the traditionally installed & monitored systems. 93% of purchases are made with ADT, Comcast, Vivint and others, where the DIY solutions take up just 7% of the market. Even with predictions of that DIY number growing, there is still significant revenue to be made from the traditional home security space - and a lot more consumers who are interested in the concept of smart home security in the first place.
If you're a security dealer and you see this enormous opportunity but aren't quite sure how to use it to take your business to the next level, you don't want to miss the panel discussion I'll be moderating, joined by industry vet Avi Rosenthal and Director of Marketing at Qolsys Jeremy McLerran.
"Smart Home + The Upsell: Using New Technologies to Engage Existing Customers & Grow Your Market" will dive into why security dealers can use data to their advantage to build an advantage customer relationship tool and will detail the benefits of being the expert on the block. April 11, 2018 from 1:15 - 2:15 in Sands 309, Level 1.
Hope to see everyone at ISC West - come by our booth (30078) and say hello!
(A version of this will appear in the ISC West Daily News Publication at the show. To follow the conversation, use #ISCW18 on social media.)
Don't Miss Out on the Z-Wave Europe Member Summit
The Z-Wave Summit 2018 in Europe is a two-day event held in Amsterdam on May 3rd and 4th includes a welcome keynote, Developer's Forum track, Sales/Marketing track and a social evening to network with fellow Alliance members.
Attending this event can help you:
- Gain valuable industry knowledge and market insights
- Reduce your time to market
- Leverage PR & marketing resources to promote your brand and increase sales
- Networking opportunities
"Survey Says: Key Smart Home Market Findings Revealed"
Mr. Jack Wetherill, Future Source
Jack Wetherill will share first-hand the results of the 2018 edition of the annual Smart Home and Appliances Consumer Survey. The survey delves into the journeys that consumers make into buying, installing and using smart home devices. The presentation will include a market overview and discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by the industry in 2018 and beyond.
Programming and panel topics will also include a look at the global smart home landscape, marketing trends and social media, Z-Wave Security S2 and SmartStart, consumer retail and smart home challenges and more.
The Z-Wave Summit will feature dozens of engaging panelists, including:
- Kate Russell, BBC Click Tech Journalist
- Filipe Oliveria, Futuresource
- Michael Philpott, Ovum
Get more details and join us next month!
April 11 - April 13, 2018, Las Vegas, NV
Z-Wave Pavilion - Booth #30078
for Member Participation
for Free Attendee Pass
April 18 - April 19, 2018, Boston, MA
Members receive 20% off registration with code: ZWAVE
April 25 - April 27, 2018, Taipei, Taiwan
for member participation
for Z-Wave Academy Asia
May 14 - May 17, 2018, Santa Clara, CA
Members receive 15% off registeration with code: ZWAVE15
Members receive £200 off registration with code: 4919ZWAVE200
June 11- June 12, 2018, London, UK
September 6 - September 8, 2018, San Diego, CA
Member Pavilion Space Still Available
October 16- October 19, Tokyo, Japan
Member Pavilion Space Still Available
New Z-Wave Programmer & Tester From Express Controls
By: Eric Ryherd, CEO, Express Controls
Recently, Express Controls LLC announced the release of our new ZWP500 Z-Wave 500 series programmer and tester. The ZWP500 is specifically designed to efficiently program the 500 series Z-Wave modules and chips, and is the first 500 series programmer with full support for printing of the SmartStart QRcode which is now required for all Z-Wave certified devices. Utilizing the popular and powerful Raspberry Pi single board computer means the full capabilities of a high performance processor and an open platform can be utilized for programming and testing Z-Wave based products. The feature rich Linux operating system means the ZWP500 can be programmed in any popular language such as C, C++ or Python. The system is an open platform, easily customized by the user or the experts at Express Controls can quickly develop a solution that exactly meets product needs.
I began working with Z-Wave way back in 2003 using the early 100 series chips from Zensys, now Sigma Designs. In the early days the only method to program Z-Wave chips was using the ZDP03A development board. This board is still in use today for Z-Wave product development. The problem is the user interface is geared for developers and not production. Each step of the programming process requires the user to click on several menu items and manually enter data into various fields of the application. While this process is fine for product development, it is a huge time sink in production. On the product production line, time means money so the faster you can program a part, the more profit you can make on the product. The ZDP03A is too slow for production so I began looking around for other solutions.
There is one other major device programmer company that supports the Z-Wave chips sets. It is fast at programming. Unfortunately the setup process is amazingly complicated for this product. While the setup process is only done once for each firmware release, the process easily takes and engineer a half day to complete and test the files necessary for the programmer. The scripts are so complicated the programmer engineers had to write them and they are not in any sort of generic format that can be altered or modified by the user. The support lagged the release of the 500 series for quite some time. With the advent of SmartStart and the need for a label to be printed with each unit, I needed a new solution.
Birth of the ZWP500
Work on the ZWP500 began in 2014 and progressed slowly thru three generation of boards. Each generation fine tuned the speed and accuracy of the programming and added features like the 1ppm accurate crystal so that the ZWP500 can perform the critical RF Calibration. The base of the ZWP500 is Raspberry Pi (RPi) single board computer is now on its third generation and has gone from a 700Mhz CPU to a 1.2GHz Quad ARM core processor. The open platform nature of the RPi makes programming in any language much simpler. Python has thousands of libraries to perform almost any function needed. For SmartStart support, we needed a library that can generate a QR Code. Fortunately there is the qrcode library and then to generate and manipulate the image the PIL library is used. A single line of Python yields thousands of lines of working code for generating the QRCode. Printing the labels is handled automatically by the lpr command built-in to the Linux OS.
The ZWP500 is just the first step in the programmer support for the Z-Wave chips. The 700 series will be supported once data about the format and file types are released. Being an open-source platform, the ZWP500 is easily extended to support whatever new products come along. Each unit is field upgradable using the standard debian upgrade mechanisms - just type apt-get upgrade/update and your entire system is fully updated to the latest and greatest firmware with support of the latest chips.
Beyond security cameras: How Z-Wave Products can Help Keep Homes Safe and Secure
According to a recent study from Persistence Market Research
, a rise in crime rates and burglaries in commercial as well as residential complexes across the globe has intensified the adoption of smart home security systems and solutions. When many consumers envision home security systems they picture hidden cameras and old-school managed panel systems, but the new wave of smart security offers even more ways to keep a home or commercial building safe. In addition to cameras, numerous other Z-Wave products including smart sensors, locks and lighting can help to protect smart homes and ward off unwanted intruders. Many consumers are unaware of how deeply integrated with existing devices their smart security system can be, so consider it an opportunity for education and awareness. Consider communicating these major smart home security benefits in the next outreach to your customers.
According to SecurAlert
, most burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. because it's the period of time where many homes are not occupied and homes that look unoccupied are the most appealing to would-be burglars. Setting up scenes with smart lighting is a simple way to discourage thieves from attempting to rob the property. Homeowners can create customized scenes that turn lights on throughout the day to make the house look like someone is home. These scenes can also be easily adjusted from the user's mobile app.
Smart sensors can alert homeowners when unusual activity is detected. For example, motion sensors can be mounted anywhere throughout a home and send notifications to the mobile app when activity is detected. Door / Window sensors will alert homeowners when a window is opened or door ajar incorporating a new level of safety into a smart home. Smart sensors can also be paired with lighting scenes to activate lights when movement is recognized, instantly lighting a shadowed driveway or dark entryway.
Beyond convenience and accessibility, smart locks offer homeowners an additional layer of security and peace of mind. If a door is accidentally left open, smart locks can be remotely accessed via the mobile app and secured immediately. Smart locks can also send notifications to users, so homeowners always know when someone is coming or going. Plus, many locks offer users the ability to set unique codes for access, eliminating the need for hiding a spare key under the mat.
For additional smart home security tips and ideas for consumers, visit www.z-wave.com
The Customer Experience is Key to Growing the Smart Home Market
As consumer adoption and awareness of the IoT industry continues to grow, many questions arise about the factors that will enable this growth to remain stable and continue to increase. One common theme is customer service and its impact on purchasing and retainment. Engagement with customer service is important for building customer loyalty and advocacy, as well as knowing how customers interact with home devices and being able provide them with easily digestible information. While early adopters and tech-savvy folks may be able to handle self-installation, the mass market might consider these devices complex to install, and difficult to communicate with one another.
In a recent article from IoT Agenda, Amena Ali of Earth Networks highlighted several ways that companies in the smart home and IoT space to are uniquely positioned to leverage customer experience to accelerate industry growth. These include:
Seamless connectivity and control
Cloud-based apps and connected devices allow manufacturers and service providers to keep all parts of the system up-to-date, providing users with seamless transitions between system elements that save time and frustration. One opportunity for professional installers is to test products using devices like the Z-Wave Certified Installer Toolkit to determine network and device strength remotely, as well as anticipate potential issues before installation. This establishes trust from satisfied customers who will recommend smart home to those in their network, which ultimately helps grow business.
Emotionally invested consumers
Smart home customers are emotionally invested in their technology. Switching lights on and off remotely to save monthly on energy bills and leveraging smart tech to keep their home safe are often drivers to adoption for consumers. Consumers must be able to see the greater value and peace of mind given to them through installing a smart home - it's not enough to just talk about what products should do, manufacturers must also speak to the emotional appeal of what smart home offers. In her article, Amena references research from consulting firm Walker, stating that "customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020." Consumers that feel supported, safe and have an emotional connection to their adoption of smart home are likely to continue using those products.
Access to important customer data
With the connected home comes greater access to data and more touch points for service providers and even manufacturers to glean information from, helping them better understand emerging target demographics like Millennials. "Personalized programs based on home intelligence offer greater control of how millennials use these devices for comfort, safety, security and cost savings," says Amena on the opportunity provided to service providers. This translates into more engaged customers that are able to better recognize the full potential of their smart home.
Z-Wave on the Road, Next Stop: ISC West, Las Vegas
2018 marks the Z-Wave Pavilion's fourth year at ISC West in Las Vegas. ISC West is the largest security industry trade show in the U.S., with over 30,000 attendees and exhibitors representing a range of security products from access control to vehicles. The Pavilion will feature six member companies who will exhibit their smart home solutions and products, focusing specifically on the smart home security space.
Featured Pavilion members include:
- Aeotec, a leading creator of Z-Wave compatible IoT and smart home devices, will display their series of products suited specifically for Z-Wave security systems will introduce their Z-Wave and Homekit compatible gateway as well as their intelligent video IoT/IPCAM gateway, iBox.
- Alpha Networks, a leading manufacturer and supplier of networking equipment
- CTS/SIMPNIC will showcase their new gateway, S1, that is catered towards smart building applications focusing on security, safety and comfort.
- Leedarson, will display their impressive suite of home automation solutions, specifically their Z-Wave compatible security devices.
- SecureNet will showcase their Z-Wave platform that expands the capabilities of central monitoring stations and alarm systems dealers.
- Vision will exhibit their collection of Z-Wave compatible sensors that can be implemented into home automation security solutions.
- PlumChoice will share information and be available for discussion on a new support program for members being launched at the show.
- The Certified Installer Toolkit (CIT) will also be in the Pavilion being demoed for interested dealers and manufacturers.
In addition to the Pavilion, executive director Mitchell Klein will participate on a panel titled "New Technologies to Engage Customers" on April 11, at 1:15 pm in Sands 309. The panel will cover how security dealers can use data to their advantage to build a customer relationship by marketing locally and promoting themselves as the local go-to guru for smart home and home security. Register here
Visit the Z-Wave Pavilion in booth #30078 April 11-13.
The Importance of IoT Security for Smart Home Manufacturers
By: Vivian Huang, SiMPNiC
In recent years, awareness of connected devices, smart home and Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly increased. Gartner Research estimates that the global deployment of connected devices will reach nearly 26 billion by 2020 . As part of this trend, smart building or smart home solutions are gaining popularity as consumers desire for convenience and expectations for more effective and efficient ways to manage comfort, energy management and home security solutions in the home continue to grow.
As the IoT market is seeing a period of substantial growth, there is an increasing number of companies looking to implement IoT-related business to increase company value. One factor to this growth is IoT Security. Security is also a huge effort for small manufacturers producing most of the IoT devices and is often neglected - it has been found that only 48% of the companies prioritize security in their devices in development phase*. Also, due to a tight development schedule and unawareness of the solutions available, many IoT solution providers ignore the importance of IoT security. There are many risks on IoT devices including a large number of data transmission and not requiring a complex password. Furthermore, IoT devices are resource-constrained in terms of power/performance/functionality, thus it is impossible for network administrators to know what's going on with all devices.
SiMPNiC, a professional IoT integrated solution provider, aims to solve these IoT security problems which may result in potential damages to users, and offers a solution that provides security mechanisms and Edge Security through the SiMPNiC gateway, ensuring users peace of mind knowing their home systems are safe. The gateway also features the Z-Wave Security 2 (S2) framework for additional security support.
With years of experience and knowledge in networking, SiMPNiC Edge Security (SES) has applied firewall, AES-128 bit encryption along with AA mechanism (Authentication & Authorization) and other security features in the IoT gateway, and secured tunnels on the communication between devices and the gateway. SES ensures all connected devices are secure from cyber-attacks while connecting to the Internet and protects users from hackers to gain access to their private data. Other features include a built-in firewall, certificate downloads on demand, micro-SD card/USB security and verification, alerts for unauthorized logins and software tampering detection and notifications.
* Securing the Internet of Things Opportunity: Putting Cybersecurity at the Heart of the IoT, Capgemini Consulting, February 2015, https: //www.capgemini-consulting.com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/iot_security_pov_10-1-15_v6_.pdf