What Does 2018 Hold for Smart Home Integrators?
By: Mitchell Klein, Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance
If you went to CES - and I'm sure many of you did - you noticed that in the Smart Home Marketplace, there were no shortage of DIY brands. Despite the challenges consumers continue to have with smart home setup and device maintenance, there's still a strong case to be made that with smart home adoption at 32% in the U.S., many will eventually learn how to do-it-themselves. But you may also have noticed the presence that Google had - both in the Z-Wave Pavilion and elsewhere at the show - and the general discussion of voice as a popular platform driving consumer adoption of smart tech.
Right after CES, the Z-Wave Alliances heads across the Atlantic to Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in Amsterdam to talk with UK and European dealers and installers. This got me thinking after CES about the role that the professional channels - whether in security, A/V and entertainment, or even electricians and HVAC installation - will play in bringing us from excitement over the connected home to actual connected homes in neighborhoods around the world.
The truth is, a lot of this stuff still doesn't make sense to your average consumer. While the industry is busy having conversations about the role of machine learning, AI platforms, robotics and autonomous vehicles, non-technical folks are still trying to figure out how to get their smart lights to connect to Alexa. And, once we get this new population of voice assistant users - millions according to Echo and Google Home sales in 2017 - where will they go for support? Who will help them add devices, who will help them when their network goes down? There are people to call when your pipes freeze, when the lights go out in one section of your home or even when your computer stops functioning properly. But there isn't yet a "smart home technician" in every city and town.
That's where integrators can play a huge role. But in order to do that, and capitalize on the enormous opportunity that's about to unfold, they have to pay attention to the popular technologies, what people are using and where their pain points might be and create offerings to solve those and solutions to bring more value to their system. This might involve changing your business model a bit, supporting more brands and embracing the DIY market in a much different way than before.
There are about to be a new generation of smart home users - who will be there to help them?
February 6-February 9, 2018, Amsterdam, NL
Z-Wave Pavilion - Stand 9-F170
March 6-March 7, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Members receive 35% off registration with code: SecureIoT
March 18-March 23, 2018, Frankfurt, DE
April 18-April 19, 2018, Boston, MA
Members receive 20% off registration with code: zwave
Z-Wave Summit 2018
May 3-4, 2018, Amsterdam, NL
Member Pavilion Space Available
Members receive £200 off registration with code: 4919ZWAVE200
June 11- June 12, 2018, London, UK
Spotted at CES 2018: Next Generation Smart Home
If 2017 was the year of the rise of voice control in the smart home, then 2018 is poised to be the year of next generation smart home solutions. Although voice control isn't slowing down anytime soon (just look at all of the Google Assistant news from the Pavilion at CES!), there is also a rising trend of new technology that goes beyond what users expect from the smart home.
CES 2018 was a huge spotlight for innovative new tech from our Z-Wave Alliance members who showed off their solutions to packed crowds in the Pavilion.
Here are a few new Z-Wave products that fall right into this category:
With the popularity of online web support, it's likely that you've used a chatbot to talk to customer support or ask questions at least a few times. With the new B.One Chatbots from Blaze Automation, the chatbot concept is applied to the smart home, specifically the B.One home hub. Users can set up their B.One hub in their app once and then use the Chatbots to control their home devices via Facebook and LINE messenger from anywhere in the world.
As a sponsor of the Z-Wave Pavilion and a partner with many new Z-Wave Alliance member products announced at CES, Google was everywhere. One of these partners was member Hogar Controls and their Milo Smart Home Speaker - the first Z-Wave Plus hub and smart speaker with native Google Assistant inside.
Smart controllers are a popular device in the connected home, but many consumers want their tech to be hidden out of sight. Enter Vemmio's Tap Tap controller. Tap Tap can be installed out of sight - for example, inside of a night table, desk or other surface. Users then simply tap the surface where the device is installed to control their devices in the home, without having to go into a mobile app or scramble to find a keyfob.
The functionality and features of smart thermostats can be fairly simplistic and straightforward. With Nexia's newly announced Room IQ, a feature available for Trane and American Standard Heating, Ventilation, And Air Conditioning (HVAC) comfort systems, will use the system's Nexia-enabled thermostat and Nexia smart home triggers to customize the heating and cooling experience. RoomIQ goes beyond scheduling and adapts the comfort control to occupied rooms using cues from the Nexia system like motion detection to determine room occupancy and priority for the system.
Vera VistaCam Doorbell Camera
The new Vera VistaCam Doorbell Camera from miOS has a lot of the same powerful functionality you would expect in an HD doorbell camera - notifications, motion sensors, speakers, etc. But the VistaCam differs in that it also offers integration with the Amazon Echo Show, so users can quickly see who is at the front door without having to pull up their mobile app, which really elevates the user experience and level of convenience.
Check out the rest of our member's news from the show on the Z-Wave Alliance site
, and stay tuned for even more new products throughout the year.
Winter Weather Damage Prevention: Helpful Tips for Homeowners
By: Lisa Chesters, Z-Wave Marketing Manager, Sigma Designs
For the majority of US homeowners, January and February mark the height of winter weather. Drastically cold weather means freezing pipes at risk of bursting and fluctuating temperatures increase the risk of home flooding. Many Z-Wave smart home products like flood sensors or shut off valves are designed to address this problem, but how do you communicate these benefits to homeowners? Whether you communicate with customers via a blog, newsletter, e-marketing, social media or all four, here are a few suggested tips to offer your customers during the winter months.
1. Install flood sensors in areas of the home prone to flooding
One of the best ways to prevent costly water damage is to monitor areas of the home prone to flooding like the basement. Flooding from water sources in the home can happen quickly, so it's important to be able to take action as soon as water is detected. Smart flood sensors can be mounted on walls or placed directly on the floor and send a notification to your smartphone the second water is detected. They won't stop the flooding from occurring but it will give you the information you need the moment it happens so you don't come home to water damage.
2. Outfit pipes with a smart water shut off valve
Water shut off valves that are connected to a Z-Wave hub allow users to go a step further than a flood sensor would and actually turn off the water source that is leaking. Water control valves are installed on a home's main water shut off valve and come outfitted with water sensors that trigger the shut off valve to turn off the moment water is detected. Combine a water shut off valve with a few additional water sensors and you have a complete home water management system that you can access quickly and conveniently via your smart hub's mobile app.
3. Homeowners insurance premium discounts
Smart home technology is becoming more prevalent with mainstream consumers, and insurance companies have taken notice. Many insurance providers offer discounts on your premium based on the smart home technology you have installed and the level of protection it offers. Water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims, so many that many providers will offer a discount for being proactive in preventing such damage. Homeowner's insurance discounts can be applied across other products in the smart home, but availability of these programs differs widely so be sure to do some research before making the call to your provider.For additional smart home tips and ideas for consumers, visit www.z-wave.com.
Up your marketing & PR efforts in 2018 with the
Whether you are new to the Z-Wave Alliance, have been supporting Z-Wave for years or you're thinking about getting involved - let's talk about how to get involved in PR and marketing with Z-Wave. There are a variety of ways to get your company more involved in the Z-Wave Alliance in 2018 and grow visibility for your brand as well. Contributed content through the monthly newsletter, online promotion through social media and the Alliance websites and tradeshow media and marketing opportunities are just some of the ways to get involved.
Member PR Benefits
The Z-Wave Alliance is proud to support each member's PR efforts and are always eager to promote new products, events, marketing initiatives and more. As an Alliance member, your press releases are included within Z-Wave Alliance Press Kits for relevant tradeshows and events. Those press kits are distributed to the media onsite and those interested in covering the event. Upon request, Member press releases are also posted to the Z-Wave Alliance website. We are happy to include Member news and announcements in this newsletter and share them across the Z-Wave Alliance Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages.
The Z-Wave Alliance has official social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn where we promote Alliance news, share moments from events/tradeshows/conferences, share Member news, highlight new Members and new product introductions and promote industry research and trends. There are also Z-Wave consumer Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts that communicate consumer facing news, information, education and resources for those interested in smart home technology. To tap into the larger Z-Wave and Iot social community, engage in conversations with the Z-Wave Alliance through your personal and company accounts, use the hashtag #ZWave and like and comment on fellow Alliance Members', analysts' and media posts.
The Alliance also publishes a Z-Wave Member PR Toolkit that includes press release templates, boilerplates, approved messaging, suggested content and influencers on social media and more resources to get started. If you have a small internal marketing team, you might benefit from using the toolkit for your PR efforts in 2018.
To get more involved, please provide us with your news, new product information and event details in a timely manner so that we can properly prepare to share content. Email us anytime at email@example.com
to share news, ask questions or to submit content.
Three Ways to Boost Your Z-Wave Business in 2018
By: Alexandra Gil, Caster Communications
It's hard to believe that we're already one month into 2018. If you're brainstorming ways to set your installation business apart and feeling uninspired, fret not. There are lots of ways to bolster your business with Z-Wave this year - here are a just a few.
Keep track of top trends and add them to your roster of product offerings
As an installer you're likely already aware of new trends in smart products, but with the surge in smart home popularity over the last few years, it can be hard to keep track of all the new product offerings. At CES last month, over 30 Z-Wave Alliance members demonstrated new products or updates to current offerings. New products included smart home speakers, security solutions, smart hubs with unique features, and new integrations with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. With over 2,400 certified devices for every possible installation use-case in the Z-Wave product ecosystem, there has never been a better time to start offering Z-Wave systems to your customers.
Make security a priority
One way to differentiate your business and offerings? Focus on products that come with the latest in security framework like the Z-Wave Security 2 (S2) framework, mandatory for all Z-Wave products certified after April 2017. Consumer studies have shown that security and privacy is a major concern among those looking to adopt smart home. The Z-Wave S2 framework was developed in conjunction with the cyber security expert community to give the already secure Z-Wave devices new levels of impenetrability. It includes requirements for various command classes, timers and device types to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and is backwards compatible with existing devices on the markets. Look for products that are S2 certified and use the opportunity to educate consumers on the benefits of choosing smart home devices that are highly regulated and thoroughly inspected for safety.
Get on social media and engage with customers One of the best ways to differentiate your business is to make sure you're active on social media and engaging with your customers and prospective customers regularly. Being present on social media is a necessity for ensuring that your company's voice is present, and your customers feel validated and acknowledged. Customers and consumers who have questions about product often take to social media to ask clarifying questions, so it is important to not let those questions go unanswered. Social media is also a great opportunity to join conversations happening in the installer industry and to build new relationships and connections that are beneficial to your business.
Be sure to follow the Z-Wave Alliance on social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and in future newsletters for even more ideas for installers.
ISE 2018 is only a few days away and we're excited to have the Z-Wave Pavilion
occupy an 80 sq/m island, located in the Smart Building hall, stand 9-F170
. This year the Pavilion will host nine members exhibiting in their pods with product demos, networking opportunities and exciting smart home and building news for the European installer network.
We look forward to featuring the latest products in the Z-Wave ecosystem from Pavilion members including:
- Aeon Labs (Aeotec)
- ASSA ABLOY
- Hogar Controls
- Oblo Living
Check out this quick guide of what to be on the lookout for from Pavilion members in Amsterdam:
- Aeon Labs (Aeotec) - With over 11 years' experience in developing products for smart homes, Aeotec is presenting eight new Z-Wave smart home products including the Aeotec LED Bulb 6: Multi-Colour, Aeotec LED Bulb 6: Multi-White, Aeotec Doorbell 6, Aeotec Siren 6, Aeotec Nano Shutter, Aeotec NanoMote One, Aeotec NanoMote Quad and the Aeotec Tri Sensor.
- ASSA ABLOY - A global leader in door opening solutions, ASSA ABLOY is excited to exhibit their award-winning ENTR® Smart Door Lock as well as other smart home system solutions that are transforming domestic security and residential systems, in the Z-Wave Pavilion.
- eZLO - eZLO, a global innovator and developer of home automation solutions, will feature their eZLO platform and demonstrate their mobile app functionality to execute automated scenes to control multiple Z-Wave devices present in their pod at the show.
- Fifthplay - Smart home innovator, Fifthplay will demonstrate their connected home offerings to hardware manufacturers including Z-Wave hardware, Hardware, Cloud platforms (API's), Support Service and Management Portals.
- Hogar Controls - a global design-first smart home and building automation company, will demonstrate its sleek and powerful product solutions that are perfectly suited for the professional installer market.
Leedarson - LEEDARSON, a world-class lighting and IoT total solution provider, will introduce a new Z-Wave smart home product, showcase their A60 RGBW Bulb, and demonstrate their Z-Wave Home Security Kit that includes a 4 in 1 sensor, Smart Plug, Water-leak Sensor, Motion Sensor and Door/Window Sensor.
- Neeo - Hardware startup Neeo will introduce a fully integrated smart home system comprised of two elements: the NEEO Remote and the Brain with a thoughtfully designed hardware and interface.
- Oblo Living - Providing world-class solutions for home automation, Oblo Living will demonstrate their existing Z-Wave Plus Certified Home Automation Gateway. The OBLO HA Gateway device provides a turnkey platform that includes lighting, security, energy management and more.
- UTC - UTC, a leading security and life-safety solutions provider, will exhibit their innovative solutions for both residential and commercial spaces covering smart home intrusion, access, protection and security.
Be sure to follow the Z-Wave Alliance with hashtag #ISE2018 on Twitter
to follow along with the at-show news, events, photos and videos from ISE 2018. See you in Amsterdam!