Year in Review: From Code to Certifications Z-Wave is Breaking Records & Charting a Course for Continued Growth

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2023 has been anything but stagnant for Z-Wave. Buoyed by 2022’s massive accomplishment of completing the source code project, the technical advancements and contributions by Z-Wave Members have been significant.  This year bore witness to more than 130,000 lines of revamped code with 273 Commits made, reviewed, and merged for Z-Wave Open Source. Z-Wave continues to prove that it is an evolving protocol pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in IoT and smart home technology. Adding to this momentum was an increase in the number of devices going through certification.  

This year’s achievements are not just numbers; they represent a significant leap forward in interoperability, functionality, and user experience, solidifying Z-Wave’s position as the leading protocol and ecosystem in the smart home space. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the numbers and the stage they are setting for the continued success of Z-Wave.   

Uptick in Certification 

The certification team has had a busy year, as of November 2023 a staggering 160 devices have passed certification, compared to 120 throughout the entire year of 2022. Members continue to commit to growing their product ecosystem with Z-Wave.

Beyond the 30%+ increase in certified devices, it’s worth taking a deeper look at the type of Z-Wave devices receiving certification. Z-Wave has long stood as a leading choice for security products from sensors to door locks and more, analysis is showing new categories beginning to emerge.   

Devices that cater to energy management, like smart meters and HVAC controls, and those that support enhanced home automation, such as advanced sensors and controllers with more sophisticated functionalities are starting to show gains.  

Another cross-section of Z-Wave devices seeing growth are those devices built with Z-Wave Long Range – of the 160 devices certified so far this year 50 are Z-Wave Long Range devices and of the products in pre-certification about 30% are using Z-Wave Long Range. Stay tuned for an upcoming eBook on Z-Wave LR in early 2024 as we anticipate LR to be a continued hot topic. 

Enhancing The Technical Prowess of the Z-Wave Protocol 

With the completion of the source code project, the Open-Source Work Group (OSWG) was formed and this group of engaged Z-Wave members has been dedicated to charting the path for the future of the Z-Wave protocol. In addition to the 273 commits made, reviewed, and merged and the 130,000 lines of code changes, the group also successfully ran 126 unit tests, 36 MAC layer tests, and 52 network layer tests. Additionally, the team worked on creating a new SDK, key features included packaging existing code with a Z-Wave Protocol Abstraction Layer (ZPAL) implementation, leveraging existing build systems and documentation, and shipping with Z-Wave sample applications like door locks, sensors, switches, etc. The group worked on integrating the Z-Wave stack and ZPAL into a cohesive SDK structure. 

Not to be outdone, the Core Stack Working Group (CSWG) also contributed to critical enhancements this year including work on the frequency standard for Z-Wave Long Range in Europe and updates to the specification for the new version of Z-Wave’s security protocol, Security S2 V2. This update will introduce enhanced network layer security for Z-Wave devices and systems and is aimed at bolstering the overall security framework within the Z-Wave network by providing stronger and more resilient safeguards against potential security threats. You can expect to hear more updates on the progress of these two projects in 2024.

Finally, The Application Work Group AWG made over 65 commits through 52 pull requests to the Application Command Classes Specification, this level of commits and requests indicates a high level of active development and contributions to the Z-Wave Command Classes specification. The team has also been hard at work on enhancing 5 different Command Classes (CCs), enhancing their usability and functionality. This clarification work is vital for ensuring that these classes are well-understood and effectively implemented in Z-Wave devices. 

As 2023 draws to a close, it’s clear that Z-Wave has not just grown; it has evolved, and the work has truly just begun. The number of advancements across our work groups is astounding. Thanks to the commitment of our volunteer groups, we continue to see a brighter and smarter future for Z-Wave ahead.   

To get involved with the Z-Wave Alliance or learn about open positions on work groups contact
jenf@z-wavealliance.org  

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