Looking to see if there are any dedicated Z-Wave forums.and the Z-wave alliance sites are all I have found.
Also does anyone one know if Intermatic has released their Zwave outlet yet?
Looking to see if there are any dedicated Z-Wave forums.and the Z-wave alliance sites are all I have found.
Also does anyone one know if Intermatic has released their Zwave outlet yet?
Interesting site. Z-Wave has been around for about 3 years and the link cited says it's just getting started in 2006. It repeats the same steamy pie-in-sky claims that have been around for about 3 years about all the companies that are _planning_ Z-Wave products. 3 years seems a long time to be in the planning stage. I wonder where all the many millions of dollars in venture capital raised by Zensys in multiple rounds of financing has gone if they're just getting started with the planning in firstname.lastname@example.org
Automated Home (UK) has a Z-Wave forum. Here's the URL:HomeSeer has a forum on Z-Wave: There's info and links at Z-Wave Alliance: A few more: Have fun.
I was wrong! I just googled and found the first mention of Z-Wave in c.h.a. was by me in November 2002. So they've been "just getting started" and burning multiple rounds of financing for at least 4 years and 20 or so days. My, my, how time flies (while Z-Wave can't get off the ground). ;-)email@example.com
Maybe they're like Cybergenie, the PC/Phone system folks. They raised 20M of venture capital and burned up close to half of it on just two trade shows. About two years later they imploded and vanished from the earth. It's easy to generate press releases. It's somewhat harder to translate those into a widely accepted, well-functioning product.
There's some interesting reading here:By Alan R. Frank Aug 23, 2006, 11:02
"The knock against Z-Wave is that it is proprietary, rather than standards-based, and that there?s only one source (Zensys) for the technology."
(I'm not sure that those who fault Insteon as being proprietary realize that Z-Wave is equally so!)
"Up to 232 devices can be members of a Z-Wave network, which is a far cry from ZigBee?s 65,535-device-per-network limit."
(Darn, that's not even as many devices as 25-year-old X-10!)
"Michael Einstein, vice president of corporate innovation for Intermatic, placed some worries to rest. ?First of all, most people don?t even want to change a wall switch. Less than 25 percent of America will change a wall switch. Secondly, if you really want to do an integrated system?home theater, home control?people aren?t really going to do that themselves.? In other words, the need for the ?secret sauce? (integration and configuration of relatively complex systems) doesn?t go away simply because the wires do.?
(Less than 25% of Americans are willing to change out a switch - that's probably a high estimate, IMHO)
"Z-Wave is certainly building in the marketplace, but winners are yet to be determined in the wireless control sweepstakes. West Technology Research Solutions has recently updated its estimates for Z-Wave and IEEE-802.15.4 and notes that Zensys will ship somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 Z-Wave chips this year, and roughly twice those numbers in 2007."
(I remember reading about lots of companies claims of "units shipped" that turned out to mean "shipped from one company warehouse to another." The accounting scams that accompany such internal shell games are well-known. What really matters is how many of those chips actually end up in saleable products.)
" Zensys is privately held and as shipment data is proprietary. But Shakib implied that the right number is in the millions rather than hundreds of thousands, and said Zensys is shipping more than 100,000 units per quarter to each of their top customers"
("Implied" indeed. I love how companies won't release the actual figures but are happy to assure people the numbers are *very* good. If they were so damn good, they'd be happy to show proof, when they can't, they're happy to imply otherwise.)
"Lucero does anticipate one wireless home control technology to vanquish the others in the next five years, noting that the youthful market has room for everyone. However, the next couple of years should give indicators of which technologies are gaining traction. With Zigbee?s focus on the commercial sector, its success will not be determined by the home market, but Lucero predicted that ?for Z-Wave and Insteon, success in the home is pretty much a make-or-break proposition.?************************************
I still strongly believe the winner will be the protocol that appliance and AV manufacturers are willing to embed in their products at the factory. If not, all the new protocols are still faced with the same old problems. How do I tell if I turned the TV on or off remotely if the remote's power switch is just a toggle button? Unless the device maker embeds some intelligence in their product, you're still back to Rube Goldberg-ish current sensors wrapped around the line cord and some method of relaying that information back to a centralized controller.
The above report confirms my belief that a number of HA end-users are going to climb into a proprietary boat that will float for a while, but will sink and leave them stranded in another few years. Lots of people have sought the "golden fleece" of HA success. Many of them have been eaten by the Cyclops of business reality. More are sure to end up on the Cyclopean dinner plate, probably sooner than later.
I'm also *very* familiar (from the PC world) of the perils of basing your product line on a sole source. What if Zensys, after getting a little success, decides to raise prices without limit as Intel tried to do with its CPUs? Will a plug-compatible, non-infringing chip appear as did the AMD processors to quash the monopoly? Not likely. The PC market was immense - that made the risk and cost of developing a non-infringing product worthwhile. The HA market is far too small to justify that sort of Herculean effort. I think when manufacturers realize that they've put all their eggs in a proprietary basket that they don't own, they might gravitate away from Zensys. Just because manufacturers commit to something today doesn't mean they won't ditch the product line as soon as the numbers turn bad or the support costs rise beyond expectations.
-- Bobby G.
I've mentioned that on a few occasions.
You can have multiple networks. But the need for close spacing and the limited number of hops pretty much guarantee nobody will exceed 232 devices
- at least not if they need to reach all of them.
I think HomePlug (powerline) may have the best shot if they can get the cost of a node firstname.lastname@example.org
Google was wrong! It missed an even earlier Z-Wave (by 6 months) email@example.com
This is probably as good as you will find for basic information and for lists of actual (or planned) products although there are no direct links to any forums. ACT does now have a rather lengthy product list some five years after they licensed the technology.I suggest everyone should take note of the bandwidth restrictions in Europe and the output power restrictions in North America. No amount of PR, open-air range figures or distortions from fishy sources can change fundamental physics.
Just to cloud the issue a bit more...firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that the thing limiting Z-Wave is their choice for a very low speed network. It's going to be hard to achieve ubiquity when your system cannot ever be used to even transmit media metadata, much less media data. No powerline technology really could even be used for either of those things either I don't think. Zigbee seems to be the only one that could really have a chance at being a fairly ubiquitious wireless control technology that could move up out of the trivial amounts of data involved in turning some lights on and off. It could not transmit media data, but it could transmit metadata and some other small stuff.
But, in the end, media is going to be the single biggest driver of acceptance of home automation technologies. Actually, it may already be. Therefore the system will have to use a backbone that supports media data, which pretty much means the ethernet network in any practical sense at this point. There are some other technical possibilities, but no one seems to be really in a position to push them (such as Firewire.)
If you've already got an ethernet based automation/media backbone, it seems to me that anyone who can build on that backbone, providing just the small amount of extra stuff required, would have the best chance. For instance, something like Zigbee but very localized, so that you can hang several transmitter/receiver devices off of the ethernet network around the home to get very good coverage and good speed. So you can provide retrofit friendly support for lighting and a few other things that would benefit from being wirelessly controlled, but not have the data speed downside and coverage problems and limits on modules that come with existing wireless/powerline technologies.
Wireless IP would be optimum in that scenario, but it doesn't seem like anyone has managed to get close to providing the small, cheap wireless IP package that would be required.
The downside of course is that IP networks for the home have to get a lot smarter and self managing. As the vendor of a networked automation product, we have a fair amount of problems that are not related to our product but to the network itself. It's too easy to get two machines on the same address, or to mess up network settings or DHCP settings, or firewall settings and so forth.
--------------------- Dean Roddey Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd
And, if you noted the limits on Z-Wave bandwidth in Europe, in the Wikipedia article I cited, it's even worse there.
Media is not of much importance to me - I don't even watch much TV. Since it's not important to me, I really have no opinion on the price point needed to penetrate this market.
However, I think you're wrong about powerline technology. 200Mbps Homeplug AV hardware is already shipping - it does HD streaming media over the powerlines. I've seen a post on another forum from a user who indicates it works well.
You can find a multitude of links by googling "Homeplug AV".email@example.com
Z-Wave is not a media distribution medium. It is intended to control lights and appliances. For that it doesn't need a high speed network. A few bytes of data are enough to operate almost anything targeted by Z-Wave.
Hmm. The only control technology that comes close to ubiquity is X10 and it does so without so much as a nod to media distribution. There's a reason for that. While entertainment distribution and HA have overlapping markets they are not congruent. In fact, most HA projects do not control entertainment hardware.
It's nice when a control medium can support both and for that Zigbee does have an edge. But that doesn't mean that Zigbee will become the dominant medium. It doesn't even guaranty its survival. IMO, the strongest indication of a product or technology's long term prognosis for survival is support from major industry players. In that regard Z-Wave is way ahead of Insteon, Zigbee and several others.
That's an opinion. You've built a platform which supports media and HA functionality so it stands to reason you'd believe that. I disagree. IMO, the most important consideration in choosing an HA system is security. Next is lighting control. Then comes entertainment and HVAC. It's difficult to tell which is last though. I base this on the features that my clients request. Virtually all of the callers ask for some subset of the above and better than90% ask in that order.
Numerous CAT5 (Ethernet and non-Ethernet based) systems do a fine job of distributing and controlling AV systems. Several of these are starting to play nice with popular HA platforms. I mentioned in a recent thread, for example, that ELK's M1G will soon be able to control Russound entertainment systems. Once that's done, I'll probably ask them to do a Xantech interface to work with our MRC44 and MRC88 systems.
But the point is, why have two backbones when one will do? Given the heavy requirement for media these days, and its continued growth moving forward, which Z-Wave could never handle, and the ubiquity of ethernet, there's a good argument that having a separate backbone is just adding complexity when there's already something there that could provide a better solution. If you have a large house, Z-Wave just wouldn't be a good option. A message would have to take many hops to get to its destination. You really want multiple broadcast points all of which have a fast wired connection back to the automation system, which the network would provide.
It's not just my opinion that media will be the biggest driver of automation. It's a pretty widely held opinion in the automation world these days. And we didn't build a system that has good media support just for fun, we did it because we get many times over more interest by having that media support. It's absolutely essential for a company of our sort to be strong in media management these days, and you can see that by all the moves made by all the automation companies to get their media support in shape.
Once you get out of our group here of hard core geeks, it's hard to talk someone into why they need to have an automation system for lighting, but tell them that they can surf their media on a touch screen in each room and whatnot, and drive their home theater from a touch screen, and they get the point of that. I think that the bulk of our customers are implementing media management of some sort, either theater control or multi-zone audio/video, whereas few of them have security.
I dunno. I think your position is out of date now, though I'm sure it was correct even a few years ago. But if you read our forums or AVS' automation forum, there is a lot of discussion of media management. I think we'd cut our sales in half if we weren't strong in this area. And the fact that we provide both the automation system and the media management system in one integrated package is helping us a lot. There's no need to integrate multiple systems together and the two are intimately tied together.
--------------------- Dean Roddey Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd
It's good to see that someone else understands the inherent limitations of Z-Wave's approach. They have a relatively low MAX_HOPS which means that, if you have a large house, one network cannot span it. I do not recall the specifics but I raised the question with one of their dealers who was honest enough to admit he didn't know but nice enough to get the time it takes to traverse the network and the MAX_HOPS and post it here without quite understanding the implications.
What price point do you think is necessary for a network node that could do what you want?
Microchip has recently introduced a family of chips which combine their ENC28J60 ethernet interface with some of their most powerful microcontrollers. They sell for under $10 even in low volume but they are only 10Mbps. Perhaps future versions will be faster.Even if they cannot do media, they are likely to have a place in ethernet appliances. firstname.lastname@example.org
It's no problem if the IP stacks in a light switch couldn't do media. That's not a problem. It's just important that the light switches could be on the same ethernet data backbone as the rest of the system. The main LAN can handle the heavy lifting. But if you could have a single data backbone for everything, that would be optimal to me. The light switches themselves wouldn't necessarily need to be IP based. They could still be some proprietary wireless type of protocol to keep them cheap, but with multiple transmitters hanging off the ethernet network. Though, if it was financially feasible to just directly make them IP capable, there could be something said for that.
I don't know what a good price point is. I'm not a good person to ask about that end of it. But I assume it would need to be reasonably competitive with Z-Wave/UPB. I think it could carry some premium because it would be a more desirable technology and could scale up considerably higher and could have very low latency.
And they would have to have a way to set a hard wired network address before installing. You couldn't depend on DHCP for your lighting. So you would want to set aside a range of addresses on your internal network and give them to the lights so that they would have fixed addresses that could be directly connected to even if the DHCP system was not avaliable. I don't know if that would be some kind of non-volatile memory set by connecting to the network and sending it some special broadcast commands, or something as simple as a couple of physical wheels.
You don't want them to be ablet o just automagically join the network, since that would be a security hole big enough to drive a truck through, or at least a bicycle. They'd have to be explicitly allowed in through some sort of enrollment mechanism. Maybe the enrollment and address assignment would be part of the same process. You plug it into the network and press a special button on the back and sends out a broadcast address to join. The automation software indicates some wants to join and asks if it is ok and if so sends it an address to set itself permanently to.
Anyway, there are plenty of details that would have to be dealt with to make it a real world functioning product, but it's also not rocket science either.
If a particular app requires a backbone like Zigbee, use it. If not, choose whatever works best for the required services. In most cases Z-Wave or UPB will do just fine.
Again, from what I've been hearing from numerous customers not just now but for years, entertainment media is *not* the primary requirement. In most cases it isn't even a consideration. Just today I sold two more HA systems. Neither client had any interest at all in multi-room audio/video. One has a home theater system but isn't interested in connecting it or any of his source equipment to the HA system. The other bought speakers and volume controls for several rooms but was also not interested in integrating them with the HA system.
I just counted last week's new system sales. I count as a new system sale any order which includes at least a control panel. There were several commercial fire alarms, over twenty burglar alarm systems and five home automation systems. None of them asked to integrate A/V. One guy also bought an intercom system with background music expansion capability but he did not order the required amplifier.
Not necessarily. If you're sharing your Ethernet with Internet, HA and media distribution, you may find it being overworked, especially as more advanced media servers, CCTV cameras, etc., start gobbling up bandwidth.
Depends on your idea of large. Several clients of mine are using Z-Wave in homes exceeding 6,000 sf. My home has only 3,800 sf under air plus garage, covered entryway and a mid-size (2,200 sf) lanai. As soon as I get some of my strength back I plan to install my ELK M1G system. With it I will replace most of my light switches, dimmers and (probably) the thermostats using Z-Wave enabled hardware. I'll test the range before comitting but I know others whose homes are larger and they've had good results so far. I'll let you know how thing work out.
Side note: As soon as I can spare the time to learn your system I'm also interested in CQC. If I do and it works as well as I expect it will, I might want to talk with you about configuring an ELK/CQC package. Let me know if that's an interest.
which have a fast wired
My home is C-shaped. Though you can walk a considerable distance from end to end, all the lanai facing walls are no more than 40' from those on the opposite side. I'll let you know how well the signal propogates but I suspect it will be OK.
It is an idea which has been strongly advanced by companies marketing media connectivity products and services. I try to find out what my customers actually want. Once I have an idea what's important to them, I discuss a few options such as ELK, HAI, HomeSeer and CQC. Though I don't sell either of the last two, if one seems appropriate to the job I refer the client to their (or your) website. As mentioned earlier though, most end users I talk to every day express little to no interest in integrating AV with HA.
I haven't delved deeply into CQC but my initial impression is it's one really powerful system. From reading your posts (how you hold yourself and your products forth) I get a very positive impression of you and your business. However, we seem to be seeing very divergent clients. I wonder if that isn't due to your product's particular features. People describe it as being highly configurable and extremely strong in media control. If that is the "press" it's getting and especially if you are doing any PPC ads, I expect you'd tend to see a highly concentrated subset of the population
-- specifically those with an interest in a media-rich HA system.
With a few exceptions, I rather like our little geek community. :^)
I approach things differently. I rarely try to talk anyone into HA. I ask what they want their *system* to do for them. From the response I know right away whether they need an HA system, an alarm or perhaps just a multi-zone entertainment system.
BTW, speaking of entertainment systems, that area is a significant portion of our sales. We sell more Russound, Proficient Audio and Xantech systems than almost any independent retail outlet in our region. Yet only a few customer even ask about integration with HA. I usually ask if it's an interest but most say no. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to ELK's new Russound integration for their touch screens.
Don't let that buffoon from ASA fool you about me. I stay on top of what's happening in my industry.
We'll see what happens in this area. I have no idea how many systems you sell in a month. I hope it's in the hundreds. We're in that range and growing but that includes CCTV systems, intercom systems, etc., as well.
In another thread (or was it earlier in this one?) someone mentioned difficulty adding/removing devices to/from a Z-Wave network. This seemed to be the gentleman's major beef with Z-Wave.
I was looking for additional information on that subject when I found the following URL:The described product (not something I'm selling) is used as a Z-Wave primary interface -- not an add-on or a tool. It claims the following, which should take care of the gentleman's concerns:
"Not sure your Z-Wave network is working at peak efficiency? Is that new Z-Wave device you just added giving you errors? No problem! Just connect the Z-Troller to your HomeSeer system and run the "Optimize Z-Wave Network" function. A command will transmit automatically to each and every Z-Wave device telling it to rediscover the network. The same command can also be transmitted individually to any Z-Wave device you wish.
Change Your Z-Wave Network with Ease! Need to delete a Z-Wave device from your network? Just press and hold the "Delete" button on the Z-Troller and press any button on your Z-Wave device. Done. Need to move a Z-Wave device to a new location? Go ahead! The new Global optimization option will find the relocated device and re-add it to your Z-Wave network!
Quickly Identify Any Z-Wave Device in your Network! The Z-Troller can display the node ID of any device. Simply hold the controller close to the device, press the "Scan" button, then press any button on the device. The node ID will be displayed! Use this information to edit or rename your devices or use it to create 'associations' with other Z-Wave devices in your HomeSeer system. This feature is also an excellent troubleshooting tool, allowing the user to pinpoint problem devices and eliminate shared node ID conflicts.
Easily Create Z-Wave Secondary Controllers! A Z-Wave secondary controller is any handheld controller ("remote control") used for manual control of your devices. Creation of secondary controllers with Z-Troller is fast and easy. Just set your secondary controller to receive the signal and use HomeSeer to transmit the data via the Z-Troller. That's it!
Built-in Z-Wave Signal Monitor! The Z-Troller displays the node ID of any device that HomeSeer is controlling or receiving information from. This capability makes it very easy to monitor Z-Wave activity and ensure devices are working as expected."
There are repeaters on the market which can propel Z-Wave signals as much as 120 meters (a tad over 390 feet) from the primary controller. I don't know how much further than that one has to be able to go within a private home to consider it a large house. Perhaps the gentleman will be good enough to supply a little of that "copious documentation" he claims to have....
Here's some more interesting info on Z-Wave enabled HA with integrated entertainment system controls:While Z-Wave is not being used as the media distribution backbone, it is being used to control media distribution and source component operation.
I'm sure that there is still a strong 'traditional', for lack of a better word, automation market out there. But if you read the various fora, media management, paritcularly multi-zone audio, is just all over the place. It may be that you don't get those customers because you are catering more to that traditional crowd. But I can definitely say that once you get out into the wider crowd of people (the ones we really need to bring in in order to grow the market), media is very much on their minds. If nothing else they have to deal with the WAF, and convicing the better half to spend money on multi-zone audio is probably a lot easier than on lighting (though once the automation system is in place, then you do that upsell on the lighting and HVAC and whatnot.)
I'm not in any real position to say what the numbers are out there overall. But for us, so many of our customers are looking for media management, and except for places like this (or Cocoontech) where very automation oriented people hang out, media seems to be playing a big part in getting folks into this world who wouldn't have really been interested before.
We, as a company, have absolutely no position on what's best. We are software people and all we really care about is making money by creating really good software. So we are really driven by what people want. And we've been pushed to provide stronger and stronger support for media management stuff. And I would differentiate that from 'home theater control', which is really just pretty traditional type automation of a pariticular type of hardware. So I'm talking media server, metadata browsing, CD ripping, and multi-zone audio and that kind of thing. It's made a huge difference for us.
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