Z-Wave

Jan 19 2018

News - CES 2018 - ZLINK $20 Z-Wave USB dongle

Installation cost is one of the major barriers to home automation. In addition to the cost of your switches, bulbs, etc. you also need to purchase a home automation controller (HAC) in most cases. The other major issue is complexity, which is where the development budget of large companies like Amazon and Google help immensely. They have the $ to make UX not suck. With the release of the Amazon Echo Plus, it seemed like Amazon was trying to help on both counts; that is until the world discovered that instead of going for the largest device ecosystem with [mostly] guaranteed compatibility (<cough> Z-Wave) they opted to put a Zigbee radio in the hub.

Jan 17 2018

News - CES 2018 - Guardian by Elexa

Near the end of the last day of CES, we stumbled into the Guardian kiosk in the Z-Wave pavilion. Having seen quite a few leak detection/water control devices over the previous week I wasn’t holding out much hope. As it turns out, what they have to offer is a really neat approach to solving this problem.

Jan 15 2018

News - CES 2018 - LifeDoor

In every conversation I’ve had since returning from CES ’18, LifeDoor has come up near the top of my list of interesting products that we saw at the show. And, the response has been universally positive as well. After all, what’s not to like about a simple, easy to install, device that listens for a smoke alarm, illuminates the room, and collaboratively closes the all the doors they are installed on - potentially protecting your family from smoke and oxygen depletion. LifeDoor costs $100, the battery (2x 9V) lasts 2-3 years, and for the Z-Wave home automation crowd you can use it to close the door even if it’s not a life-or-death situation.

Oct 19 2017

News - I thought it was just me

When Amazon announced their new Echo Plus, I was immediately intrigued, and then a bit put off by the decision to use Zigbee instead of Z-Wave (although both radios would have been better). Afterall, Z-Wave has the biggest pool of devices and [near] guarenteed compatiblity. Aparently I'm not the only one who doesn't get the choice - CEPro just does it much more eloquently.

Mar 03 2017

News - Yale Z-Wave locks Alexa accessible, if you have SmartThings or Wink! hub

You should be able to use Alexa to mess with any Z-Wave device via a scene (worst case) on most HAC, but it's great that SmartThings and Wink! users now have native support.

Let us know in the comments if you've had a chance to play with this.

Feb 28 2017

News - Z-Wave diagnostic tool now available

I like Z-Wave. Compared to "smart" IOT IP devices, it usually just works - as long as you have a good home automation controller (HAC). In the past, when you did have a little trouble it was very difficult to figure out what was going on (usually range problem IME). Fortunately, there's now a tool for installers or curious DIYers that will help you map and troubleshoot any issues with the network. At $250, it's a little pricey, but could be well worth it in the long run.

Apr 10 2016

News - DUNE HD Solo 4K

Just finished reading the PR for DUNE HD's upcoming Solo 4K player. WOW, there is a lot of information to be had. First off, the player itself looks fantastic. Small, lots of power, all the great stuff we've come to expect from DUNE HD's "just plays" experience, and with DVB-T/T2 tuners and 2.5" HDD for DVR support we have a great start for a complete media player. Add in Sigma Design's VXP video processing engine (which is supposed to be amazing), and the news that they've made the switch to ARM which should make it easier for DUNE HD to support, as well as enabling the Android OS boot option, and it's looking even better. Finally slather on a built-in Z-Wave HAC (Home Automation Controller), and I think you'll have to agree that this is something to get excited about. MSRP is a reasonable $349/€349, so the only real question is when.

Jan 21 2016

News - Kwikset introduces new Z-Wave deadbolt

I'm sure I missed a lot of news by not being able to make it to CES this year. One of these things, and I know I would have seen it close up because I always stop by the Kwikset booth, is their new Z-Wave deadbolt. Frankly, I think it looks great and I was really happy with my Kwikset locks, so I'm sure it will be a solid addition to their home automation (HA) lock portfolio.

Jan 17 2015

News - Zipato @ CES 2015

I don’t remember seeing Zipato at CES last year, so when I noticed their unique Z-Wave ZIPABOX home automation controller (HAC) while roaming the show floor I made a point to stop in and have a look.

Jan 17 2015

News - AEOTEC @ CES 2015

Z-Wave sensor/switch maker AEOTEC teased a new switch before CES, so I made a point to stop by and have a look. It was worth it. Losing ½ the size from the previous generation external module the Smart Switch 6 gains USB support and doesn’t give up any of the energy monitoring features present on the previous generation. We will have to wait a bit (US module coming Q1, no date on EU and AU/NZ), but I will be first in line when it does. There were several other slick devices on display, including a six port powerstrip with four controllable outlets.

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