There are many different types of home automation protocols and over the few posts, I am going to talk about each one of these, in depth. Because of its popularity and ease of use, I am going to start the series with a Home Automation standard called Z-Wave.
Z-Wave is a proprietary wireless communications protocol for home automation. Specifically, it is a standard used to remotely control applications in residential homes, and uses radio frequency signals to send and receive commands to your household systems such as lighting, home control, entertainment, household appliances and much more.
It has long been the opinion of a great number of people in the industry that the Z-Wave protocol is destined to become the ipso de facto standard for Home Automation. After using X-10 and Insteon for well over 15 years, and up until about 7 or 8 years ago, I would have argued that Insteon would be better equipped to become the new standard. However, the formation of the Z-Wave Alliance in 2005 has changed all that, Z-Wave now has as good of a chance as any to become a true standard for an industry that severely needs a leader, or at the very least some standardized specifications. Now there is a subject that needs to be discussed, a topic for new day!
The Z-Wave protocol offers a huge variety of products to the industry. The protocol has been designed into almost a thousand Consumer Electronic-related products to date (the Z-Wave Alliance just announced the certification of the 900th Z-Wave product on September 23 this year) and the Z-Wave Alliance now consists of an open consortium of over 160 manufacturers who create products and services based on Z-Wave. Z-Wave Alliance membership is comprised of industry leaders from across the entire spectrum of the home controls market. The vast number of applications and products that now meet the z-wave standard are far too many to list in their entirety, but in my upcoming posts, I am going to attempt to cover some of the notable areas or disciplines.
Next time, I am going to give you a bit of history of the Z-Wave protocol, as I continue the series with the next installment, “A Brief History of Z-Wave”. Have a good one and until then, thank you for letting us “Automate your World”.
Kelly R. Foster – HA World