CEDIA 2016: ZWAVE Still a Market Leader and New Device Announcements (Kwikset, Fibaro, Qubino)

CEDIA is the conference that home automation installers pay the most attention to. Many of the product announcements are geared towards them, not individual DIYrs.

Ever since thread was announced, some industry analysts have been predicting that zigbee or thread would overtake Zwave for the Home market. But two years later, thread still isn’t here except for the variant which is available in the “works with nest” program. And zigbee still has the problem of potential Wi-Fi interference. Zigbee devices have gotten better at dealing with that, and the very high-end networks like control 4 continue to use it successfully. But manufacturers who want to sell both to professional installers and individual customers on Amazon tend to have lower customer support costs for fixed location devices like light switches if they use zwave.

At the same time, pro installers could deal with the various interference issues, and Z wave hasn’t had much traction with them. The Zwave Alliance is trying to change that and has begun outreach targeted specifically at pro installers, including a new certification program for them.

So lots of Zwave devices announced at CEDIA this year. In some cases the devices have already been available in Europe for six months to a year, but are now coming to the US.

The Definitely Real

.1. Fibaro announced US distribution for several devices, including the “switch 2” “dimmer 2” and the Fibaro button.

The naming convention is a little weird in English. The “switch 2” (FGS213) is a single relay switch of the second generation. The “double switch 2” (FGS223) is a dual relay of the second generation. The “dimmer 2” (FGD212) is a dimmer micro of the second generation which controls one load. All of which is to say “2” refers to release generation, not control capacity.

The relays are available in the US now, the button and the dimmer is supposed to be out in a few weeks.

button available in the U.K. now, expected in the US in late October. Some UK community members already have a DTH for it. It has click, double-click, and hold.

.2. Qubino announced it will be being bringing some of its devices to the US. The most interesting is a universal low-voltage dimmer micro, 0-10v, which should match well with dumb LEDs. Qubino calls their micro relays “Flush switches” because they are very thin and intended to fit inside a shallow switch box. The European models have an option to add a separate digital temperature sensor which combined with operating specs that go much lower than many competitors makes them Ideal for controlling cold weather set ups. (Operating range from 14 degrees Fahrenheit)

So basically they have tried to provide engineering solutions to some of the edge cases that other micros did not handle well.

They have been available in Europe for a while, but are now coming to the US.
(@Navat604 @johnconstantelo , check this device out. Pretty slick. :sunglasses:)


.3. Kwikset adds two New Zwave model lines. The new keypad lock is intended both as a design statement and to remove the previous Kwikset vulnerability to lock picking.

And the new “convert” product is for retrofits. Like the bolt and the August, it fits over the deadbolt on the inside of the door and you use the existing hardware on the outside. I’m linking to the video for this presentation, because you’ll really see the details and the differences between the new models. All are zwave plus.

Kwikset took the opportunity afforded by the new Z wave generation (which meant all new locks) to really update their line and stay relevant. It’s a big investment for them and it will be interesting to see if it pays off. These have been announced for February 2017 availability.

Maybe Real

.4. Aeon announced the Wallmote. Again. Seriously, this thing has been “coming soon” for about 14 months. Still no timeline announced for the release. They also announced a smaller Micro called the nano and an LED strip. As with all Aeon announcements, We’ll just have to wait to see if it actually arrives. Aeon is one of the largest manufacturers of zwave devices in the world, and they do put out new devices all the time, but they also have a habit of announcing concept devices which can take years to come to market.


.5. MCOHome is a Chinese manufacturer which has had success in the European zwave market with switches and pocket sockets. It looks like they now want to go after the pro installer market in the US. They announced a couple of new products, including the A8, which is a ten in one multi-sensor with an LED panel front. No indication of cost or when it would be available. It includes VOC sensing, which is big in the European market. It’s also supposed to include a smoke sensor, but the leadtime for getting approval to sell those in the US is usually two years. My guess is this is actually a European device and it will take a while before it is available for the US market.


.6. DomeHA from Elaxa announced a new line Of zwave products, but no pricing, no timeline, and I can’t tell how real they are. The line includes a contact sensor, motion sensor, leak sensor, siren, valve actuator, and an electronic mouse trap. They’re getting a lot of press because of the mouse trap. I’m sure @bamarayne will want to add one of these if they do come to market. :wink:


and separately: pro installers want to add voice control because the customers are demanding it

Categories most likely to be added to system integrator/AV installer portfolios over the next 24 months include voice control and IP monitoring. 47% of system integrators not currently offering voice control plan to add this capability and 42% plan to add IP remote monitoring.”

.7. Also, the Z wave alliance itself introduced three levels of pro installer certification for installing Z wave devices. installers with the new certification can purchase a zwave “tool kit” that includes a zwave sniffer. That was all interesting. I think they want to stay top of mind with the local HA installers.

I don’t know what this means, either…

.8. Control 4 adds Z wave bridge. Last year, control 4 brought out a new line Of somewhat less expensive controllers. Now in a surprise move they have added A bridge device to bring Z wave capability to those and joined the Z wave alliance.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just a marketing statement to the DIY segment. @pstuart might know more.


“Humanly electricutes [sic]” is a daring oxymoron.

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Yeah I hear they’re going to include a GE three-way switch kit. :wink: {ducking}

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As far as I know it is a usb dongle add on for ea series control4 controllers, which will allow only approved Control4 zwave devices to be added. However, it may be possible for dealers to develop zwave drivers just like zigbee drivers to open the doors to more zwave devices. No word on pricing or availablity, as far as I can get.

Also, Control4 announced / launched their 2.9 software, full integration with Sonos and complete Amazon Alexa integration (requires 4sight subscription / $99 / year, but now can buy it direct instead of waiting on a dealer.

With the ea-1 and sr260 remote bundle at an msrp of $500 (I think, not a dealer) this is a heck of a deal on getting into real home automation.

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Do you think the Z wave dongle is for people who have existing investment in zwave switches? Make the transition easier?

I was thinking maybe this creates an Xfinity home to control 4 transition path.

Potentially. But it reaches into the DIY pricepoint for lower tier dealers who don’t want to sell $200+ switch installs :slight_smile:

This really is a shot across vera plus’s bow. Control4 had a killer vera driver to bring in all zwave and zigbee devices into control4, Now that obsoletes this…

Control4 still can’t use standard zigbee HA profile devices. So at least that’s a spot for vera plus.

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Qubino flush dimmer is an interesting device. I don’t remember seeing anything out there with that type of input/output options. I will definitely try to get one when there is a device handler.
I am a big fan of micro module and Aeon is making a Nano micro to probably compete with Emerwave z-wave plus new module? Either way. It’s exciting to see all these products coming out.

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I was at CEDIA and I agree Z-Wave is leading currently. Z-wave alliance’s executive director also commented that they are woking on integrating zwave devices with a lot more installer based companies. Control 4 is one the first. Amazon Alexa was big too… it was surprising to see that so little is known about echo in the installer world…Zwave was also boasting about their new Security Layer S2 thats coming up in Feb 2017.

The zwave tool kit is amazing. I will be getting one soon as we became a installer member with the alliance. It lets you pretty much dissect the network. It was candy for an RF Engineer like me. :slight_smile:
Z-wave products introduced a similar Zwave toolbox for $250 (open to all) if anybody is interested in getting one.

It was over all a great show and on video side get ready for optical cables… no more HDMI… :slight_smile:
4K video was also a big thing… with new projectors, TVs , A/V equipment etc.

Zigbee … at this point seems to be quiet, but hopefully they kick ass with their new standard.

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What Z-Wave needs to get ahead is a HomeKit bridge. That would be a real game changer.

They actually prototyped one way back when HomeKit was first announced. I think it was from Zwave.me. But then Apple clarified how tight the security was going to be and it just turned out it’s not possible. At least it’s not possible to have a general homekit/zwave bridge. Every individual device attached to the Z wave hub would have to be individually approved along with the specific commands that are allowed to it.

Just as one example, you wouldn’t be able to have a HomeKit command that activated Z wave association between 2 zwave devices. This has to do with really strict Apple security requirements that say that one device cannot communicate directly with another device except under very specific conditions. They are really trying to limit the point at which a hacker could enter the network and cause harm.

It’s a requirement that shut down a lot of perspective interfaces.

So I’m sure the Z wave alliance would like to do it. But there’s just no real practical way to do it given apple’s restrictions on HomeKit. They could create a Hue bridge like device that only interacted with some specific devices of some specific device classes. But that’s not what most people would be looking for.

It’s basically the same issue as SmartThings/Nest integration.

Fall 2014:

January 2015, The announcement from Apple that killed the original Z wave.me bridge idea.

Fall 2016:

Apple’s HomeKit is a new entrant to the smart home market which is still in the early stages of development. The future for HomeKit and Z-Wave looks very promising, and Z-Wave has been working with Apple to build an integration of the two systems.

So I’m sure zwave would love to do it, just like SmartThings would love to have official nest integration. The question is how to do it while meeting Apple security requirements for individual devices.