Does Z-Wave Have a Future?

Why moving away from Zwave? Just curious

I’m getting the impression it won’t be supported down the road. Functionally, it works just fine though.

I’ve been with ST since v1 hub, so I didn’t really “choose” zwave as much as that was what was on sale/cheaper at the time. But now new controllers (e.g., Echo plus) don’t even support zwave. Plus, must zigbee devices are going to get upgrades to Matter, but it looks like that’s not an option for zwave. So it’s not that there’s anything “wrong” with zwave as much as I think there’s more opportunities in the future with zigbee, so if I’m going to get a new device, I feel I should go that route

5 Likes

RUT ROH … @JDRoberts will surely respond to that comment :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Z-Wave won’t be going away anytime soon. There are too many large companies heavily invested in it. It also has a lot more range than any other protocol. Long-range Z-Wave can work for a few miles if set up correctly. Try doing that with Zigbee or Wi-Fi. Plus, Matter is a mess right now. The problem with Z-Wave on SmartThings is SmartThings’ implementation of Z-Wave and not the protocol itself.

5 Likes

Good to know, but I don’t need that range. My house is only 2000 sqft. :rofl::rofl:

I welcome any comments clarifying/correcting what I think I know… I’m wrong quite often

3 Likes

LOL yes he will

2 Likes

2000 sqft with Zigbee and Wifi battling it out.

Definitely matter is a big disappointment. Limited selection, limited categories, even more $$s than Zwave.Zigbee, limited functionality and limited interoperability. Weren’t these things it was supposed to solve? I wish Samsung were more invested in Zwave. The range isn’t a big issue with me but agreed it can go longer distances.

3 Likes

There is a reason why Ring went with Z-wave!

1 Like

Since I got tagged…:sunglasses:

Zigbee and Matter

As of this writing, there are zero Zigbee devices which were “upgraded to matter.” Zero.

Instead, there are several companies that are offering “matter bridges“ which use Zigbee to communicate with a specific set of end devices, and then expose that information, usually via Wi-Fi, to Other home automation platforms.

This is very similar to the way the Hue hub worked before matter. And still works without matter. Zigbee devices talk to the Hue hub and then the Hue hub talks to Alexa or SmartThings or Apple Home or Google Nest or whatever.

Not all devices or all features available within Hue’s own app get bridged, and that will also be true of Matt er bridges. And not all Zigbee devices can get connected to the Hue hub to begin with.

( minor point, because as an engineer, I’m obligated to bring up this kind of minor point: only a small subset of all the Zigbee devices in the world can work with smartthings to begin with. And that’s the subset that’s likely to be connected to a matter bridge eventually. So just to get that out of the way. In this thread, We are only talking about Home Automation devices using Zigbee 3.0. Not many other Zigbee devices, like, say, utility company smart meters.)

Also, to get this out-of-the-way: at the time of this writing, there are no plans to make a SmartThings/aeotec hub a “matter bridge.” So SmartThings can bring third party matter devices in, but cannot bridge matter devices out to another Home Automation platform.

So all of that said… assuming matter takes off and becomes a popular industrywide standard, A lot of Zigbee home automation devices will eventually be able to be connected to a “matter bridge” and then brought into SmartThings that way. Aqara already offers this for some of their devices (but not all). Tuya is just getting started. IKEA has said they want to do this eventually, but it’s not currently available and there’s no announced timeline. A Hue hub is indeed also a matter bridge now: but you get fewer features if you use that integration instead of the available native integration with SmartThings/Apple home/ Alexa/google, so I’m not sure who all is going to use it right now.

And remember – – it’s not the individual Zigbee Devices that are getting updated to use matter. It’s The hub/bridge devices they connect to that are updated to be “matter bridges.“ If you use a Hue bulb without the Hue hub, it doesn’t work with matter. Same for the aqara Zigbee and Tuya Zigbee devices. The companies creating matter bridges are implementing a limited number of models at a time, sometimes just a few specific models, sometimes a specific device class. So it is happening, but slowly, and not for all features for all models.

Zwave and Matter

Matter uses the IPv6 addressing system, which is easy to use with Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Thread, and Bluetooth. So whether the individual device is certified for matter, or whether it’s connected to a matter bridge, with those protocols, you don’t really have to worry about the addressing part.

Z wave is different. It uses its own addressing method, and the addresses are assigned at the time the device joins the hub and might be different if it was on a different hub. That means that Z wave is not a natural fit to matter.

However, it’s not impossible: it’s just more work. The company that owns Z wave, SI labs, has already announced an SDK project that would let Z wave be bridged to matter. Only – – no device companies have signed up to use it yet. So when you just read the documents, it sounds great – – but it’s not happening at this time. And it’s probably a couple of years off at least, just on a normal device development schedule.

https://siliconlabs.github.io/UnifySDK/doc/UnifySDK.html

All which means that, again, if matter takes off as an industrywide standard, it’s likely that there will eventually be zwave to matter bridges. But as of the time of this writing, there are none even in development.

Zwave and SmartThings

But let’s put all of that aside for a moment. Samsung has already announced that their own future commitments for SmartThings, independent of whether matter ever becomes popular or not, Are to Wi-Fi, Thread, and Zigbee, and not to Zwave. The “hub everywhere” initiative, which intends to put a built-in hub into Samsung televisions, appliances, soundbars, smart monitors, etc Doesn’t include z wave. The newest hub, branded and distributed by Samsung, is the station: no Z wave radio.

Plus the SmartThings’ implementation of the zwave in the existing standalone hubs Is now two zwave generations behind the competition and has a number of gaps, which I have mentioned before.

Gaps in SmartThings’ Zwave Implementation (2022)

Certainly, if someone were starting out now and wanted to use almost all Z wave devices, I would not be recommending smartthings as their hub. Instead, the candidate list would include Homeseer, hubitat, the zbox from Zooz, maybe homey… All of those provide a better Z wave experience. From companies which are committed to continuing to do so.

So… if you want to stay with Z wave (and Z wave 800 is a very exciting technology) , I think it’s perfectly reasonable to do so.

But if you’re looking even two or three years down the road, it just doesn’t look like Samsung intends to keep zwave in its own Home Automation lineup, regardless of what the industry is doing.

The fact that their hardware partner for the standalone hubs is Aeotec does somewhat complicate the picture since Aeotec is still primarily a Z wave company. I don’t see any reason why SmartThings would turn off zwave support For the existing hubs, and contractually, they may not be allowed to. But certainly Samsung on its own is not going to be doing much to keep up with the new Z Wave features coming out. Maybe Aeotec will do that themselves, maybe they won’t. It’s hard to say.

So I do think the independent third-party Z wave standard definitely has a future. And I think it’s possible that zwave will eventually be able to be bridged to matter. But I also think Samsung has been clear that it sees its own future as based on Wi-Fi, matter over thread, and Zigbee. And not zwave. :thinking:

16 Likes

It was the only low power widely available mesh home automation protocol that was UL listed for security. (You need low power for the battery-operated sensors.) Same reason ADT uses it for some devices.

Matter over thread may eventually get the same UL listing, but we aren’t there yet.

1 Like

I see Aeotec comming out with a replacement for the V3!

1 Like

should that be? → I “hope” or “wish” to see Aeotec coming out with a replacement for the V3!

do we even know if Aeotec has a license/agreement to continue releasing hubs beyond the current Aeotec hub for ST?

6 Likes

Im saying I see it happeneing, I could be wrong

Good question?

4 Likes

I’ve never seen any details on the partnership agreement, I, too, would be very curious about this. :thinking:

3 Likes

3 posts were split to a new topic: Abode WiFi Camera

A factor to take into account is the regional limitation of Zwave, with their different frequency zones. The US has been able to benefit from a large offer of devices, so I imagine that its a case of considering one solution just as valid as another.
Other zones have less offer, and where I am doesn’t seem to be increasing. I ignore the penetration of Zwave in Asian markets but obviously this must influence any hub manucturers future policy.

3 Likes