SmartThings Head Jaeyeon Jung sheds light on challenges and platform evolution [Interview]


Q8: Was there a particular reason why Z-Wave wasn’t supported on this hardware (ST Station), and are there any plans of a new iteration with Z-Wave support?

A: Going forward, our vision is to support Matter based on Thread and Wi-Fi. These are the radios that we will focus on. Thread and Zigbee use the 2.4 GHz band so we can support both using one chip. Since our priority is to support Matter, we can easily do that with the dual purpose chip but Z-Wave is a different story as that would require an additional chip.

-DF (Interesting.)


Zwave dead?

This answer is a direct reply to a question about the Smart Station, manufactured by Samsung. In other articles there are references to Hub Replace contemplating Z Wave…
Maybe Aeotec will continue with this line?


Most of my devices are Z-wave (plug-in and wall dimmers). I don’t even want to think about having to replace them!



Z-wave seemed like a good bet 4 years ago. I hit a problem with ST Z-wave and started to mix in Zigbee devices so I’m probably around 60% Z-wave.

Expensive to replace them all, for sure. I am fairly sure we’ll have adequate Z-wave support until Matter devices are common.


Three notes:

  1. zwave, Wi-Fi, and proprietary frequencies, remain the only choice for security systems that want devices with UL listing at the time of this posting. That’s why both ring security and ADT continue to use zwave. Until Wi-Fi battery life improves, I expect to see zwave strongly supported in this category.

  2. Z wave Association is obviously aware of the issue and SI labs is already working on the “unify” project, which will allow Z wave to be bridged into matter. No idea where this one will actually make it to market shelves, it’ll probably be two years before we know. You can get a beta version now, but I haven’t heard of any major manufacturers starting projects with it yet.

  1. zwave 800 with long range is going to change the market dynamics yet again, and it’s definitely starting to arrive for real. This is a completely new z wave architecture, star topology, but which can run simultaneously with mesh for backwards, compatibility. It’s being targeted at multi unit commercial properties, including hotels and apartments and hospitals, but it should allow signal as much is a mile away (which lets you cover all the parking lots) but at a noticeably lower cost than similar Wi-Fi implementations.

So I think this one is real, I think it’s coming, I think it may even eventually be bridged to matter, but you will have to have a new hub to use it so it’s not clear to me yet what/if the trajectory would be for smartthings users.


A) Do I think Z wave will still be around in five years? Yes, probably.

B) Do I think zwave will eventually be bridged into matter? I think this depends on how successful matter is. If matter takes off in a big way, then, yes, I think the unify project will take off also. But I don’t expect to see this for about three years on market shelves.

It’s possible that thinkA may come up with a bridge sooner (right now they have the only publicly available zwave to HomeKit bridge), but I think there’s an issue of price point. It made sense to do it for HomeKit, because Apple households are used to paying more for their devices. But matter feels very much like a “race to the bottom“ on price and I’m not sure a nonIP protocol fits into that. It adds a lot of extra work on the manufacturer side.

C) do I think current smartthings users will see a Z wave to Matter bridge compatible with their current setups? My guess is only if they’re willing to buy a new series 800 hub and whether smartthings creates one of those will depend on what happens regarding question 2) above. There might be an Aeotec version, we will just have to see. But I would expect to see a fibaro or Zooz version first.:man_shrugging:t2:


She was also asked whether they had discussed with Google the possibility of SmartThings Find becoming part of Android. She pretty much dismissed this idea because of the nature of the data it deals with, which makes sense.

I feel that was an odd question that jumped over two more significant issues. One is the unfortunate limitation that SmartTags can only be connected with Galaxy devices, and the other is that the Find app is also only available on those devices. On the face of it the SmartTag has some functionality that seems to sit outside of Find, and Find is also available on a website.