During the CES Show, I was posting content for Everywire.com, a site that focuses on the wired home network and the new G.hn standard.
In looking to connect the dots with the wired home network and what could be with Z-Wave, the industry standard for wireless remote control that allows users to create a wireless, two-way mesh network within a single family home, condo or apartment. This network allows complete control of a large number of compatible devices throughout the home from a single remote control, wall panel, or Internet interface.
What makes Z-Wave special is that it operates as a mesh network (i.e. with no central controller). So instead of relying only on line-of-sight communications like other technologies, Z-Wave is able can work around this obstacle by routing commands through other devices in the network when required.
Let’s say you’re in an upstairs bedroom at night when you remember you left a light on in the kitchen. All you have to do is press the button on the controller to turn off the light, but the signal is blocked by the refrigerator. In other systems, this situation would require you to move to a different area in the house and try again, or even turn off the light physically if the obstacle is big enough.
With a Z-Wave network, if the signal is blocked the first time the signal will notify the controller that it did not complete the connection and the network will immediately seek an alternative path.
It may go to a hallway light, then the thermostat, then a dimmer switch in the dining room before ultimately reaching the kitchen. It will try as many times as is necessary, or until all possibilities are exhausted. Once the operation is complete, you receive an indication on the controller telling you the action has occurred.
Not only does this mesh network help you get around obstacles. It also helps you extend the range of your Z-Wave system by relaying the signal along multiple devices. Homes that don?t work with other types of home controls due to size or construction can finally be controlled easily via Z-Wave. Current tests show a Z-Wave network can cover even mansions with over 10.000 of square feet.
Anyone Z-Waving now?
If you have any Z-Wave-based products in your home, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment