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Z-Wave Demos Home Automation

1/05/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The Z-Wave Alliance is hosting its first International CES pavilion here to demonstrate wireless home automation products from 10 of the 14 companies currently delivering 72 products into the residential market, a spokesman said.

Additional companies will show Z-Wave products in their own booths.

A total of 150 companies have committed to marketing compliant products, the alliance added.

Z-Wave technology, developed by Zensys, is designed for retrofit installations of wireless home-control systems. The low-power, two-way, 9.6Kbps mesh-network technology delivers two-way wireless-remote control over lighting, appliances, garage-door openers, thermostats and other home systems from handheld or tabletop remotes located anywhere in the house. It reroutes signals when necessary to ensure reliable control.

Companies exhibiting Z-Wave products in the pavilion are: Boca Devices, whose product enables remote Internet-connected PCs to control home systems; Bulogics, which makes a control system; Digital Media Research, which makes PC software to control home networks; security system supplier Elk Products; Intermatic, which markets lighting and other devices; lighting supplier Leviton; technology developer and chipmaker Zensys; Techniku, maker of automated window blinds; garage-door maker Wayne Dalton; and remote-control supplier Logitech.

Other companies exhibiting Z-Wave products include CasaWorks and Monster Cable.

Here's what some of them will display:

CasaWorks: The Cielo Home Management System controls lighting and other home systems via a PC. Cielo software and a Z-Wave to USB transceiver enable users to automate and integrate multiple home systems, including shade motors and, in the first quarter, the first Z-Wave thermostat controls. The company offers Z-Wave light dimmers, light switches, lamp modules and appliance modules.

Intermatic: The lighting supplier will show its complete selection of HomeSettings Pro wireless-control devices to control lighting and, eventually, other Z-Wave-equipped home subsystems. The series includes on-wall and handheld lighting controllers, dimmer switches, light switches and 12-volt duplex plug receptacles.

Logitech: The retail-distribution Harmony 890 remote uses wireless-RF Z-Wave technology to control home theater systems and other home systems such as lighting. Its suggested-$399 price includes a receiver that converts Z-Wave signals to infrared and blasts the IR signals to home theater components. Additional receivers cost a suggested $149. It shipped in December.

Monster Cable: The brand's handheld remotes will include one with wireless-RF Z-Wave control of A/V and lighting systems.

Monster Cable plans a $400-suggested infrared A/V remote and a $600-suggested Z-Wave remote, both due in January. From any room in the house, the $600 model will control multiple A/V systems via RF-to-IR converters, and it will control $100-suggested lighting modules due in March. The lighting modules will plug into existing electrical outlets to dim connected lamps or turn them on and off. The Z-Wave remote will also integrate control of A/V and lighting systems.

A touch-screen version is due later in the year. Bridges to Crestron home-control systems are also planned in 2006.