In the beginning of 21 century, many wireless technologies have evolved. Z-wave is an RF (radio frequency) based wireless networking technology primarily designed for smart home and office automation. Z-wave is one of the emerging technologies in the area of wireless home automation.
Z-wave offers smarter, safe and energy efficient solution for smart homes, security and office automation.
Specifications of Z-wave
Standard: Z-Wave Alliance ZAD12837 / ITU-T G.9959
Frequency band: Below 1 GHz (ISM unlicensed spectrum)
Range: 0 to 100 meters
Application area: Home and office automation
Applications of Z-wave technology
1. Smart Hubs
Smart hubs are the central controlling unit of every smart home application. Wide range of appliances, devices, power plugs, locking units, security systems, access control units, routers, sensors and voice enabled applications can be connected and configured using smart hubs.
Smart hubs will be connected to internet (using an Ethernet port or using wireless LAN) and all devices can be accessed from anywhere using an internet connection.
2. Smart Lighting
Smart lighting is one of the most commonly used applications of smart home technologies like Z-wave. Light intensity can be wirelessly controlled and configured using a mobile phone app which can be accessed from anywhere.
With some simple configuration of using a web browser, users can add new devices, configure functions, schedule particular task for specific devices etc… Smart lighting technology can contribute to energy saving efforts with efficient solutions.
3. Smart Locks
Smart locks are getting popular now a days. Z-wave technology offers wide range of smart access control solutions with user friendly touch panels and keypad. Fingerprint scanners and highly secure mode of access can be configured using Z-wave technology.
Users can be easily added to the data base and special access privileges can be granted for selected members.
4. Smart Sensors
Smart sensors are inevitable components of any smart home and Internet of Things applications. Application areas of smart sensors uses Z-wave technology are thermostats, humidity sensors, proximity sensors, RF ID tags, motion detectors, water level and flood sensors, smoke and gas sensors etc…
Smart sensor technology is continuously evolving, new generation smart sensors are compact in size and energy efficient (offers long battery life).
5. Smart home automation
Z-wave provides advanced home automation solutions. Any appliances compatible with Z-wave technology can be added to smart home network. These devices and home appliances can be securely controlled using Smartphone apps.
Z-wave home automation solutions include smart power plugs, smart energy outlet, power module, temperature and smoke alarms, smart window covering (using motor control), smart energy meters and lighting controls etc…
6. Security and Alarm
Z-wave provides smart solutions for Indoor and outdoor security, monitoring systems and alarms. Temperature and smoke detectors will continuously monitor and trigger alarms when the measured level exceeds set threshold value.
7. Voice controlled application
Voice enabled applications are one of the most advanced application in home automation. Voice commands can be used to activate and control devices for special tasks. It gives greater convenience for controlling devices and applications.
8. Water management
Accurate water and flood sensors are used in water management and smart city systems. Smart sensors will monitor water level round the clock and triggers once the level exceeds.
9. Smart energy management
Smart energy management is yet one of the significant area in home automation. Energy management solution support wide range of applications like smart power modules, energy meters and smart plugs for appliances.
Smart lighting can save lot of energy by efficient utilization. It can be configured to turn off or dim the light when a person leaves a room. Air conditioners, smart windows, heaters, fan or anything can be wirelessly controlled using smart energy modules.
10. Smart USB
Smart USB will convert any personal computer running Z-wave software to a smart hub for home automation applications. Any compatible devices can be connected to the networks and easily control them.
Z-wave is an efficient and flexible technology for home automation solutions. Other applications of Z-wave are smart kits for lighting and security, automatic gates opening, outdoor access controls and security applications.
Key features of Z-wave technology
- Easy to get started and configure devices and appliances
- Cost effective solutions for home and office automation
- Highly reliable network, it has been around for more than 10 years
- Offers high security using advanced encryption technology (similar to banking)
- Trusted by many major brands across the globe
- Millions of products available in the market
- Preferred by all major security companies
- Freedom of choice for wide range of products and applications
Analysts estimate that billions of smart devices will be connected to internet in the coming years. The future of wireless technology is very promising. Due to higher demand for efficient network to fulfill wide area of applications such as smart home and Internet of Things, technologies like Z-wave will play a big role in future.