As we know Sigma Designs is the key driver behind the development and marketing for the Z-Wave protocol. Lately they have announced the fifth generation chipset and also included a software suite and reference designs that will enable manufacturers to quickly and inexpensively bring smartphone and tablet control to their home automation.
The other good news is that the cost for the new chipset has gone down compared to the previous generation. They also claim improved RF performance and lower power consumption compared to previous generation products. Platform developers now also have more memory in to work with.
The entire suite shall include:
Z-Ware: The middleware for home control that forms an intelligent Application Programming Interface (API) that provides capabilities such as Configuration, Scenes and Device Control, Schedules, and Statistics.
Apps: The fully customizable user interface reference designs that provide a consistent look and feel across multiple platforms. It is estimated that there are currently about two dozen Z-wave apps on the market.
Z/IP: The software engine that transforms IP protocol command to Z-Wave command and vice versa.
Gateway: A reference design for the production of a low-cost Z-Wave to Ethernet Bridge/Gateway.
Next Gen 500 Series chips and modules to support consumer hardware manufacturing with increased memory and better RF properties, allowing for more product features.
Should we worry that the devices you just bought (from me) would be obsolete? The answer is you do not need to worry! Fortunately, the new chipset are backward compatible with existing devices. I’m glad the standard is moving forward and our investments are protected 🙂