Another optimistic view of Z-Wave

by Gordon Meyer

Don Hunt, writing for the Chicago Tribune, says that the promise of the last 10 years--a single, simple consumer-friendly home automation system--might actually be realized.

He's referring to Z-Wave, a wireless method for controlling lights, appliances, and the like. I have to agree that Z-Wave is compelling, I've begun using it around my house, and its speed and reliability is much better than any real-world alternative.

But in order to have a chance, Z-Wave needs broader software support, easy-to-buy modules, and the technology must be built into common appliances. The latter was never achieved by X10, even some 25 years after its invention, so it might be too much to hope for. But without integration, it seems that home automation might always be doomed to the geek fringe and tinkerers.

2 Comments

aristotle
2005-06-16 02:10:53
Re:
How hack-safe is it? I’m suspicious enough of wire-based home automation. The last thing I’d want is a punk with AirSnort or something alike to play tricks on my lights or heaters without even having to physicall interfere with the installation.
Gordon Meyer
2005-06-16 09:42:08
Security
Well, it doesn't use WiFi so AirSnort in particular won't be something you need to worry about.


But in general the security seems sound. Commands that originate from devices you haven't explicitly authorized are ignored. In order to add devices to your network you need to be in close proximity (much closer than the command range) and you must use the controller you authorized when you set up your first device.