HomeSeer Debuts its Smallest, Cheapest Home Automation Hub
At CEDIA 2013 HomeSeer will demo new $200 palm-sized HomeTroller Zee with built-in Z-Wave and Web server for remote monitoring and control; works with free HSTouch home automation app.
Julie Jacobson · September 20, 2013
Founded in 1998, HomeSeer has been making affordable DIY and pro-worthy home automation systems for a long, long time – like PC-based solutions before it was cool.
Now the company is announcing its most affordable controller yet, the HomeTroller Zee (MSRP $200). The palm-sized product, featuring Z-Wave technology and a built-in Web server, sits on the home network for remote monitoring and control of Z-Wave devices including locks, thermostats and lights.
The controller will be demonstrated at CEDIA Expo 2013.
Users won’t get the full HomeSeer experience with the diminutive Zee and the free Android/iOS app, but it enables home automation that rivals the best of the DIY products out there.
Users can program if/then events with Zee, and HomeSeer has added an “event grouping” feature that allows users to group together like-minded scenes. For example, the “Lighting” group might include all of the scenes that involve lighting (bedroom lights on, goodnight mode, party mode, outdoor lights off, etc.). In turn, the groups can have their own conditions and actions.
HomeTroller Zee ships with an Aeon USB Z-Stick for enrolling Z-Wave devices (a $60 value). Users go device-to-device with the stick, then plug it into the Zee controller to download the settings.
HomeSeer currently is taking orders for Zee, which is expected to ship in October.
Other HomeSeer controllers range in price from the $500 HomeTroller-SE to the $3,000 HomeSeer Pro-100-S4. Software ranges from $250 to $600. The full versions of HomeSeer can control hundreds of IR, I/O, Z-Wave, IP and serial products including some professionally installed systems like security and thermostats.
HomeTroller Zee Features & Specs
HomeTroller Zee User Guide (pdf)
- Z-Wave Gateway Controller (no monthly fees)
- Fanless, Diskless Operation
- Easy to Set Up
- Includes Powerful Event Engine
- Includes Free Apple and Android Mobile Device Apps
- Supports Spoken Announcements, Alerts and Reminders
- Fully Customizable Email and Text Alerts
- Supports Z-Wave Locks, Thermostats, Lights and Sensors
- CPU: 700 MHz
- RAM: 512 MB
- Storage: 4 GB SD
- 2 USB Ports
- LAN Port
- HDMI Port
- Composite Video Port
- Audio Out Port: 3.5mm jack
- Z-Wave Interface: USB External, Portable, Upgradable
- AC Power Adapter: c(UL)us approved, 100-240v, 50/60Hz in, 5v 1a out, US style plug
- Unit Dimensions: 4.4” x 3.8” 1” (113mm x 97mm x 27mm) - Excludes Z-Stick
- Power usage: 3 watts
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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