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Z-Wave Scores Huge UL Win for Security, a First for Mesh Technology

Latest super-secure Z-Wave technology mitigates smart-home hacking; will achieve UL 1023 compliance for intrusion, giving the home automation standard an edge in powering some 20 million security sensors and alarm panels each year.

Z-Wave Scores Huge UL Win for Security, a First for Mesh Technology
With UL 1023 compliance, Z-Wave could become the de facto home automation standard for security.

Julie Jacobson · February 18, 2016


Sigma Designs Announces Break-Through Z-Wave UL Component Recognition

Z-Wave provides the corner stone for adding sensors to professional security networks

Fremont, CA – Sigma Designs, Inc.  (NASDAQ: SIGM), a leading provider of  intelligent system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for Smart TV and  Internet of Things (IoT) for Smart Home, today announced their Z-Wave, modules models ZM5101/ZM5101A-CME3R RF transceivers with protocol SDK version 6.60  have been evaluated to UL’s standards for home security, enabling new applications for professional security sensors and other devices in the multi-billion dollar home security business in the US. 

Professional security sensors such as door and window and motion sensors make up the majority of security devices in the home, which are estimated to represent installation of about 20 million units per year. These devices typically utilize non-standard one-way radios operating at 300/400 MHz frequencies. Since these devices use one-way communication, their effective security and reliability can be compromised. The number one problem faced by security companies is false alarms, which represent more than 50% of the service calls they receive, creating a substantial cost impact.  One-way sensors simply cannot evaluate a false alarm.  Since Z-Wave is a true two-way network technology, it can identify the actual sensors and be requested to re-check conditions multiple times to reduce these false alarms.  Migrating to state-of-the-art two-way sensors will improve the overall security and reliability of security systems and will also represent a substantial competitive advantage for Z-Wave.

Secondly, wireless systems can get compromised by “jamming” – the intentional or inadvertent transmission of radio signals at the same frequency. Sensors operating in the 2.4 GHz band can be unintentionally jammed due to the over-crowding of signals from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other devices, resulting in a either a security breach or another type of false alarm.  Z-Wave’s two-way sensors feature Jamming Detect, a mechanism that was added to satisfy UL’s stringent interference protection requirements.  Additionally, by operating in the 900 MHz band, Z-Wave devices are safe from the overcrowded 2.4 GHz noise. 

“This is a win-win for the industry as it will be easier for security system and device manufacturers to deploy Z-Wave technology in their end-products when seeking UL certification” stated Neil Lakomiak, director of business development for UL’s Building and Life Safety Technologies division.

“We are excited about the possibilities of Z-Wave enabled security devices coming into the market,” said Ryan Petty, vice-president product innovation at ADT.

“UL’s component recognition of Z-Wave will bring a new “smart” dimension to our sensor portfolio,” said Avi Rosenthal, vice president of security and control, Nortek Security & Control.

Z-Wave is already included in over 90% of the panels provided by professional security companies in the US to augment and add new consumer value to their security services with lifestyle smart home capabilities such as lighting, access and temperature control.  With the new Z-Wave SDK version 6.60, based on the UL component recognition, all smart home sensors and professional security sensors can be united with one Z-Wave technology and leveraged for both pro-security as well as smart home services.  Furthermore, opening up the security sensor market for Z-Wave devices more than doubles the total available market being addressed. 

“Our data said the monitored security market grew at approximately a rate of 15 percent in 2014,” says Tom Kerber, director of research, home controls & energy for Parks Associates. “That is very strong for an industry that had been relatively consistent. Much of that was the addition of interactive controls. Our consumer data shows that when you add home controls and interactive services to a basic security system, the appeal increases by as much as two-fold. In fact, we had predicted that the market would grow by about 50 percent over the next 10 years, but we have had to revise that forecast up to probably more like in the next five years.”

According to Frost and Sullivan’s research on smart buildings the sensor market alone is projected to reach nearly $4 billion by 2018.

Building on the release of Z-Wave’s SDK 6.60 and UL compliance, Z-Wave now supplies an application framework and sample code to sensor manufacturers that allow them to get to market faster with a shorter development cycle.

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  About the Author

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 julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Control & Automation · Automation · Whole House Control · Security · News · Products · Z-Wave · All Topics
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