Oriented to the residential control and the home automation market, Z-Wave is a wireless communication protocol, which is intended to provide a reliable method of wireless control. Ever since first appearing on the market in 2005, devices with integration of the wireless protocol have become a notable part of the smart home industry. Due to the protocol’s lower requirement of power, compared to other wireless protocols, it is also a leading choice for manufacturers and smart home enthusiasts. Furthermore, the protocol provides devices with a more safe and secure wireless network connectivity.
Developed by Danish startup Zen-Sys and later acquired by Sigma Designs, the Z-Wave home automation protocol has been implemented in a number of smart home devices. Usually, such devices are controlled by a central hub, operated through the protocol, and can be controlled remotely via the Internet. With hundreds of manufacturers putting out products, which implement the secure protocol, on the market, since 2005, there have been over 35 million sales of Z-Wave devices.
Currently, the smart home market is seeing a huge rise in the diversity of devices. While most of them implement the Z-Wave technology, there is an ongoing debate on whether or not it is the best protocol to be used for the Internet of Things. Bluetooth and ZigBee are two other wireless protocols, which are considered to be the competitors of Z-Wave. However, smart home enthusiasts most generally prefer Z-Wave, due to its reliability and security. Furthermore, the protocol is part of the OpenZwave open source project, which allows people to more easily create their own smart home solutions, without the need of expensive software development kits. Another project shaping the future of the protocol is the RaZberry, which is a project implementing the wireless protocol into a Raspberry Pi, creating a daughter board for the Raspberry Pi, in the form of a credit-card-sized single-board computer board with Z-Wave properties. Both of these projects make Z-Wave lucrative not only for huge hardware manufacturers, but for smart home enthusiasts, who also shape the future of the smart home industry.