Z-Wave 700-Series: The Future of Smart Homes?
Michael Alba posted on January 10, 2018 |
Sigma Designs announces the next-generation Z-Wave hardware platform.
(Image courtesy of Sigma Designs.)
(Image courtesy of Sigma Designs.)

Sigma Designs, developer of the Z-Wave Internet of Things (IoT) smart home protocol, has announced its latest Z-Wave hardware platform. The Z-Wave 700-Series platform comes equipped with several improvements, including longer range, lower power and a smaller form factor.

Smart home devices are becoming increasingly popular. If you spoke a command to the air this morning and heard a friendly (if slightly robotic) female voice respond, then you can understand the appeal of what the smart home has to offer. Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod have brought many consumers around to the smart home concept, according to Sigma Designs’ Johan Pedersen.

“AI speakers are the gateway drug to the smart home,” said Pedersen. “Once consumers get these into their home, they're not too far from their next smart home device.”

It’s against this backdrop of increasing smart home popularity that Sigma Designs has released the new Z-Wave hardware platform, and its goal is to future-proof the technology as much as possible. To meet the coming demand for smart home applications, the Z-Wave 700-Series boasts the following features:

  • Long range: “We are now going above 300 feet in range,” said Pedersen. “This enables us to extend the mesh network of the Z-Wave network and make a more robust, more efficient and faster responding network."With 300 feet (91 m) of range, Z-Wave devices will work across multiple floors, and should have no problem extending to the farthest reaches of a yard.
  • Low power: It’s critical for IoT devices to get the most out of their batteries, and even though about one-third of smart home devices are connected to mains electricity, Pedersen claims that the number of battery-powered devices will only increase. The Z-Wave 700-Series will enable multiyear battery lifetimes, and some devices will be able to last more than 10years on a coin cell battery.
  • Small form factor: The improved power efficiency of the 700-Series provides another benefit: it will enable developers to create more innovative and practical form factors for their Z-Wave devices. “It will really enable companies to make smaller products, because batteries often define the size of the product,” explained Pedersen.
  • High performance: Z-Wave developers will also be able to pack more punch in their products, as the Z-Wave 700-Series is equipped with an ARM3 processor architecture and large on-chip memory so that multiple features can be embedded in each device.
  • Security: The 700-Series offers Z-Wave’s highest grade of security, Security 2 (S2), which last year became a mandatory requirement for Z-Wave certification.
  • Easy setup: A new mandatory requirement in the Z-Wave 700-Series is Z-Wave SmartStart, a technology designed to help make the installation and setup of Z-Wave devices a completely painless experience. “You don't have to read the manual when installing a device,” said Pedersen. “It will just happen automatically.”
  • Backwards compatible: Finally, the Z-Wave 700-Series is completely compatible with existing devices. “Interoperability is a key part of Z-Wave and always will be,” said Pedersen. “All new products on the 700 will be backwards compatible with existing products.”

With the smart home apt to become ever smarter, IoT developers will need forward-thinking options like the Z-Wave 700-Series to push the boundaries and drive the transition to the smart home. “The 700-Series is the missing piece of the puzzle,” said Pedersen. “It enables this transition.”

To learn more about Z-Wave, read Z-Wave Smart Home Standard on the Rise.

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