L3 Homeation Singapore decided to promote Z-Wave system as the smart home platform in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. It is because Z-Wave is a major format in the home automation world (Home automation Malaysia and Indonesia customers are welcome to contact us for delivery arrangement).
The market of Home Automation in Malaysia and Indonesia is very similar to Singapore. The smart home system there is usually pricey and support is limited. Therefore, L3 Homeation Singapore selected a home automation system which is very competitive in price. It is also a smart home system, which is easy to install and maintain.
One of the advantages of Z-Wave smart home system is that users can freely choose products from more than 250 makers. They do not have to worry about future support as compare to those system which is supplied by a single company. We do not wish to introduce technology which owned by a single source, when such business entity run into trouble, it creates big inconvenience and waste of money to our customers.
Although they are some other technologies in home automation, (such as Zigbee, WiFi and bluetooth) each has its merits but Z-Wave probably has a larger range of products currently in the market. WiFi system are frequently faced with range limitation and need number of range extender in a house. Bluetooth is more a localized network and require additional integration to make it works while you are away from home.
The Z-Wave Alliance is a consortium of over 250 home automation independent manufacturers as of 2013, Principal members include GE/Jasco, Evolve, Ingersoll-Rand, Linear, FAKRO and Sigma Designs. As of 2013, there are more than 900 different products certified by the Z-Wave Alliance. You could easily find all sectors of products for residential, HDB, condominium, light commercial control applications and hotels. These includes, smart security system, smart lighting, smart home theaters, automated window, pool, outdoor lighting, smart garage access, etc.
Z-Wave home automation system uses a mesh network topology. When a node is out of the contact distant (may be due to household obstacles or radio dead spots that might occur), the signal could route through an intermediate node. This makes it very suitable for residential which has many walls in between the controller and the nodes.
Z Wave system believes that security is of the utmost importance to address in the IoT market.
Z-Wave network has a unique ID that it assigns to every device in the network. The ID is preprogrammed by the chip manufacturer (Sigma Design) and no two chips has the same ID. Therefore, your neighbor’s hub can’t control your devices. Z-Wave devices also include signal jam detection and the tunneling of all Z-Wave over IP (Z/IP) traffic to eliminate any cloud vulnerability.
When an extra level of security is needed, such as for door locks and other high security devices, Z-Wave has another level of security which uses AES128 encryption at the same level that major banks use to protect financial information.
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), also known as Rijndael (its original name), is a specification for the encryption of electronic data established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2001. AES has been adopted by the U.S. government and is now used worldwide.
Recognizing that with the incredible growth and potential of smart home and the increasing need for the highest levels of security for IoT residential devices, the Security 2 (S2) framework for every device in the ecosystem was implemented. The S2 framework includes the existing AES 128 encryption with industry-accepted secure key exchange using Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) and authenticated deployments that remove ”man-in-the-middle” attacks.
All controllers with 500 series chips (Z-Wave Plus mark on them) and devices that equipped with OTA (over the air) upgrade ability are able to add S2 to existing devices.
The IoT is built on many different semiconductor technologies, including power management devices, sensors and microprocessors. Performance and security requirements vary considerably from one application to another. In the case of Z wave smart home, all devices are using Sigma Design chip set, which unified the security protocol of the system making it less vulnerable to hacker attack.
Be assured that your Z Wave smart home is one of the most difficult to hack system available in the mass market.
Z Wave Network topology
Wireless mesh networks were originally developed for military applications. Compare to other network topology, mesh network require more processing power in each device. However, as data processor cost is reducing drastically over the years, we see mesh network being used in smart home system. Z-Wave and Zigbee are smart home systems that implemented the mesh networks topology.
Typical house structure in Singapore, such as HDB apartment, condominium or landed property, there are many internal concrete partitions. Such structure becomes adverse to wireless communication. Home dweller experience weak WiFi signal at certain spots in their house even the direct distant between their PC (or device) to the router is just within a few meters. Mesh network topology is particularly useful in such environment.
Each node (device) in the mesh networks can relay messages using a routing technique. A node that could not be reached by the controller, the message is relay through an intermediate node. In the illustration below, when there are too many obstacle between the master bedroom toilet switch (node B) to the Z-Wave controller (node X), the control signal could flow through the master bedroom light switch (node C).
Z-Wave’s mesh networking allows a control signal to “hop” (relay through an intermediate node) 4 hopes to reach the final destination. With this capability the maximum coverage range could roughly reach 600 feet or 200 meters.
To ensure all its paths' availability, the network must allow for continuous connections and must reconfigure itself around broken paths. Z Wave has the ability of self-healing algorithms to maintain and renew its routing table when a node breaks down or when a connection becomes unreliable. As a result, the network is typically very reliable, as there is often more than one path between a controller and a destination in the network.