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From the 26-28th June, ConLife, which was being held in Cologne, provided a platform for discussions about the latest movements in the home automation market. For the third year in a row, the big names turned up to meet to talk about the future. The meeting was attended by various members of the Z-Wave Alliance like ROCKETHOME and ZyXEL, who all had the chance to present their latest news.
The Z-Wave Alliance has had some great news over the past couple of months. They recently announced that they had now registered 650 products from 160 different manufacturers. So their attendance as an alliance at this exhibition, one of the leading exhibitions in the world, was more than welcome if expected.
ZyXEL took the opportunity to show off their OSGi-platform based Smarthome solution with ROCKETHOME. This new solution allowed homeowners to control their air con, ventilation and heating systems with their Smartphone, Tablet or PC. The user could also program different scenarios/scenes from these devices as well.
Discussion on Home Networking
On the final day of this panel, some of the leading experts in attendance started talking about implementation of home networking solutions to the mainstream. Even though this market is expanding, it is miles off of being considered standard. There were six people in the meeting, one of whom Dr. Pätz was from the Z-Wave Alliance.
Dr. Pätz was the centre of the discussion from the very start. Dr. Pätz started the meeting stating that in order for home automation products to be considered ‘standard’ there needed to be two points fulfilled. The first was that there had to be a variety of products that could be interlinked. The second was there needed to be the desire to do this in the mainstream, both from companies and from the user. The panel agreed. However, there was disagreement shortly after as some said it was the market that generated 'standardisation', while others claimed it was the user who generated this feeling in the market.
Dr. Pätz said there was a lack of items from the home automation market circulating Europe at the moment, and that it was not a market that was hampered by lack of know-how from the user, but instead by lack of applications. Dr. Pätz went on to say that Europe was generally slow as a continent at picking up all forms of technology with Asia well ahead of Europe.
With 650 products, the Z-Wave Alliance is on the increase. Just about everybody that attended ConLife would agree that it is only a matter of time until these items become the norm in every single home. However, when this happens is something that remains to be seen.
All in all, the ConLife exhibition was seen as a success. Some major corporations (Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and devolo) all emphasised the importance of these meetings in terms of technological development in this market so it looks like ConLife2013 will be on the cards, but how far will have the market developed by then?