If you've been following my recent blogs you will have seen the progress of VERA Edge. When released, VERA Edge was a bit of an ugly duckling. But with two firmware updates under its belt and our support guys spending a lot of time with it, it looks like VERA Edge is turning into a swan.
Device Compatibility - Complete Results
As I said a couple weeks ago we've spent most of our time testing devices. Finally, that work is now done - we've tested just over 80 devices and the results are all very good. Just take a look at our Z-Wave Compatibility Guide and check out all those green dots!
It's not just the device compatibility we've been pleased with. VERA Edge, with UI7, has a lot of nice new features.
VERA have overhauled the user interface in VERA Edge. Originally, we weren't fans of UI7, but now we can see how UI7 will take VERA forward and become a great controller. UI7 has some nice features and VERA have put thought into solving issues that have been around for a long time.
One of the issues with including (adding) new devices is that the controller has to guess what that device is. It usually does this by looking at how the device 'announces' itself and what Z-Wave classes it supports. This used to work well, but now, with more complex multi-channel devices, multi-sensors and highly configurable devices, this has become a minefield. With UI7, VERA's decided to use a template approach. Each device has a template, so when being added, the controller knows exactly how to include it correctly. This does mean that VERA need to add templates for each supported device, but we have seen them working hard to do this and more activity from them working closely with other vendors. There's also a 'Generic' device type for devices not yet having their own template.
There are actually a lot of new features in VERA Edge. One we particularly like is the 'Home/Away' mode. This makes it really easy to have the system do different things depending if you're there or not, or for arming an alarm panel. Other systems have this, but the one in UI7 really works. When you add security style devices, they're automatically allocated to this mode. For instance we were surprised to see the Zipato RFID Keypad already has a template in VERA, when it's included, it gets assigned to the Home/Away mode - which is just how you'd want to use it.
Regular Firmware Releases
So far VERA are committed to releasing regular firmware updates, we're seeing a new release each month. Each releases adds extra functionality or fixes recently found bugs. For instance, the last release fixes a USB issue that prevented RFX adapters working correctly - it's now safe to use VERA Edge plus RFX to control LightwaveRF and hundreds of 433MHz devices. This focus on regular firmware updates means that VERA Edge will continue to improve over the coming months.
Final Word - for now!
The VERA Edge has really grown on us and we like it. It has a few rough edges (sorry), but these are being quickly fixed by regular updates. We see VERA Edge being a worthy successor to VERA Lite and VERA3. So if you're looking to buy a new Z-Wave controller, or start your Z-Wave home automation system, then VERA Edge is a great place to start. If you would like more help on selecting the most suitable Z-Wave controller, take a look at our new guide - Choosing a Z-Wave Controller.
See you soon.