Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Perceptions on Z-Wave, ZigBee and Insteon

As we head to Berlin next week for our CONNECTIONS Europe event, we're thinking about how the home systems market has evolved in a global context over the last year. Bill Ablondi, our Director of Home Systems Research, has long argued that the home management/home systems space is on the precipice of entering a middle market, led by a number of champions and driven by numerous causes. Enhancing home security, safety, peace-of-mind, and energy management in particular will likely be major drivers for the home controls industry in the next year, as will continued enhancements to home systems, particularly as they relate to high-end entertainment needs. Leading the efforts to make home controls solutions more reliable and affordable are a number of "no-new-wires" intiatives, such as Z-Wave, ZigBee, and INSTEON. Bill shares a few thoughts today about Z-Wave's prognosis.

I think Z-wave is well-know in the home controls industry; essentially unknown among consumers and just beginning to be known among home systems integrators. On one of our regular surveys (conducted in Q1 2007) of home systems integrators (the CEDIA channel), we asked about the familiarity with Z-Wave. Approximately 7% of integrators were aware of the technology and products incorporating it. Awareness of INSTEON was comparable; ZigBee significantly higher. Our Q1 2008 survey will reveal if the Z-Wave alliance has made any progress on this front.

Our consumer surveys reveal that control systems in general are low on the list of products consumers plan to put in their existing homes or new ones they plan on buying. Our research of home builders confirms that they are not aware of the affordable benefits of control systems in general and wireless systems specifically.

Bottom Line:
Intel's investment in Zensys has added credibility as has the inclusion of alliance members Leviton, Cooper, Monster, etc., but the challenge to all alliance members is building consumer awareness for the benefits of their products.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was UPB a part of that survey? I am curious why UPB wasn't mentioned in the post.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Scott Klodowski said...

UPB to my knowledge was not included since, nobody has ever called PCS.

We have been doing what we do best engineering and the fray of marketing dollars shows best in articles like this.

Scott Klodowski
Director of Sales and Marketing

1:53 PM  

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