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Home beep home

WayneW

Senior Member
Smarthome Forum's message boards buzz with technical questions, observations and helpful hints about home automation. Gabbing away are hobbyists and builders, home automation's tried and true constituency.

Home automation is searching for the killer app that will vastly expand its heretofore niche market. Home automation (or home control, as it's also called) is more than glorified light-dimming via remote control, promising to integrate control of security, lighting, HVAC, energy, entertainment and appliances. For instance, controllers can automatically raise or lower blinds depending on the temperature or turn off the lights in a vacation home from a thousand miles away.
read the full article at
http://www.reed-electronics.com/eb-mag/art...te=7%2F1%2F2006

An interesting article, but I wonder why it doesn't even mention UPB. Are UPB sales truly that far behind Z-Wave & Insteon? Was there a bias to the article? Was the author uninformed?
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
It was just a pure fluff/free advertising article for the most part. With all the mags (online and offline) out there, they are desparate for content so they are happy to pretty much publish thinly disguised ads are 'articles'.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
Both maybe. I dunno. Maybe the person just didn't know very much and those two companies were the only ones who responded to his call. Who knows. But it seemed to sum up the automation market as a fight between two (relatively speaking) only medium sized players.

Maybe I just didn't read it carefully enough.
 

elcano

Active Member
WayneW said:
So was that an ad for SmartHome or Z-Wave?
Smarthome, the retailer.

Once customers reach their web page its their job to make the visitors buy their private brand. Not difficult with the prominent exposure that they give to Insteon on their first page. But even if that fails, they make money too.

This is similar to the private branding trend in regular stores: Pantene shampoo pays Walgreens to feature the brand in a shopper. Then Walgreens places a cheap (but high margin) product that is almost identical in shape, color and (arguable) ingredients) at half the price with a tag that says 'Compare to Pantene'. So a share of the people that came to the store to buy Panetene ends buying the high profit private brand. Even if the customer was really loyal to Pantene, they still win because Pantene (with its money) got another customer into their store, that can buy several things in addition to shampoo.

Here Smarthome is using Z-Wave to get customers to their store. Why not UPB? I think for two reasons: making the people believe that there are only two contenders gives you 50% of the opportunity to start from (vs. 33%). The other reason is that UPB is targeted at another market (professional, or advanced DIY).
 

Squintz

Senior Member
That is an obvious advertisement by smarthome. Any real journalist would have done more research and provided at least one other provider of the supplies. I am sure Martin would be happy to answer a few questions about AutomatedOutlet.com and Brian would be just as happy to discuss Tech-Home.com with anyone who contacted them. Don't get me wrong wayne...I think its great that you posted this on cocoontech becuase it give us the chance to pick them apart if they need to be. Us talking about them only helps the new guys just entering the DIY world. I just wanted to make sure you know that we appreciate your work for the forums.
 

tech-home

Active Member
Dean Roddey said:
Both maybe. I dunno. Maybe the person just didn't know very much and those two companies were the only ones who responded to his call. Who knows. But it seemed to sum up the automation market as a fight between two (relatively speaking) only medium sized players.

Maybe I just didn't read it carefully enough.
I agree with Dean.

I think they were the only ones who responded with an offer for free products. Or the writer didn't do his research. UPB should have been in there but where do you stop? Hardwire solutions should also be considered. They just barley mention X10 and the article should have started with it.

If I start installing I would only pick Zwave or UPB though.
 
WayneW said:
So was that an ad for SmartHome or Z-Wave?
Both actually. At least there were quotes from SmartHome, Zensys as well as Intermatic. I was also interviewed and quoted and maybe I can give a little background on what the article was trying to accomplish.

The author did not have a great deal of experience with HA technologies and was trying to write about technologies that might be appropriate for the DIY user. The ZigBee alliance has done an excellent job of convincing the world at large that HA is ZigBee is HA. The other misconception floating around is that the only possible way to do HA is wireless and in that case the two possibilities are ZigBee and Z-Wave.

I was interviewed because WTRS had just published a market report quantifying the addressable market for HA devices. During the interview I tried to talk about the differences between ZigBee/IEEE802.15.4, INSTEON, Z-Wave and UPB plus how adoption of these technololgies seemed to be shaping up.

For the record, we cover wireless technologies and don't really follow UPB that closely and I tell interviewers that anything I say about UPB needs a liberal application of salt.

I think that one of the mistakes the author made was to confuse the difference between smarthome.com the online catalog company with Smarthome Technology the developer of INSTEON. The article was supposed to cover technologies and products not the sales channels.

Some other comments:

I wasn't exactly misquoted however I would never say something like "smoking gun killer app" and the numbers attributed to me and to WTRS were from another company's report.

I wasn't too impressed with the product review. I thought the low WAF shown was pretty funny.

Things like RadioRA, hardwired solutions ands so on, weren't covered since they are pretty far from what a DIYer is likely to buy.

Feel free to flame me or follow up as you see fit.

George West
www.wtrs.net
www.wtrs.net/newsletter.htm - Interviews with various comapnies
 
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