What is the Alliance hoping to accomplish with Z-Wave Labs?

We see Z-Wave Labs as a way to accelerate innovation on the Z-Wave platform and lower the barrier of entry for new companies to develop IoT products for the smart home and other IoT verticals.

What kinds of devices do you expect to see developed as a result of this project?

We hope the entries will be broad and diverse, representing solutions from across industries including residential, commercial, energy, healthcare, automotive, lifestyle, aging in place, and security to name a few. The versatility of Z-Wave makes it an ideal standard to use when you’re thinking about connected devices.

Who is eligible to enter and how do they do that?

Any individual 18 or older and any privately held company or non-profit is welcome to apply and they can do so at www.z-wavelabs.org. The application is fairly straightforward and quick and asks that companies briefly describe their product, why they choose Z-Wave and allows them to upload any supporting documentation they want the judges to consider.

What are the prizes and how often are they awarded?

Each winner will receive access to the Z-Wave IoT 500 series development kits from Sigma Designs and one full year of Alliance membership at Full Member level, subject to the execution of a Z-Wave Alliance Full Membership and confidentiality agreement by the winner. Benefits of Alliance membership include the opportunity to participate in Alliance trade shows, working groups, PR and marketing opportunities and other related activities. Winners will also get paired up with mentors from the Z-Wave community in their related industry to provide technical and marketing and business development support. There will be one winner announced each month for 12 months.

Why should a start-up choose Z-Wave as a platform for their IoT product?

Z-Wave is the IoT leader in the smart home and lifestyle security markets because the technology is fully interoperable between all certified products and backwards-compatible between versions. With a large ecosystem of interoperable products, companies can offer their customers a broad choice of products that will work seamlessly with theirs. The Z-Wave Alliance includes over 300 member companies working together to ensure the best user experience and Z-Wave Labs winners will be able to network and learn from the vast experience within the organization.

How will winning benefit the start-up company/innovator?

Winners will have access to the Z-Wave IoT 500 series development kits which will allow them to bring their Z-Wave product to market faster and begin a path to certification if they so choose. They will also be paired up with another member company in a similar field to provide technical, marketing and business development mentoring. As a member of the Z-Wave Alliance, Z-Wave Labs winners will also have access to trade shows and events that the Alliance participates in and be able to join working groups to get up to date info on Alliance activities and initiatives.

Has Z-Wave Alliance started to see large growth within the start-up market?

The Z-Wave Alliance has seen incredible growth across the board for the Z-Wave standard, including new manufacturers that are innovating using Z-Wave as their platform for IoT and smart home products and services.  As the Internet of Things becomes the Internet of Everything and vertical markets like aging in place begin to grow, we believe Z-Wave will remain the dominant wireless protocol with the largest ecosystem of products on the market for years to come.

About the Z-Wave Alliance
Formed in January 2005, the Z-Wave Alliance is a consortium of leading companies in the home technology space dedicated to solidifying Z-Wave as the standard for wireless home control products. The principal members include; ADT, Evolve Guest Controls, FAKRO, Ingersoll Rand Nexia Intelligence LLC, Jasco Products, LG Uplus, Nortek Security & Control, SmartThings and Sigma Designs. Alliance members lead the home controls market, providing leading edge products and systems that deliver increased comfort, convenience, energy conservation, safety and security.