2020 Product Roadmap

Hey all – We wanted to give you a peek under the tent in terms of what we’re working on for 2020 as well as the reasoning behind it. There’s a lot of exciting stuff brewing and we hope to take a lot of the momentum generated in 2019 and parlay it into 2020.

With the tariffs coming in at a minimum 25% on mostly everything except switches, we are concentrating on our switch lineup before expanding much further. If tariffs go away, we can explore more options (such as LED’s, plugs, etc) but unfortunately, at this time, all Z-Wave manufacturers are located in China, so it’s hard to dodge the tariffs. Our current manufacturer is looking to open a plant outside China, but it likely won’t happen until mid 2020.

Anyway, here’s what we have planned:

If paddle remotes are successful, we’re looking to add in a 5 button remote at the end of the year. In addition, we’d love to add a double-switch. Also, if tariffs go away, we’d love to add in our LED strips (currently, it’s at a 28.9% rate), Edison bulbs, etc.

Thanks as always for your support and we’ll look forward to updating you on the schedule above!


UPDATE: Just wanted to give a quick update here on some of the projects and the reasons why they were pushed out and/or others pushed up.

There are two main reasons why projects got pushed out, some within our control, while others not in our control.

  1. Debt Load from 2019 Late Products influencing Current Opportunities
  2. COVID

Let’s start with my favorite topic – debt load. In 2019, we were blessed with an investment and one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made as a team was to “hire before the demand” vs “hire when you need it”. Long story short, we were promised switches at a certain time, and due to mis-communication on both sides, the projects were delayed heavily (to the tune of 8mo). The problem here was that we hired in preparation to the demand that was coming from pre-orders, as well as promised inventory, so we burned through a lot of the investment paying overhead.

This lead to us eating into our reserves and also put us in a situation where we would not be able to pay back the manufacturer as agreed to. Now, luckily, they’ve been graceful and understand that this was primarily a learning experience for both of us and rather than us suing them for failing to deliver on time per the contract, they allowed us grace with the repayment terms as we both wanted to work together to create some amazing products and conquer the smart home industry :slight_smile:

Anyway, what does this have to do with 2020? Well, the debt load is still there and the manufacturer is wanting us to pay back more money before creating new products. I don’t blame them, but at the same time, it’s a risk/reward in that if you continue to take a risk, we can pay off the debt faster. The good news is that they’re seeing us sell out of everything and this keeps them happy and the risk down. Still, there’s debt and business revolve around cash.

NET: Project have to be pushed off until debt is paid down. This is why we’ve been actively looking for an investor (@amdbuilder – ink is still wet lol – likely not drying)

COVID was another beast that no one accounted for nor knew what to do with. Luckily for us, sales increased as all of you likely knocked out those honey-do lists! The problem was it impacted our manufacturer as they took things a little more serious over there and shut things down for a bit and this created a backlog of manufacturing (ie: we aren’t the only ones they make smart home products for and companies like Ring, GE, IKEA etc are prioritized over us).

So, where does that leave us?

Good news is we’ve been scrappy with new products (Fan/Light), creating new opportunities for existing products (10-pks), and working with the manufacturer to modify products that they’ve already designed (Light Strip) and allowing us to put our firmware spin on it. We’ve also started working with other companies in a licensing/co-development perspective that will help us pay down debt, but also keep the manufacturer happy.

Overall, we have an incredible manufacturer and despite the business challenges that arise, we love them. They’re an incredible team and honestly, despite what you may hear on the news, they are some of the nicest people and they have the same passion as us to win and put out the best products there is.

Here’s to the remainder of 2020 and for crushing it in 2021!

10 Likes

Thanks so much for the update. Looking forward to the new products. I know I need a few of each even just to play with. :grinning:

Also I belive with some tweaking of your firmware you could make the dimmer switch a 3 in 1. It could be a dimmer, on/off (which it kinda already does but you could disable the dimmer option when in on/off mode), and also a fan with 3 presets for dimmer power.(with ability to change the fan power presets) (basically a drop down option in the driver to select what function to use)

If you were able to do that (and I belive you could ) this would help reduction in overhead and product Sku’s. And make them more versatile so if we change something out instead of buying a new switch we could just change the function.

Just my 2 cents.

I plan on buying more regardless.

1 Like

Hmm? Will this be another switch that will work with fans?

TBD as this is a white-label switch, but I’ll ask! It should.

Here’s what it looks like btw:

You can’t really tell from the picture, but what I really like about the switch is that it’s completely flat. The thing I can’t stand about motion switches is that they protrude from the wall (ie: sensor is convex).

More to come here – we’ll be kicking this off in a couple weeks and will start a thread in the community!

4 Likes

I hear you on the ugly bump. Count me in! LOL! I think I have 4 places picked out already… Hmmm…

i always thought the ugly bump was so that they could get a full 180 degree visibility?

Great ideas, and I hope they sell well.

Regarding the “Paddle Remote”: There have been a couple of surface mount battery-powered remotes. GE/Jasco used to sell the 4-circuit multi-button 45631 (I’d be pleased to send you one to study, if you’re curious). GoControl currently sells a two-button (on/off) WA00Z-1. You might try to learn what happened to the GE/Jasco “Smart Remotes” - announced at CES 2017 but never released - I heard they ran into patent problems.

Is the “4-button switch” a 4-button controller like Leviton VRCS4 or Eaton RFWC5? There’s an opportunity there, as the current devices are legacy items with surprisingly high prices and poor support.

There’s also an opportunity, I think, for a 4-circuit switch with 4 on/off toggle buttons - it could be a great solution for consumers with crowded electrical boxes, or consumers who don’t want 4- or 8-gang wall boxes.

Again, thank you for your continuing efforts to delight your consumers!

Motor controls (like fan controllers) often have “snubber” circuits - so a fan controller is actually a different device than an on/off relay switch or TRIAC dimmer. I don’t know what Inovelli offers, but it may take more than firmware to do this.

What I’d really like to see would be something that would directly compete with the Insteon keypads. For those not familiar they provide 6 or 8 push buttons and a single backend relay that is controlled by 2 of those buttons. In some sense they are an alternative to multi-tap scenes but are infinitely more user friendly since each button can have a label so you don’t need to remember that 3 taps turns light x on. They provide a very nice alternative to huge switch collections in rooms since using remote micro switches you can get control of as many as eight circuits in a single box. I would actually be happy if you even left out the backend relay and made it a multibutton version of the paddle you are describing. However, I would like an option to power it from the mains rather than battery because for a lot of installations there will be power in the box you mount it in.

2 Likes

Was not aware. Good to know. Thanks for sharing.

I agree on the 6 or 8 button switches. I’ve been looking for a reliable one of those, but I would prefer battery power personally. Make one of those and I’ll be buying.

Eric, am I right that the tariffs do not apply on China-Canada imports, only US? Maybe worth sending a few cases directly here to keep costs down…

@Eric_Inovelli, one of the things that has made me a fanboy of Inovelli is your company’s transparency on projects and products. Knowing upfront when new products will roughly hit the market, keeps me from purchasing the first thing I find on the market that would more than likely be inferior to Inovelli. I hope you and the team keep up the amazing work for many years to come. The products you put out and innovative and useful, whereas not all innovative products released by other companies are useful.

6 Likes

It looks like these are finally coming to market. They uploaded some YouTube videos for them several weeks ago.

@Eric_Inovelli on the idea of motion sensors, there is no product which has outdoor motion sensors which are z-wave controlled (the battery operated ones get drained so quickly in cold places like NY). There are several motion sensor lights available and if that same motion sensor could be Zwave controlled that would be a HUGE sell. You could make a z-wave/zigbee motion sensor based light itself or just some adaptor - either will be a great sell in my opinion.

Hey so we don’t have any on the horizon right now, but Zooz does make one that I think fits your bill: https://www.getzooz.com/zooz-zse29-outdoor-motion-sensor.html – looks like it can be hardwired as well :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Thanks… this will work. wonder how I missed this one :slight_smile:

1 Like

Off the cuff concept:

Switch remote (Project BFF), but can be removed and uses z-wave association to communicate to the “base” unit which is a gang box unit with the 700 series z-wave module in it. You could then sell the bases as a dumb (3/4/5 way), light, fan, or combo (light/fan with fan shroud controller) unit and price accordingly, then you could sell the switch remote with 2, 4, 6, or 8 button arrangement that corresponds to scenes that control other switches or fixtures and price those as combos with the base or as separate add-on remotes.

Modular construction would allow for purchase of a toggle remote/base unit combo, but then could be upgraded to an 8-button remote and the remote would be interchangeable. Then the old remote could be used as a secondary switch, like a 3-way, with a “dumb” 3-way base in another gang spot elsewhere.

Remotes would have contacts for charging, but then lithium ion rechargeable batteries that would last for a few weeks without charging. Battery alerts could be programmed as notification and/or firmware when low (adjustable). Batteries would have to be serviceable and standardized, perhaps sold in packs by Inovelli as parts.

Make it fully modular/swappable/upgradeable and with the 700 chip you should be able to have software based on “base” type and remotes completely separate z-wave components but associated.

You guys hiring :smiley:?