2021-2022 Roadmap

No, but my HA instance on Unraid server with UPS backup is 100% local and so far has 100% uptime, literally. It’s all local so points of failure is relative, but all of the zigbee components are grouped, so one switch to zwave stick to hub to zigbee stick (same stick) to zigbee group via multicast. If you didn’t know what it was you wouldn’t know the difference.

Great to hear about your road map. I’m a 2+ year user and fan. My feedback…

  1. Your design (look) is great - Please keep great product design
  2. Functionality is great (e.g. replace 4-way switch with one switch, lots of configuration)
  3. Please improve:
    ** Simplicity
    *** I’m a BSEE and MS CSE and I don’t have the time or inclination to upgrade firmware - can you automate/simplify this;
    *** simplify configuration with software, automated located and configure?
    *** make sure Hubitat and HomeAutomation and (google/apple) controls are super easy (fully automated) to connect to Inovelli devices.
    ** Make the Killer Switch - Single Super Switch (IR, On/Off/ 4-way, dimmer) all in one switch (I see IR in your Q3 2022 - nice! - I’m using Ugly GE IR switches with dimmer and on/off - a great way to add IR to a room without batteries and yet another device)

Thanks for your great work. Keep it up.

A couple of comments:

  • Z-Wave: I get you’re stuck on Z-Wave, but I was expecting you’d be shipping 700 series by now. Perhaps this should cut on the requirement of caving a secondary CPU on dimmers.
  • I’m confused about why you put Zigbee and Matter. IMO, Zigbee is on the way out, however some of the newer SI controllers support Zigbee and can be upgraded to Thread.
    I’m personally invested in Z-Wave at home but I’d consider building out on Thread. I have no interest in Zigbee (My only Zigbee devices are from IKEA and I plan on keeping it that way).
    I realize there is still a large market for Zigbee but it would rapidly move to Thread.
    Can you please provide some clarifications on Zigbee / Thread on the Blue series?
    Also since you’re focusing on hardware, consider opening up the software side as github projects. This can make a big difference in addressability.
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Thanks for sharing! I’m rooting for you! A few thoughts:

  • I too, don’t care about bulbs at all.
  • Sensors are neat but not at the cost of sacrificing focus on switches.
  • I would try to reduce the number of SKUs even more. I would much rather buy a 20 pack of the one switch that works for everything than have 20 options to pick from.
  • Your design (physical shape of the switch) is good, but not great. Obviously this is somewhat subjective but my Insteon switches look better and just feel better to toggle. A few tweaks could improve that. Like recess the outer trim a tiny bit, make the paddle “looser”, etc.
  • Focus on availability and consistency. I know a lot of this is outside your control, but at the end of the day your customers have had to pick other brands while you have unavailable or broken products.
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A few more thoughts:

  • Smaller config button would be nice, but only if there’s a way to retrofit in existing switches for look consistency.
  • Still impatiently waiting on motion dimmers and a standalone fan switch. Guess it looks like 2022 now.
  • CRI is a big deal. I really wish more smart bulb manufacturers were pushing for 95+ CRI CCT bulbs.
  • re: Deaf community. Adding simple notifications (even just “blink”) would be a huge improvement if you can fit that into the firmware of older bulbs

Not currently, but it’s definitely a possibility depending on how the market responds to the other remotes we’ll put out (ie: paddle and 5-Button). I think it makes sense to have a matching 2-Button, so I’m game!

Dang, I got excited to answer you telling you this is possible until I saw the no-neutral comment haha. Well, the good news is the Z-Wave remotes should help you when they launch. We will definitely start with the paddle and 5-Button which will work.

In the meantime, you may be able to get your setup working with Zooz’s paddle remote. I have a couple and they’ve been pretty good.

Lol, you and me both :slight_smile: – need this funding to finally get here, the anticipation is killing me.

Great comment, we appreciate it. I do think our secret weapon is our community in finding bugs/enhancements, etc. But you’re right, we should be trying to get this nailed down on the first go. I think luckily, we’re in a decent spot in that we’ve finally perfected the dimmer and on/off switches and a lot of that firmware can be used across multiple switches. But there’s always room for improvement.

One of our goals is to open up firmware to the community eventually and take kind of like a, “XDA-Developers” type approach. I’m really hoping we can do it with the new manufacturer as it’s proven to be impossible with the Z-Wave one as of now. We would have an Inovelli official firmware, and then each person could create their own versions for the community (similar to how XDA has different Android versions).

But, I definitely get your point about the mainstream users who aren’t technical and we need to consider how to effectively give them an easy to use product that can be easily customized.

I’ll let @EricM_Inovelli speak to this. I’m definitely on board – but I know sometimes it can get overwhelming and then there’s the language barrier with the Chinese firmware engineers that Eric works with. However, as we grow bigger, it would be nice to bring that firmware development in-house and then I definitely think the power of many minds working in GitHub would be super beneficial.

I agree – there’s nothing like a beautiful bulb. I remember back when the first Hue’s came out and they had a problem with green (or purples, I can’t remember) it was crazy to see the difference between them and LIFX. LIFX put a lot of work into producing a quality bulb which included getting the colors right.

I’d be curious to see if we have any influence over creating bulbs and how much they would cost to get these features right. It’s like pulling teeth to sell a Z-Wave bulb for $35+ (which still is terrible margins). I’m also curious on how many people truly care about rich colors. I personally do – but how many people just settle for an average bulb bc the price is low and the coolness of controlling remotely outweighs the average color output.

I suppose it’s all about the marketing message, which is my favorite part of business, so we should be able to rally around that as long as the price isn’t astronomical.

Lol, I was in the same boat 100%… I never understood having a smart bulb on a smart switch because of exactly what you mentioned. It just isn’t natural.

But that changed when we created the ability to control a smart bulb from a smart switch and I started playing with the combo myself. I realize the Z-Wave to ZigBee is still kinda meh unless you’re on Home Assistant (Hubitat is ok, but there’s still a little lag). I’m hoping the ZigBee to ZigBee (eventually Matter to Matter) will be lightning quick, similar to the Z-Wave to Z-Wave Association.

Yeah, to me the only reason to do the smart switch + smart bulb is if you want colors or you’re into circadian rhythm type lighting. It would definitely be overkill otherwise.

Thank you, that means a lot :slight_smile:

Yeah, we’re really trying to overhaul things to make things easier for everyone in terms of UI on our site, manuals, etc.

It’s hard for us to control what Hubitat and Google Home does, but we can certainly keep the relationships alive there and stay on top of things before they change.

Definitely looking forward to the IR switch :slight_smile:

It would be nice for sure – long story short, there’s two problems happening right now. The lead time for 700 Series is 52+ weeks (according to our manufacturer) whereas the lead time for 500 Series is 38-40 and is actually dropping. But the major problem we have is the Z-Wave manufacturer is unwilling to work on new projects with us until debts have been paid off. They luckily allow us to continue to sell our current products and have made exceptions on some innovation (ie: 5-Button) but it’s a tough battle to create anything new with them until an investor comes in (again, hopefully soon).

The good news is the ZigBee (I’ll get to that in a second) manufacturer has done all the legwork to create an improved product over our Gen 2’s, so when ready, we can just use that design for our Z-Wave switches, thus saving time on R&D with Z-Wave.

Certainly – you’re right, ZigBee is on it’s way out and is actually converting to Matter (I haven’t heard about it moving to Thread, but I’ll definitely look into that). The ZigBee chip being put into our switches can be converted to Matter via a firmware update. We wanted to get a head-start and produce them in ZigBee 3.0 so that they’d work with Hue (as that’s a huge market for us with our smart bulb enabled light switches) and then once Hue, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc move to Matter, so will we.

I guess it’s a little confusing on the roadmap by listing them both out, but the reason I did it was because more people know what ZigBee (vs Matter) and since ZigBee is merging into Matter, I just put both.

Hopefully that makes sense? Sorry for the confusion.

NET: The end goal is Matter.

Definitely – we’d love to. Our current problem is that our Z-Wave manufacturer is breaching contract by withholding the source code from us, but unfortunately we’re not in a position to negotiate right now, so we have to take a back seat until we’re able to negotiate for it.

I’ve talked to our ZigBee/Matter manufacturer and they’ve confirmed they will give us the source code as long as we sign something saying we’ll purchase x amount of units (so we don’t just take the source code and jump manufacturers).

All great points actually – I don’t have a ton of rebuttals/comments lol.

Re: bulbs – I definitely understand. It’s definitely an easy sell for us to spin the story that while our switches are smart bulb enabled, they work best with ours. But yes, that definitely hinges on your third and fifth point. I too, would rather be constantly in stock on our main SKU’s than try to expand too heavily and spread ourselves thin.

Re: design – can’t argue subjectiveness so we’ll agree to disagree lol. I would definitely be interested in the small tweaks though as I know our switches can always improve. But what I’ve also found is one person’s improvements are another persons grievances haha.

Agree with these points too. Sucks regarding trying to add even the most basic features to the 500 Series Z-Wave bulbs. They are also completely out of space. The 700 Series appears to be out of reach too as there just isn’t the demand for it. So, we’re kind of at a standstill with Z-Wave unfortunately. Hopefully ZigBee/Matter can pull through.

I’ve been known to contribute as well :smiley:

Yeah, I like the idea. Although we do need a way to make certain issues a priority and filter out the ones that just aren’t going to make it. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but “it would be cool if you could update the firmware to play mp3 files directly from the switch” is an example. I could see a lot of these types of things getting added if it was public facing. We could think of a way to be more transparent with progress of requests though.

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C’mon man, you didn’t have to use my idea in your example!

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Sorry, but this still doesn’t clear the confusion about Matter.
Thread is the actual protocol that some Zigbee devices can upgrade to because they’re both based on IEEE 802.15.4 radio. For example, Apple HomePods and newer AppleTVs already implement Thread.
Matter is a connectivity standard (Think of it as a framework). Matter uses Wi-Fi for high-speed connectivity and Thread for low-power (As in a wall switch or handheld remote). Matter can also use Bluetooth LE for initial setup. I don’t know if having BT LE is a requirement but many devices implmemting Thread also supports BT LE commissioning. Matter also defines the rules for the IPv6 connectivity (They’re not connected to the internet but all Matter devices run IPv6 to talk to each other), and Matter defines the payload.
So having a Zigbee radio that can be upgraded to Thread does not guarantee that it will be supported by Matter-compliant hubs.

Well ok then! I guess I’m in over my head :sweat_smile:

@EricM_Inovelli - are you able to help save me from looking like a complete idiot!?

This might help. It does indicate that ZigBee devices can be upgraded to Matter AND that devices do not have to have both (or all three) types of radios.

Wait, is the paddle remote on the roadmap the same as Project BFF from last year Paddle Remote | Project BFF - #53 by sibicle ?

Does this mean that Project Home Alone is on hold?

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It is… so many great ideas, so little R&D money.

Good question – we’re still going back and forth on this one. The lead times for 700 Series are pushing 52 weeks and the company that wanted these is also trying to figure out if they can wait that long or just scrap the project altogether.

While we’d like to sell it, I’m not sure what the actual demand is. So, it’s kind of in limbo right now.

Do you need 700 for Zwave LR or could you just do 500 series? Seems silly to have so much processing power for something so simple (when compared to Dimmer).

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We’ve chosen ZigBee/Matter to target the Mass Market as we believe that is the future right now

What I’d like to buy are Inovelli switches that use Thread. Are you working to make sure at least the firmware can be reflashed to use Thread?

It would be nice to have a Thread SKU that “just works” with Apple TV and Homepod mini. Newer Eero wireless routers can also act as Thread hubs.

I have Red series Zwave now, but if I were to invest more I’d rather go all in on Thread than Zigbee. Given that Zigbee and Thread have somewhat similar underpinnings is it possible for at minimum the switches to be engineered so that they are thread “ready” where a firmware update can basically change them to Thread switches?

My first preference is that you release these switches as Thread first, maybe providing Zigbee firmware as an alternative.

Was there any polling of customers on this? I’m kind of curious if I’m an outlier here or what proportion of people would prefer going to Thread rather than Zigbee.

Thanks for the transparency you all give!

I’ll wait for Maycock to officially weigh in on everything as I really don’t understand the technical side of how all these protocols work, but from the article above, it seems like we’re all talking about the same thing.

From the article:

*What the heck is Matter? Matter is a smart home interoperability protocol that was launched by Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung, and others back in December of 2019. The goal was to create standard data models for popular smart home devices so these devices could work with one another without having to figure out which ecosystem “talked” to the particular device a consumer wanted to buy. Instead of a consumer wondering if a Nest thermostat was HomeKit compatible, Matter will ensure that a Matter-certified thermostat will work with any Matter-compliant sensor or controller.

What the heck is Thread? Thread is a radio protocol developed back in 2014 by the folks at Nest to connect devices to the internet and to other devices. Along with Wi-Fi, it’s the chosen radio protocol over which Matter devices will communicate. Low-power devices that send small amounts of data will use Thread, while devices with access to power and those that have higher data needs will use Wi-Fi.*

Also, from the build with Matter site:

Matter makes it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others. The first specification release of the Matter protocol will run on Wi-Fi and Thread network layers and will use Bluetooth Low Energy for commissioning.

Given that Apple is a part of the Alliance:

The Matter SKU’s should work with Apple which is definitely a goal of ours.

As for ZigBee, maybe it’s confusing the way I outlined this. We have to start with ZigBee first bc Matter isn’t officially ready and while ZigBee will be launched, it will be able to be upgraded via firmware to Matter.

Hope this helps?

I know it’s a confusing time and I wish I had a more technical background to explain it better.

Thanks @Eric_Inovelli. I think it does help a little. I understand that Matter is what everyone is excited about as far as enabling interoperability.

I think I’m just hoping the BOM for your new Matter enabled switches on the roadmap specifically include a chipset/radio that is Thread compatible from the get go even if at launch the assumption is you will need a Zigbee 3.0 hub to include the switches.

Post launch when Thread has more market penetration you could offer the same switch flashed with Thread firmware so that the same SKU could be used with a Thread network instead of a Zigbee network.

And if I was really being greedy haha, I would love for a BLE radio to be in there so that future firmware updates can enable super easy provisioning steps. For example, with your home hub app of choice, hold phone near Inovelli switch and it is recognized to be paired with your network.

Thanks for hearing me out! I’m looking forward to following this new line of products.

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For my 2 cents I love the config/favorite button just the way it is. I use it to store a very low dim setting for the light(s) the main switch controls. Then when it is dark, like when I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I don’t have to fumble for it. I know it is basically right above the LED on my red series dimmers. Likewise, in the morning, when my eyes are still 1/2 shut it is easy to hit when I stumble into the kitchen to make my coffee.

I can’t say I ever found I hit it by mistake because it was too far out.

My biggest problem with the switches are that they are physically too wide, by about 1/8" each. I had to hire electricians to put them into my 2 gang boxes as they were so tight. (I live in a condo that mandated metal boxes with metal rods on the top and bottom to route the cables so I couldn’t replace them with bigger plastic ones). And some boxes had even more wires, especially in a 3 way situation, so if they could be a bit less deep that would be great too.

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