@Courtney_Inovelli and I will be leading this project. Cut her some slack as this is the first one she’s taking on!
As mentioned in the 2020 Product Roadmap this is one of the projects slated for 2020. In addition, this thread serves multiple purposes.
- Allows us to keep you updated on the project status (either good or bad)
- Allows you to participate and help us develop amazing products with you
- Enjoy each other’s company and have fun talking home automation
How this initial post will be laid out is in five sections:
- Project Overview
- Initial Hardware & Software Requirements (edited to remain up-to-date)
- Timeline (edited to remain up-to-date)
- Pinned Ideas & Shout-outs (edited to remain up-to-date)
- Weekly Recap
- DATES & FUNCTIONS ARE NOT SET IN STONE: Just a reminder that all dates and functions are sometimes fluid. We have to make choices based on feasibility, opportunity costs, and overall timeline. I will be as transparent as possible on these decisions, but just a heads up, they may not always be exciting.
- NO IDEA IS A BAD IDEA: Ok, some are, but honestly throw out anything that you can think of. If we use your idea, we’ll credit you and send you a free device, so take that shot!
- VERSION 1 VS VERSION 2: Some ideas may be fantastic, but may not make the cut for the first version of the product. Once the product is locked in from a function standpoint, we’ll keep a tally of V2 ideas and then once the product is produced, we’ll move the ideas over to the Suggestions & Wishlist section.
Ok, let’s get this party started!
The purpose of this project is to provide the first Z-Wave remote on the market. This is huge in that it will provide people with the option of a non-wired switch. Perfect for people who rent, and to create new 3-Way (or multi-switch) setups with no need to rewire.
In addition, this remote will match our In-Wall On/Off switch (we couldn’t match the dimmer bc the 7 LED’s would drain the battery incredibly fast) giving you that finished look you’ve always wanted (ie: no-mismatching here!)
Project Name - BFF
We brought out our inner 5th-Grader with this name. OMG you’re my BFF4EVA!
Kidding – the remote is meant to be best friends with our in-wall switches and bulbs and this is where the name came from. You can directly associate the remote with a bulb or switch, which is pretty sweet.
BFF - Hardware Requirements
Here are the initial hardware asks we came up with. Pretty decent start!
Hardware - Initial Mockup
NOTE: This will match our On/Off Switches in look/feel.
Hardware - Remote (Look / Feel)
- Responsive Paddle: Rests in a neutral state (tap up = on // tap down = off & hold up = dim up // hold down = dim down)
Config / Favorite Button: Button should be used for configuration of the switch as well as scene control.
- Should be able to be held (for config)
- Should be able to be tapped (for scene control)
- RGB LED Bar: Used for config and to confirm commands are sent (not meant to be left on all the time due to the drain in battery)
- Colors: Dimmer switch will be offered in white, but the paddle should be able to be replaced to change colors (almond, brown, red, black, grey, etc)
- Slim Design: Depth of remote should be as slim as possible so that it looks like a normal switch.
- Battery Type: Needs to be a commonly used battery
Hardware - Features & Capabilities
- 700 Series Z-Wave Plus: use the best Z-Wave module on the market
- Z-Wave Distance Estimator: should be able to estimate the signal strength of the Z-Wave signal and notify via the LED bar
BFF - Software Requirements
Below is what we came up with for the software requirements. Welcome to the next level!
Z-Wave Scene Control: 11 scenes (Z-Wave Central Scene Command)
- 10 Scenes via Tapping the Paddle up or down
- 1 Scenes via Tapping the Config Button
Easy Config: switch should be able to be configured via the config/favorites button.
- There should be infinite customization via parameters in the firmware, but also set customizations for HUB’s that do not allow parameter changes (ie: Wink)
- OTA Ready: ability to update firmware via OTA
- Associations switch should be able to be associated to other Z-Wave devices
Ah, everyone’s favorite part. When is this flippin thing going to be released? Great question – here’s the high-level of what happens leading up to the first release of the timeline:
- We present a PRD (Project Request Document) that has all of the above info in it
- R&D (manufacturer) analyzes the PRD and we go back and forth until we can align on 90% of the product
- Initial Timeline is released and remaining 10% of product features are added/cut along the way
Again, just want to throw this out there – I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t predict things that come up along the way. Trust me when I say we’re trying our best to get things launched on time.
Pre-Initial Timeline Milestones:
- Present PRD: Completed 08/17/2019
- R&D Analyzation: Completed 12/12/2019
- Initial Timeline Released: Completed 01/04/2020
The initial timeline will be shown below and will be updated weekly (if needed).
Design Phase: Completed
- Hardware Design (PCB Design & Testing): Completed
- RF & Antenna Design: Completed
- Firmware (For Basic Functions Only): Not Started (est. completion date is TBD)
- Tooling: Not Started (est. completion date is TBD)
- EVT Phase: Not Started (est. completion date is TBD)
- DVT Phase: Not Started (est. completion date is TBD)
Certifications: Not Started (est. completion date is TBD)
- Z-Wave Certification (Technical): Not Started
- Z-Wave Certification (Marketing): Not Started
- FCC Certification: Not Started
- IC Certification: Not Started
- UL Certification: Not Started
- Mass Production: Not Started (est. completion date is TBD)
- Arrival on Amazon, Inovelli.com , etc: Not started (est. completion TBD)
Pinned Ideas & Shout-Outs
Here are the ideas from the community. We sincerely appreciate them, we love them, and we couldn’t create the products we do without them. So, thank you for your input and let’s continue to innovate together and change the home automation category for the better (NOTE: if an idea is crossed out, it’s not because it wasn’t valid, nor was it something we didn’t consider – we’ve discussed it internally or with the manufacturer and unfortunately it was not feasible).
- @harjms: Inductive charged so people can charge up the remote on a wireless charge pad
- @doublepedaldylan: Find the remote mode, where the indicator flashes it’s status LED (though probably could be programmed through “notifications” if that’s a thing). That or have it beep.
- @jtronicus: * Multi-channel association. Some zwave devices contain multiple switches in a single node (like a power strip with individually controllable outlets). Instead of showing up as an individual node (node 12), it will show up as multiple subnodes (node 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, etc). Without multi-channel association, this switch would control all outlets at once instead of being able to associate to a specific outlet.
- Basic-Set Association groups for double-tap, triple-tap, etc (could partially reduce the need to set up scenes)
- Multi-Level Start/Stop association for things like “double-tap and hold” (coupled with basic-set association groups to allow dimming of a separate device)
Every Wednesday, we have a meeting with our manufacturer to go over the various projects (status, issues, timeline, etc) and below I’ll provide a recap as well as edit the sections above so we can all keep track. If you have any specific questions you’d like me to ask, feel free to tag me and let me know so I can ask them as well. The weekly cadence for updates will be Thursday mornings.
March 14, 2020: This project is slated for a June 2020 release. We haven’t shared much on this project due to the fact that we have been going back and forth on the product design for at least 6 months now trying to get it as thin as possible. We didn’t like where it was at until recently and since then, the team has managed to get it almost as thin as Lutron’s Pico. Now that the design is in place, it’s time to work on the firmware.
NOTE: there are still some design changes (config button needs to move up, paddle needs to be wider, etc – see changes requested below)