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Switch Feature - Inovelli Generic Base with Interchangeable Innards

Idea:

Give customers the ability to change out the innard components without having to touch the wiring on the back once a generic/reusable/standard Inovelli switch base (chassis) is installed.

How:

Every switch that Inovelli puts out has a standard back chassis that carries the screw terminals for the hard wires. From there, the components could be changed out without having to take the switch out of the wall and mess with the wiring that is done in the switch box. Allow different components of the switch to be changed individually (e.x. faceplate, communications package, brain box, switching components, etc)

Why:

Technology changes - being able to change out a component to keep up with the change quickly would be a big plus and give us a path to be repeat customers.

Examples are:

  1. Easy Upgrade for Different Features: A customer installed all on/off switches but now wants to upgrade to dimmers. A normal switch out would require the removal of the entire switch. With a standard base/case, just the circuit board and switch front would be changed pulled out from the front and changed over.
    Or in the future, a switch with integrated motion-sensing comes out. A customer wants to switch to that. Just change out the circuits in the existing switches.

  2. Easy Upgrade to a new version: Inovelli v3 switches come out. Customers just spent $1K putting in v2’s. For a smaller upgrade fee, just the new brain boxes and faceplates can be sent out and the standard chassis and communication boards can be reused.

  3. Centralized Firmware Upgrade Program: Flashing the firmware is kind of a PITA right now. Instead, a broader set of customers could send in their circuit boards and have inovelli send out upgraded boards.

  4. New Protocols: Z-Wave is awesome right now, but what if the customer wanted wifi? Or the next generation of Z-wave? Module components may allow us to change out just the communications part of the circuits.

  5. New look: Don’t like paddles but want flip switches? Just change out the faceplate type but keep the brain box and switching components on the back end.

Business Pros:
A standard base gives Inovelli a way for customers to become repeat customers for life. If a customer needs to change out the entire switch each time a new feature is added, the cost becomes prohibitive and we will look at all the options in the market.

If we already have a standard Inovelli base installed and it’s a lower cost to do a quick 5-minute change out when we want a newly released Inovelli switch product, that choice is an easy no brainer. We will keep upgrading away year after year and the technology advances.

Module components would also allow costs to be kept low as a new component does not need to be redesigned every time a new type of switch comes out.

In summary:

Make it easy for the customer to upgrade hardware and we will keep coming back for the latest features and upgrades.

3 Likes

So… something like a Swidget? Although theirs are outlets, but they have interchangeable core sections for Z-Wave, WiFi, as well as other features (or combinations).