Thread / Matter Fan Switch | Project Zephyr

Pre-orders open here: White Series (Thread/Matter) - Smart Fan Switch – Inovelli


Project Team
Feel free to tag any of us with questions. I am the go-to’s for overall project management and timeline questions, Eric M is the go-to for any firmware related questions and I’m (Eric H) the go-to for anything else. Either way, we’re all here to help!


Introduction
As per our tradition of working with you amazing people, here’s what this thread allows us to do as a community.

  1. Allows us to keep everyone updated on the project status (either good or bad)
  2. Allows you to participate and help us develop amazing products together
  3. Enjoy each other’s company and have fun talking home automation

How this initial post will be laid out is in five sections:

  1. Project Overview
  2. Initial Hardware & Software Requirements (edited to remain up-to-date)
  3. Timeline (edited to remain up-to-date)
  4. Pinned Ideas & Shout-outs (edited to remain up-to-date)
  5. Weekly Recap

Housekeeping

  • 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 a suggestions/wishlist section.

Ok, let’s get this party started!


Project Overview
The purpose of this project is to round out our Thread / Matter portfolio and provide a dedicated fan switch. Currently, we’re developing a 2-1 Switch (On/Off & Dimmer), so the fan switch should cover the bases for an initial Thread / Matter launch.

This is a huge project, and we’re excited to finally bring a fan switch to market. Building upon the 5+ years of technology and 3+ years of community ideas and backing, we really believe this switch will be the example of what a smart fan switch should be. Together with your help, we’ll continue to put the best products in market.

Project Name - Zephyr

“Zephyr” is not just an awesome RHCP song, but it also means, “a soft gentle breeze”, which sounds amazing on a hot, summer day. And also, “Windy City” was already taken by our Z-Wave switch, so we had to think of something else :slight_smile:


Zephyr - Hardware Requirements
Here are the initial hardware asks we came up with. Pretty decent start!

Hardware

This will be an exact copy of our Blue Series Fan Switch.

Hardware - Dimmer Switch (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: should measure the % of the fan speed
    • LED’s should be RGB (artificial white included)
    • LED’s should also be able to be dimmed
  • Colors: dimmer switch will be offered in white (matching Lutron Claro wallplates), but the paddle should be able to be replaced to change colors (almond, brown, red, black, grey, etc)
  • Slim Design: depth of switch should be as slim as possible so that it can fit into metal boxes.
  • Air Gap: UL requirement
  • No heat-sink tabs: remove heat sink tabs for easier installation (note: may have to sacrifice max wattage/amperage)

Hardware - Features & Capabilities

  • Thread - use the latest Thread chipset (MG24)
  • 3-Way / 4-Way Ready – switch should auto-detect
    • Should work with an auxiliary switch
  • ZigBee Distance Estimator - should be able to estimate the signal strength of the Z-Wave signal and notify via the LED bar (see Appendix - Section C)
  • Instant On - when tapped 1x (and scenes aren’t used), switch should turn the fan on instantly (no delay)
    • Configurable delay in 100ms increments (see tech doc)
  • 2.5A – Match GE’s specifications for fan load
  • Neutral & Non-Neutral Compatibility - Switch should be able to work with a neutral wire or without a neutral wire

Zephyr - Software Requirements
Below is what we came up with for the software requirements. Welcome to the next level!

  • Thread Scene Control
  • RGBW Bar Config - bar should be able to change colors and dimmed to the customer’s favorite level
  • Auto Timer - switch should have a timer that shuts the switch off after a certain amount of time
  • Easy Config - switch should be able to be configured via the config / favorite 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)
  • Local Protection Mode (aka: Internal Relay Disable) - internal relay should be able to be disabled locally and via Thread
  • Minimum fan level / Maximum fan level
  • Ramp rate configuration - ability to change how fast/slow fan turns on
  • Ramp rate & instant on/off separated
  • Default Fan Level - ability to set the default fan level
  • OTA Ready - ability to update firmware via OTA
  • Smart Fan Mode

Timeline
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:

  1. We present a PRD (Project Request Document) that has all of the above info in it
  2. R&D (manufacturer) analyzes the PRD and we go back and forth until we can align on 90% of the product
  3. 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
  • R&D Analyzation: COMPLETED
  • Initial Timeline Released: COMPLETED

Timeline (Estimated)

  1. Structure & Hardware Design
    Details: ID/Structure Design, PCB Layout & PCBA Making, Hardware Sample, Structure Tooling
    Est Completion Date: N/A (Shares same design as Blue Series Fan Switch)
    Status: COMPLETED

  2. Software Development
    Est Completion Date: April 25, 2024
    Status: IN PROGRESS

  3. Beta Testing
    Est Completion Date: June 9, 2024 July 8, 2024
    Status: IN PROGRESS

  4. Marketing Material
    Details: Manual Creation, Box Design, Insert
    Est Completion Date: May 31, 2024
    Status: COMPLETED

  5. Certifications
    Details: Thread, Matter, FCC/IC, ETL
    Est Completion Date: July 15, 2024
    Status: IN PROGRESS

  6. Mass Production
    Details: Materials Purchasing & Trial Run on Production Line
    Est Completion Date: July 4, 2024 July 29, 2024
    Status: NOT STARTED


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).

Hardware

Software


Monthly Recap
Every other Thursday morning, we have a meeting with our manufacturer to go over the various projects (status, issues, timeline, etc) and below we’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 anyone from the project management team above and we’ll be happy to answer. The monthly cadence for updates will be Thursday afternoons.

Jan 1, 2024: Updated the project status, received pricing and officially kicked it off with the manufacturer.

Feb 2, 2024: The manufacturer will start developing the firmware for this switch when they get back from Chinese New Year (2/18) and they’ve estimated a month for completion. I think it will be much less as a lot of the code from Project Jonagold can be used and we’ve already developed this switch in a Zigbee version, so they are very familiar with the switches capabilities, but I’m sure they’re being conservative.

April 18, 2024: Beta samples are being finalized right now and should be sent to us next week!

June 24, 2024: Update posted here: Thread / Matter Fan Switch | Project Zephyr - #11 by Eric_Inovelli

2 Likes

Will the blue series fan switch be software upgradable to support thread/matter?

I have a preorder in for 10x jonagold, but I already went ahead and bought and installed a blue series fan switch hoping to update it later since I read it has the MG24 chipset.

Not fully known yet. See latest info on MG24 upgradability from Eric here:

Plans for a 4 speed (off/low/med/med-hi/high) similar to functionality of the Lutron Caseta fan controller?

Not in this one, it’s an exact copy of the blue series fan switch which is only 3 speed.

Sorry if this is already mentioned elsewhere, but does the Smart Fan Mode allow this switch to work with DC fans? What I’m picturing is using an automation in home assistant to capture the button presses and feed speed change commands via a Bond Bridge. So the fan would get constant power (similar to a smart bulb in the 2-1 switch smart bulb mode).

Yes. I’ve been running this setup for over a year. I don’t use bond (I have it just have not implemented it yet). I just use the remote that came with the fan.

2 Likes

Project Update:

The manufacturer will start developing the firmware for this switch when they get back from Chinese New Year (2/18) and they’ve estimated a month for completion. I think it will be much less as a lot of the code from Project Jonagold can be used and we’ve already developed this switch in a Zigbee version, so they are very familiar with the switches capabilities, but I’m sure they’re being conservative.

Project Update: Beta samples are being finalized and should be sent out next week (April 25th).

Just checking in on these, because they’re on my list to order after the white series dimmer switches arrive. Have these been submitted for certification yet?

Quick update: Switches have been sent off for Matter/Thread Certification and are currently being reviewed by ETL/FCC/IC (this should be quick since they can just use our Zigbee version). According the the manufacturers timeline, these should be in production in mid-late July giving us a late August, early Sept delivery.

4 Likes