Z-Wave interop spec released into public domain for anyone to use for IoT

Z-Wave Alliance
Home security is a big market for Z-Wave. Image Source: Z-Wave Alliance

The Z-Wave community wants to speed up innovation and make sure there’s a strong relationship between what happens in the home and outside of it, so it’s making the Z-Wave interoperability layer part of the public domain.

As of this week, the Z-Wave Public Spec is available for cloud service developers, gateway makers and others to get free and easy access to the Z-Wave interoperability layer for developing smart home applications.

Z-Wave has established itself in the smart home space, claiming 70 percent of the smart home market. It’s used by the likes of AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and others – in fact, more than 375 global smart home device manufacturers, IoT platform suppliers and all types of service providers are using it. Z-Wave was founded by Zensys, which was purchased in 2008 by Sigma Designs.

In addition to opening the Z-Wave interoperability layer, Sigma Designs is also releasing the API specification for its Z/IP (Z-Wave over IP) and Z-Ware (Z-Wave middleware) software products. And it's releasing the full specification of the new Z-Wave S2 security application framework.

More than four years ago, the Z-Wave Mac/Phy was adopted by the ITU as the public G.9959 radio standard, and this public release of the interoperability layer marks the next major step toward further democratizing smart home standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), according to Raoul Wijgergangs, vice president of the Z-Wave Business Unit at Sigma Designs.

Why do this now? Everybody has seen all the IoT publications and almost all are talking about interoperability and security, and Z-Wave has had the interoperability nailed down for a long time, he told FierceWirelessTech.

On the security side, “we were the best game in town for the smart home” but earlier this year, they felt like they still wanted to wait until the S2 security framework was fully baked, so now that that’s been added, it’s time to release the whole gamut to the market, he said.

The Z-Wave Alliance will remain in place and continue to act as steward and regulator of the Z-Wave brand, providing membership services and overseeing the certification process for products to be commercially offered in the market.   

Sigma Designs said that innovators will be able to develop plugins for connections through OCF, Amazon Web Services and cloud-based services that can work directly with Z-Wave products and gateways. Free and public access to the specifications for application layer interoperability also allows the community of smart home IoT developers to explore Z-Wave without having to purchase a development kit or sign an NDA.

For more:
- see the press release

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