2014 may not be the year of the Smart Home Revolution, as some are claiming, but it does look to be the year that up-and-coming technologies like ZigBee and Z-wave will begin to be adopted and rolled out by the major players. Dish Network demoed a ZigBee/Z-wave home automation system at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. It was not a truly integrated system, but an adapter attached by USB to their Hopper DVR.
The “system” at CES comprised a ZigBee/Z-Wave USB dongle plugged into the back of the Hopper, although only the Z-Wave radio was being used. The controller integrates into the on-screen display, allowing users to monitor and operate devices such as door locks, lights, thermostats and cameras, as was demonstrated at the booth.
The automation piece of the interface can tap the rich data available through the Dish programming guide so, for example, a program designated as a “movie” can trigger the lights to dim on “play” and brighten on “pause.”
If the doorbell rings, the system will pause the movie and pop the camera image onto the big screen.
Cameras are incorporated into the EPG as channels, so they can be viewed from anywhere in or out of the home that you can view a channel—just as if they were TV stations.