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A series of tubes: What's next for home automation

Peter Sayer | Sept. 5, 2016
Remote-controlled thermostatic radiator valves on show at IFA are a big deal for Europeans wanting to automate their homes

It's also possible to set the radiator temperature via Apple's Siri, and in iOS 10, you can do it from Apple's Home app, said Netatmo program manager Romain Paoli.

The Netatmo valve will go on sale by year-end priced €69.99, or €179.99 for a starter pack containing two valves and a Wi-Fi gateway.

Home router company D-Link is clearly hoping to connect one series of tubes with another with its mydlink Home Thermostatic Radiator Valve (DCH-Z410). It hasn't set a price for the device yet, but product marketing manager Markus Schütz said comparable devices range from €60 to €80. It should go on sale by year-end, he said.

mydlink home dch z410 

D-Link's DCH-Z410 smart radiator valve connects to the company's mydlink Home hub. It was shown at IFA Berlin in September 2016.

D-Link has chosen Z-Wave as the radio protocol for this and other mydlink Home devices, all of which can be controlled through its €89 Connected Home Hub using a single app.

AVM picked the DECT Ultra Low Energy (ULE) radio protocol for its remotely controllable valve, the FritzDECT 300. There aren't too many home automation gateways that use DECT ULE yet -- apart from the company's own range of FritzBox DSL routers, which are popular in Germany.

fritzdect 300

The FritzDECT 300 smart radiator thermostat connects to AVM's home routers using the DECT Ultra Low Energy protocol. It was shown at IFA Berlin in September 2016.

The interface on those routers will allow the creation of heating scenarios based on outside temperatures and the times of sunrise and sunset, said AVM's Janis Engel. The FritzDECT 300 will cost about €59 when it goes on sale in October, he said.

Programming older remotely controllable TRVs required a lot of work to integrate them with home automation gateways, and apps from the various manufacturers were often lacking features and under-supported. The arrival of Siri integration and Apple’s forthcoming new Home app, though, promises to simplify things for people who just want their home controls to work, without having to geek out on the settings.

By next year’s IFA show, we can expect even more TRVs on the market. One company, Levarys, is already promising its home automation system Luna will have a controllable radiator valve by then. The series of tubes, it seems, can only grow.

 

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