CeBIT 2013 and Home Automation

Last Friday I visited the CeBIT, together with 2 Home Automation buddies. Out of bed @ 04:45, arrival @ 09:05. Pffheww.. would the trip be worth it? I have never visited the CeBIT before, so I had no idea what to expect. Now that I’ve been there, my conclusion is that one word says it all: it’s BIG…too big for 1 day, unless you’re focused on something specific.

We were all primarily interested in the CeBIT life platform and especially the Home Automation aspect of it. Being a Home Automation addict for quite some time, it isn’t surprising that there’s not that much to tell we didn’t know already – but there are 2 things worth mentioning – well, 3 actually.

DigitalSTROMDigitalSTROM was one of those products we had all read about in the past, but we never really knew what it was all about. How does it work? What’s inside those LEGO-like blocks? What’s the response time? What components do you need?

We were able to get some answers but what we’d really like to do is test this product in our own homes – doing things like installing it, testing the reliability, controlling it from our own HA systems, all those things that matter before you can make a decision on whether ‘this is it’ or not..

I still don’t know if DigitalSTROM is it. Technically maybe, but things like the price tag are just as important…

The Domotica/Home Automation related part of this CeBIT trade show was dominated by Z-wave and we found 2 interesting products in that category worth mentioning.

Fibaro

Fibaro Plug

The Fibaro Wall Plug was one of the products that was really very interesting.

I read about those plugs some time ago on the Domotica forum and now that I’ve seen them with my own eyes, I know this is going to be a winner – this plug has all it takes. Plug & Play, small, no bulges which cause that nearby outlets can’t be used anymore, built-in power usage monitoring, good looking – everything I’ve been looking for but which were never combined in a single device! I need one of those, right now! ;-)

RaZberry

RaZberryThe last (but not least) exciting product was the RaZberry. This recently launched board will enable you to use your Raspberry Pi to control and manage a Z-Wave wireless home network – it turns the Raspberry into a Z-Wave controller with a JSON API. Plugging the RaZberry board on the Raspberry GPIO connector and installing some additional software is all you need to do – sounds like something even I can handle ;-)

That’s it.. nothing more to tell about CeBIT ’13 regarding Home Automation/Domotica. The rest was either too expensive for an average guy like me, or unusable due to other reasons, like being a proprietary and/or partial solution which doesn’t fit here…

So I guess the overall conclusion for me is that it’s time to give Z-Wave a retry….

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3 Responses to CeBIT 2013 and Home Automation

  1. airox says:

    You will not regret it :-)

    • I bought the RaZberry @ the CeBIT (for only 25 Euro) and after I got home I ordered 2 Raspberry Pi’s and one of those Wall Plugs; so now I’m waiting for those goodies to arrive. All 3 of us bought a RaZberry BTW, and friday evening one of us already got that NUON/GreenWAVE power-strip working with RaZberry ;-)

  2. Tony Yannos says:

    I love the Fibaro wall plug its so versatile and unique!!!
    Fits perfectly into any plug or outlet and is very solid and well constructed.

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