Smart Home

Eco Automation monitors your scene, keeps things green

At some point, the connected revolution lost its way and became a Tower of Babel of many incmopatible companies and standards. Zero Energy’s Eco Automation platform not only address the disparate world of these devices exist in, but takes advantage of the information being obtained to automatically monitor and conserve energy in addition to tailoring the connected home around the user’s lifestyle.

Its Eco Technology Bridge is the centerpiece of the platform, pairing nine radio protocols like Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wi-Fi and an array of others with a universal translation engine to make sure they all understand each other—and leaving room for another should another important spring up in the future. The Eco Automation’s Energy Meter connects directly to electricity panels and provides real-time consumption and production reports, going so far as to pick up differences in an HVAC’s power draw to determine when a filter needs to be a changed and offering up preventative maintenance reports for everything else.

The Eco Multisensor Switch adds a bit of flair to the standard light switch through voice control and light-up buttons among other sensors,  and the Touch Remote (or really, tablet) allows tabletop display and control of the entire system if users shy away from the companion iOS application. Last but not least, it works with Amaon’s Echo to add to the overall naming confusion. The Eco Automation platform’s starter pack goes for $99, going all the way up to $649 if backers really want to go all out. Shipping is expected in April 2016 should the $100,000 goal be met by December 31st, 2015

The Eco Automation is simply exhaustive, covering pretty much every base that Sentri and Hook do—and then some. The MATRIX sensor platform gives it a run for its money, though: while Zero Energy boasts of its product as future proof, it’s only set aside one extra slot for an additional protocol. With Matrix, pretty much anything can be programmed to work with it now and in the future, and that potentially means the Eco Automation’s conservational differentiator. The market’s new goal of unifying these digital protocols and the devices they’re attached is a battleground seeing more skirmishes than before—to the benefit of the weary-eye IoT believer.

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