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A Real Product using Z-Wave and .NET Micro

by Jonathan Allen on Jun 07, 2007 |

Microsoft has been pushing a lot of new technology lately, but is any of it actually useful? In the case of .NET Micro, Leviton Manufacturing says it is, though the far more interesting technology is Z-Wave.

In Embedded Enterprise Magazine, Leviton Manufacturing talks about how they used the new Z-Wave protocol and .NET Micro to quickly design a new generation of their home automation products.

Z-Wave is a narrow band radio frequency protocol used for wireless devices. There are currently over one hundred companies pledged to supporting it in home automation products. One of its most important features is that it does not have a master node. Each node can automatically route messages from other nodes, greatly increasing the communication range beyond that of any single device.

.NET Micro's place in this story is rather boring. As per Microsoft's master plan, C# and .NET Micro were chosen by Leviton Manufacturing as the de facto platform for implementing their new Z-Wave devices. What follows reads like a MS press release. 

 Speed is a central theme of the Vizia RF Foyer story. “We’ve shown that you can reduce the time it takes to get your product to market with the .NET Micro Framework,” says Leier. “That really changes the game for embedded device designers and developers. Now they can very quickly and very easily add wired and wireless networking to their products.” 

 “We want to go to the mass market,” says Hendler, “so the .NET Micro Framework was the most cost-effective platform for us to adopt. It also delivers the ability to innovate on and is easy to find developers to program on – and our customers are already comfortable working in the .NET world. The price point is excellent and the value proposition in terms of features and flexibility is great. And based on our testing, it’s very reliable.”

Despite the market-speak, there is some real potential here. The embedded device market now has an army of Microsoft-trained developers waiting at the gates, every one of them eager to use their hard-won .NET skills on something other than building web sites.

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