First of all, thank you for the good feedback, these are some really great points that you made and we will definitely take them into consideration during the development.
About your request for a website link; as we have been focused on the OEM market until now we only had customer portals for SAP and other direct database communication, with the exception being our emergency lights, as these were sold to electricians as well.
However, we are currently setting up a new website for the end user market, we expect this to come online during June, so stay tuned for that.
To let you know a little more about the company; we are a family business located in Zurich, Switzerland, founded in 1967 as a metal processing facility.
Then in 1972 the electronics department was added, which invented, developed and manufactured several products such as the first latent heat storage systems, or the first emergency exit lights that set the worldwide standard as we know it today.
Another invention that started off in our house was the plant lamp, for supporting the growth of plants indoors, this patent was later sold to Philips.
Since then several other product categories have been added, among them are LED lighting, alarm systems, centralized backup power systems and solar panels.
Most of the products we designed already had some sort of communication system built in, mostly proprietary protocols though and for monitoring only, in other words; not coupled with any smart logic that managed them centrally to allow for interaction and optimization.
In the past 5 years we have been developing and manufacturing smart control modules for our LED lighting series.
As I myself am not happy with the way most other manufacturers handle communication and therefore make it difficult for the customer to make the best use of their products (especially in combination with other manufacturers products), I have searched for solutions to this problem and stumbled upon OpenHAB in the process.
This is where you come in, we are searching for ideas and also dedicated people that would want to help us make the necessary changes to our existing hardware and software to make a product that can be used in a wide variety of systems and usage cases.
I guess it would be best to start off by adapting our existing line of LED bulbs and strips to your needs and wishes together, these are currently based on WiFi as a communication technology, however we are currently not using a fully standardized protocol with a few proprietary command sets.
@greenoid I agree with the limitations you mentioned with 2,4GHz communication, however as @ThomDietrich also mentioned, WiFi is everywhere and quite universal for most customers and it gets rid of the necessity for another hub.
Of course hubs also have certain benefits as they offer a base that is inside the local network and can act as a communication interface for all devices connected to it.
But we already have such an interface thanks to OpenHAB and can therefore cut the need for another device in between.
We could consider having two series of devices, one for 2.4 GHz and one for 868MHz or 433MHz, yet this would pose another problem, the 433MHz band is already heavily cluttered and over-used, so the communication could be affected or become unreliable, the 868Mhz band is less cluttered but causes further problems with international certification.
For example; in the US the 868MHz band is restricted, so we would have to use 900MHz there instead, in Europe on the other hand, the 900MHz band is restricted to mobile carrier networks, therefore we would have to use 868MHz for Europe, this causes a lot of additional problems with compatibility and international sales.
Therefore we decided to go with the 2.4GHz chipsets as they are readily available, cheap and easy to get certified for international use.
You can have a look at the visual representation of open frequencies around the world on page 27 of this document:
@hakan @Dim @ThomDietrich Of course we want to keep the price very affordable, this is why we want to develop these products with the help of the community, this way we keep our development costs lower, which in turn will allow us to sell the products cheaper as we don’t have to add a lot of compensation to the price.
In addition to keeping the development price low we will manufacture these products in our Chinese manufacturing facility, so we should be able to achieve a very affordable price at a high quality level.
If you are interested in having a look at some of our products, our daughter company Lombex is currently doing a test run to sell our smart products on Amazon (US and UK only for now, the rest of Europe will follow soon) to end customers:
Motion Sensor Bulb: