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Make: and Sigma Designs want to see what the maker community can do with Sigma’s open source Z-Wave technology. To find out, we’ve just launched a new connected-home challenge, asking you makers to design and submit smart-home innovations that can relate to anything from security to assistive technology to energy management. Your project doesn’t have to have any commercial application: it just has to make your home more convenient, comfortable, affordable, or fun for you and your family (including pets)!

Much of your home’s inter-device communication is powered by Z-Wave technology from Sigma Designs. The Z-Wave Alliance includes 600 companies, who collectively have produced more than 2,100 commercial products, all interoperable with each other. The company last year made the interoperability layer of its Z-Wave open to the public so that academia, analysts, and, yes, makers can start using it without having to join the Z-Wave Alliance.

The comprehensive Z-Wave middleware layer developed by Sigma Designs is now available, pre-loaded on a Raspberry Pi, complete with a Web API, so you can communicate with thousands of Z-Wave products, including a bunch that probably already live in your house. Use these as a basis for designing your submission ideas. And don’t drag your feet on it — Sigma will send the first 50 qualifying submissions a starter kit, including a Raspberry Pi 3 and USB Z-Wave Controller stick, to help them prototype their idea.

Grand prize for the challenge is a trip to CES 2018 in Las Vegas, where you’ll get to show off your project within the Z-Wave Alliance Smart Home Pavilion. You get to keep the IP for this, so it’s a great way to market your killer idea at the biggest gathering of its kind. First and second runner ups will receive $2000 and $1000 worth of Z-Wave-certified devices, respectively.

So, makers, you are now empowered to order all those devices around: what do you think they should do? Navigate to the challenge page on Maker Share and get going.

 

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Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

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