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D-Link significantly expands its connected-home offerings

Michael Brown | Jan. 6, 2015
D-Link announced plans at CES to widen its footprint in the DIY connected-home market with an all-new hub, several new sensors, and a Wi-Fi siren. The company, which manufacturers Wi-Fi routers, adapters, IP cameras, and other networking equipment for the home and SMB markets, shipped its first smart-home products in 2014.

D-Link announced plans at CES to widen its footprint in the DIY connected-home market with an all-new hub, several new sensors, and a Wi-Fi siren. The company, which manufacturers Wi-Fi routers, adapters, IP cameras, and other networking equipment for the home and SMB markets, shipped its first smart-home products in 2014.

I had a relatively low opinion of D-Link's Connected Home Platform when I reviewed it last year, because it was too dependent on power-hungry Wi-Fi devices. These new additions to that platform could change my mind.

Z-Wave hub

The Connected Home Hub (model number DHC-G020, $80) is particularly interesting. The cylindrical device connects to your existing home router and acts as a bridge to sensors and other devices that use low-power Z-Wave technology.

It will eventually control Wi-Fi lighting systems that are compatible with the AllSeen Internet of Things initiative, too. "The app [for operating the hub] will only recognize the devices that D-Link is announcing," D-Link marketing VP Dan Kelley told me in an interview last month, "but the plan is to open up the API to additional devices in 2015 and beyond." D-Link expects to ship the hub in the second quarter of 2015.

Motion sensor

D-Link announced three new sensors that will interact with the hub and other products in D-Link's Connected Home Platform. The MyDlink Z-Wave Motion Sensor (model DCH-Z120, $50) sends push notifications when motion is detected in a room.

It's battery operated, which makes it much easier to deploy than D-Link's existing motion sensor, which relies on Wi-Fi and therefore must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Unlike most sensors in this class, the DCH-Z120 is also outfitted with ambient temperature and light sensors. Consumers can configure the MyDlink Home app to trigger one of D-Link's Wi-Fi Smart Plugs to turn on a light, and/or one of its Wi-Fi security cameras to snap a picture of what set it off.

Door/window sensor

The MyDlink Z-Wave Open & Close sensor (model DCH-Z110, $40) detects when windows and doors are opened and sends push notifications to the users' mobile device. Unlike most door/window sensors, the DCH-Z110 can also monitor ambient temperature and lighting conditions, enabling it to send messages and trigger other devices, such as a smart plug. Kelley told me, however, that D-Link's system doesn't tie into any thermostats at this point.

Water sensor

The last new sensor in D-Link's lineup, the MyDlink Wi-Fi Water Sensor (model DCH-S160, $60) does rely on Wi-Fi and must be plugged into an AC outlet.

But that's not a big issue since you'd want to install it near the floor anyway. Its sensor is encased in a long cable that lies on the floor near your washing machine, water heater, sump pump, or other appliance. If it detects excess moisture caused by a water leak, it will send a message to either your router or the Connected Home Hub that is then relayed to your mobile device.

 

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