NodOn Makes Z-Wave Smart Homes Easier Than Ever to Control

The stupidest thing about most smart homes is that you have to fire up your smartphone any time you want to do something as simple as remotely opening a lock or turning a light on or off. Don’t get me wrong. I like my smartphone. But the reason why I wear a Martian Aviator smartwatch is because I like my smartphone to stay in my pocket and only make an appearance when I absolutely need to use it. (Of course, since I’ve been keeping it in my pants pocket, maybe I should be looking into getting a pair of Spartan Boxer Briefs…) The problem is that the smart device industry has ignored the dire need for small, simple input devices that are portable, don’t require a hard-wired power connection, and are compatible with a wide range of smart home systems. French automation company, NodOn, appears to have cornered the market—and, unlike what usually happens when one company has a near total domination of an industry segment, when NodOn’s smart devices become available in the US market within the next few months, they promise to be quite affordable.

My personal favorite is the NodOn Octan Remote. It comes with a special wall mount that can be attached to any flat surface with the included “adhesive bonding” or with optional screws if you want the bracket to be permanently mounted in place. There is an embedded magnet that will hold the assembly to a metallic surface, and the magnet also holds the removable remote control snugly onto the bracket. The remote includes a central LED surrounded by a circle of four control buttons.

NodOn designed the Octan Remote so that it can be used as an input device in a smart home system, or it can function as the Primary Controller that communicates with all the compatible Z-Wave devices in the home.

The Octan Remote uses Z-Wave Plus (500 Series) for connectivity and has a specified operational range of up to 40 m indoor (131 ft) and up to 80 m (262 ft) outdoor. It’s powered by a single CR2032 coin-cell battery, which NodOn says should provide enough power for between 1.5 to 2 years of use. It comes with a 2-year warranty.

Other Z-Wave devices coming from NodOn include a more traditionally designed, battery-operated 4-button wall switch and a spill and shock resistant, 4-button Soft Remote that can be carried in your pocket, taken outside in the rain, or attached to a metallic surface thanks to the built-in magnet.

US prices for NodOn’s Z-Wave devices haven’t been officially announced but the models should be available for sale sometime during the first quarter of 2017.