The smart home company ubisys provides an innovative solution for the real estate company VIVAWEST in a neighbourhood in Bochum, Germany's first major gigabit city.

In view of the growing demand for smart buildings, VIVAWEST, one of Germany's leading housing providers, sought out ubisys for an integrated solution.

The challenge

In late 2018, ubisys received a request to provide a smart building solution for a new construction project by VIVAWEST. The housing project consists of 89 residential units, and each flat was to be equipped with a fully integrated smart home experience. VIVAWEST needed a versatile and user-friendly smart home solution that could be primarily implemented in the living area. VIVAWEST placed particular emphasis on a high-quality, durable, economical and secure solution that met the expectations of the tenants and their own requirements as a real estate company.

The solution

VIVAWEST decided to choose ubisys' Zigbee smart home product portfolio as it was the most effective solution for their requirements. The Zigbee-certified products are safe, reliable, energy-efficient and have a high user-friendliness. Zigbee is one of the leading industry standards for connected buildings, is established and used by many leading manufacturers around the world. In implementing Zigbee 3.0 smart home from ubisys, VIVAWEST saw an open and trustworthy system based on internationally recognized standards, with a robust certification programme and long-term sustainable support from a trusted provider.

By using the ubisys Zigbee smart home product portfolio, VIVAWEST offers their tenants a wide array of intelligent functions. For convenient use of home functions such as lighting, shading and security, ubisys installed the following modules: power switch S1, power switch S2, universal dimmer D1, blind control J1, control unit C4, smoke alarm, multifunction sensor, window and door contacts as well as one gateway per unit. Each unit is equipped with ubisys universal D1 dimmers in the living, dining and kitchen areas, allowing tenants to control lighting levels individually. Users can also save specific desired settings in the ubisys smart home app for added convenience and flexibility.

In addition, the app allows users to create groups. A group, for example, can contain all the devices in a room and certain states of these devices in a group can be set, changed and deleted under scenes. Two scenes have already been created in advance on behalf of VIVAWEST: "Central light off" and "Fire/burglary". When the "Central light off" scene is activated, every light in the flat switches off. The "Fire/Break-in attempt" scene switches on all lights and dims all lights up to 100%, all smoke detectors sound the alarm and the shutters are raised, Thanks to these pre-configurations, ubisys offers full comfort directly after moving in.

When using the intuitive app from ubisys, tenants can also integrate their own scenes into their smart home system even after moving in. For example, a "Good morning" scene could be configured in which at 8 am, every Monday to Friday all shutters in the flat are raised and the lights are dimmed up to 50%.

This way, the user can begin the day in a relaxed manner and do without the nuisance of an alarm clock. In addition, the scenes increase user-friendliness and comfort as well as energy efficiency.

Another option is to create shortcuts by using scenes. For example, a pre-configured shortcut allowing all the lights in the flat to be switched on or off at the same time using a central switch next to the entrance door. This ensures that all lights are switched off when leaving the flat.

Tenants can also monitor the status of their system while on the go by checking their connected devices in the app. The "Away from Home" status informs the system that the tenant is currently not in the building and automatically activates the security system. During this time, any registered movements trigger the alarm. This function is possible using magnetic contacts on all windows and doors as well as an intelligent motion sensor in the hallway. When this option is activated by the user, in the event of a break-in they will immediately receive a push notification on their smartphone via the ubisys smart home app. In addition to the push notification, the ubisys system raises all blinds and turns on all lights to deter possible burglars. At the same time, all smoke detectors in the flat emit a loud alarm sound. In addition to operation via the app, the alarm system can be activated or deactivated via a keypad placed beside the apartment door. 

These exciting options distinguish this system from conventional alarm systems without a smart home function, which usually only include an acoustic alarm and as well as possibly informing the resident that the alarm has been activated.

Another factor that led VIVAWEST to choose ubisys was the "Bring your own Zigbee device" concept. This allows the user to integrate additional Zigbee-certified devices into their smart home environment. This option was particularly attractive to VIVAWEST, as it gives tenants the opportunity to expand the system according to their own wishes.

Just under a year later, VIVAWEST asked tenants to describe their experiences with the smart home system upon they received thoroughly positive feedback. Following the first pilot project in Bochum, a second project is currently being rolled out in Essen.

About ubisys

Ever since ubisys technologies GmbH was founded in 2005 they have been dedicated exclusively to the IoT (Internet of Things) and consequently to radio-based home and building automation. In recent years ubisys has developed a unique product line ranging from their own Zigbee stack, referred to as the "Golden Unit" by the Zigbee Alliance, a broad portfolio of Zigbee 3.0 certified hardware, their own iOS / Android control app, all the way to their on-premise or cloud-based data cockpit solution. However, the portfolio includes not only ubisys technology solutions, but also customized white label solutions.

Over the years ubisys has continuously supported and significantly contributed to the Zigbee Alliance in various leadership roles. Recent advances include the BLEND / Z technology developed by ubisys, which enables Bluetooth and Zigbee standards to operate in parallel.

For more information, visit the ubisys website.

If you are interested in joining the Zigbee Alliance and start developing and certifying your own Zigbee devices, please visit the Zigbee Alliance join page.