2-wire (no neutral) Zigbee Smart Switch

LondonLesney

Standard Member
I’ve been developing a 2-wire (no neutral) Zigbee Smart Switch for the UK & EU market and have just completed my latest prototype.

I’m planning a Kickstarter campaign to pay for manufacturing/certification costs in a month or two but before I did that I thought I'd share some images.

Do you have thoughts on the design? or even the device itself? I'm keen to get feedback so I can improve my product.

Thanks.

Front View.jpg Faceplates.jpg Side View.jpg
 

pinnocchio

Well-known Member
OK, when you read this you may think I'm some 'know it all' prig.....but the following list are the things you should have committed to a business plan before you try to do crowdfunding. A LOT of people misunderstand the purpose of doing a business plan, they think it's purely to send to other people to get them to sign on.

The practical reality however is the reason to do a business plan is to challenge your own assumptions and beliefs about what you're trying to achieve and how you intend to get there, you'll be amazed at the differences in your first draft of the plan and the final version you're happy to expose to potential investors.

Thomas Edison used to say Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, let me tell you from personal experience he was absolutely right.

1. What problem are you trying to solve and why? Is this a better mousetrap (i.e. a better iteration of existing solutions) or is this a ground breaking solution to a problem no-one has solved before.

2. What is your market size and what are the likely costs to reach that market? Do you want to go direct marketing and sell direct to consumers, if you do then have you thought about the costs of support staff and resources? If you intend to go indirect through retailers only, have you built enough margin into the product to give those retailers? How are you going to cashflow the quantity needed by those retailers when they don't pay for 60-90 days in practice?

3, Is this a 'stand alone' product or the first in a series of products in the same space?

4. Who are your likely competitors, now and in the future?

5. Where are you going to get manufacturing done? How are you going to ensure quality control? What are the minimum production runs needed for the product to be economically marketable at your target price?

6. What have you done to protect any intellectual property rights associated with the product? Can you protect it or could it be ripped off by a rogue far eastern manufacturer?

These are just the quick ones that spring to mind, I could come up with a substantially longer list with some time.

I don't mean to rain on your idea, just make you look at it in the cold hard light of commercial reality.

One item that I'm quite surprised doesn't seem to exist in this sort of space is....

A Single/Multi gang Wall Socket that includes zigbee and zwave with Energy monitoring and a number (minimum 2 but 4 would be better) USB-C ports. In my opinion your route to market on this idea would be try to get the govt to legislate the requirement to fit energy monitoring wall sockets as part of all new builds.....that gives you an immediate and substantial market with no marketing effort at all and could be sold by the govt as enhancing their green credentials.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Have you thought about the aesthetics of your switch and the market that you are trying to sell to. That switch maybe attractive to a 20 something bloke starting his bachelor pad, full of tech and chrome, but will it float with a 40 something home owner who wants the convenience of HA in a more traditional or contemporary home. I showed the pictures to my wife and asked her opinion, to replace our existing switches - she told me I can install one in our garage, where she doesn't have to see it. So i asked a couple of my friends and their wives, similar sort of reaction.
The HA market is still young and people are wary and shy of things that are too different. I'd love to buy a 2 wire no neutral switch that operates on zigbee BUT I can buy a 2 wire module that operates on Zwave that sits behind by lightswitch, that does similar and doesn't offend my wife's sensibilities or stand out like a beacon of technology in a contemporary decorated and furnished house. I applaud what you have done but I think you may wish to rethink your final design as it is 1 for 8 so far and based on that (limited) market sample you just lost over 80% due to the aesthetic alone.
Have a look what WEMO did with their dimmer. They kept their design close to a standard decora dimmer, but changed it enough to make it look sexy without being to in-your-face. Thank you for sharing
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Thinking about it, if you could make a smart switch, in UK format that had similar aesthetics to the Wemo dimmer you would probably have a winner. Another thought, new builds now often have a Neutral at the switch. How are you dealing with that?
 

giffordpikes

Active Member
Xiaomi have made a wired zigbee smart switch that doesn't require a neutral. Check out that as well for your competition.
 

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