Interview with Eric Barnett, iblinds Chief Technology Officer & Lead Engineer

Interview with Eric Barnett, iblinds Chief Technology Officer & Lead Engineer

October 15, 2020

Check out this interview with our Chief Technology Officer and Lead Engineer Eric Barnett as he shares insights on the new iblinds V3 features, what we can expect from iblinds in the future, and more.

 

As our lead engineer and Chief Technology Officer, what are you most excited about with the launch of iblinds V3?

I am most excited about the move to the Z-Wave 700 series module. Z-Wave 700 brings with it better wireless range, a faster CPU, enhanced security (S2), and lower power consumption.

 

What are the top improvements made to iblinds v3 compared to v2?

In addition to the Z-Wave 700 series improvements we’ve added:

  1. Over The Air (OTA) updates – as we make improvements to v3 users will have the option to update the iblinds firmware.
  2. Stronger and faster motor
  3. Manual control through the Charge Adapter push button. This will allow users to manually toggle the blinds between open and closed.
  4. The ability to configure iblinds using Z-Wave configuration parameters
    • The option for users to set the default open level of their blinds
    • The flexibility to set the speed at which the blinds open and close
    • The ability to set the open direction. We received feedback that some people want the blinds to close tilted up while others want them to close tilted down.
  5. Single Processor design. V2 had two processors and that opened the door for occasional errors. With V3 all of the code resides on the ARM® Cortex M4 processor which equates to better reliability.

 

How did you make decisions on what would be enhanced with this version?

We talked to users in our community, read their enhancement requests, and also did some analysis on the most common requests in our help desk to determine which upgrades to prioritize. Our customer community is incredible at giving feedback, and we will always look to them for that guidance to make sure iblinds is delivering in a way that fits their lifestyle and needs.

 

What are you most looking forward to with future versions of iblinds or additional products? Anything you can share about other complementary products you and your team are working on?

We are working on an Always ON version specially designed for new home construction and professional installers.  Each iblinds will act as a Z-Wave Repeater and this will help to strengthen the Z-Wave mesh network around the entire home. It will also make iblinds respond faster because it will always be awake.  Finally, the new Always ON version will eliminate the need for batteries. New construction installations can prewire each window to a centralized power supply located in the home. With the Always ON version, there will be no need to worry about charging batteries or installing a solar panel, and as a bonus, the batteries can be used as a backup power source if the electricity temporarily goes out.



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