zwaveZ-Wave Alliance, Milpitas, Calif., a consortium of global companies that oversees the world's largest interoperable ecosystem for wireless home monitoring and control products and services and Sigma Designs Inc., a provider of connected media platforms, jointly announced a new marketing certification program called Z-Wave Plus™. Designed to help consumers identify products that take advantage of the recently introduced 'Next Gen' Z-Wave platform (500 Series) from Sigma Designs, Z-Wave Plus is a selected set of extended features and capabilities that enhance the end user experience and make easy Z-Wave installations even simpler to perform.

With the introduction of Sigma's Next-Gen Z-Wave 500 series earlier this year, Z-Wave saw its ecosystem bolstered with new capabilities including increased range, extended battery life, Over The Air upgrading (OTA), additional RF channels and more, all of which are backwards compatible with existing Z-Wave products. 

For service providers, these enhancements also have tremendous benefits in terms of shorter and easier installations, less consumer support calls and faster time-to-market for deploying the home monitoring and control services using the Sigma Next Gen turn-key middleware suite. With this new certification program, Sigma and the Z-Wave Alliance are introducing a new Z-Wave Plus series of packaging logos that will be located on every product powered by Next Gen Z-Wave, informing the consumer this product incorporates the enhanced capabilities of the Z-Wave 500 series.

"The Z-Wave Alliance is excited to be working with Sigma Designs to introduce this new certification program and these new brand marks," said Mark Walters, chairman of The Z-Wave Alliance. "The Z-Wave Plus technical certification program ensures that Z-Wave Plus products take full advantage of all the advancements available in the Next Gen platform. Now, the Z-Wave Plus marketing certification program will ensure that consumers get the best experience Z-Wave has to offer, and that they will be able to easily recognize Z-Wave Plus products through these distinctive brand badges."

"We're excited to join hands with the Z-Wave Alliance in presenting this new certification to the marketplace," said Raoul Wijgergangs, vice president Sigma Designs sales Europe and Z-Wave world-wide. "Sigma's recently released Next Gen platform offers Z-Wave Plus products the utmost benefit, meaning the products are optimized for end-consumer applications through a gateway, set top box or smart TV. Thanks to the market certification program and the new visual emblems for retail products, these advanced Z-Wave Plus products will be easy for consumers to distinguish, and even easier for them to use."