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Using the Zipato RFID Keypad in the ZWay-Smart Home

by AlphaX218. August 2016

For many users, the gain in the area of safety is one of the most important aspects of Smart Home. Intelligent access controls represent one possibility, the Zipato Mini RFiD Keypad, which can soon be used with ZWay as well, is a solution.

 

Safety for the Smart Home

According to a study of the American Smart Home producers “August” and “Xfinity”, who belongs to Comcast, with 63%, the aspect of safety is at the very front of networked homes. One opportunity is represented by the access control at the door, which is able to (de)activate an alarm. At this point – considered the different systems – there are various solutions, numerical codes can naturally be found quite often, though some producers also offer access control via Token resp. cards granting the access.

The Zipato Mini RFiD Keypad, which combines both features, is quite famous in the area of ZWave. On the one hand, it can be used via RFiD Token, on the other entering a code (numbers 1-4) is possible as well. Even though, it so far regretted working together with ZWay, this will soon be changed. Some readers might remember my article about the now App-Store concept by ZWay, which is not too long ago. (More about this topic can be read here) Via this kind of app using the Zipato Pad will soon be possible as well. Although this app has not been finalized yet, I was able to test a Beta version for siio.de.

Zipato Mini RFiD Keypad

At first, a few information on the Zipato Pad itself: to be a little sassy for once, the pad is not much more than just a simple switch. With one big difference though: This switch is to be turned on/off with an RFiD Token, or a PIN-Code. Thereby it is perfectly qualified for arming, resp. deactivating an alarm system. The Zipato Pad therefore provides a comfortable switching of the alarm, even though the smartphone might not be at hand some time, or the battery might be empty.

Zipato RFID Keypad

Zipato RFID Keypad

The packaging comes with two short instructions (in English), the Keypad itself, two R6/AA batteries by Panasonic and a Zipato RFiD Chip. And additionally a few small screws and 3M tape for the attachment of the Keypad. The Token-Chips can be ordered for less than 4 euros from the Zipato shop, however or maybe just because of this there could have been a second chip included in the packaging, for what I think.

Zipato RFID Keypad

Zipato RFID Keypad

Installation with ZWay

The Mini Keypad can fundamentally even be included without the app, though, when doing so, a single element, which is a button, will pop up on the interface. This button does not have any function, though. Indeed, those who install the proper app will find two additional elements on the web interface. One represents the current state armed/disarmed, the other element displays the state of the dismantling alarm, the originally useless button stays at its place, but now clarifies, whether the system is in the “When needed armed in a few seconds”-mode. In the first step, this button can be chosen in the settings of the app, to tell the app that it is about the Keypad in this case. Furthermore it can be determined how many seconds are to pass between the arming, and the system actually being armed. This will later on be clarified with this element as well.

 

Keypad_Elemente-1130x224 Zipato_RFID_App-1130x384

Following these basic settings, 10 users can be determined. You can give them a name and a code, which can seemingly be endless long, though is limited to the numbers 1 to 4 by the pad itself. The second possibility is to use one of the RFiD Tokens. This, as well, works pretty simple, though is not completely self-explaining either. This is because you have to go through the following steps:

  1. Enter a username in the app-settings and mark “Use tag instead code” with a cross.
  2. Scroll to the end and save as usual.
  3. Go to the overview of events, there you will see the notification that you have 1 minute to register the Token.
  4. Press the „Home“-button on your Zipato Mini Pad and hold the Token in front of it.
  5. Done – the Token is registered!

This process has one disadvantage, you have to repeat the sequence of steps for every user, therefore only one Token can be registered at a time. In case 10 users should actually be determined, this obviously means a little work. Otherwise the limit of 10 users could be rather tight in the area of smaller companies, in a normal household it should be plenty though.

In order for the pad to be ready to use, one click on the “Home”-button of the Keypad and entering the code resp. stopping the Token will disarm the alarm, whereas a click on “Away” will arm your alarm.

How precise your alarm or the connection with other elements of your smart home-portfolio should be looking is completely your choice now. With the apps “Logische Regel”, or “Wenn->Dann”, other elements can be combined and controlled freely in dependence on the Keypad. Even scenes can be performed. This way it would be imaginable that arming the scene would lower the heaters and turn off the adapters.  On the other side, in case of an armed alarm, “Opening the door” could trigger your interior siren, turn the lights red, and so on, to scare away possible intruders. Also conceivable would be the combination with a Danalock, wherwith you could – theoretically – implement keyless entry.

Criticism?

Yes, there is some. On the Keypad itself, only the opening of the backside is somehow solved unfavorably and could possibly lead to a few scratches on the cover, though this has not been made too clean by the manufacturers. Additionally, with enough care it would be possible without scratches. (?) And ultimately: Who does even take a closer look on the backside of this pad, once it is placed on the wall.

Following has to be said about the app: Initially, it does what it says: It makes the Zipato Pad useable. The operation is – aside from the registration of the Token – completely self-explaining. Everything can be easily understood from the event-display, e.g. entering of wrong codes, or which user had access at what time. One disadvantage, as turned out in the test, is that the switching from armed to disarmed partly took a few seconds. Thus, the reason might be that the disarming simply takes too long and you will still trigger the alarm when opening the door. Though, I do not completely want to exclude the chance, that my ZWave-Network might bear part of the blame.

However there seems to be a control version: An example is a Mail/SMS confirming that it is armed/disarmed. This would anyway be useful, also to be informed from on the go. Another idea would be a LED strip, e.g. in a window next to the door, which clarifies the state (e.g. 10 seconds red when arming, 10 seconds green when disarming).

It is not yet decided at what time the app will be available for all users. It should not be a long time, though, until the users of RaZberry, Popp Hub and WD MyCloud can look forward to the Zipato RFiD Mini Keypad and welcome it in their Smart Home.

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