Zipato Zipabox is Expandable Wireless Home Automation Controller

Zipato is an all in one home automation solution from Croatia.  Out of the box it supports Z-Wave, however it’s not tied to a single smart home technology.

[Update] Read our Zipato Zipabox review here.

It can be expanded to support ZigBee and KNX and there’s also promised future support for Insteon plus technologies based on 433MHz such as LightwaveRF.

Zipato have focused on ease of use and the system enables people to easily add devices to the network.  It also has an online graphical tool called ‘Rule Creator’ that allows users to create scenes and schedules for their network without having any programming experience .

The Linux powered Zipato central controller costs around £170 and we are currently reviewing a unit kindly loaned by Vesternet. In the meantime you can check out the videos below for a bit more insight into the system.

zipato_3

Zipabox is a next-generation network gateway that lets you control all your home electronics. Most often it uses simple, reliable, low-power radio waves that easily travel through walls, floors and cabinets, but it can also use existing power lines or BUS wires to connect all your home electronics.

Through Zipabox multi-environment capabilities, Zipato control can be added to almost any electronic device in your house, such as appliances, window shades, thermostats and home lighting.

Expanding functionality by just snaping in additional modules gives Zipato box unlimited upgrade possibilites. Expanding modules are connected together via an integrated expansion port on the sides of the modules. A variety of expanding modules are already available for increasing Zipato functionality (i.e. security module, z-wave module, power module, etc…)

zipato.com   :   Available from Amazon

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12 Comments on "Zipato Zipabox is Expandable Wireless Home Automation Controller"

  1. Nice to see new controller devices for Z-Wave coming out.
    It’s not clear from the videos if the controller box requires a subscription to a hosted website service or not? my.zipato.com:8080 is referenced in the browser url.

    I wouldn’t like the idea of my home automation being reliant on a small time company from Croatia in order to continue working…

  2. Hi,

    You’re correct. The Zipato UI runs on the Zipato server rather than being hosted on the unit itself.

    The aim of Zipato has been to make the whole process of home automation as simple as possible. By hosting the UI on their server they have removed the need for users to update their firmware as new features and support are added to the UI.

    Hope this help.

  3. I am inclined to agree with Budda, I would much prefer a platform where teh web service runs locally. I am running a greenwave reality solution at the moment, this uses a remote server model with subscription. I would like more control. I can see why others would see the attraction in this approach but it is not for me.

  4. Those are fair comments.

    Just one point I would clarify so that people do not misunderstand how this works.

    The online UI is only required for configuration such as adding and setting up devices and creating scenes using the rule creator.

    Other than that ZipaBox will run without an Internet connection and control the network in the way you have configured it. So devices and scenes, schedules etc will run on the ZipaBox (not on the Zipato server).

    Hope that helps anyone else reading this article.

    Mark.

  5. Maxim Shaposhnikov | March 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm |

    Playing with a device.

    Well, I’d like to say that it is a way too early to use in a serious projects.

    Quite a lot of small and big issues, web managements service is unresponsive (quite frequently), system is running (very) slow with a relatively small amount of devices (less than 30) – sometimes lights are switching “on” with a delay up to 10 seconds or even more, which is practically useless, etc.

    Still, the idea is nice, but I’m staring to think that this technology is primarely made for a very small (1 bed flat?) environments and very stable internet connection, as (currently) it is not even able to return back after short power-loss and connection interruption (probably will be fixed in a new FW?)

  6. Maxim Shaposhnikov | March 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm |

    Mark,

    “Other than that ZipaBox will run without an Internet connection and control the network in the way you have configured it.” well, this is currently not a true – some guys are complaining regarding “no internet -> scenes / rules are not working”.

    It definitely looks like a not-polished-enough technology yet.

  7. Well, I have been using Zipabox for a three months already and I have 86 Z-wave devices connected to it (also testing one Zigbee motion detector). Although there were some minor problems at the beginning I have to say that the system works extremely fast. I was using Fibaro system before and this is seems to be much faster. Last week there were some problems with the server and mobile APP, but after contacting their support I was told that they are moving their servers to the Amazon cloud and the problems are related to this.
    Also, I just disconnected the Internet from my Zipabox and I can still use my wall switches (with Fibaro micromodules behind) to activate scenes which includes lights (both Fibaro and Everspring micromodules) and heating (8 Danfoss valves).

    Maxim, how long have you been using Zipato until now? Did you try to contact their support, I have an extremely positive experience with it?

  8. Hello Maxim, we are very sorry for your troubles while starting to use Zipabox. Indeed we were migrating our system last week which caused a lot of problems with the service. Unfortunately, this was your first week, so you were facing all of those issues in the beginning. Anyway, I think it’s still too early to judge like this, even more as most of your points are not correct.

    1. Regarding the power of the Zipabox, considering that the box is using ARM9 chipset, and Z-wave is using 40kpbs bandwith for communication (with 1% duty cycle), it has much more power than is needed to deal with the 233 Z-wave devices (which is maximum number of devices within one Z-wave network).

    2. Also, it is NOT TRUE that you can’t use Zipabox without Internet connection. Actually, you can use all the scenes, alarm, climate and rules without Internet connection if you want. You only need cloud for the configuration, programming and eventually centralized monitoring of your system. Once you are done with the configuration, all the scripts are compiled in the cloud using powerful servers and then sent to the box in the simple executable form. Afterwards, you can use it without Internet connection. If this doesn’t work with your box, then you have a problem with the box and you should contact support@zipato.com

    We will be glad to help you with your issues, as this is what we are doing.

  9. Ive tested zipato some time ago, and I send it back to my reseller. Its so slow, extremely ridiculous scene Configurator, i not believe it can manage my home.
    Ive about 180 devices conected right now to Fibaro Home center and one i can say – it works as it should!
    We cant even compare zipato to vera or fibaro gateway.

  10. As a Fibaro Home Centre 2 owner I know how crap their firmware updates have been. It’s nearly just over a year since the box was launched and only now is the beta firmware starting to come together.

    So the Zipato may have similar teething problems.

    From what Zipato support says above, i like thre idea that something is compiled and sent to the controller in the house – however my concern remains that if the small Croatian company gets in financial trouble and shuts down i’m then stuck with a home controller i can no longer update.

    Are there any plans to introduce a Windows/Mac desktop app that can use their “powerful” processor to configure and compile the code without using a hosted service?

  11. Anton, I am very suspicious about your post. I have now 112 devices connected to Zipabox and it’s work seemlesly. I have tested other two products before (maybe they have been improved since than) but they are much more difficult to use. What scenes configurator is ridiculous to you? It’s just couldn’t be easier, as you only need to add a name and save the scene. If you really tested those products, you would know that;-)

  12. Jason Hansen | August 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm |

    To whom it may benefit: Buy the Zipato: They are both awful, and not in any way smart.

    I find Zipatos rule engine undocumented, unstable and unpredictable. No debug option. Using variables is like working in total darkness – no way to show them. Bugs, menus with empty/not working code behind. It should be prohibited to sell something like that.

    I find Fibaros UI and LUA are well designed, user friendly and the whole concept very, very impressive. But devices are dropped/dead and can’t be trusted. There’s no way to wake them up. Fibaro could be the platform for actual SMARThome, but without a safe/sure connection to the devices, how would you trust it for fire alarms, intrusion etc.

    After 3mon intensive test with both I gave up on Fibaro. No actual support. I’ll go with Zipato though I bl. hate it and can’t develop anything smart or fancy…

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