On 21 September 2021 OpenMotics announced the launch of a new generation of hardware. But what was the reason we decided to develop a third generation? And what’s so great about our new products?
As an expert in building automation, OpenMotics continuously focuses on growth and innovation. We do this mainly by listening to project developers, installers and residents. Because they know better than anyone what is missing in the market. By combining the feedback we received over the years with our own experience, we managed to develop a new and better generation of hardware that comes with tons of benefits and added value.
A module that turns the project market upside down
There was a huge demand on the project market for a single module that covers all the functionalities for a typical 2 bedroom apartment. This way, we would not only manage to keep the fuse box small, but also the installation costs, while simultaneously increasing the comfort and value of the home.
Based on this vision we developed a completely new module as the basis for our OpenMotics system: the Brain+ module. It is only 12 module widths wide and is packed with functionalities ranging from heating and lighting to blinds, energy measurement and more.
No need for such an extensive module? Then we’ve got good news for you. Although our Gateway module will disappear from the range, it has been replaced by the Brain module, which also contains a lot of new features.
More capacity for larger installations
Furthermore, it seems there was a need for hardware with more capacity for larger buildings. It so happens that our second generation of hardware is limited to 240 inputs, 240 outputs and 32 sensors. This is not always sufficient. Although we’ve managed to find a solution for every large project so far, it hasn’t always been the most efficient.
However, with the release of our new (and third) generation of hardware, we bring an efficient solution to market. The limits of the system have been increased to 400 inputs, 400 outputs and 128 sensors.
To be able to support not only large installations but large distances as well, we also developed a completely new module: the Bus Extender module. This module is installed if the OpenMotics modules of an installation are spread out over several electrical boards and/or locations. This allows the system bus to be powered locally with an extra 24VDC power supply.
Energy measurement standard included
Nowadays, sustainability is becoming more and more prominent in our lives. Therefore, both the Brain and the Brain+ module have been equipped with a built-in P1 port. This makes it possible for anyone to easily monitor the overall energy consumption of their home, without having to purchase additional OpenMotics modules.
What else CAN the hardware do?
Aside from a built-in P1 port, the Brain and Brain+ module also come with a CAN bus. So you don’t need to buy an extra module, for example, to control push buttons or movement sensors in your home or building. This not only reduces costs, but also space in the fuse box.
Quick installation thanks to the click & connect system
Our installers had some feedback for us as well. They indicated that the installation of the modules should be even simpler to save time. Because as the saying goes, “time is money”. With this in mind, we chose the simplest way to connect cables: WAGO connectors. So we created a “click & connect” system, which saves the installer up to 75% installation time compared to our previous hardware generation.
Efficient configuration thanks to offline setup
In addition, this new generation is our first one which allows offline setup. It enables you to verify if the push buttons have been connected correctly. Our new micro CAN modules are equipped with a buzzer. When you press a push button that is properly connected to a micro CAN module, it will buzz. If you don’t hear a buzz, it means there is a bad connection or that the module was connected incorrectly.
Thanks to the offline setup, it’s also easier to connect those push buttons to the right light points, without OpenMotics having to come over or you needing a laptop. The Brain and Brain+ module have this offline setup button. If you press it, all outputs bar one will switch off. Next, you look around the house to see which light is on, and press the push button(s) you want to link to it. Repeat this process until all outputs are linked to inputs. So it is both fast and efficient!
A fitting new look & feel
Updating our modules and packaging was also in line with our growth as a company. In September 2019, we announced our new logo. Then, in January 2020, we introduced a completely new house style and website. A new look for our products was therefore quintessential.
A green-coloured future brimming with integrations
Finally, this hardware generation is also a lot more powerful in the long run. The presence of a USB connection, for instance, creates tremendous opportunities for future integrations. The sensor connector on the micro CAN module also gives you the option to connect more types of sensors than just temperature and humidity in the future.
We conclude this article the way we started it. As an expert in building automation, OpenMotics continuously focuses on growth and innovation. We’re doing this now and will continue to do so in the future. Your feedback is very important to us. We’d love to hear from you to make that growth possible.
Do you have any questions about our new modules? Or would you like to share your feedback with us? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org