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Do I need a separate hub connected to my Wi-fi router?

Some brands require that you connect their products to a central hub which connects to your home wireless broadband router, some products can be used via an application you can download for free on your smartphone or other device and some can be used without a hub but have increased capability and functionality when connected to a hub. An example of this is Philips Hue Lighting.  

Do I need to have a smart phone to use this technology?

You can control smart home devices via any device which can download and install the corresponding application if the device is application controlled.  You may be able to control the device using your voice to talk to a smart assistant through a smart speaker.

Do I need to have an Electrician install smart home products?

At iO-WE.com we have specifically chosen all our products to avoid the need for specialist installer services.  There are many products available that you would need a qualified electrician to instal, however we avoid these products.

What does Z-Wave mean?

Z-Wave is the name of a wireless protocol / frequency. There is a central association which aims to promote Z-Wave manufacturer alliance products.  The Z-Wave frequency is 868MHz in the UK.  BE AWARE – Z-Wave frequencies differ across the globe and products made for and from other countries may not be compatible with the UK standard products.  This notably includes the USA. 

What Does Zigbee mean?

Zigbee is the name of a wireless protocol / frequency. Zigbee in the UK is  4Ghz and is a common frequency used for smart home device communication.  Perhaps the best known brand which use the Zigbee frequency are Philips Hue Smart Lighting

What does Bluetooth mean?

Bluetooth is the name of a wireless protocol / frequency. It operates at between 2.042GHz to 2.480GHz.  It has limited range.  Usually under 10m

What does Wi-fi mean?

Wi-Fi is the acronym for wireless fidelity and in the UK there are two frequencies for homes to choose from as standard. 4GHz and the 5GHz frequencies.  Some modern home wi-fi routers can operate both concurrently, allowing you to choose which of the two network frequencies you wish to connect any given device to.  Both have their pro’s and cons

What are the differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi?

4GHz travels farther but at the cost of lower speed. Conversely, 5GHz travels faster but has a lesser distance range and is interrupted more by walls and other objects.

Can different brand names’ technology work together in my smart home set up?

Here at iO-WE, we have chosen products for their various benefits.  One of our main criteria for onboarding a product or brand is that it is widely cross compatible with other brands’ products.  We believe that you should have the choice to use the brands you prefer for each different function and control them seamlessly as one.

What are the basic requirements for items I need to use smart technology in my home?

At the most basic level, you need a digital device such as a smart phone and/or a smart speaker. You will need to connect to the internet via wifi or mobile data.  These are the two easiest ways of controlling your smart devices and setting them up the way you want them.  Once you have a device to which you can download the relevant application, or, you have a smart speaker which, connected via the internet to a smart assistant (Cloud hosted Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software) will allow you to connect and control your smart devices. 

Once you have a way of connecting and controlling your devices, you need to choose your devices.  Be they smart lightbulbs, smart speakers, smart doorbells, smart security cameras, smart smoke alarms or any other smart, connected devices.

Do I need to have wireless internet access to use these products?

In general, Yes. You will need to be able to control and communicate with your devices and this is done via a network and usually includes the addition of cloud based (Software Hosted on remote computers – a Data Centre) software or analytics data.  Likewise, If you wish to change the settings on devices in your home remotely, you will need a connection.  Whether that is your mobile phones’ data or a connection through a wireless network. The connection is required to communicate instructions to your home.

What does iO-WE do to limit our impact on the environment?

Here at iO-WE, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment both local and global and as we grow, we aim to move beyond this to make iO-WE a net benefit for the environment. Currently, we are committed to using no additional plastic in our operation and are actively exploring ways to strip all plastics aside from those used in the manufacture of the products, from the supply chain. 

Where is iO-WE based?

iO-WE is based in the city of Winchester in Hampshire in England

What does iO-WE’s commitment to an ethical supply chain mean?

iO-WE is committed to continually auditing our suppliers to make sure we do not indirectly support any form of abuse of human rights, workers rights or environmental abuse. We use the World Index of Moral Freedom as a guide to countries we remove from our supply chain.  We also keep an eye on our brands to make sure they too stick to the standards we expect from a 21st Century, responsible technology company.