ZigBee is a wireless open standard managed by the ZigBee Alliance. Its backed by over 300 technology providers & original equipment manufacturers worldwide including Samsung, Philips, Siemens, Honeywell, Texas, Mitsubishi & Motorola. ZigBee Alliance membership is open to all.
First ratified in 2004, it was created to address the need for connecting lots of devices in network (up to 65,000), running on batteries lasting for many years. As a cost-effective, standards-based wireless networking solution, ZigBee supports low data-rates, low-power consumption, security, and reliability. The initial markets for ZigBee include Home, Building & Industrial Automation, Remote Healthcare, and Smart Metering.
ZigBee is currently being built into millions of day-to-day devices for monitoring & control of the real world environment. Lights, thermostats, alarms, fridges, doors, appliances, utility meters - all are being ZigBee enabled, and this is why the technology is often referred to as The Internet of Things.
Products fall into two categories: 1) Designed for ZigBee and 2) Certified Products1) Designed for ZigBee refers to products that utilise the technology, but which are not yet ZigBee tested and certified for interoperability.2) ZigBee Certified Products must pass a very strict set of technical tests applied by an approved testing house. This process ensures that the minimum ZigBee specifications are adhered to, thus allowing products to adopt the "ZigBee Certified Product" status and bear the ZigBee logo. Certified Products can utilise any of several different industry specific Public Profiles, which prove multi-vendor interoperability:
- Home Automation. Control of lighting, heating and cooling systems from anywhere in the home to improve conservation, convenience and safety. Install, upgrade and network home control system without wires; then monitor a wide variety of conditions & receive automatic notification upon detection of unusual events.
- Smart Energy. The next generation of power management using a 21st century 'Smart Grid'. Giving full visibility of energy consumption in real-time, Smart Energy provides utilities and their customers with the power to directly communicate with thermostats and other smart appliances remotely in the home area network (HAN).
- Building Automation. Centralize the management of lighting, heating, cooling & security; as well as automate control of multiple systems to improve conservation, flexibility and security. Reduce energy expenses through optimized HVAC management and allocate utility costs equitably based on actual consumption. Reconfigure lighting systems to create adaptable workspaces & upgrade building infrastructure; as well as deploy wireless monitoring networks to enhance perimeter protection.
- Healthcare. Provides a global standard for interoperable wireless devices enabling secure and reliable monitoring and management of noncritical, low-acuity healthcare services targeted at chronic disease. It promotes aging independence, overall health, wellness and fitness by providing more information about one's state of health. Designed for use in homes, fitness centers, retirement communities, nursing homes and a variety of medical care facilities.
- RF4CE. Radio Frequency remotes are faster, more reliable and provide more freedom to operate devices from greater distances by removing the line-of-sight barrier found in today's IR remotes. They also enable advanced features such as two-way communication between the device and the remote, creating a richer experience for consumers.
- Telecommunication Services. Innovative mobile devices for innovative lifestyles are in development and will be available soon.
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