In a major boost to the growing popularity of the ZigBee standards, an announcement by three leading Smart Meter Manufacturers combined to announce their adoption of the open source standards and also back the ZigBee family of protocols for their next generation of Smart Meters for homes and offices. The aim cited by the companies was stated by the representatives as “dramatically accelerate the rollout of gas and electricity smart meters in the UK".
Smart meters are to be installed across UK by 2020 and a number of competing technologies are vying for the space in the hugely lucrative market where ZigBee is a leading standard adopted by leading companies. With announcement of financial incentives by energy regulator Ofgem, this space is going to get crowded and ZigBee is going to be adopted by more companies in times to come.
The adoption of ZigBee standards will give energy suppliers a range of smart meters and in-home displays that use current GPRS networks, but that will also be upgradeable to use other communication standards. This has also been proven by the rapid adoption of the standard across the range of companies in UK.
In another report recently, a company has recently launched a home energy monitoring system built around a ZigBee home-area network. The cube-shaped hub has been created to act as a central control point and separate devices, including smart plugs, communicate with the hub. The system also has the feature to view consumption data via a website and change settings from a mobile phone. The use of web technologies to manage ZigBee based devices is a first amongst numerous interfaces that are increasingly being used to control the smart devices based on the popular ZigBee standard.
In another innovative use of the technology and the flexibility of the standard, users can use smart devices based on the ZigBee standard to turn on the heat remotely via phone or change the settings during a holiday using a key fob. In addition, ZigBee kit can be used to automatically turn off heating or appliances left on standby when there is nobody using them.
The new series of devices available in the market and especially on www.vesternet.com promises to bring in a new impetus to the use of low power Energy Kits using the ZigBee standard. The coming days are promising to be good for customers who have been using ZigBee technology as new product launches are expected soon.