The ZigBee Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications, today announced the completion and public availability of its third specification, ZigBee IP. ZigBee IP is the first open standard for an IPv6-based full wireless mesh networking solution and provides seamless Internet connections to control low-power, low-cost devices.
The ZigBee IP specification enriches the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which provides wireless personal area network (WPAN) which focuses on low-cost, low-speed ubiquitous communication between devices. ZigBee IP offers a scalable architecture with end-to-end IPv6 networking without the need for intermediate gateways.
“ZigBee IP offers a significant step forward in the expansion of IP-based control,” said Mark Grazier, marketing manager and ZigBee board member, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, Texas Instruments. “Having low-power, low-cost wireless mesh devices that connect to a variety of Smart Grid IPv6-based protocols will further expand the Internet of Things.”
“ZigBee IP provides another option for product manufacturers to add mesh networking to their products,” said Tobin Richardson, chairman and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance. “We expect to see a wave of ZigBee Certified products based on ZigBee IP when Smart Energy Profile 2 is completed later this year since ZigBee IP was designed specifically to meet SEP2 requirements for the Smart Grid.”
ZigBee offers three main network layers – RF for Consumer Electronics (RF4CE), Pro and ZigBee IP. Each has a different Application Profile. Companies like Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon are already marketing and installing these Smart Home solutions.
The Z-Wave Alliance says Sigma Designs next-generation Z-Wave platform enables Z-Wave manufacturers and Smart Home service providers to bring new products to market substantially faster and at lower cost. The Z-Wave Alliance has more than 700 interoperable products certified and over 200 members. Z-Wave is a proprietary wireless protocol oriented to the residential control and automation market and operates in the sub-gigahertz frequency range, around 900 MHz.
In other news, EnerNOC, a leading provider of cloud-based energy management applications and services, today announced a new wireless mesh data capture and communication feature, which is said to expand remote and on-premise market applications. They claim the wireless mesh feature can cut our costs by over 75% compared to other commercially available products, while enhancing the overall performance.