The Podiyan

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ZigBee to Run Over Wi-Fi, Too

The ZigBee Alliance said Wednesday that its Smart Energy 2.0 protocol for Smart Grid-enabled homes will run on Wi-Fi, in addition to its own low-power network.

Originally, the first-generation Smart Energy technology was designed to run just on the low-power ZigBee protocol. But the Alliance later added HomePlug and then Wi-Fi as transport mechanisms, to allow customers and solutions providers greater flexibility.

"ZigBee has always interworked with Wi-Fi using ZigBee and Wi-Fi gateways. Now there is an opportunity for the organizations to collaborate more closely for the smart home of the future, leveraging the intelligence of ZigBee Smart Energy," said Bob Heile, ZigBee Alliance chairman, in a statement. "Wi-Fi is a major global success and an important wireless networking technology for the home environment. Our collaboration will help spur further innovation in solutions for the Smart Grid."

ZigBee was formed as a low-power protocol for so-called Home Area Networks, a network of low-power sensors inside so-called "smart homes" that can settle into a prolonged sleep modes to preserve power. The specification was ratified in 2004.

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