Zigbee and Home Security Systems to together quite nicely, and it looks like we at Korner are not the only ones who think so. RDMag just released an analytical perspective on the choice of wireless technologies in for the Smarthome, and the argument for Zigbee sounds very compelling. There are three basic standardized technologies for the Smarthome: WiFi, ZigBee and Bluetooth. WiFi is primarily for content distribution (video, audio, gaming and Internet), ZigBee for sensor networks like Smart Homes, and Bluetooth (and BLE) for connectivity, personal area networks and wearables.
There’s also some interest in creating a low-power version of WiFi, the worldwide acceptance is doubtful because this standard is not universal and requires different technology specifications and flavors in different regions in the world. And it doesn’t have any compatibility with “real” WiFi as it’s a completely different radio and MAC technology. It makes much more sense to use IEEE 802.15.4 (ZigBee), which is already a universal standard and provides all the features the developers of this new low-power WiFi is struggling for. For many in the industry, this new flavor of “WiFi” does not make sense.
ZigBee has clearly become the technology of choice for many of the world’s IoT and Smart Home system makers. ZigBee also offers powerful ease-of-use features and strong security protocols. This is a major challenge to implement as sensors and edge devices usually do not have keyboards to enter security codes. And ZigBee 3.0 is fully IP and WiFi compatible, so there is no need to have a ZigBee chip in the phone itself in order to find and control ZigBee connected Smart Home and IoT devices. It all happens through any Web-connected hub (router, set-top box, gateway), which means that connected PC’s and smartphones (via WiFi or cellular) can function as dashboards, as they can find and communicate with any ZigBee devices without a problem.
ZigBee 3.0 is open, universal, and complete, and it is by volume shipments today, with estimates ranging from 1M units per week to 1M units per day, and as many as 500M ZigBee devices in the market.