Internet of Things: one remote to control a whole home, thanks to Zigbee Alliance


Wireless organisation the ZigBee Alliance has ratified a new standard for remote control applications in smart home products that is available now for download by developers.

Using radio frequency technology, ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 gives consumers the capability to control all devices in a home with one remote control, including lights, heating, air conditioning, security and home monitoring.

It also enables telecom companies and cable operators to integrate their smart home offerings with set-top boxes.

Tobin JM Richardson, president and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance, said: “ZigBee Remote Control offers significant enhancements to life in the smart home.

“Continuing to lead and define the Internet of Things, the alliance and our members have completed work on ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 in order to deliver all the benefits of the smart home right to the palm of your hand.”

‘Optimal’ smart home control

Arsham Hatambeiki, vice president of Corporate Product Strategy at Universal Electronics, commented: “With this release, which includes a range of necessary enhancements, ZigBee is now the most comprehensive standard for an optimal control experience.

“The native support for an application capable of automatic discovery and configuration of an entertainment system, finally allows for a hassle-free control experience and addresses the most essential needs of the consumer.”

The news comes as the ZigBee Alliance certified its 1,000th product late last month suggesting an increasing global interest in developing Internet of Things technology.

More than 400 manufacturers of smart meters, smart lighting and smart home products are using the ZigBee standard, confirms the alliance. Zigbee is set to feature prominently in the UK’s ongoing smart meter rollout of 53 million units with its smart energy solutions used in home area networks comprising meters and in-home displays.

As well as certifying products are compliant to the wireless interoperable standard, the ZigBee programme also evaluates all platforms before they can be engineered into products.

Smart home

Members of the ZigBee Alliance include home automation companies such as LeGrand and Schneider Electric, telecommunications companies like Comcast, Deutsche Telekom and EchoStar, and US retail stores such as Staples and Lowe’s.

The standards are also being used to allow consumers to have wireless control over LED fixtures, light bulbs, remotes and switches with GE, Osram, Philips and Busch Jaeger signing up to the standard.

The market for Zigbee-enabled devices is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 67 per cent from 2014-2018, according to data from intelligence company Research and Markets.

The non-profit alliance, founded in 2002, is headquartered in California, in the US.