ZigBee and Wi-Fi Alliances to collaborate on smart grid wireless networking


Bob Heile,
ZigBee Alliance
San Ramon, CA and Austin, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 18, 2010 – The ZigBee® Alliance and the Wi-Fi Alliance® have announced an agreement to collaborate on wireless home area networks (HAN) for smart grid applications, focusing initially on ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0.

As a result of the collaboration ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, which is the next generation energy management protocol for smart grid-enabled homes based on the ZigBee Smart Energy Profile, is expected to operate over Wi-Fi technology.

The two organizations will identify opportunities to use ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, capitalizing on the unique strengths and capabilities of their respective technologies. This will expand the utility of the HAN in the management of energy consuming or producing devices.

ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 was selected last year by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an initial interoperable standard for HAN devices.

Joining Wi-Fi’s communication technology with ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 means that utilities, vendors and energy consumers will have more choice and versatility in energy management solutions. The agreement between the two organizations will help deliver close integration of the two communication technologies in a smart home environment. This environment will include devices ranging from utility meters, thermostats, and appliances to home entertainment devices, computing systems, and automobiles.

“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,” commented ZigBee Alliance chairman Bob Heile.

“The collaboration will help bring about the vision of a truly interconnected smart home,” added Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa. “As a result of this agreement, representatives from each organization will be able to provide input on one another’s Smart Grid activities to speed any proposed solutions.”

ZigBee Smart Energy was initially developed to operate over a standard ZigBee wireless network to support the needs of smart metering and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 has been designed to support other network technologies within the digital home, including HomePlug and now Wi-Fi.