ZigBee home automation – interoperability on a global scale

Bob Heile,
ZigBee Alliance
San Ramon, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 5, 2007 – The ZigBee® Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in consumer, commercial building and utility applications, has announced the completion and immediate free public availability of the ZigBee home automation (HA) public application profile that offers manufacturers a standards-based approach to introducing new wireless home automation products globally, eliminating the need for proprietary technology.

HA allows reliable and interoperable home automation applications to be developed by product manufacturers for consumers everywhere offering unprecedented reliability, control, convenience, security and choice. The Alliance is also making publicly available its ZigBee Cluster Library (ZCL) that provides engineers with the building blocks for applications with common needs, reducing development effort and permitting leaner implementations tailored to their applications.

"Consumers have been primed for a variety of home automation applications, and the maturing technology ecosystem around home automation, with developments such as the ZigBee home automation profiles, are moving the market forward," said Jonathan Gaw, research manager at IDC. "The growing global focus on improving energy efficiency can play a key role in introducing consumers to the value of home automation solutions."

HA offers manufacturers a proven standard approach to making devices reliable, affordable, easy to install and operate for the new construction, do-it-yourself and retrofit markets. HA provides standard interfaces for the control of lighting, HVAC, power outlets, motorization, security, audio/video and other devices. It maximizes the numerous technical strengths of ZigBee including use of the globally available 2.4 GHz band, self-organizing and self-healing mesh networks, and proven operational co-existence with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other systems. HA was created by industry leading ZigBee Alliance members, ensuring that the myriad of devices in the automated home work together and create a robust and secure solution regardless of manufacturer.

Product manufacturers have the most choice with ZigBee thanks to a robust ecosystem and diverse supply chain of ZigBee Compliant Platforms.

“The ZigBee home automation profile provides manufacturers the universal standard application they have been demanding in order to launch a thriving global home automation market allowing consumers everywhere an easy way to reap the numerous savings found in a standards-based wireless home automation network,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “Imagine the peace-of-mind gained from using ZigBee certified products to manage your lighting, security, heating and cooling systems from virtually anywhere. By automating and centralizing control of all these individual systems, ZigBee Home Automation allows us to increase our comfort and security and, most importantly, become more efficient at reducing our need for energy.”

Any manufacturer building devices using HA on a ZigBee compliant platform can submit its products for ZigBee certified product status and earn the right to wear the ZigBee logo. All ZigBee certified products undergo rigorous certification processes administered by respected, independent laboratories; ensuring products meet standards. Importantly, the program allows customers of all types to buy with confidence.