Given the number of devices that are hitting the market and the importance of connectivity and communications between the systems, the ZigBee Alliance announced ratification of ZigBee 3.0 enabling interoperability and improved communication among a wide range of smart devices used in applications ranging from connected home, intelligent buildings and smart cities to connected lighting, energy efficiency and other applications.
Along with announcing the certification of ZigBee 3.0, the group also announced a partnership with the EnOcean Alliance, a group launched in 2001 that has developed a protocol for sub-1GHz energy-harvesting devices used in commercial buildings. There are hundreds of products on the market that don’t need cables or batteries but rather get their power through such avenues as thermal or solar. The partnership will enable EnOcean and ZigBee members to build energy-harvesting devices into the 2.4GHz range.
“Last December we shared our vision for a unifying IoT standard that would make it easier to develop and market interoperable products and solutions, unlock growth opportunities, and fuel innovation to enable surprising new capabilities in the home, workplace and cities. After a year of member testing and development, we now announce a significant step in fulfilling this vision with the ratification of ZigBee 3.0. This, along with finalization of our Common Applications Library, is a major milestone that we believe will help propel the IoT past infancy to mainstream market opportunities that can only be realized with future-proofed products that are easy to build and deploy, and that deliver compelling benefits across many different applications”, said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance.
ZigBee 3.0 addresses the need for true interoperability between IoT devices and solutions by standardizing all layers of the network, extending all the way from the physical to application layer. At the application layer, ZigBee 3.0 supports more than 130 devices, including building and home automation, lighting, energy management, smart appliances, security, sensors and health care monitoring products. It uses low-power, low-cost ZigBee PRO that supports mesh networking for reliable operations and can be run in tiny devices, such as simple sensors.
ZigBee 3.0 ratification is focused on further simplifying IoT product development and deployment, reducing industry confusion through the availability of a consolidated set of open application device definitions, and helping members bring the benefits and capabilities of connected IoT devices to a significantly broader range of applications and markets.
In January, hundreds of ZigBee Alliance members will participate in CES 2016, where the organization will have a significant presence spotlighting ZigBee 3.0. Booth sponsors include Atmel, DSR, Legrand, MMB Networks, NXP, OSRAM, OWON, Philips, POMCube and Ubisys.