Saturday, July 09, 2005

ZigBee in your lamp, it's like the Clapper but cooler

ZigBee is a wireless network technology (like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) that is being promoted as the way to make our home appliances smart. Appliances that have ZigBee components can communicate over a network created by multiple ZigBee devices. Since it's wireless all this is done without lots of expensive cabling.

For example, your basement starts to fill with water and the sump-pump in your basement kicks in. That's an easy mechanized activation but with a ZigBee device it can also send a msg to the alarm system about the leak. If the alarm system is on the second floor, ZigBee can hop from one ZigBee device to another to work its way to the alarm. This way it uses mesh networking instead of hub-and-spoke networking and so is supposed to be more fault-tolerant. If your msg from the basement sump-pump goes to the alarm system via a ZigBee device installed in a lamp and that device fails the message can pass over the lamp node and go via the stereo instead.

It's being promoted to large buildings at first.

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