The ZigBee Alliance, a group companies creating wireless products, has agreed to collaborate the Wi-Fi Alliance to create wireless home area networks for Smart Grid applications.
The initial focus of the collaboration will be ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, which is a new energy management protocol for Smart Grid-enabled homes based on the ZigBee Smart Energy Profile.
The ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 is expected to operate over Wi-Fi technology as a result of the collaboration.
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, according to the groups.
“ZigBee has always interworked with Wi-Fi using ZigBee and Wi-Fi gateways,” ZigBee Alliance chairman Bob Heile stated. “Now there is an opportunity for the organizations to collaborate more closely for the smart home of the future, leveraging the intelligence of ZigBee Smart Energy.”
“Working with the ZigBee Alliance members will enable more than the extension of the ZigBee Smart Energy profile to Wi-Fi,” Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa added. “The collaboration will help bring about the vision of a truly interconnected smart home. 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.
The low-power ZigBee standard, according to the organization, is optimized to the needs of wireless sensor networks by offering self-organizing, self-healing mesh networking, scalability to very large networks, very low cost and complexity, and better battery life.