The ZigBee Alliance and the Wi-Fi Alliance are teaming up to collaborate on wireless home area networks (HAN) for Smart Grid applications. The initial focus of the collaboration will be ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, an energy management protocol for Smart Grid-enabled homes. The ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 is expected to operate over Wi-Fi technology as a result of the collaboration.
The two organizations will identify opportunities to use ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, capitalizing on the unique strengths and capabilities of their respective technologies. 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.
"ZigBee has always interworked with Wi-Fi using ZigBee and Wi-Fi gateways. 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," said Bob Heile, ZigBee Alliance chairman. "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."
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 is optimized to the needs of Wireless Sensor Networks.