The ZigBee Alliance has made publically available the ZigBee RF4CE specification for advanced remote controls. ZigBee RF4CE replaces infrared (IR) with radio frequency (RF) communication in remote controls, allowing non-line-of-sight operation, greater range and longer battery life for consumer electronic (CE) remote controls used with HDTV, home theater equipment, set-top boxes and other audio equipment.
The ZigBee RF4CE wireless platform lets consumer electronics manufacturers create consumer products and features that are unique, secure, low-cost, easy to deploy and interoperable with other ZigBee RF4CE certified products. Freescale Semiconductor and Texas Instruments have ZigBee RF4CE certified platforms. Other platform suppliers are now able to seek platform certification and further broaden the already strong ZigBee supply chain.
"The ZigBee RF4CE specification increases the value of manufacturers' remote control products, boosting possibilities for innovation, interactivity and reliability," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "RF remote controls enable seamless command confirmation with components like HDTVs, home theater equipment, set-top boxes and other CE products."
Announced in March 2009, ZigBee RF4CE is a standardized specification for RF remote controls that enables faster, more reliable and greater flexibility for devices to operate from longer distances. It removes the line-of-sight and field-of-vision barriers in today's IR remotes and by supporting two-way communication, it opens the door for a whole new set of capabilities. The ZigBee RF4CE specification is designed for a wide range of products, including home entertainment devices, lighting control, security monitoring, keyless entry systems and many more.