ZigBee is a wireless communication technology designed based on IEEE 802.15.4 specification. It is one the most economical, low power consuming data transfer technology operates with simple networking protocol. Let’s see what is ZigBee standard, specifications and its applications.
ZigBee has been developed to power Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs) like home automation and Internet of Things applications. ZigBee alliance is the monitoring organization for development, standardization and certification of ZigBee standard.
Mesh networking topology in ZigBee
ZigBee has been developed to use under mesh networking topology. In mesh network, every devices or nodes can interact with every other device within the network.
In practice, each device acts as a router and it increases the reliability of the entire network. Each device may have different roles like configuring the communication path, connect to other active devices to initiate routing and talk to end devices.
Device to device communication
Device to device communication is the technique used in modern wireless transmission technology like Internet of Things and 5G. In D2D communication, devices can interact each other without a central transceiver node.
ZigBee is capable of device to device communication in a smart home application which uses mesh network topology. Devices can find another active device within its vicinity, initiate communication without interruptions and efficiency of the system improves using D2D communication.
Specification of ZigBee
Standard : IEEE 802.15.4
Frequency : 2.4 GHz (home automation), 784 MHz, 868 MHz and 915 MHz (country specific)
Range : 10 to 100 meters (line of sight)
Data Rate : 20 kbps to 250 kbps
Network type : Mesh networking and device to device communication
Advantages of ZigBee
- Low cost solutions
- Low power consumption
- Highly efficient due to long battery life
- Simple installation and implementation
- Scalable network, support larger number of devices
- Remote monitoring and control of devices
- Highly reliable network
- Wireless coexistence with other technologies
Disadvantages of ZigBee
- Short range communication
- Low data rate transmission
- Security vulnerability due to personal information collected in devices
Applications of ZigBee
- Smart home applications
- Security monitoring and controlling home applications from remote locations
- ZigBee enabled remote controls which doesn’t require line of sight for controlling, it offer greater convenience
- Automatic doors, windows enabled with motion sensors
- Smoke, water and gas leak sensors which alerts
- Smart lighting solutions with smartphone controlling applications
- Connected lighting with energy saving options
- Smart switches which doesn’t requires battery power source (receives power from energy harvesting)
- Healthcare devices and applications
- Smart energy management applications like solar energy systems, hybrid vehicle charging, programmable communicating thermostats etc…
- Neighborhood Area Networks (NAN) for utility operations which connects devices outside home
- Smart retail applications like locations tracking, sensors, electronics shopping tags
- Food safety monitoring
- Enhanced wireless devices to improve shopping experience
Hundreds of companies have joined ZigBee alliance and it is still progressing globally. ZigBee is an emerging technology together with the advanced technologies like Internet of Things and 5G. Higher demand for smart home applications, healthcare, smart city and smart lighting, ZigBee will an inevitable technology to power future smart world.