ZigBee Goes Home

The ZigBee Alliance has officially entered the home automation market.

Yesterday the ZigBee Alliance announced the completion and availability of the ZigBee Home Alliance public application profile. Before you go any farther, you might want to read the press release. My first question: what is a public application profile? Well here is the answer, conveniently tucked away in the FAQ’s:

“A Public Application Profile runs on ZigBee devices and contains specific details about what information a device can communicate and how this device should interact with other devices on the ZigBee network. A Public Application Profile is a specification developed and published by the Alliance and is available for all members to implement. ZigBee products must be implemented on ZigBee Compliant Platforms in order to wear the ZigBee logo. Any product carrying the ZigBee logo has undergone a thorough regimen of testing to ensure the product will successfully interoperate with other ZigBee Certified Products.”

So basically it is the rulebook that all devices hoping to be “ZigBee Certified” must follow. And it’s free. Fair enough.

I respect that ZigBee is sort of making an official push into the home automation market. Long the leaders in commercial automation (see ZigBee City), it seems the Alliance has been “threatening” to break into the residential side of things for some time. This last is their latest step, but sadly it still falls short from announcing the latest ZigBee home automation products now available for purchase. When that happens, we’ll really have something to talk about. Until then it’s all just, well, talk.


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