zigbee_allianceThe ZigBee Alliance on July 24 announced that it has ratified and released for new product development, a fully backwards-compatible update to the ZigBee Home Automation standard.

Integral to smart homes, ZigBee’s wireless home automation standards are incorporated in home energy and security management systems.

Included in ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 are new features that improve battery life for security sensors to over seven years, standardize pairing of devices, and simplify installation and maintenance for consumers and custom installers, according to a Zigbee Alliance press release. Enhancements to functions in devices, such as door locks, and support for additional devices, including smart appliances and electrical measurement devices, have also been incorporated in the upgrade.

New features were developed in collaboration with Italy’s Energy@home initiative, a ZigBee Alliance partner, “which will benefit consumers by integrating new devices and raising consumer awareness of energy usage without necessarily connecting to an electric utility,” according to ZigBee Home Alliance.

“ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 is a major step forward in creating an open and fully interoperable wireless home control platform,” Comcast Cable vice president, video premise equipment, technology and product Ted Grauch was quoted as saying.

“For service operators and CE companies, ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 will provide a technology standard that removes much of the complexity from planning and deploying advanced home services and reduces the amount of energy they consume.”

The ZigBee Alliance will be hosting a free online webinar entitled “ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 – Delivering Peace of Mind through Secure and Energy Efficient Homes” on August 1.