zigbee_allianceThe rapidly emerging Internet of Things (IoT) is raising the value of open interoperability and industry standards for low-power wireless communications across the commercial, industrial and residential spheres substantially. On November 18, the ZigBee Alliance announced the unification of its wireless standards under a single one: ZigBee 3.0.

Currently undergoing testing, ZigBee 3.0, the Alliance states in a press release, “will provide interoperability among the widest range of smart devices and give consumers and businesses access to innovative products and services that will together seamlessly to enhance everyday life.”

ZigBee Alliance standards are in use today, enabling low-power wireless communications a growing range of applications, including sensor networks, home automation, security, smart appliances and energy management and health care. All its standards are open and available to developers.

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A draft ZigBee 3.0 standard is available for ZigBee Alliance members. Full ratification of the new standard is expected in 4Q 2015. The alliance will be demonstrating application of ZigBee 3.0-enabled networks and devices in the interim, including at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2015.

“Happy consumers are the core driving force of all Philips hue activities. Consumers expect their smart devices to just work and be simple, and we continue to deliver new and rich lighting-centric experiences that are easy to control and create,” Filip Jan Depauw, head of Marketing & Partnerships at Philips Connected Lighting, was quoted as saying.

“The ZigBee protocols are a key enabler to achieve this, and the broader ZigBee 3.0 standard further enables seamless communication across different domains and will therefore allow us to offer even greater functionality to our users. Interoperability made simple empowers new use cases and happy consumers.”

ZigBee Certified products comply with the interoperable ZigBee Home Automation and ZigBee Light Link standards, which have now been consolidated within ZigBee 3.0. Based on IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee 3.0-enabled network devices make use of the 2.4-GHz frequency band, making it available worldwide, the Alliance notes.

“The ZigBee Alliance is addressing the critical need for application level standardization,” commented Mareca Hatler, director of research with ON World. “This announcement will build on the Alliance’s leadership across the Internet of Things, while continuing to provide the foundation for innovative products and services for smart homes, connected lighting, and other high growth markets.”

A complete list of the standards merged under the ZigBee 3.0 umbrella is available on the ZigBee Alliance website.

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