Zigbee Devices finally coming 2006 Q1

Tombo

Member
Well it looks like Zigbee is finally going to come out with products next year. This should give ZWave, Insteon and others a run for their money.

First off no particular vendor controls the standard. Unlike Zensys with Zwave, Smarthome with Insteon, etc.

I give Zensys credit for getting RF wireless Mesh going but Zigbee will be the dominant player here. It is hitting high end building controls, factory automation, and now home automation. Many chip manufacturers are involved.

If you are thinking of redoing your home I would wait to see what comes out on Zigbee. Here is a link to what Eaton will offer in first quarter of next year.

http://www.homeheartbeat.com/NASApp/cs/Con.../Pages/HomePage

Tom
 

JohnBullard

Active Member
That link has been posted several times for over a year.

Still no change from the last time I looked at it approx 6 months ago.
 

Tombo

Member
True but here is their announcement in a news letter

"Home Heartbeatâ„¢ Prepares for a Nationwide Launch.
Welcome to the first Home Heartbeatâ„¢ E-newsletter. Use this newsletter as a resource to learn more about product applications and keep up-to-date on the latest Home Heartbeatâ„¢ innovations.

Eaton appreciates your continued interest and input on Home Heartbeatâ„¢, The World's First Home Awareness System. As you may know, Eaton has pushed back the Home Heartbeatâ„¢ launch to first quarter 2006. We did this for one simple reason: to ensure that we offered customers the best, most innovative wireless home
awareness system.

In the upcoming weeks, we'll let you know about nationwide retail launch activities and where you can buy the product. We will also give you a chance to become a charter member of the Home Heartbeatâ„¢ advisory panel allowing you to preview future Home Heartbeatâ„¢ products).

"

Tom
 

Squintz

Senior Member
I no one person governs the protocol then who is responsible for enforcing it?

Look what has happened to Z-wave... Until recently there was 'little to no' quality checking taking place. In other words zen-sys was not checking to make sure products labled z-wave were actually 100% to specs.

I am thinking that something similar will happen with zigbee if nobody is checking up on the manufactures. I am not saying that nobody is going to be checking.... I am simply asking who that will be if someone is going to be checking?
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
Two quick thoughts:

1. I don't see any light switches or thermostats in Eaton's line-up, just sensors. Sensors are a big part of what Zigbee was designed for, so I can see how that's easy to translate to the HA market.
2. I don't see a "Zigbee" logo on any of the products on their website, or at least it's not easy to find. Is there actually an official Zigbee device profile for HA sensors? Or is Eaton, like most other manufacturers, creating another non-interoperable implementation of Zigbee?

I agree that Zensys (with Z-Wave) has gotten the home wireless mesh networking market off the ground. But, for many reasons, I don't think that Zigbee is anywhere near release-quality as it stands today, as far as home automation goes.

Chris
 

Tombo

Member
Here are the members. Eaton is one of them so I cannot see them putting out a non logo'd product.

http://www.zigbee.org/en/about/members.asp

Zigbee is taking longer to get to market but Zensys with Z-wave is really a similiar technology with a simpler implementation. They did not want to wait for a large group of people to hammer out a spec and therefore proceeded ahead on their own. I hope they are successful too but I think they will eventually jump on the Zigbee bandwagon. They have a headstart in terms of implementation and technology application in RF mesh networks.

I think sensors with 5 plus years of battery life running a RF mesh product is where this RF stuff will shine. RF for lighting control is fine, but with power available the low power RF technology is really not that important. If the X10 protocol was just modernized I think it could have lasted. By modernized I mean feedback, CRC checking, encryption, uniqie Identifiers etc.

Maybe for the short term it would work well with Zwave Intermatic lighting and Zigbee for the sensor devices around the house.

Anyway you look at it , 2006 looks like a good year for home automation.

Tom
 

elcano

Active Member
This is the only reference to ZigBee that I (actually, search.yahoo.com) could find in the HomeHeartBeat site.

Zigbee holds a good promise, but I dont think they are worth the wait and risk. I prefer commiting to a more mature technology and replace it with ZigBee in 10-15 years if it really wins the battle.
 

Tombo

Member
Well you will be waiting for Z-wave till the first quarter for Intermatic devices. By the way Zwave seems the opposite of the Zigbee offerings coming. Lots of lighting control but few sensors. I also noticed that the vendor lists are different. Zwave looks to be ahead for light switches and I think Zigbee will be ahead in sensors. This might actually work out well. The sensor manufacturers seem to be involved with Zigbee and they have been targeting the high end. These are big players and if you look at the chip manufacturers they also are big. I know Intel pumped money into Zensys but I dont know what they got out of the investment. I have demo kits of Zigbee and it is not a promise as far as operation. There just have been no consumer devices made. If you want mature and you think 10-15 years is mature, you live a different world than I do. Enjoy your X10, your 19 inch color TV, your compass (no GPS for you), and your VHS tapes. I sure there is more but you get my drift.

Tom
 

elcano

Active Member
Tombo said:
Well you will be waiting for Z-wave till the first quarter for Intermatic devices. By the way Zwave seems the opposite of the Zigbee offerings coming. Lots of lighting control but few sensors. I also noticed that the vendor lists are different. Zwave looks to be ahead for light switches and I think Zigbee will be ahead in sensors. This might actually work out well. The sensor manufacturers seem to be involved with Zigbee and they have been targeting the high end. These are big players and if you look at the chip manufacturers they also are big. I know Intel pumped money into Zensys but I dont know what they got out of the investment. I have demo kits of Zigbee and it is not a promise as far as operation. There just have been no consumer devices made. If you want mature and you think 10-15 years is mature, you live a different world than I do. Enjoy your X10, your 19 inch color TV, your compass (no GPS for you), and your VHS tapes. I sure there is more but you get my drift.

Tom
Tombo,

10 - 15 years is the time that I consider reasonable as payback period after investing hundreds and even thousands dollars in a technology before ripping everything out and installing a new one. That's my financial criteria. I assume the devices that I'll most probably install should last around 10 years (UPB).

Also according to my criteria regarding residential home automation, X-10 is obsolete, UPB is in prime time and Z-Wave should be reaching maturity soon if the promises for 2006 hold true. Specially the release of "live status" 2-way communication devices - which is a show stopper for me and many. Insteon is in the right direction and fast, but still young - not enough devices and application support. ZigBee is still made up of demo kits and press releases.

For sensors I'm using hardwire with a few security related exceptions where I'm using Caddx connected to an M1 controller. Zigbee sensors and interfaces would be really welcomed in this area. I dont see any interface in the press release. Actually, I dont consider the current product assortment a HA component until they can be connected to a controller that can trigger automated actions to the sensors input. As of today, they are just a wireless monitoring system. However, I'm sure they will solve this in 10-12 years. Ups! Sorry, I mean 1 - 2 years. ;-)
 

Squintz

Senior Member
Don't forget about the possibility of a z-wave to zigbee bridge. I don't see any reason why the two can't coexist.
 

Tombo

Member
Elcano,

I dont know much about UPB but they look a little pricey. I guess I was not sure what you meant by 10-15 years but UPB is still fairly new too. As long as its not X10 I am sure you will be ok. I hardwired alot of sensors and to be honest I rather not. RF would be good for things like your mailbox, driveway sensor etc. As far as controllers I am sure hooking up zigbee will be as easy as the rest. Probably easier than Zwave and buying their expensive toolkit.
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
Tombo said:
Here are the members. Eaton is one of them so I cannot see them putting out a non logo'd product.

...

I think sensors with 5 plus years of battery life running a RF mesh product is where this RF stuff will shine.
Tombo,

Thanks for the link. It's interesting to note that both Control4 and Crestron are on that list, and that both of those product lines are based off of 802.15.4, but neither are Zigbee-compliant, by design.

As for sensors, did you know that some of the new Z-Wave sensors coming to market can run up to ten years on a set of AAA batteries? We have chatted about a handful of products coming to market--but there are many, many more in development or getting ready to go to production.

If a company actually implements a product based on Zigbee v1.0, it will be interesting to see how it works in the real world. As the Chief Architect of Ember said, it does make sense to create proprietary, non-interoperable solutions off of the 802.15.4 stack. But that doesn't help create an interoperable marketplace.

Chris
 
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