Zigbee supporting burgeoning connected home market

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Everybody knows about the benefits of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in wireless networking. And now Zigbee is joining the party in full force, enabling an explosion in interest in the connected home energy market.

It's apparent at this week's DistribuTECH conference in San Diego that utilities and vendors -- even those who have not traditionally been in the energy market -- are looking for ways to make energy monitoring easy and efficient. But getting customers involved means brining simplicity and value, and Zigbee is one technology that is playing a central role as third party developers ramp up offerings in the energy market. 

"They are starting to get comfortable with bits and pieces of this," said ZigBee Alliance Chair Bob Heile, in an interview with FierceSmartGrid.

Heile, who has more than 20 years in the data communications and wireless data field, says he's beginning to notice a broader interest in home networking, especially as smartphones and other "smart" devices become ubiquitous with the general public and as utilities push onward with smart meter and AMI deployments.

This is a huge opportunity for utilities to better engage customers, and drive them towards efficiency. And Heile said that it's just a matter of time before Zigbee becomes a household term. He hopes to make the crossover and integration between Zigbee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth "brainless easy," so that everyone can better control and manage electricity use.

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