ZigBee or not ZigBee?

From remote controls to building management, the low-power wireless technology is slowly making inroads in pro AV. Tim Kridel explores ZigBee’s potential as an alternative to wires and Wi-Fi.

If there’s one word that sums up why and where ZigBee fits into the pro AV market, it’s power. The wireless technology is designed to be efficient enough that, at least in theory, the battery in a ZigBee remote control would outlast the device’s useful life. And ZigBee’s initial applications include building management, which many AV integrators and vendors have branched into over the past several years. Although ZigBee is a relatively new technology, it’s already built a decent amount of awareness. "We’re seeing a lot of inquiries for customers that want to be LEED certified," says Mark Grazier, Texas Instruments programme manager of wireless sensor networks and worldwide third-party developer network. Grazier often attends trade shows in the HVAC, lighting and building automation sectors. In the past, attendees often asked what ZigBee was. "In the past three years, it’s been: ‘I’m familiar with ZigBee. Where can I get products?’" Grazier says. "So we’re seeing a movement from awareness and assessment to an implementation phase."
Read the rest of Tim’s article and find out how ZigBee is being implemented, as well as what barriers remain to more widespread adoption. You can do so in September’s edition of InAVate’s ActiveMagazine.

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