ZigBee and 802.15.4: Driving Wireless Energy
Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth—the debate rages on; which short-range wireless technology will gain the most marketshare in 2014 and beyond? Of course, it depends on the application. In smart home and smart energy, the latest research suggests two core technologies, ZigBee and 802.15.4, will enable a large chunk of the applications.
ON World, www.onworld.com, a market research firm focusing on technology, recently conducted more than 800 surveys and interviews with end users, vendors, and suppliers in an effort to analyze the global market opportunity for ZigBee, IEEE 802.15.4, and alternatives such as Wi-Fi,Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and ANT, among others. As a result of this research, the firm suggests ZigBee and 802.15.4, which enables LR-WPANs (low-rate wireless personal area networks), are driving smart energy solutions on a global scale.
In fact, according to ON World’s latest report, systems based on ZigBee and 802.15.4 will make up almost half—43%—of the wireless chipsets used for smart metering, distributed energy resources, lighting controls, and home and building energy management between 2012 and 2018. By 2018, the firm forecasts more than 400 million IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee-enabled devices related to smart energy will have shipped worldwide.
Already,these core technologies are being used in smart-grid initiatives worldwide. On the consumer level, energy-management solutions continue to grow in popularity as terms such as “ZigBee” become more familiar to tech adopters. ON World says 45% more consumers ranked the word ZigBee as “familiar” or “most familiar” in 2013 compared with the same survey in 2012.
As the smart-energy space moves toward new standards and interoperability, it will lay a foundation for future growth in the space. As consumers become more familiarized with the benefits of adopting M2M-enabled devices and solutions to better manage their energy use, the sky is limit in terms of smart energy solutions.
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