Amazon joins Zigbee board to push open standards in smart home, smart city
Amazon is to take a seat on the Zigbee Alliance board of directors. The Zigbee Alliance said the decision shows the IoT market is convening around its technology as a short-range technology for smart devices, notably in smart home and smart city applications.
The move shows the industry is committed to open standards, manufacturers will collaborate, and smart devices will become progressively simpler, it said.
Tobin Richardson, president and chief of the Zigbee Alliance, said: “As an industry, we need to move quickly to help consumers add new devices effortlessly, and ensure they are getting a great experience in the internet of things.”
Amazon joins the likes of Comcast, Huawei, Itron, Landis+Gyr, NXP Semiconductors, Schneider Electric, Signify, Silicon Labs, Texas Instruments on the board.
Manufacturers and standards organisations are “bridging differences and breaking down barriers”, said the Zigbee Alliance in a statement. Zigbee supports mesh networking, so modules in close proximity can be daisy chained.
The technology supports smart home services like Amazon’s Alexa and Echo family, which can be deployed in hub formation to control lights, locks, sensors, and other conveniences. Amazon has introduced ‘frustration free setup’ so customers can connect new Zigbee products by Alexa voice commands.
Research house ON World reckons Zigbee technology will ship in around 85 per cent of the 4.5 billion 802.15.4 units slated to hit the market in 2023.
“With Amazon as a board contributor in the Alliance, the market-movers are really pulling together and operating on a global level to steer everyone forward,” commented Mareca Hatler, principal analyst at ON World.
Christian Taubman, director of Amazon’s smart home division, said: “We look forward to working with the Zigbee Alliance and its members to contribute to open standards for device interoperability that benefit our mutual customers.”