Ikea chairs new Europe-focused Zigbee group to focus on smart homes
The Zigbee Alliance has started a new Europe-focused special interest group to promote the short-range technology in the European market. The group is chaired by Swedish flat-pack furniture company Ikea, which integrates Zigbee into its smart lighting products.
The European group will also lead the work programme for the alliance’s Connected Home over IP project, to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products. The connected home work aims to make security a “fundamental design tenet”.
The group will also feedback into the alliance for development of Zigbee standards globally, and provide the inside track on EU regulation and standards and coordinate and engage with alliance marketing teams to support EU events and speaker programmes.
Ulf Axelsson, IoT architect at Ikea, joins as chair of the new Europe group. He commented: “I am looking forward to collaborating on new levels with fellow alliance companies from an EU perspective, and fostering more regular interaction between our members that are interested and invested in the European residential or commercial IoT markets.
“We are creating a structure to provide better visibility into the important developments happening across the Zigbee Alliance, and our Europe Interest Group provides an efficient avenue for more two-way dialogue and information exchange between regions, countries, companies and individuals all working toward the same technology goals.”
Bruno Vulcano, R&D manager at Legrand and chairman of the board for the Zigbee Alliance, said: “The formation of this European-centric group will take Alliance-wide cooperation and communication to new levels, which is essential as our game-changing Project CHIP initiative comes into focus and to the market in early 2021, and we continue to drive openness and interoperability through our flagship Zigbee standards.”
Last year, the number of certified Zigbee IoT products and platforms in the market for smart homes and cities had passed 3,000, according to the Zigbee Alliance. The alliance’s certification programme seeks to establish quality standards and levels of interoperability among Zigbee products for product developers, service providers, and customers.
It said the 3,000th certified Zigbee product is the Amazon’s second generation Echo Show, which features a smart home hub to connect to Zigbee-based light bulbs, door locks, and sensors. Latest Zigbee 3.0 products are starting to gain certification, it said.
In April, the Zigbee Alliance and the Digital Illumination Interface Alliance (DiiA), the organisation for DALI lighting control, announced a deal to bring further standardisation and system interoperability to IoT-based luminaires in the smart lighting space. The pair said the collaboration will help realise the benefits of combining wired DALI lighting-control with wireless Zigbee-based IoT networks.