ABI Buzzes on ZigBee

ABI Research sees deployment of some 80 million ZigBee devices by the end of 2006

September 28, 2004

2 Min Read

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. -- The "sleeping giant" that is the ZigBee market will, according to ABI Research, see deployment of some 80 million ZigBee devices by the end of 2006.

ZigBee is a technology suited to both industrial and home use. In industry, it allows better monitoring and control of a wide variety of equipment and processes, while for consumers, it will integrate control of many of the commonest household appliances and systems. By far the largest part of a mature ZigBee market will be in the home sector, with consumer ZigBee installations providing many times the revenue of the most optimist predictions for industry.

According to ABI Research analyst Chris Lopez, although industrial buyers will get the ZigBee ball rolling, ultimately the consumer sector will be easier for vendors to enter because technical requirements are less stringent there.

Yet many ZigBee companies are hesitant to enter the consumer arena. Why? Lopez attributes it to several factors. "Some are waiting for ratification of the ZigBee standard and for the ZigBee home market to develop," he says. "while a few others are plunging ahead, hoping to win consumers' trust early in the game."

A ZigBee system requires both hardware and the software that is used to control and integrate its functions. Many companies, Lopez adds, "want to deal with the software, but not with the consumer electronics. But if you want to do anything with ZigBee right now you must do both, because there are no products yet."

In his view, ZigBee is going to be "the next revolution in wireless technology". 2006 is not that far off, he notes, and companies wanting to stake a claim should begin laying their consumer-side strategies now, not later.

ZigBee Alliance

ABI Research

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