Zigbee as the Communication Technology in Smart Devices is an important concept, understanding which is crucial from a Consumer as well as an Expert point of view. As mentioned in one of our earlier articles, the type of Communication Technology used by various Smart Devices play an important role in creating a mesh network of Smart Devices, where commands or functionalities are executed by smart devices either successively or collectively. It was also mentioned that WiFi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee are the most widely used communication technologies used by most of the Smart Devices in the current market.
On very minimalistic terms, ZigBee is the most effective communication technology of smart devices, in terms of energy consumption. Zigbee enabled devices uses very less energy for operation. Hence these devices have longer battery life. That means don’t have to keep running for changing the batteries every now and then. It’s a highly useful scenario when it comes to smart devices. You can’t actually achieve the intended outcome of an Automated Smart Home if you need to run every now and then to change the batteries or recharge the device.
However, as a trade-off to the longer battery life, ZigBee has fewer Data Transmission Rates and Shorter-Range as compared to other Communication Technologies. The Data Transmission Rate for ZigBee is around 260 Kilobits per second which is pretty decent enough to operate all Smart Devices in any Smart Home Setting, without any user delays. The Range would also not be a problem since most Smart Homes have devices connected within a limited range. For remotely controlling these Smart Devices, you always have the Internet.
ZigBee has the ability to create a Mesh Network of Smart Devices. In a Mesh Network, each device receives and transmits every other data packet. Hence the failure of one device does not cause breaks in the functioning of the other devices nor does it result in the failure of the entire connected system. Communication Technologies employing Point to Point communication are liable to break down when one device stops functioning. The systems are hence more reliable in terms of uninterrupted functionality – something which you would, by no doubt, expect from a Smart Home. You can connect more than 50,000 nodes in the ZigBee Mesh and all the connected devices can be controlled from a single control unit.
The Short Range of ZigBee can also be overcome, to a lot extent by using the above mentioned Mesh Network of Devices wherein each device receives and re-transmits data to the next device in the Mesh Network, thus extending the coverage for Data Transfer. ZigBee is also easier to set up and configure. The expense involved in setting up ZigBee is comparatively lesser.
Considering the facts such as Low Power Requirement, Easier Setup Mechanism, Effortless Maintenence, System Reliability and Longer Battery Life for the associated Smart Devices, Zigbee is one of those Communication Technologies in Smart Devices that is becoming increasingly popular.