The ZigBee Alliance is a growing community of around 200 companies and includes major names in the semiconductor, software developer, end product, manufacturer and service provider industries, including major telecom carriers. The ZigBee Alliance made its specification publicly available, including ZigBee 2006, released at the end of that year.

The ZigBee wireless standard fulfills a unique space in that it is short range and is designed specifically for low data rates. This design enables ZigBee to have extremely long battery life for “sleepy” end devices and extremely robust networks that can reliably operate for years. The addition of standardized protocols allows multiple vendors’ products to interoperate. This frees the end customer from relying on a single vendor, which may go out of business or simply lack the capacity to release the variety of products one could expect with a common standard. As many participants are involved in producing the standard, the combined experience and reduced individual investment raises the bar while freeing time for greater innovation and product differentiation.

This paper describes ZigBee certified products, application profiles, public protocols, the Zigbee networking stack, and areas of use in which ZigBee is particularly valuable.