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ZigBee Alliance Triples in Size

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the maybe-it-will-explode dept.

Wireless Networking 94

maxstreampr writes "The ZigBee Alliance just put out a press release talking about how they tripled in size in the past year. I know, I can see the posts already. "What up to 3 members now." There are actually 124 members and they have some huge players in Phillips, Freescale, Samsung, and MaxStream. Not too shabby." See this story from December for more on ZigBee; in short, it's a low-data-rate wireless standard "to enable wirelessly networked monitoring and control products."

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94 comments

Nike (1)

BabyJaysus (808429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11474959)

Ouch!

What? (5, Funny)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11474960)

Up to 3 members now?

Re:What? (2, Funny)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11474998)

Actually 124.

Re:What? (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475255)

No shit?! But I bet they don't have any big players, say like Phillips, Freescale, Samsung, or MaxStream.

Re:What? (2, Funny)

EverStoned (620906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475301)

Hey, that's not too shabby. Do you know where I can get some more on Zigbee?

Re:What? (2, Funny)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475358)

Sure thing. See this story [slashdot.org] from December.

Re:What? (2, Funny)

gimpimp (218741) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475447)

story from december? pah! thats old news...you want the story from january [slashdot.org] !

Re:What? (2, Funny)

jon1012 (831761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11474999)

no... You're kidding ! ;) They are 5 now !

ffp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11474963)

fp?

What, only 124 members now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11474986)

Whee. My fridge will be able to talk to my toaster about absolutely nothing in 2045 when stuff for this comes out.

Speaking of toasters... (1)

PMJ2kx (828679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475112)

Right on! This means Intellitoast [slashdot.org] will become a reality!

Re:Speaking of toasters... (1)

jon1012 (831761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475190)

Super toaster coming right away from the ultra tubular cosmos for us geeks ;)

Re:Speaking of toasters... (1)

Dorothy 86 (677356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11476848)

I prefer to toast my Mayonnaise :)

Re:What, only 124 members now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475309)

Howdy doodly do! How's it going? I'm Talkie, Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?

Red_Dwarf [wikipedia.org]

Erm... Important how? (5, Insightful)

cato kaze (770158) | more than 9 years ago | (#11474997)

Not meaning to troll, but exactly why is ANOTHER consortium of companies that are 'working towards' something news? It seems there are several hundred of these groups, and I dont see anything in the article that seperates this one or makes its goals unique. "working together to enable wirelessly networked monitoring and control products based on an open global standard" is not exactly the most descriptive goal in the world.

Re:Erm... Important how? (0)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475038)

If it were any more understandable they wouldn't be able to sell it to investors. You see technically illiterate corporate types have certain strange traits that you have to cater to if you want their money. One of them is that the more incomprehensible the decription of a technical product, the more likely they think it really is something of value that is likely to succeed.

Re:Erm... Important how? (5, Informative)

chris09876 (643289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475039)

They've actually got some good whitepapers in MS Word format on their website. Look at the information section: http://www.zigbee.org/en/resources/

Re:Erm... Important how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475189)

But we all know that Word documents are bad [gnu.org] . ;-)

Re:Erm... Important how? (4, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475640)

...products based on an open global standard

...whitepapers in MS Word format on their website.

I guess they're not too concerned with supporting open standards elsewhere...

Re:Erm... Important how? (2, Informative)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475151)

ZigBee is very cool technology, but the question any slashdotter has to ask is "where do they stand on open source?"

Unfortunately, the answer is "someplace between Sun and SCO".

They want several thousand dollars to license their protocol stack and they seem to be going down the same road to Hell as Lonworks.

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

Woody77 (118089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475457)

Curious what your experience with LonWorks is?

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477599)

none what so ever because the blithering morons tried a shady game of declaring an "open" standard and charging an arm and a leg to use their "open" standard. so its used by a couple high-falutinosity automation suites but hasnt opened up any new markets.

which reads almost exaclty like what this zigbee "open" standard is trying to do, what its going to crack up to if these jackals keep it up.

i cant believe its 2005 and we dont have a decent low data rate protocol yet. yet another perfect textbook case of the failure of the markets, hell, the failure of markets to do the most drop dead obvious thing to benefit themselves.

the powers that be, the big consumer electronic players should jump on this opportunity and force the hand wrangling zigbee alliance to really open up the standard. it'll open up an entire new world of consumer electronics &c for the big players to sell to the consumers all over again.

-Myren

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

Woody77 (118089) | more than 9 years ago | (#11483841)

The standard is open, but it costs to play, that's for certain (LonWorks), which is, IMHO, wrong.

It *has* opened up the HVAC markets quite a bit, although it's really only the big boys that can afford to use it, but it's no longer a case of where only say, Honeywell, can provide the parts for a building HVAC system, because you can use siemens, trane, or a number of other thermostats and sensors in the system. But a low-volume startup simply cannot afford the development kits to get started.

LonMark hasn't helped much, either.

*****

The problem with the consumer electronics guys is that they really do *not* want to use an open standard. Sony only wants you to buy Sony gear, why would they want their Sony DVD player to talk to someone's Toshiba plasma screen, when they can use the fact that someone already owns Sony gear to help push them towards a Sony display?

We know it works both ways, but talking companies into seeing that just does not happen. And if a company is really good in 80% of the home theater components, but not so great in that last 20%, then they can leverage the proprietary control protocol to get people who have bought from the 80% to also buy from the 20% not so good, as it fits better into the system.

*****

I think the low data rate control protocols will do some amazing things for home automation, but companies need to have affordable ways to do it, and open standards to work with, otherwise the hobbyists that will drive it simply aren't going to be able to do anything. And X10 sucks, so that's not really a good option.

Re:Erm... Important how? (4, Informative)

lakiolen (785856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475887)

If you want open source low-data-rate wireless mesh networking check out the http://www.tinyos.net/ and http://webs.cs.berkeley.edu/ websites. I can't say much that wouldn't be biased because I'm, how you say, an involved party, but it is completely open source (GPL) and anybody can contribute they're own code and if it is good it might even be used :).

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477563)

you guys need to stop advertising in chime-in-mode on slashdot and write some web pages on what the hell tinyos actually is. you guys have great word of mouth advertising, but it takes more than tat. i spent thirty minutes looking for content, for pictures of running boards, tech specs, for anything at all which would actually indicate what you've done on your web page. i'm not sure whether it was i who failed, or you who did.

Re:Erm... Important how? (3, Interesting)

lakiolen (785856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477691)

http://www.moteiv.com/ has a picture of the latest and (we like to say) greatest mote that is out there on their front page.
http://www.xbow.com/Products/productsdetails.aspx? sid=3 also talks about wireless mesh networking hardware and software
http://www.tinyos.net/related.html linked from PROJECTS USING TINYOS (caps not mine) under Community on the right hand side of the site lists a bunch of real projects using tinyos and mote hardware.
http://www.tinyos.net/faq.html linked from FAQ under Help on the right again talks about what tinyos is.

I think that's what you're looking for but if not let me know and i'll supply you with more info.

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11479099)

"low-data-rate wireless mesh networking"

Obvious question, but how does this differ from Bluetooth?

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

lakiolen (785856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11481292)

Bluetooth is for high data rates (think file transfers) and at a very high power cost compared to 802.15.4 (low duty cycle, transfer a packet here and there). And with mesh networking you connect hundreds of nodes together, not something you would want to do with your cell phone and a lot of other people's headsets.

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475326)

Bluetooth stuff is hard enough to find at a decent price. There's wireless USB, 1392, WiMAX "coming soon", as well as some cellular based standards too.

Re:Erm... Important how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11476505)

Notice how most of the chip makers don't make zigbee chips. They make IEEE 802.15.4 transceivers that can be attached to a microprocessor with zigbee routing in firmware.

I suspect that the Zigbee group will promote everything that has 802.15.4 as "zigbee compatible" and declare victory.

I haven't seen any real products yet that actually use the technology, however many keep saying that these are just around the corner. About 3 months ago, I looked at a radio chip from Freescale (motorola) that they were billing as their zigbee solution. Turns out that it was just an 802.15.4 transceiver chip (not bad) that required a microprocessor and a licensed copy of the zigbee protocol stack to run on top of it.

Re:Erm... Important how? (1)

lateralthought (747069) | more than 9 years ago | (#11480076)

Zigbee is a wireless communications standard targeted at applications with low data rates and low power consumption. Zigbee utilizing a communications technique called Mesh networking in which each device forwards messages to devices within a given proximity. Zigbee overcomes the two biggest barriers to wireless adoption: reliability (people can move when wireless reception is poor; machines typically cannot) and lack of wireless expertise (customers do not want to become wireless experts). Zigbee is an example of a mesh network. Mesh networks improve reliability by ensuring that there are multiple routes between nodes and reduce power by only requiring the a node can broadcast as far as its closest neighbor (in a point-to-point network, doubling the communication distance requires 8 times the power). Zigbee devices support the creation general purpose inexpensive mesh networks and find application in areas such as industrial controls, medical devices, smoke & intruder alarms, building and home automation and asset tracking of high value shipments. As a wireless system, Zigbee can be as easily retrofitted to existing structures as designed into new buildings. As a low-cost device ( $3) it can be integrated into many systems and run for over a year on a single AA battery. And for those who yawn and say wait for the silicon. Cover your mouth, it's shipping. I've got a Freescale part in front of me.

Real World? (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475010)

So, is this out in the real world?

I mean, sure there are products (they probably showed them at the recent CES). But has anyone actually USED anything that has ZigBee in it? Is there some product that's "easy to find" (not horrifically obscure) that's available? Has anyone used ZigBee it's self or developed for it so they could give us impressions of it?

I mean it's interesting and all, but so was DataPlay (and we all know how many things with DataPlay we have in our houses).

Re:Real World? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475282)

I mean, sure there are products (they probably showed them at the recent CES).

Evidently not. [zigbee.org]

Re:Real World? (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475312)

ZigBee is new. Also for what I read it is more for the embeded space.
Remeber when there where no USB devices? Bluetooth is just now catching on. Give it some time.

Re:Real World? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475376)

I don't see this as the target of ZigBee. The real place for this is in industrial wireless networking. Cheap, low-power sensors that need to last much longer than they could possibly last on 802.11b or Bluetooth.

Basically, consumers aren't going to see much from this. This is going to be deployed in industrial plant monitoring, HVAC monitoring and similar situations where wiring is a cost issue.

Re:Real World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475414)

Not the real world, but it sounds like the techology used for the "localizers" in Vernor Vinge's "A Deepness in the Sky".

Re:Real World? (1)

theDerek (840481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475645)

Zigbee products won't be available for another few months. The Alliance (http://www.zigbee.org/ [zigbee.org] just released the 1.0 spec and the software guys like Figure8Wireless (http://www.f8w.com/ [f8w.com] ) won't be finished with the 1.0 stack until the end of this quarter, at the soonest.

Most Zigbee devs will be "hidden" (3, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11476524)

While Bluetooth's niche is in PDAs and phones etc, Zigbee's is in low power / low data rate applications. This really makes Zigbee most appropriate for control comms between embedded devices, building automation etc.

Zigbee should be way cheaper to implement than BT (say a buck vs five bucks), but that does not mean you'll see PDAs get Zigbee by default. Likely though your TV will get Zigbee and apart from being able to control its power intelligently it will allow you to control Zigbee devices via your TV/remote.

Re:Real World? (1)

CBravo (35450) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477672)

I've seen a demo of products that where supposed to use ZigBee in 2002 (but I haven't been able to verify it, technically).

Re:Real World? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11477739)

I'm waiting for products that can utilise the Zigbee standard. My wife recently got a cell phone [3g.co.uk] from Pantech&Curitel that is Zigbee capable, but since there aren't any products to control, it's pretty useless in that respect.

It's a pretty nifty phone in other respects though, nice camera, decent size memory with a mini-SD card.

But back on topic, this seems to indicate that they are looking at Zigbee for home use as well as the industrial use other here on /. have suggested.

Re:Real World? (1)

Micru (853431) | more than 9 years ago | (#11478415)

I'm currently working with a CC2420 from Chipcon [chipcon.com] , but not actually with Zigbee, only with IEEE 802.15.4. In order to access to the spec, you must pay $9,500 for a year (as Participant), or $40,000 /year (as Promoter). I'm developing my own stack. Okay, it will not be compatible with other ZigBee products, but it will work (I hope).

Weird name (1)

iMaple (769378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475019)

Wonder where they got the name from, Big Z ... Zig Bee .. still doen't make much sense though.

What's with the name? (2, Insightful)

Albinofrenchy (844079) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475021)

I'm not sayin' that the name is all that matters, but ZigBee's? That sounds more like a fast food restaurant then an entity that should be making standards.

I Heart GrizzleBees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475065)

Who's up for a bucket of Onion Wings? You'll wish you had less fun!

Re:What's with the name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475327)

Did you ever have a seafood burrito?

Re:What's with the name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11477747)

Actually, I have. It was delicious. I had it at this place in Los Angeles called Señor Fish. How's the seafood burrito at ZigBee's?

Re:What's with the name? (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475360)

You want wireless fries with that?

Re:What's with the name? (2, Insightful)

jbrader (697703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475398)

I know, how dumb can they be. They may as well call themselves something stupid like Apple or Yahoo or Google or...

Just another company ? :-/ (0)

jon1012 (831761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475027)

Is it just another IT company wanting to show off ?... Where is this going after all ?

Let's standardize standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475042)

Then we can forgo all this standarizition of various non standard standards in standarized version of their non-standardized selves in a standard way that is standard to all disciplines that need some form of standardization standards.

Once Again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475069)

once again, companies are growing and leaving the US. I wouldn't be surprised if ZigBee was buzzing away just because - like all IT, it realized that it must become larger to be competitive, for Tech in US is going down, and other countries are rising. Too bad, then again, I might be wrong...

Let us revisit this in 2 years (1, Insightful)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475093)

This is nothing but a smoke show until we start seeing some serious silicon being manufactured. Once they start pumping out single chip solutions for under $5.00USD in quantity, THEN it is something to be taken seriously. Until then, its nothing more than a potential pump 'n dump stock scam.

Re:Let us revisit this in 2 years (1)

theDerek (840481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475615)

Actually, Chipcon http://www.chipcon.com/ [chipcon.com] is selling RFIC's NOW (I have a stack of 20 right in front of me) and will have single chip solutions later this year, not 2 years from now.

Re:Let us revisit this in 2 years (1)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475653)

Thats nice, now lets see more than one manufacture producing Zigbee compliant components.

If you are in the manufacturing sector, you know darn well that you do not adopt ANYTHING until it is being made by at least 2 manufacturers. That way, you are not at the mercy of the chip maker in the event of a catastrophic failure, fab error, or manufacturer greed.

Back in 1993/4, I remember reading the data sheets from Texas Instruments about this cool new serial standard called "FireWire". How long did it take to gain widespread adoption? Several years. This is no different.

Re:Let us revisit this in 2 years (1)

theDerek (840481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475712)

This is exactly why we waited until solutions were available from multiple vendors, namely Freescale (formerly known as Motorola) and Chipcon. However, we like the CC solution better, as its radio is better than Freescale's.

Re:Let us revisit this in 2 years (1)

thered (256861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11476988)

There is an order of 300 units, ~$6.00/each being shipped to my company as I type.

CORRECTION (1)

thered (256861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11483814)

My numbers are a bit off - the 300 are at $18US, in quantity they will be around $10US. Not quite at the $5US range, but close.

Re:Let us revisit this in 2 years (1)

ductormalef (260954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477384)

Here are a few companies already producing silicon:

Chipcon [chipcon.com]
Freescale [freescale.com]
Atmel [atmel.com]
CompXs [compxs.com]

Just FYI

Bluetooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475105)

What does this do that Bluetooth doesn't?

Re:Bluetooth (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475403)

Probably doesn't do a lot of stuff that Bluetooth does and that is probably the point. Seems like a simple cheap protocol would be advantageous as wireless device control protocol.

Re:Bluetooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11477503)

Umm... blowtooth does a lot of things, very few of them really usefull.

It's kinda like a fancy sports car with all the extras, power steering, ABS brakes with traction control, four wheel drive with independant suspension, leather seats, climate control, the most kick ass sound system, GPS, TV in the back for the kids,

And when you pop the hood you find a one cylinder lawnmower engine.

Re:Bluetooth (1)

myc_lykaon (645662) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475516)

I believe it has the ability to have 256 nodes in a ZigBee network and also has better low power behaviour than Bluetooth especially if the data transmission is very sporadic, also the latency in going from sleep to transmit is low.

They are pitching it as complementary to BT, not as a competitor - they acknowledge that BT has the edge in raw data rate.

For the n!th time, Zigbee and BT are different! (1)

theDerek (840481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475672)

Zigbee can have ~65,000 devices on one network. The power consumption of Zigbee is very low, about 20mA @ 0dB. This doesn't sound like much output power, but we've measured 160' between two chipcon zigbee development boards in an office environment (through walls and everything)
One of Zigbee's strength is its low data rate - makes for a very robust low power network. Ideal for light switches and thermostats, etc.

GenToo, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475114)

Please add GenToo project to the list. ZigBee support in tomorrow's build.

For great justice? (1, Funny)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475130)

Guess they launched all ZigBee...

(/lame)

Re:For great justice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475314)

No, you got it all wrong. Try this:

You: Have you seen ZigBee anywhere?

Me: Yeah, just a few minutes ago.

You: Did he say where he was going?

Me: ZigBee left for great justice.

(posting AC because I an sooooo ashamed)

Big deal (1)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475194)

My Star Trek Frisbee Golf club has some players from a few of the largest corporations in America. You might have heard of them: McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell...

What did they have before, 41 1/3 people? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475234)

Generally if something triples in size you would expect the new number of people to be a multiple of 3.

Re:What did they have before, 41 1/3 people? (1)

FIGJAM (29275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11476229)

124 / 3 = 41.333

Maybe they had a few really fat people that are too big to be just one one person.

Call us back when... (3, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475258)

...your product page [zigbee.org] has actual products, and doesn't say "Coming Soon".

ZigBee, because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475292)

...Bluetooth didn't leave a big enough crater when it crashed and burned.

ZigggleMcBeeeeeee! (2, Funny)

TheWordOfB (696275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475298)

ZigBee, n, pronounced: Bluetooth.

oh for gods sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475436)

this is somehow news? innovation? relevance? fish in the ocean? beuller? beuller?

Fools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11475473)

All you unbelievers - this protocol would be a great solution to a 'problem'. Wireless connectivity for devices, without needing a wireless access point.

Timothy! (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475529)

Check out the use of quotation marks in the summary -- yet another great example of the high standards the "editors" hold themselves to here.

Anything is better than X10 wireless protocol (2, Insightful)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475682)

I, for one, welcome the ZigBee overlord.

X10 wireline protocol has its shortcoming when one uses in a dual-phase household (two sets of 112-120VAC in alternate AC phases). It mandates installing a capacitor to act as a bridge.

Otherwise, one would have to have dual controller segment throughout the house.

Zigbee Products are here (2, Interesting)

greencarp (208313) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475803)

I've got a number of zigbee products in my lab for sensor net research. You can get them...

http://www.xbow.com/Products/productsdetails.aspx? sid=101 [xbow.com]
http://www.moteiv.com/ [moteiv.com]

Re:Zigbee Products are here (1)

lakiolen (785856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475994)

By zigbee products, my parent ment low-power embeded networking, non-closed sourced, non-vaporware products.

Before you get angry at me for being anal-retentive, there is a difference, and a signifcant one at that (at least to people who are working with the products, myself being one of them). I'm not saying those products listed above are vaporware, I'm saying they're not ZigBee.

Re:Zigbee Products are here (1)

dan42 (740934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477363)

My company is already shipping with Millennial Net's embedded solution (though not the "Zibee" model http://www.millennialnet.com/content.cfm?section=2 .04).

They claim the new model is "zigbee ready" (firmware upgrade whenever the stack is finalized).
http://www.millennialnet.com/content. cfm?section=2 .03

Re:Zigbee Products are here (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11478883)

US$150 for a low-power wireless module + micro isn't bad, but it isn't inexpensive either.

These days, you can get Bluetooth _GPS_ units, with a replacable Li-Polymer battery, for the equivalent of US$120 these days. The things they are short on (as compared to this Zigbee board) is battery life (20 hours full tilt... as compared to years for Zigbee?), an accessible OS, and expansion boards for connecting sensors.

It would be _so_ nice if someone convinced Leadtek or Arkon [mobileplanet.com] etc to add TinyOS and sensor expansion capabilities things to their GPS units. :-P

Whatever (2, Interesting)

horza (87255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475881)

Another wireless attempt. I want to set up a Home Automation system, yet things don't seem to have moved on since 20 years ago. You have a few wireless options, which I'm not interested both for security and as I have a lot of appliances that generate a lot of RF. X10 is slow and unreliable. The Clipsal CBUS is a nice idea but a patented monopoly and stupidly expensive. There are some nice USB capture devices such as labjack, minilab, etc but Linux support is poor. There are embedded computers but those with Ethernet are too expensive. There are a few RS485 options though. I was hoping some XaP devices would appear, PIC based, but Xap has turned into some crap WinXP desktop app. DMX isn't appropriate really. I'm going to have to come up with some homebrew solution, currently thinking of using Micromint PicStic which appears better for home control than the Gumstix, but it's going to reduce the resale price of my flat if I don't use a supported off-the-shelf solution :-(.

The state of HA today is a sad mess. I really am disappointed.

Phillip.

Re:Whatever (1)

peel (242881) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477339)

While I agree with most of your comments, it seems that some of the major problems with DIY home automation could be a non-issue pretty soon. ZigBee looks to be but on solution and while I haven't read much about it being used as such UltraWideband could also conceivably be used for HA. That being said Wired currently has a nice article about a company that is using ZigBee devices in an attempt to bring HA to the masses, and, I must say, I am pretty impressed. It appears to be one of the first systems that, while prices are not readily available, may make the extra cost of implementation worth it. I know there are a ton of lower cost solutions that just fail in the easy to implement department. Anyway here's the article at wired [wired.com] and here's the company's website. [control4.com]

Re:Whatever (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477735)

I don't like wireless for that, the controllers will have to be too complicated, I'll want all that to be encrypted or I won't use it. I don't want people switching things remotely.

take off all zigbee (2, Funny)

mekkab (133181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11475969)

For great justice!
Move all zig! err, zigbee.

Well done Timothy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11476353)

in short, it's a low-data-rate wireless standard "to enable wirelessly networked monitoring and control products."

This is one of the few stories on Slashdot where some random obscure thing is actually explained.

ZigBee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11476840)

tinyOS! tinyOS! tinyOS! tinyOS! tinyOS! tinyOS! tinyOS! tinyOS! ...

ZigBee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11477371)

ZigBee is basically a product of IEEE 802.15.4 (or the other way around actually). You can read more about 802.15.4 here: http://www.ieee802.org/15/pub/TG4.html

you Fail; It (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11477703)

Word has it... (2, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11477875)

...That the newly power-mad ZigBee Alliance wishes to expand even more by combining with the Consortium of Tral.

Is sounding to me... (1)

A.Chwunbee (838021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11479403)

124 users! Dear Sir, is sounding to me like this is one Zig that is not taking off! Where is the great justice [planettribes.com] in that?

It's Philips! (1)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11479515)

Sorry, just knee-jerking from one of my pet peeves here. The name of the company is very likely PHILIPS [philips.com] . Please go ahead and count the number of Ls in there. Yes, there can be only one! Now we continue with our scheduled comments.
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