ZigBee-enabled smart energy devices to surpass $110M revenue by 2016
July 24, 2013 - Radios and software based on ZigBee wireless communications technology are utilized in various devices, such as smart meters, programmable communicating thermostats and home area network gateways. Despite the widespread deployments, however, the technology is not used extensively and suffers from a lack of consumer awareness, says Navigant Research which stated, in its ZigBee for Smart Energy report, that sales of ZigBee-enabled devices for smart energy will grow steadily over the next few years. Revenue from such devices will peak at $110.5 million in 2016, the study concluded, before declining as smart grid deployments slow down.
By Alyssa Dalton
“ZigBee is known as a low-cost solution for reliable low-power control and monitoring,” said Neil Strother, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Although utilities tend to shy away from going beyond the meter—something ZigBee functionality obliges them to do—ZigBee-based home area networks enable customers to be more engaged in utility energy efficiency programs such as time-of-use pricing and demand response.”
Expected to be commercially available later in 2013, the latest version of ZigBee’s Smart Energy Profile software (SEP 2.0) marks a major shift, said Navigant, as the first to be Internet Protocol-based, a characteristic that will enable ZigBee devices to communicate with non-ZigBee devices, such as those that use Wi-Fi or HomePlug. This opens up a new, and risky, world for ZigBee, according to the report, as multiple home networking technologies vie for relevance.