Just like Wi-Fi , ZigBee and Z-Wave are wireless technologies used to control and monitor compatible devices. The main differences lie in their characteristics and the way they are used. Both of these technologies are ideal for a home automation system and are becoming very popular in the United States. Big companies like Samsung and Amazon are among the first to have adopted these technologies and integrated them in their smart home systems.
Z-Wave is now becoming the leading home automation technology in the market. Just like ZigBee, Z-Wave also has an alliance established in 2005 and which has as a mission to develop and extend this technology. Its members now exceeds that of ZigBee alliance which is a clear sign of growth in terms of adoption. It counts more than 50 companies and oer 2100 products. Z-Wave was originally a wireless standard developed by Zensys, an company specialized in technological solutions. Z-Wave was then acquired by Sigma Designs. Z-Wave works with a nodal system in a wirless mesh networking system. The interoperability between various devices is done via this technology of nodes which can talk and interact to with other neighboring ones. A master controller, also called a hub, is responsible of controlling all nodes. what’s great about this system is that even if a node wants to communicate and is not withing range, it can link with another node that it can acess and transfer information. According to Electronicdesign.com, the number of possible nodes a Z-Wave network can habdle is 232. There is also the possibility to install multiple Z-Wave controllers in order to divide a network if needed (check TheTechyHome for more details).
In the late 1990s, ZigBee was seen to be an alternative, for some applications, to Bluetooth and WiFi. This technology is based on IEEE’s 802.15.4 personal-area network (PAN) radio standard. It is only in 2003 that this standard was completed. A year after that, the ZigBee alliance is born in order to maintain this project, contribute to its development and do testings. The alliance have now more than 200 members including companies that support this technology and provide testings and certifications. ost users of this technology make us of the 2.4-GHz band. This creates an issue of co-existence with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as they use the same band. Ember is one of the most popular brands which have brought to the market a development kit of chips and ZigBee protocol software as well as other tools designed to simplify the use of this technology.
There is more to say about the difference between Z-Wave and ZigBee technologies, but I wanted to highlight some of the important points without getting to much in the technical stuff. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Comeback soon for more tech related posts.