What you need to know
- Zigbee and Z-Wave are the two primary standards for smart home devices.
- Up until today, only one company had provided all of the chips for Z-Wave radios.
- Zigbee Alliance, along with Google, Amazon, and Apple, joined forces to create a new connectivity standard for smart home products on December 18.
Z-Wave is one of two main smart home standards, but it's also found itself closed off from outside manufacturers in terms of making chips to power the device's radios. Well, according to The Verge, that changes today as its owner, Silicon Labs, has announced a plan to open up the smart home protocol.
On December 18, Zigbee Alliance — the other main play in smart home connectivity standards — along with Google, Amazon, and Apple created a new group to create a new standard that will improve connected devices. Z-Wave has long been a closed-off standard that made it difficult for some companies to adopt it because of the single-sourced provider.
"We see these two big initiatives being complementary to each other," Pedersen said. Later, Klein added, "I think it's important to note that at Silicon Labs, we see the big picture."
Silicon Labs hopes that by opening up Z-Wave, the adoption of the standard will grow. There are benefits to both Zigbee and Z-Wave as well as the use of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in connected devices. As with most things, a little competition never hurts as it pushes companies to push to make products better.
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