Low-speed, low-energy standard might finally cause array of remote controls to disappear: ZigBee is meant to offer short distance low-speed transmissions that employ very little power so that battery life of the devices that use it and require batteries might be six months to 2 years. The ZigBee Alliance has published the first specification for its devices, which are based on IEEE 802.15.4.
Zigbee, as Peter Judge explains in Techworld, is intended as a tool to power communications among devices that have low information exchange needs, like home electronics controls and remote sensors. But because it's simpler and designed with fewer purposes than Bluetooth, it may displace many of the early envisioned purposes for Bluetooth.
Remarkably, the standard has had few of the turmoils that rocked 802.15.3a, the standard that's designed for very short distance and high speeds, which ultimately decided on ultrawideband (UWB) as the encoding but couldn't agree on the type of UWB.
Chips will be for sale by 2005 first quarter for about $5 apiece.
The chair of the alliance said he guarantees no man-in-the-middle attacks. He may be right: the standard was developed at a time rich with security knowledge about wireless interception, injection, and denial of service.