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ZigBee Outlook 'Promising,' Study Predicts

The outlook for ZigBee short-range wireless technology is "promising," according to a study released Wednesday by In-Stat/MDR.

ZigBee is the network layer for the 802.15.4 standard, which could be ratified as early as the end of this year. The study found that the leading application for the technology is likely to be commercial building control. Other leading applications will be applications that automate home functions and a variety of industrial applications, according to the study.

Using what it acknowledged was "an aggressive scenario," the study predicted that shipments of ZigBee products will exceed 150 million units in 2008.

"We know that these rollouts do take longer than expected, and market acceptance does not happen as quickly as many would like," Joyce Putscher, a report author, said in a statement. She noted that the level of success of ZigBee depends on whether silicon vendors can create simple "ZigBee in a box" solutions for their original equipment manufacturers.

While ZigBee initially will work in the already-busy 2.4 GHz band, the study notes that the industry is already working to enable the technology to work with other types of products, such as Wi-Fi, that already operate in that range. The study also noted that some in the industry are exploring using the 915 MHz band for ZigBee.