by CIO Staff

Sensor Networking ZigBee Predicted for 2008 Success in Commercial Building Automation

Dec 27, 20062 mins

Zigbee networks work in the opposite manner from ordinary data networks. The tiny sensors need to be inexpensive with extremely low battery power, because they’re intended to be placed in devices at the top of electric poles, in shipping containers and in the fire alarms built into your home. According to ABI Research, sensor networking has three primary markets: in the home, commercial buildings and industrial facilities; ZigBee aims to cover them all. Says senior analyst Sam Lucero, commercial building automation is a market where ZigBee is competitively positioned against other wireless sensor technologies.

Of the five top vendors of building automation systems, which together control about 70 percent of the market, four—Johnson Controls, Siemens, TAC and Trane—have introduced wireless products based on ZigBee in the past year, and the fifth—Honeywell—is moving toward doing so, claims ABI Research. The research firm expects that, over the next five years, up to 20 percent of commercial building automation system field equipment may “go wireless,” seeking the lower costs, better control and greater flexibility that such systems deliver.

However, they add, regional differences may affect adoption. In North America and Europe, commercial building markets are largely mature, while greater “greenfield” opportunities can be found in Asia. Asian markets are fragmented, and there may be a rash of acquisitions as the “big five” push into the region, says the analyst firm.

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