have you heard of the Zig-Bee?

Five questions: Jack Sun
September 26, 2005
EDUARDO CONTRERAS / Union-Tribune
Jack Sun is president of Carlsbad-based Helicomm, a privately held company
founded in 2002 that is developing wireless technology for remote monitoring and control systems in homes and the workplace. Helicomm recently unveiled a line of wireless products based on the new wireless standard, ZigBee.
What is ZigBee?
ZigBee is the first wireless industry standard focused on remote monitoring and control applications. It has a range of 150 to 200 meters. It's designed to be simple, low-power and ultimately inexpensive. It's very flexible and will have applications in everything from consumer applications such as the universal remote control all the way to heavy industrial uses.
Where did the name come from?
ZigBee is a mesh-network technology. The devices communicate with each other to form a network. ZigBee devices communicate the same way a cluster of bees communicates, passing a message through the cluster.
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How long will it be before ZigBee is in widespread use?
ZigBee has been under development for four years. We'll see the initial volume production this year, followed by large-scale deployment next year. ZigBee will be widespread much more quickly than (wireless technology) Bluetooth, which is primarily used in cell phones. ZigBee has a much wider market space. It is intended to work with any type of microcontroller. The typical U.S. home has 250 microcontrollers, many of which are wired together.
What are Helicomm's ZigBee products?
We have a ZigBee module and tools for our customers, who are not experts in wireless. We have a customer with a street-lighting-control system. We have customers in asset tracking who will use our modules as RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. ZigBee has much better range than current RFID technologies, so it makes it easier to track inventory.
Are you a gadget guy?
My cell phone is my main wireless device. I use it a lot. I don't have a Bluetooth headset. I used to have a PDA, but I don't have one now.
- JONATHAN SIDENER
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Read about 'em this morning in the paper.
Call this guy up. Maybe we can get some samples! They sound pretty cool.
-- Gordon
Wayne Lundberg wrote:

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http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/how_far/How_far.htm http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/BlueTooth/bluetooth_primer.htm
Another one on the way being pushed by Intel is wireless usb. Up to Usb2 speeds supposedly but wireless. Is supposed to being built into next generation motherboard chipsets.
Alex
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