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The Problem with 802.15 Wireless PAN

01/27/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Mobile and Wireless, ZigBee

IEEE 802.15 concentrates on wireless PAN for a variety of purposes:

  • Task Group 1a - WPAN 15.1 Revisions to Bluetooth (R) v1.2 published 2002 June 14
  • Task Group 2 - WPAN interoperability so that all those devices in the 2.4GHz don't interfere with each other, i.e. coexistence of 802.15 and 802.11 [WiFi] devices
  • Task Group 3a - WPAN Alternate High Rate MAC and PHY
  • Task Group 3b - WPAN 15.3 Maintenance
  • Task Group 4a - WPAN Alternate Low Rate MAC and PHY
  • Task Group 4b - WPAN 15.4 Revisions and Enhancements
  • Task Group 5 - WPAN Mesh Networking

UWB and WiMedia fall into 802.15.3 - There is no standard approved as yet. Proponents of UWB have been claiming for years that they will kill off Bluetooth - but there are neither products nor standards on which to base products. WiMedia wants to connect your [TiVo or Windows or... remember Sun Jini?] media center computer to your TV, stereo, etc. But 802.11 a or g or upcoming n do a great job of that.

ZigBee (TM) falls under 802.15.4 and finally had its standard approved on 2004 December 14. But if you check out ZigBee.org, there are still no products. ZigBee concentrates on low-power, low-duty-cylce needs replacing feedback loops for control circuits and sensors. According to their web site, their initial markets include home control, building automation and industrial automation.

Compare these lack of products with WiFi, other 802.11 derivatives and Bluetooth where products generally are announced in advance of the standards being ratified, with compliant products being announced near simultaneously with standards announcements. Bluetooth and WiFi have their markets identified and fill consumer needs or desires. ZigBee comes closest to doing this with its focus on sensors and controls requireing only a low duty-cycle, and I'll do a further study on ZigBee soon. But without clearly defined user needs, these standards are unlikely to make much of an impact in the marketplace.

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1 comment

Comment from: Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

As of March 2005, CompXs (http://www.compXs.com) has introduced a “low cost” ZigBee USB dongle, available in small quantities for “just” US$250. Unless they can get the price of the gadgets down to $19.95 in retail, ZigBee looks like it’s dead on arrival. Lonworks (EIA-709) has been around for quite a while, and hasn’t made much of a splash in the home networking market, either. I’ll believe it when we can go to Target or Wal-Mart and buy smart table lamps for $1-$2 more than their dumb counterparts. Long live X-10.

08/23/05 @ 09:23
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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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