Tuesday, 30 August 2016 00:38

Huawei gets ziggy with it, joins Zigbee Alliance


Huawei has joined the ZigBee Alliance for a greater IoT world with the ZigBee standard "as the cornerstone of this new era of device intelligence".

The ZigBee Alliance bills itself as "a non-profit association of companies creating, maintaining and delivering open, global standards for the low-power wireless Internet of Things (IoT)", which allow you to "control your world".

It states that it "creates, maintains and delivers open, global wireless standards that enable everyday objects to work together and control your world in the Internet of Things (IoT)".

It’s an "open, non-profit ecosystem of more than 400 companies from 37 countries", and the ZigBee Alliance is "developing and promoting the world's leading IoT standards across a wide range of consumer, commercial and industrial monitoring and control applications".

The Alliance now includes global tech player Huawei at the highest ‘Promoter’ level and it has accepted a seat on its board of directors. The company said: ”As an international technology market leader, this development further strengthens the mission and direction of the ZigBee Alliance and its 400+ members toward a meaningful, interconnected world.”

David Randolph Hoelscher, chief marketing director, IoT Platform, Huawei, said: “The ZigBee Alliance is heading in the right direction with regards to the IoT, and we are throwing our support behind ZigBee technology as the cornerstone of this new era of device intelligence.

"The Internet of Things is changing how we interact with everyday items around us, and to reach the full potential driving this shift, industries and more specifically, manufacturers must co-ordinate to ensure the user experience is at the heart of every innovation.

“We see the ZigBee Alliance fostering that critical commitment, and are proud to join this board and be part of an organisation that is international in make-up and purposefully striving toward collaboration for the good of the IoT industry."

John Osborne II, chairman of the board for the ZigBee Alliance and general manager, The Kroger Co. R&D, said: “Both Huawei and the ZigBee Alliance understand the importance of customer-centric innovation to take the Internet of Things beyond early adopters to the next level of mainstream engagement and enjoyment.

"Huawei's industry influence, insight and involvement in the IoT as a substantial force in the smart home, connected car, intelligent facility and energy markets make them an important addition to our board of directors."

Tobin Richardson, ZigBee Alliance president and chief executive, said: “Interoperability, collaboration and shared success are vital components as our industry defines and designs for the interconnected world.

"There's so much potential for significant and meaningful connectivity, and having Huawei join our circle of visionaries and experts is truly another indication that we're attracting the strongest IoT market players to make that happen."

Huawei is the 15th member of the ZigBee Alliance board of directors, joining Comcast Cable, Itron, The Kroger Co., Landis+Gyr, Legrand Group, Midea Group, NXP Semiconductors, Philips, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, SmartThings, SOMFY, Texas Instruments and Wulian to drive progress forward.

Huawei proudly boasts that it is "a global technology leader that creates maximum value for customers by enriching people's lives through communication".

The company provides justification for this claim by noting that its solutions "have been deployed by 45 of the world's top 50 telecom operators, and the company's leading ICT solutions, products and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions – making communication possible for one-third of the world's population".

Huawei says its "aim is to build a better connected world by acting as a responsible corporate citizen, innovative enabler for the information society, and collaborative contributor to the IoT industry".

Well, given Huawei’s incredible size, with global operations and 170,000 employees, developing ever better smartphones, Android and Windows tablets, video conferencing gear, data centre technologies, 4G, 4.5G and trial 5G technologies, mobile towers, telco equipment and plenty more, the company is a giant Chinese competitor, proudly competing hard and justifiably hastening the pace of innovation amongst itself and its competitors.

Whether this will propel ZigBee-equipped devices into the mainstream and into every home is yet to be seen, but it is another step along the way to the mature IoT-laden world we’ll be living in compared to the still nascent timeframe of the IoT revolution that exists as I write this article.

ZigBee Huawei

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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