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Motorola buzzing about ZigBee

Hardware maker Motorola announced Tuesday that it's developing prototype products based on the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) draft version of the 802.15.4 specification, also referred to as ZigBee. Motorola is demonstrating the products June 3 at the ZigBee Alliance European Open House in Berlin. The ZigBee Alliance is promoting the specification, which is a combination of HomeRF and the 802.15.4 specification. ZigBee could let home and building owners build a network to wirelessly control everything from lighting fixtures to security systems.

ZigBee operates in the 2.4GHz radio band--the same band as the 802.11b standard, microwaves and cordless phones. It's capable of connecting 255 devices per network and supports data transmission rates of up to 250kbps at a range of up to 30 meters. ZigBee's technology is slower than 802.11b and Bluetooth, but it consumes significantly less power.