ZigBee vs. Bluetooth (4.0) Low Energy (LE)
West Technology Research Solutions – e-mailed 8-11 from hotmail acct.
Continua Health Alliance – e-mailed 8-11
Dan @ danjuliodesigns.com - e-mailed 8-11 ( http://itp.nyu.edu/camp/?tag=biometrics
) – response 8-11-10 - electrical engineer. “Zigbee is finding success in control systems but I don't think it's going to be used for biometrics.”
™ Community – Karl – Texas Instruments Employee (posted question 8-12-10 about biometric sensors)
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) – e-mailed 8-12-10
THE PLATFORMS ENABLING WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS
Jason Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org
) is president and CEO of JLH Labs
in Capistrano Beach, CA.
Mike Horton (email@example.com
) is president and CEO of
Crossbow Technology, Inc. in San Jose, CA.
- old e-mail, no good -- Ralph Kling (firstname.lastname@example.org
) is a principal researcher
and leader of the Intel Mote project at Intel Research and the Systems
Technology Laboratory at Intel Corp. in Santa Clara, CA.
Lakshman Krishnamurthy (lakshman.krishnamurthy@
intel.com) is a senior staff engineer in the Communication Technology
Lab at Intel Corp. in Hillsboro, OR.
Alliance - e-mailed 8-11 (auto-response RE: ZigBee
Sensors [1066007:1029385]) – 8-12-10 responded, re-e-mailed biometric sensors
Contact Information: Information Services / Customer Support Phone: 925.275.6607 Email: email@example.com
Address: 2400 Camino Ramon, Suite 375, San Ramon, CA 94583 USA Main: + 1.925.275.6690 Fax: + 1.925.275.6691
Continua picks ZigBee
, Bluetooth LE (2009) for health devices, sensors
The two wireless technology standards are targeted to support mobile and fixed location devices as defined by the next iteration of the Continua Health Alliance Design Guidelines. The alliance has selected Bluetooth low energy
wireless technology (pending finalization of the specification) to enable low power mobile devices such as activity monitors and heart rate sensors
to be used to monitor a user’s health and fitness levels.
Additionally, Continua has selected ZigBee
Health Care technology for low power sensors that can be networked in a variety of settings, and utilized in devices such as motion detectors and bed pressure sensors to enhance the daily living of those who require assistance aging independently.
…ZigBee standard enables powerful new wireless applications for safety, security, and control, ranging from smart energy to home automation and medical care to advanced remote control.
Bluetooth low energy versus ZigBee
Karl from Texas Instruments (Engineer)
9 Mar 2010 8:42 AM
I've touched on this topic before outside of the blog, but a recent comment made me think that it could be appropriate to bring it up again. People enjoy some controversy, so what's better than putting different standards up against each other? I'll try to explain the differences and explain why BLE and ZigBee
don't really step on each other's toes in my opinion:
- First, I would argue that Bluetooth low energy has been designed as an ultra-low power PAN/BAN (Personal Area Network/Body Area Network), while ZigBee is more of a low-power LAN (Local Area Network). BLE was designed from the start as a star network around a portable device such as a mobile phone. This means that it has a quite simple network topology, but with nodes dropping off or coming onto the network dynamically as they (or the central device) move in and out of range. It should be easy to add nodes, since they all connect to the central device. ZigBee was designed from the start to support mesh networking. This has two purposes; it allows the ZigBee network to cover a large network area (hence the LAN moniker), and it allows flexible routing to deal with situations where routing nodes may become unavailable for some reason. This paradigm is more suited to relatively stationary networks, since it takes some time and effort to keep the routing information up-to-date.
- Each standard has a couple of killer features that the other one doesn't have, and if you need one of them, the choice is pretty clear. For BLE, it's how BLE dual-mode means BLE piggy-backs on the huge installed base of Bluetooth devices. If you need to ultra-low power communication with a device that already includes Bluetooth (mobile phone, PC, PND, PMP etc.), then BLE should be your protocol of choice. On the other hand, if you need mesh networking to cover a large area, then ZigBee is a clear choice.
- Power-wise, ZigBee and Bluetooth are quite different as well. Which one is the lowest power depends on the usage scenario. BLE uses a synchronous connection for it's connections; meaning that both master and slave wake up synchronously. This helps keep power on both sides low. ZigBee uses an asynchronous scheme, this means that the routers stay awake all the time. The power consumption of the routers is then relatively high, but the end-nodes can wake up at any time, send their data and not have to wait for a specific time slot. You need to look into the specifics of your use case to figure out which one would fit your needs better; there is no clear-cut answer to the question "Is ZigBee or BLE lowest power?"
There will surely be some overlap in application areas, as there is always some tendency to try to broaden the scope of standards, but overall Bluetooth low energy and ZigBee
target different areas. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. BLE will be able to communicate with billions of Bluetooth devices, but does not support mesh. ZigBee
can cover large areas, but is not so well suited to ad-hoc networking and requires powered routers.
Low-energy Bluetooth is formally adopted – News – Linux for Devices
Bluetooth. low energy
Research and Markets: Bluetooth Low Energy Forecast to Dominate Wireless Sensor Network Market says Q2 2010 Report
West Technology Research Solutions analyst Kirsten West, quoted by our sister publication eWEEK, said "Bluetooth low energy will be a significant contributor to the overall wireless sensor network market, representing nearly half of all shipments in 2015.
The advantage to this new protocol is that it is totally optimized for low power battery operation."
“Bluetooth Low Energy is designed to compete with protocols like ZigBee in applications which require infrequent and short bursts of data communication
. The advantage to this new protocol is that it is totally optimized for low power battery operation.”
By 2014, analysts project, consumers will buy over 200 million wireless body sensors every year! Every one of them can communicate best with Bluetooth
low energy communication technology!
Ultra Low Power Wireless Quarter
Tiny Sensors Run Forever (Almost)
Developers of ZigBee
, a specification for building large networks of low-power radio transmitters, expect the first set of consumer products incorporating the technology to hit the market as early as the fourth quarter of this year.
"The great thing with this technology is it's slowly going to surround you -- whether you know it or not," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee
Alliance, which includes more than 175 members, including large multinationals like Motorola, Philips and Samsung.
*Upcoming products, including several slated to be unveiled at the alliance's upcoming conference in Chicago this month, are *mostly tailored to home security
. But backers of the technology expect it will eventually be deployed much more broadly, for uses like landscaping, automated meter reading, and home lighting systems
“Low-power sensing and monitoring is a core competency of ZigBee
and we are excited to help Continua build its technology roadmap and help expand the telehealth industry ecosystem,” said Dr. Robert F. Heile, chairman, ZigBee
Alliance. “ZigBee Health Care gives care professionals and consumers the ability to connect an almost unlimited number of monitoring devices with ease while maintaining privacy.”