Feeds

A lightbulb that does IPv6: You know you want it

ZigBee gets ready for the Internet of Stuff

High performance access to file storage

Mesh-networking standard ZigBee now has support for IP, allowing embedded devices (from 'leccy meters to lightbulbs) to be directly addressed as long as the addresser is using IPv6.

The new extension to the standard, ZigBee IP, has been created at the behest of utilities and will be integrated into the next version of the ZigBee Smart Energy profile. That profile is already being used by utilities in California and Texas and permits utilities to control energy consumption, but version two will extend those capabilities and, with ZigBee IP, make them internet friendly.

Zigee is a low-power mesh-networking protocol. Devices supporting the standard can be addressed and also relay messages to devices which would otherwise be beyond range. The mesh is thus self-forming and the ZigBee Alliance would like our homes to be awash with nodes linking back to our electricity meter or other hub.

Philips Hue light bulbs use ZigBee, very successfully, though for now only the controlling hub can be addressed with an IP connection - and it's version four. ZigBee IP is a version six standard, which is essential if there is really going to be an Internet of Things linking 50 billion devices, which is the number currently being bandied about.

IPv4 addresses are running out, with ISPs already sharing them between broadband customers even while they're online. Linking up every dishwasher, hoover and light bulb in the world is going to need the next version, which those devices supporting ZigBee Smart Energy will get.

Connecting up all those devices is the first step towards such plans as relinquishing control of them to the electricity supplier, who gains the power to pull the plug when demand peaks - hopefully offering you something in exchange, such as a lower tariff. Handing over control of one's fridge to the utility company might be scary, but it would allow the nation to get past the early-evening demand peak with a power station or so fewer and so there's money in it.

But that might not be enough to make it acceptable, and ZigBee Smart Power will, apparently, have a host of other uses. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.