Home network standards will co-exist, not compete

07 Aug 2008

Consumer electronics are increasingly becoming network-capable, and this means technologies like Bluetooth and UWB will each have a "sweet spot" to fulfill, according to ABI Research

ABI predicts technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi, UWB, 60 GHz, and ZigBee will not compete within the home but will be used in "coordination, overlapping and coexisting for full wireless network coverage."

"Each of these technologies has a sweet spot or specialty," said ABI senior analyst Douglas McEuen.

Bluetooth will be the driving technology in the PAN (personal area network) and may see some success in remote controls, especially for gaming, he said.

WiFi, meanwhile, is seen as the key technology for wireless LAN. UWB and 60 GHz respectively will be specialized for home office peripherals, and for wireless HDMI (uncompressed video sent from a set-top box to a high-definition TV).

"ZigBee stands apart as a home automation technology," McEuen said.

Vendors, faced with a series of overlapping use-cases, network areas, standards, and technologies, are advised to understand the applications best suited to each, and how they relate to each other.

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