ZigBee… Where are you?

Years ago I experimented with X10 in our old house. It was cheap and fun, but it was unreliable. Not long after, I heard about this great new technology called ZigBee that would form a wireless mesh network between all the devices in your house, and communications between modules would retry and reroute around problems. I was impressed! It seemed to good to be true!

Apparently it was. Here we are, 5 years later, and where is my X10 replacement? From what I can tell, the electric utilities are starting to deploy ZigBee (and our house in Ontario was just upgraded with a “smart meter” which most likely has ZigBee technology in it). Great, but I can’t seem to find a single off-the-shelf ZigBee home automation product. It’s been 5 years!

Is it time to forget about ZigBee for Home Automation? We’ve blanketed our houses in WiFi. It can’t be that hard to put an 802.11 chip in a wall socket. It looks like Control4‘s products do just that. Anyone know of any off-the-shelf WiFi enabled light switches?

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