By 2008, ZigBee sensor networking technology should start finding significant adoption in commercial building applications, according ABI Research. There are three major markets for sensor networking: the home, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. ZigBee targets all three of them. In the home, there are alternatives to ZigBee, and in industry there are some questions about its suitability. However, according to an ABI Research, commercial building automation is a market where ZigBee is competitively positioned against other wireless sensor technologies.
ABI Research believes commercial buildings represent a huge addressable market of field equipment currently using wired field buses to connect sensors and actuators with lighting, heating, ventilation, access control, and safety systems. ZigBee’s features and functionality are ideal for commercial building applications.
Of the five top vendors of building automation systems, which together control about 70% of the market, four – Johnson Controls, Siemens, TAC, and Trane – have introduced wireless products based on ZigBee in the past year, and the fifth – Honeywell – is moving toward doing so.
Over the next five years, up to 20% of commercial building automation system field equipment may “go wireless,” seeking the lower costs, better control, and greater flexibility that such systems deliver. However, there are regional differences. Building owners and managers in Asia are more interested in using wireless than their counterparts in North America and Europe, where it is more a question of replacing existing wires.
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