Conclusion

Wireless technology is becoming more and more popular because of its low cost and ease-of-use. In many cases wireless has become cheaper than the wired alternative. This technology allows us a faster and more convenient access to the world. XBee technology provides the world with a variety of wireless applications. The direct interfacing of analog sensors and digital io, makes Xbee widely acceptable in variety of areas. From a simple domestic application of temperature control to the more complex mesh sensor networks that analyze volcano, XBee devices are gradually becoming an industry standard in wireless communication.



Why wireless

Wireless is increasingly taking place of where there used to be cables in communications. Considering reasons of this trend, there are several features of wireless as below:
  • Mobility. Wireless communications are better connected without cables covering everywhere. Furthermore, devices can be much more mobilized within the certain area. Take ZigBee for example, the distance can be far as 1600m;
  • Simplicity. It is much easier and faster to get devices communicated without cables. When under some a point the commuting devices should be relocated, wireless makes it a simple matter. Besides, there would be no additional cost caused by rewiring or excessive downtime or else. Never the less, there would be no disruption to the remainder of the system when additional devices need to be added in or some devices need to be removed from the system.
  • Flexibility. Wireless can be used into communication where cables are not suitable, like some historical buildings and coaches.
  • Cost-saving. The cost of running and maintaining a radio based communications solution is minimal compared to wired ones.


Why ZigBee

Generally speaking, ZigBee contains lots of merits, such as:
  • support for multiple network topologies, such as point to point, point to multiple and mesh networks;
  • low duty cycle, which means long battery life;
  • low latency;
  • direct sequence spread spectrum;
  • up to 65000 nodes per network;
  • 128-bit AES encryption for secure data connections;


Source: http://www.digi.com/technology/rf-articles/wireless-zigbee.jsp
But amongst so many kinds of wireless spectrum, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, WiMedia, etc. what makes ZigBee a priority for many users? Below here is a comparison among ZigBee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, showing features of each technology respectively.

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From the above, it is easy to find that ZigBee requires the least power supply, contains the most nodes, and costs the lowest. That is to say, ZigBee is specially designed for networks of low-cost, multi-nodes and low power consumption.