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Sometimes it’s the smallest snippets of news that can prove to be the most interesting, and news that Amazon is joining the board at the Zigbee Alliance is evidence of that. Zigbee is a technology that helps smart home devices communicate – faster, more stable and using lower energy than Wi-Fi.
Amazon adopted it for the Echo Plus and 2018 Echo Show, which is a Zigbee hub that can connect compliant products automatically. And now Amazon has a seat at the table, shaping the priorities and future decisions of Zigbee.
Now, it’s not that difficult to get a seat at that table. You just have to be one of Zigbee’s biggest customers – reports The Verge – and that only requires sending around $75,000 its way annually, which is nothing. But with Amazon essentially driving the smart home market right now, it’s now going to be a highly influential voice.
So in real terms, what does this mean? Well, we’d dare to suggest that Amazon could double down on Zigbee integration, which could mean integrating hub technology into more devices – which would essentially finish off the idea of the smart home hub.
This would likely swing the smart home market the way of Zigbee, away from Z-Wave which is the rival standard.
Other companies on the Zigbee board are SmartThings (which Amazon is currently rendering increasingly irrelevant) Signify (Philips Hue) and Comcast – so there’s plenty of dollar behind the standard.