Busy as a Zigbee


The latest wireless doo-dad to bend notions of time, space, and privacy is Zigbee, the coming new wireless protocol. The idea behind Zigbee is that all the needed components of wireless communication can be put on a single chip. Make the chip cheaply enough, usually just a matter of time and scale, and in theory you can make thousands of devices networkable.

Previously dumb devices—really dumb, like light fixtures—could form a peer-to-peer network zipping all kinds of data around and talking to other devices, everything from cellphones to servers. What kind of data and to what end no one really seems to know, which is both exciting and a little scary.