With in-home wireless networking technologies now gaining traction, one sometimes wonders which standard might emerge as the market leader. ABI Research (News
) thinks "all of the above" might be as good an answer as can be provided at the moment.
To be sure, consumer electronics products no longer exist in a vacuum: increasingly they are linked to each other via a number of short-range radio technologies.
Fortunately, short-range networking technologies are settling into more or less clearly defined roles, and will by and large coexist and complement each other rather than competing. “Technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi (News
), UWB, 60 GHz, and ZigBee will not compete within the home,” says ABI Research senior analyst Douglas McEuen, “but will be used in coordination, overlapping and coexisting for full wireless network coverage.”
“Each of these technologies has a sweet spot or specialty,” he continues. “Bluetooth will be the driving technology in the PAN (personal area network) and may see some success in remote controls, especially for gaming. WiFi will be the key technology for wireless LAN (local area network). UWB and 60 GHz respectively will be specialized for home office peripherals, and for wireless HDMI (uncompressed video sent from a set-top box to a high-definition TV). ZigBee stands apart, as a home automation technology.”
Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.