Thursday, 19 April 2007

ZigBee: at home in Cambridge

This month, AlertMe has performed a variety of tests using our own ZigBee hardware, to make sure that it performs well in real houses. Following on from previous test phases, we went out into a wide range of homes, of differing sizes and construction types, in the Cambridge area and beyond, and explored how our kit would work in these homes. As well as checking that ZigBee has the range to reach everywhere in these homes, we also tested the potential for interference with operating Bluetooth and WiFi networks in the home. I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks on behalf of the technology team to Preethi Kalimuthu and Sean Warren, who joined AlertMe to help with this study, and who were rigorous and insightful.

We used our hardware to simulate real user installations of AlertMe equipment, and generated heavy network traffic on the other wireless networks present in the homes where they existed. From nineteenth century large family homes to new build townhouses, with all kinds of electronics already installed (microwaves, DECT and mobile phones, and even giant plasma TVs and huge fridges!), we found great performance using ZigBee. This is excellent news, confirming our previous conclusions. We're looking forward to getting real systems out into houses soon!