At the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the ZigBee Alliance announced it will begin certifying products as ‘ZigBee Certified; through a process designed to ensure that products are fully interoperable ‘out of box’ and can easily enter into a ZigBee network. Through this certification process, member companies can now test the growing number of ZigBee-ready products already in the consumer market so they can be fully branded as ZigBee Certified for home, industrial or commercial market use. Independent test service providers National Technical Services, Inc. (NTS) and TUV Rheinland Group will oversee and conduct the Alliance’s certification testing to ensure that products are interoperable in a variety of environments and end-user applications.
Manufacturers, OEMs and developers can qualify for one of three test programmes. The ‘ZigBee Compliant Platform’ testing programme is for modules or platforms that are intended to be used as building blocks for end products; the ‘ZigBee Certified’ testing programme applies to end products built on a ZigBee Compliant Platform using a ZigBee public application profile; and the ‘ZigBee Network Capable’ testing programme is for products built upon a ZigBeecompliant platform but using a non-public ZigBee application profile. All testing programmes ensure that ZigBee devices delivered to the market will co-exist in any ZigBee network environments designed by the end user. “With the formal certification process complete, vendors will be releasing certified products into the market, which is a very important step for products built to a standard and to obtain customer confidence at all levels,” said Joyce Putscher of In-Stat. “Certification, with its interoperability component, is the cornerstone for the ZigBee Alliance to reap the benefits in terms of market acceptance and popularity for the home, industrial control and monitoring markets for wireless sensors. The availability of compliance and certification test programmes for ZigBee products will fuel the growing interest in ZigBee product development.”