ZigBee to Interface Wireless Input Devices
Mert Bal posted on November 15, 2012 | 6119 views

The ZigBee ® Alliance, has recently announced a new wireless communication standard for input devices such as mice, keyboards, touchpads and wands.

The new standard, called the ZigBee Input Device, aims to be a global low-power, high-range standard for interfacing wireless inputs to consumer electronics (CE) devices. It offers a higher range than conventional infrared communications so that consumers can control stationary devices like smart TVs without line of sight. 

Design of the ZigBee Input Device standard is based on the ZigBee RF4CE specification, which defines the remote control (RC) network for wireless connectivity in applications for CE devices. The ZigBee RF4CE operates in 2.4GHz frequency band according to IEEE 802.15.4. It incorporates power saving mechanisms that allows both input devices as well as target devices to manage their power consumption by entering a power saving i.e. ‘sleep’ mode.

The ZigBee  is a smart alternative to other wireless communication protocols for interfacing wireless input devices. It provides high range communication with lower-system complexity and lower-power consumption than Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.  The frequency range of the ZigBee allows using your wireless input device from greater distances or even from another room because operation is not limited to line of sight.  The new standard also promises the ability to define special functions and enhanced performance beyond the standard behavior of input devices, such as a mouse, keyboard, touchpads, wireless presenters and wands.

ZigBee Input Device is a standard designed to operate with existing ZigBee Remote Control-equipped HDTVs, set-top boxes and other devices as well as with existing computers. The ZigBee Alliance has certified the standard for the currently available ZigBee development kits from Freescale, GreenPeak Technologies and Texas Instruments.

The Alliance announced that it will host a free public webinar covering the ZigBee Input Device as well as the ZigBee Remote Control and the ZigBee RF4CE specification on December 6, 2012. 

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