Bluetooth vs ZigBee

I know this is supposed to be BT vs. ZigBee, but they mentioned Z-wave in this story too which prompted me to post this:

The whole Zigbee vs. Z-wave thing seems so counter-intuitive to me.

My understanding is that ZigBee is open source and multiple companies build Zigbee chips and multiple software companies use ZigBee. Because it’s “open” one would tend to think that this would be the easier to use, more accessible format for everyone. But it apparently isn’t. Even though Zigbee is open it seems everyone makes their Zigbee a little different so they don’t natively work with others.

Z-wave, on the other hand, is closed. This would seem to make it much more proprietorial, much less likely to play nice with others. But again this isn’t the case. Z-wave tends to play very nicely with many different systems.

Logically… if I think about it for a while… it makes sense. Because z-wave is close they can dictate certain ways of doing things to ensure that everyone does it the same. Zigbee has less restrictions so companies can “fiddle” with it. But it still seems counter-intuitive.

What about 6loWPAN?

This is definitely a case of “the jury is still out”. Maybe this isn’t a magic point in time, or maybe it is…

What is interesting is that the various HA ventures (WiMoto, WigWag, ST, spark light (?), etc.) are crossing the spectrum of wireless protocols.

And, I hear that ZigBee, while open, still charges significant fees if you want to be “certified as part of ZigBee Alliance”, and must follow the published standards precisely, etc…