Zigbee vs bluetooth

Zigbee is basically a technology standard which is based on IEEE 802.15.4 standard. This standard had been created mainly for sensor networks and control. Within the organization of IEEE, which is the Institute of Electrical and the Electronics Engineer, 802 is a group which deals with the network technologies and operations.

Wireless networking is handled by the Group 15 while the Zigbee standard had been drafted by the Task Group 4 for low data rate WPAN.

Zigbee standard for WPAN specifies low data rate, low complexity, low consumption of power and several other things. In Zigbee, the data rate is up to 250 Kbps in the Medical, Scientifical and Industrial global 2.4 GHz band. 

Apart from the IEEE standard, the Zigbee standard has been built for addressing the sensory network control and remote monitoring applications. The standard had been created by Zigbee Alliance, which is an organization consisting of various industry and company leaders which strived to enable control devices using the standard.

Differences between Zigbee and Bluetooth

The closest technology to Zigbee is Bluetooth since it is categorized broadly as low rate WPAN. Quite a lot of energy and time had been spent to analyze whether Bluetooth and Zigbee are competing or complementing each other. However, after studying the two, it can be said that they are actually complementary to each other. Both of these technologies are different and they are used in different application areas.

Also, they use different means for designing those applications. Zigbee focuses on automation and control while Bluetooth is all about connectivity between PDA’s, laptops and other such devices and mainly works as cable replacement.

Also, Zigbee makes use of low data rate, works with devices using small packets and uses lower power consumption. Bluetooth, on the other hand, works with the larger packet devices, uses higher power and high data rate. The Zigbee networks support a large number of various devices and a longer range between the devices when compared to Bluetooth.

These were the main differences between Bluetooth and Zigbee and because of these differences, the technologies can be said to be geared towards different applications. Also, neither of these technologies have the capability to extend to the other applications.

Bluetooth, for example, has to rely on frequent battery charging for its applications and for Zigbee, the goal is that the user should be able to put a few batteries in the device and then just forget about it for months and even years. For various applications where timing is critical, Zigbee is designed in such a way that it will respond quickly.

On the other hand, Bluetooth cannot be used in such applications since it tales longer time to respond. For this reason, Bluetooth and Zigbee can both be used simultaneously since they are both used in different kinds of applications.