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ZigBee Intros Wireless Input Device Standard

The communications spec for mice, keyboards, set-top boxes, and other consumer electronics will replace infrared devices with greener, smarter technology, said Zigbee Alliance.
The ZigBee Alliance has established a new global standard for consumer electronics and computer accessories for use in energy management, residential, commercial, and consumer applications.

Replacing the 30-year-old infrared technology currently in use, the ZigBee Input Device standard, announced Monday, improves options for the use of mice, touch pads, keyboards, wands, and remote control pointers. New two-way device communications features will help developers create smarter add-ons than are available in today's devices. The new standard is a green technology, too, because devices utilizing the standard will require fewer batteries, said the group.

"ZigBee Input Device offers CE [consumer electronics] and computer accessory manufacturers a standard that makes their products greener and more intelligent," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance, in a statement. "It builds on the existing ZigBee Remote Control standard, adding features to enable a rich entertainment experience. It also gives set-top boxes, HDTVs, and other CE device manufacturers a significant additional market capability."

Features based on the latest standard that are expected to be developed range from simple push-button pairing to support for multi-touch and gesture commands including pinch and rotation for touch-pad devices. Over-the-air updates for features based on the standard can also easily be added.

Manufacturers showed strong interest in the ZigBee Remote Control for consumer electronics devices, introduced by the Zigbee Alliance last year.

In May, the ZigBee Alliance reported that the first wave of products utilizing ZigBee Telecom Services for mobile networks was certified. The initial products were created by ETRI, IKI, and Telecom Italia.

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