A wireless standard called 6LoWPAN is looking like a dark horse for helping wirelessly connect devices — from lightbulbs, to appliances — in the smart energy home. Chip maker NXP is using the low power standard for its wireless light bulb chip, and Cisco bet on 6LoWPAN when it acquired wireless networking company Arch Rock.
In Jeff’s column on GigaOM Pro this week (subscription required), he looks into the benefits of using 6LoWPAN for an end-to-end smart grid network, from home energy devices to a wider neighborhood smart meter management system. In fact, if NXP and Cisco started working on integrating somehow, 6LoWPAN would take an important step forward, effectively competing with home wireless leader WiFi and the utility-leading home wireless standard ZigBee.
Whatever the dominant home energy wireless standard is, the important piece will be creating an ecosystem for innovations, applications and end devices to emerge. That’s why Google is working on an open source wireless mesh standard with partner Lighting Science Group, and NXP is open sourcing the software that will run over its chips and across 6LoWPAN. The future of lighting and home devices is networked, and digital — why fight it?