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Tamarack Products integrates Lake Image Systems tech to print variable information on RFID tags ••• Luxochain combines NFC, RFID, blockchain, fingerprint authentication to thwart counterfeiting ••• Amazon to join Zigbee Alliance board of directors ••• IoT company Rutronik to distribute Insight SiP Bluetooth and RF antenna modules ••• C3 provides IoT and AI technologies to European power utility Enel ••• Ericsson intros cellular IoT solutions, identifies industry market segments.
By Rich Handley

Amazon to Join Zigbee Alliance Board of Directors

The Zigbee Alliance, an organization of hundreds of companies creating, maintaining and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced that Amazon will join its board of directors. As IoT growth continues to accelerate, prominent companies in the technology sector are collaborating within the Zigbee Alliance to shape the direction of standards, ecosystems and devices, the organization reports. Amazon's decision to join the Zigbee Alliance at the board level, the Alliance claims, indicates that the industry is focused on simplifying and adding convenience to the growing range of IoT devices available to customers.

"Customers tell us they want smart home experiences that are simple to setup, easy to control, and add convenience to the tasks they do every day," said Christian Taubman, Amazon's director of Alexa Smart Home products, in a prepared statement. "Voice control with Alexa is helping remove the complexity of smart home, and there are even more ways we can help customers by ensuring their smart devices connect and work together seamlessly. We look forward to working with the Zigbee Alliance and its members to contribute to open standards for device interoperability that benefit our mutual customers."

According to the Zigbee Alliance, smart homes are taking hold and consumers are embracing IoT products as they continue to become easier to use, while manufacturers and standards organizations are bridging differences and breaking down barriers. "As an industry, we need to move quickly to help consumers add new devices effortlessly, and ensure they are getting a great experience in the Internet of Things," said Tobin Richardson, the president and CEO of the Zigbee Alliance, in the prepared statement. "We're proud to be attracting the best tech companies on the planet, and Amazon joins an impressive lineup of other industry leaders and innovators on the Board who work with the Zigbee Alliance's open standards and community to deliver real value in the IoT."

Numerous companies have designed devices based on the Zigbee Alliance's wireless standards. Amazon's devices, including the Echo Plus and Echo Show, feature a built-in smart-home hub that can be connected to Zigbee-based light bulbs, door locks, sensors and more.

"Pairing Amazon's Alexa-based technology with the Zigbee Alliance's prominent wireless standards makes a lot of sense for not only manufacturers looking to partake in the smart home, smart building, and connected city categories but more importantly for the consumers that must embrace and champion connected technology for it to grow by contributing value to our everyday lives," said Mareca Hatler, a principal analyst at ON World, in the prepared statement. "Our research projects Zigbee technology will ship in 85% of the 4.5 billion 802.15.4 units predicted to hit the market in 2023, and with Amazon as a Board contributor in the Alliance, it's clear the market-movers are really pulling together and operating on a global level to steer everyone forward."

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