Zigbee is for low-data rate, low-power applications and is an open standard. This, theoretically, enables the mixing of implementations from different manufacturers, but in practice, Zigbee products have been extended and customized by vendors and, thus, plagued by interoperability issues. In contrast to Wi-Finetworks used to connect endpoints to high-speed networks, Zigbee supports much lower data rates and uses a mesh networking protocol to avoid hub devices and create a self-healing architecture.
Zigbee is an IEEE 802.15.4-based specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios, such as for home automation, medical device data collection, and other low-power low-bandwidth needs, designed for small scale projects which need wireless connection. Hence, Zigbee is a low-power, low data rate, and close proximity (i.e., personal area) wireless ad hoc network.
The technology defined by the Zigbee specification is intended to be simpler and less expensive than other wireless personal area networks (WPANs), such as Bluetooth or more general wireless networking such as Wi-Fi. Applications include wireless light switches, home energy monitors, traffic management systems, and other consumer and industrial equipment that requires short-range low-rate wireless data transfer.