Bluetooth and ZigBee have much in common. Both are types of IEEE 802.15 "wireless personal-area networks," or WPANs. Both run in the 2.4-GHz unlicensed frequency band, and both use small form factors and low power.
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At the Wireless Communications Alliance's February meeting in Silicon Valley, Bhupender Virk, president and CEO of WPAN components maker CompXs, sorted out the application and technical differences between Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15.1) and the ZigBee specification (based on IEEE 802.15.4), which was ratified in December.
ZigBee protocols define a type of sensor network for residential and commercial applications such as heating, air conditioning and lighting control. It combines IEEE 802.15.4, which defines the physical and MAC protocol layers, with network, security and application software layers as specified by the ZigBee Alliance, a consortium of technology companies.