Poll: Interest in Zigbee Wireless enabled iPod?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 22, 2005
Would you be interested in a Zigbee (IEEE 802.15.4) enabled iPod for wireless syncing and / or audio broadcast? Zigbee is a low-power consumption Bluetooth-analogous wireless technology (reference info below).

Please answer the following two questions (comments also welcome):

1) (Yes or No) Would you be interested in a Zigbee (IEEE 802.15.4) enabled iPod for wireless syncing and / or audio broadcast?

2) (Yes or No) Would this wireless capability influence your decision to buy an iPod?

Some colleagues and I are working on a project using Freescale's Zigbee developer kit to broadcast a wireless audio signal. We are interested in using an online survey to determine interest in a Zigbee enabled iPod. (We decided to poll here because we are interested in getting input from some "tech savvy" consumers)

"802.15.4 is an IEEE low data rate WPAN standard in both the 2.4 GHz and 868/915 MHz bands. ZigBee is an Alliance of semiconductor manufacturers, technology providers, and OEM's dedicated to providing an applications and networking layer to reside on top of the 802.15.4 MAC, providing interoperability certification and testing. Freescale is a driver of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and a promoter of the ZigBee Alliance. The Freescale proposed PHY was chosen as the basis of this standard along with a converged Freescale and Philips MAC proposal."




Thank you for your time and participation . . . your comments are also welcome.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2004
San Diego, CA
I'll go with a:

1) No.
2) No.

It's just too slow. It would have to be some sort of AirPort/Wi-Fi for it be fast enough. I don't mind plugging in a cable to get a huge speed boost. Being wireless doesn't offset the speed decrease by a long shot.


Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
1) No
2) No

Let me explain my answers -- because if I misunderstood the Zigby website, then I may be wrong. :)

The Zigby standard seems to have very low power consumption, which is good. But it seems to be designed for devices that stay on for long periods of time and transfer small amounts of data. It doesn't seem well-suited to this application. According to the website, here, the theoretical max data rate is approximately 1/3 that of Bluetooth 1.0. Bluetooth 1.0, if you use all the channels, is probably fast enough to transmit high quality stereo audio. Zigby doesn't sound like it is, unless it somehow achieves something much closer to 100% practical realization of theoretical bandwidth than other wireless technologies. Even if you transmit the still-compressed AAC file, it's approximately 1 mb/minute of music. If you're getting 250 kilobits/second, you have just enough speed (about twice as much as needed -- ~2MBytes/s) to transmit the *compressed* music, meaning that at most, you are going to be able to use this to transmit to a decoding device, meaning headphones are out. Also, this means that if you sync songs using this technology, an album will take 30 minutes to sync! :eek:

My answers would be yes if:

1) The technology could either drive COMPACT wireless headphones (i.e. something smaller than a bluetooth wireless earpiece for each ear) or if it could sync songs with a computer at a speed of at least about 1/4 of the FW400 or USB2 speed....

2) If the syncing feature, at the desired speed, were available, complementary hardware would have to be available BUILT-IN to Apple notebooks (no dongles or USB adaptors).

Hope that helps?


macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003

I would not be interested in it for wireless syncing and broadcasting. It could be useful if I could use the iPod as a remote for iTunes, for iTunes technologies such as Airport Express and for other media applications on the Mac.

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
Northern Virginia
1) Yes
2) Yes

Now that being said, I am not a true techno-nut. I did not go to the links you posted. I answered more on the simple basis of your first two questions. If you had reversed the order of the the questions and the background info, the answer may have been different.

OT of sorts. I would want any wireless iPod to be able to have somewhere between USB 1 and USB 2 speeds.


macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
dxm113 said:
802.15.4 is an IEEE low data rate WPAN standard
1. No
2. Maybe
You answered your own question. "low data rate" is what did you in. Syncing a 20 MB file over Bluetooth to my Palm took well over a half-hour. My 5 GB iPod is nearly full-- it would take forever to sync! (4.3 GB of stuff on it)

And seeing as there is no Zigbee built in to Macs (unlike FireWire, USB 2.0, 802.11g [optional], or even Bluetooth [optional]) it would mean an ugly adapter. My PowerBook is self-contained. I don't want an adapter to stick out to be broken. My iMac has its USB ports full.

A low-power 802.11g might work, but then again, its still 13% of the speed of FireWire (54 Mbps / 400 Mbps)
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