That'd certainly be the most cost-effective for the vendors. Selling you all new stuff helps not only sales volume but cuts down on support costs. People calling in asking how to make it work with the old stuff is going to be pretty expensive and for what? Trying to get their new stuff working is going to be challenge enough. Trying to do that AND work around all the inherent problems of legacy solutions seems like a recipe for disaster.
Also consider that a great many automation systems interface with a PC or other master control, often from a different source than the devices. Homeseer, Ocelot, Elk, CQC and countless others. They'll certainly bridge between the various systems. I run IR, X10 powerline and RF along with Lutron RadioRA into a PC, by either USB or serial ports. If I added zigbee devices I'd certainly have the PC do the translation.
It's reasonable to assume that when zigbee devices actual ships AND proves they work in the field that all manner of add-on products will develop. It's the shipping and reliability in the field that bedevil most automation promises. Sure, it /sounds/ like it'll be great. But so did LonWorks, CE-Bus and a litany of others.
We know nothing of the sort. Some might /hope/ that it develops into a widely accepted standard. But until it's actually in the field it's all just speculation. Show me that it works and that it can be obtained cost effectively. Until then it's just vapor.
05/10/05 - SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Control4 has begun shipping new home automation products, including wireless products that are based on the ZigBee (802.15.4) standard.
"We believe these products have the potential to transform the home automation industry," says Will West, CEO of Control4. "Consumers and dealers now have access to products that offer high quality automation at a very affordable price, and because we offer both wired and wireless solutions, they can be easily retrofitted into every home."
The new products include the Media Controller, Wireless Dimmer, Wireless Switch, Ethernet Mini-Touch Screen and Wireless Touch Screen 10.5. The company plans to ship a second wave of products over the next 60 days.