AlertMe was a pioneer of ZigBee based systems. It was a UK company based in Cambridge, and it released its first range of products some 10 years ago.

This predated the more recent ZigBee standards, so the design of its Clusters were specific to AlertMe, and these did not have a concept of Attributes. Instead, the content of each cluster transmitted from a device had to be decoded by the hub, or any other paired device, on the basis of the position of the data within the transmitted frame.

The joining process for an AlertMe device also differs from that for more recent ZigBee devices, because it employed a Shared Network Key, whereas the current ZigBee standard defines a Trust Centre and Repository for the Security keys.

This is a major complication when running AlertMe devices alongside the more modern ZigBee devices. To do so, the ZigBee network chip attached to the hub has first to be set for the AlertMe devices, while they are being joined, and then set for the modern ZigBee devices, while they are being joined. The complication arises when an AlertMe device is subsequently added to the network, because the entire network then has to be rebuilt.

The preferred solution is to use two separate ZigBee network adapters, one for an AlertMe network, and one for a modern ZigBee network. Devices can then be added and removed at will from both networks. The same ZigBee adapters, such as the Digi XStick, can be used for both networks.

The AlertMe technology was adopted by British Gas in the UK, and by Lowes in the USA as its Iris system. Many of the devices being sold by Hive, which is part of British Gas, are adaptations of the original AlertMe technology. The relationship between AlertMe and Lowes ceased following the acquisition of AlertMe by British Gas.

At some stage, AlertMe added a Z-Wave chip to its hub, presumably to cater for the US market.