Reading about zigbee it would appear to me that its a “protocol”, is this correct or is it more than that?
Are there devices which are solely zigbee specific?
Does the OH binding just allow Zigbee devices to be controlled by OH.
The reason for the questions is I am thinking of ketting the new amazon dot with the built in Zigbee hub. There must be something special about Zigbee for Amazon to incorporate it in a device
ZigBee is a wireless communication protocol, and also an “alliance” of companies that support it. It’s one of the two most popular protocols used worldwide (ZWave being the other main player). It offers the same sort of functionality as ZWave in different frequency bands.
There are a lot of companies supporting ZigBee, and the standard protocol should ensure that devices from different manufacturers interoperate. SmartThings is also using ZigBee (and ZWave), and there are quite a lot of devices available.
OH has a ZigBee binding - it’s under heavy development at the moment. It allows or will allow control of other devices (sensors, locks, lights etc). Probably it won’t allow control of another smart hub unless the smarthub supplier exposes functionality to allow this, which is not generally the case.
I hope this helps answer your question at top level - I’m happy to answer any specific questions if you have any or you can google around to find many detailed tutorials on the protocol and the specs, but I don’t really think this is what you are after?
Do you need to buy specific zigbee devices, for example could a sonoff device be used with zigbee, I am guessing it would need a firmware upgrade
You have to buy specific Zigbee devices. You cannot convert a wifi device (e.g. sonoff) or a Zwave device or any other different wireless technology to a Zigbee device. It would require hardware changes, not just firmware updates and would be in the vast majority of cases impossible to achieve even with hardware changes.
The various wireless technologies are genrally incompatible with eachother.