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Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have become indispensable to the realization of smart homes. The objective of this paper is to develop such a WSN that can be used to construct smart home systems. The focus is on the design and implementation of the wireless sensor node and the coordinator based on ZigBee technology. A monitoring system is built by taking advantage of the GPRS network. To support multi-hop communications, an improved routing algorithm based on the Dijkstra algorithm is presented. Preliminary simulations have been conducted to evaluate the performance of the algorithm.