The Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group have addressed what the two companies describe as the IoT industry fragmentation with the availability of the Dotdot specification over Thread’s IP network.
The Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group say this is the first time developers can confidently use an established, open, and interoperable IoT language over a low-power wireless IP network, which will help unify the fragmented connected device industry and unlock new markets.
“We’re at an exciting point in the smart home where the broader consumer market is embracing mainstream connected products; 26% of consumers own a smart home device according to our new research,” argues Tom Kerber, director of IoT Strategy at analysts Parks Associates. “To be competitive in a market where consumers will rely on these devices for years to come, companies must take a long-term view, aligning with technologies that will enable innovation and interoperability, and continue to deliver on the promise of the IoT for every stakeholder.”
Dotdot is the Zigbee Alliance’s universal language for the IoT, making it possible for ‘smart’ objects to work together on any network. Thread is the Thread Group’s open, IPv6-based, low-power, secure and ‘future-proof’ mesh networking technology for IoT products. The two have come together to deliver what the partnership describe as a mature, scalable solution for IoT interoperability that isn’t confined to single-vendor ecosystems or technologies.
Delivering on the Promise of the IoT
The early internet faced the same challenges as the IoT. Currently, connected devices can struggle to deliver a seamless experience because they speak different languages or use different application layers. For the internet, the industry solved this problem with open, universal protocols over IP whiched helped to unlock and accelerate innovation. Dotdot’s common device language over Thread’s IP network is designed to extend this same approach to the IoT. With Dotdot over Thread, product and platform vendors should be able to deliver high-quality, interoperable user experiences, while IP allows vendors to maintain a direct connection to their device – and their customers.
The partnership points out that its important to note that Dotdot over Thread is not another new standard. Dotdot enables the open and already widely adopted application layer at the heart of Zigbee to work across Thread’s IP network – the same network technology fundamental to the internet.
“Zigbee and Dotdot are the product of 15 years of innovation by our members, and the experience that comes from over a decade of building successful products,” says Tobin Richardson, Zigbee Alliance president and CEO. “This maturity is why major technology leaders have chosen Zigbee, and Dotdot over Thread now brings that value to new markets. This marks the first of many partnerships to come as we extend our application layer across additional networks to accelerate time to market and unify the IoT for all stakeholders.”
Grant Erickson, president of the Thread Group, adds, “The Thread Group’s vision is to extend IP – the powerful foundation of the internet – to low-power IoT devices.
“Just like the internet, this vision also requires the industry to put forth open, common protocols so devices from any vendor can work together. Dotdot gives Thread adopters an important option for that open, end-to-end connectivity and interoperability.”
The Dotdot specification is available now to Zigbee Alliance members. Additional resources, including the Dotdot Commissioning Application, will be available in Summer 2018, along with the opening of the Dotdot Certification program from the Zigbee Alliance. Thread launched its 1.1 specification and opened its certification program in February 2017.
The Thread Group will be exhibiting at Pepcom’s Digital Experience on January 8, 2018 at the Mirage Hotel, during the CES Las Vegas show.