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Zigbee makes Dotdot IoT language available over Thread

Steve Rogerson
January 3, 2018

The Zigbee Alliance has made the Dotdot specification available over Thread’s IP network. This lets developers use an established, open and interoperable IoT language over a low-power wireless IP network, which the alliance hopes 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,” said Tom Kerber, director of IoT strategy at 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. These two organisations have come together to deliver a mature, scalable method for IoT interoperability that isn’t confined to single-vendor ecosystems or technologies.
The early internet faced the same challenges as today’s 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 – a combination that unlocked and accelerated innovation. Dotdot’s common device language over Thread’s IP network extends this same approach to the IoT.
With Dotdot over Thread, product and platform vendors could ensure the high-quality, interoperable user experiences needed to drive growth, while IP allows vendors to maintain a direct connection to their device and their customers.
Dotdot over Thread is not another new standard. Dotdot enables the open, mature and already widely adopted application layer at the heart of Zigbee to work across Thread’s IP network.
“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,” said 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.”
The Dotdot specification is today 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 programme from the Zigbee Alliance.
Thread launched its 1.1 specification and opened its certification programme in February 2017. The Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group now share a number of common authorised test service providers, and are working with them to ensure an efficient, seamless certification process for Dotdot over Thread adopters.
“The Thread Group’s vision is to extend IP – the powerful foundation of the internet – to low-power IoT devices,” said Grant Erickson, president of the Thread Group. “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.”