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Zigbee Alliance to demonstrate universal language for IoT

Nearly 100 products based on the alliance’s interoperability standard will be showcased at CES 2017

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Alliance hopes that the dotdot language will be key to a unified IoT
Alliance hopes that the dotdot language will be key to a unified IoT

The Zigbee Alliance plans to unveil what it describes as a new universal language for the Internet of Things (IoT) as it seeks to facilitate the “path to a unified Internet of Things (IoT)” where it is possible for smart objects to work together on any network.


The announcement was made prior to this week’s tech show, CES 2017, where some 100 products based on the alliance’s interoperability standard will be showcased, along with the first prototypes of a collaboration with Thread Group speaking the new language for the IoT: ‘dotdot’.


According to the Zigbee Alliance, most IoT devices don’t speak the same language even if they use the same wireless technology. The result is an Internet of Things that is often a patchwork of translations, adding complexity for developers and limiting users to single-vendor systems. The solution lies in a common language between all IoT devices on any network, giving developers a common platform to innovate on, and users the freedom to choose products that work for them, continued Zigbee.


“dotdot represents the next chapter in the alliance’s continued commitment to create and evolve open standards for the smart networks in our homes, businesses and neighbourhoods,” said Tobin Richardson, president and CEO, Zigbee Alliance.


“The application layer that is the core language of ZigBee devices has driven significant growth in the IoT. Recognising the opportunity to multiply that growth for members and the industry, market leaders within the alliance have come together to transform it into a universal language for the IoT, making it available to everyone, everywhere, across their network of choice.”


With dotdot – the application layer at the heart of Zigbee’s technology – can be applied across other IoT networks. While others are addressing this challenge with new protocols still being drafted, or single-vendor solutions, dotdot is an open, mature technology supported by the alliance’s global membership of more than 400 companies, it claims. This offers developers flexibility and speed in building their products and business.


Commenting on the announcement Skip Ashton, VP of Software at Silicon Labs, said: “Silicon Labs and our customers have succeeded in the IoT because of the scalability of Zigbee’s interoperability technology. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the adoption of Zigbee as developers recognise their investment in the established Zigbee market today will enable them to expand into new markets via dotdot.”


More details about dotdot are expected to be confirmed as the year progresses including specifications, certification, and logo programme.


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