The Zigbee Alliance showcased their Dotdot language over Thread’s IP network at CES 2018. Initially announced on Dec. 12, the partnership and partial rebranding of Zigbee’s universal language was especially suitable for CES, with connections to Legrand, Nest Labs, Silicon Labs, and other partners. 

Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group now double up on working with common authorized test service providers. Thread has already opened a 1.1 specification and a certification program for Dotdot Certification, and more resources are expected to arrive in summer 2018. 

“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, in a press release. “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.”

Product Design & Development spoke to Andy Thé, senior product manager at Silicon Labs, about his company’s partnership with the Zigbee Alliance. “A lot of people wanted IP-based networking, but it was missing an app layer,” he said. 

Many companies were already using Thread, so it was a natural fit for Zigbee to formally partner with them.

Silicon Labs uses Dotdot and Bluetooth connectivity on the low-power microcontrollers they make for home automation. 

The application layer sits on top of Thread’s  low-power IPv6 mesh network layer. DotDot also includes the rebranded version of of Zigbee’s Cluster Library, which is deployed in over 300 million products worldwide in commercial and home applications. 

As a standards alliance with an emphasis on their Dotdot certification program, Zigbee has been poised to see how the slow growth of the Internet of Things has exponentially accelerated in the last two years. VP of Marketing Katie Gengler said that companies now are working on adding value for consumers, not only supplying new products but ensuring that their products are reliable enough to keep customers from turning away from smart home systems. 

“We want Dotdot to be the application layer for any device you want,” she said.

Real Time Digital Reporter