The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group announced Thursday that multiple members of both organizations have demonstrated prototypes that run the ZigBee Alliance’s universal language for smart devices on Thread networks.
The demonstrations, shown privately at the Thread Group’s Members Meeting in November and set for public display in both organizations’ booths at CES, are a key milestone in their liaison agreement, and highlight accelerating momentum behind an emerging ecosystem of connected products that will interoperate over Thread IP networks using the widely deployed ZigBee language.
The Thread Group and the ZigBee Alliance have worked to coordinate their roadmaps for specifications, branding guidelines, and test and certification programs for smart products speaking the ZigBee language that run on Thread’s IP-based networks.
The Thread 1.1 specification is currently available to members, and the ZigBee Alliance will announce details at CES for their solution that enables their universal application language to run over Thread. This will be followed by completion and launch of their test, certification and branding programs. In addition, the organizations will collaborate to enable concurrent certification to simplify the process for product vendors that want to leverage both technologies.
In January this year, ZigBee Alliance announced that it is working with the Thread Group on an end-to-end solution for IP-based IoT networks. The solution will become part of the ZigBee Alliance’s comprehensive set of product development specifications, technologies, and branding and certification programs.
The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group established a liaison agreement in April 2015 to explore opportunities for bringing ZigBee’s widely deployed applications library to the newly developed Thread networking protocol.
The two organizations have completed their evaluations and the ZigBee Alliance has begun development of a combined solution that will streamline product development, improve interoperability and ultimately enhance the consumer’s experience in the connected home across a variety of smart IoT applications.
Already deployed in hundreds of millions of devices worldwide, the ZigBee Alliance’s universal language standardizes application-level functionality for a wide variety of devices used in smart homes and other markets. The liaison agreement to bring this language to Thread networks is the first step in unlocking its value for driving interoperability throughout the IoT across numerous types of networking layers.
Thread is a wireless networking protocol that can support multiple low-bandwidth, IP-based application protocols to provide secure and reliable networks, simple connectivity and low power in the home and beyond. Both organizations remain committed to their independence while cooperating to benefit their respective members.
Members of both the Thread Group and ZigBee Alliance get early access to specifications and tools, and have opportunities to participate in and influence standards development and marketing, and take part in technology demonstrations that drive the future of the IoT.
The Thread Group collaborated this week with the Fairhair Alliance to provide a secure and interoperable IP-based networking infrastructure solution for commercial buildings. The organizations will explore opportunities to collaborate on technical specifications, security, service discovery requirements and network management in order to advance connectivity and interoperability.
Earlier this month, ZigBee Alliance announced that eight member companies have achieved certification for 20 silicon platforms which form the basis for ZigBee 3.0 products.
The large number of certifications gives product developers broad supply chain options for building lighting solutions, energy devices, sensors, controllers, gateways and other IoT objects that will work together using widely deployed common language between IoT devices.