Zigbee Alliance, Thread Group secure IoT operability with Dotdot specification; provide streamlined certification programs

The Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group have reached a critical milestone in IoT interoperability with the completion of the Dotdot 1.0 specification and announcement of the Dotdot over Thread certification program.

Developers of smart products can use a mature, open, and certifiable interoperability language over a low-power IP network. This will reduce product development risk and roadblocks, enable new IoT applications, and improve the consumer experience by reducing IoT fragmentation.

Smart devices can struggle to deliver a seamless experience when they speak different languages (or in technical terms, use different “application layers”).

The Zigbee Alliance solved this by incorporating an open, common application layer that seamlessly connects products from many different vendors and powers popular smart home products like Comcast Xfinity Home Security and the Amazon Echo Plus and the new Echo Show. Dotdot takes that universal device language and enables it to work over Thread’s low-power IP network—extending this same proven approach to applications that benefit from IP.

With Dotdot over Thread, smart home vendors can ensure the reliable user experiences needed to drive growth, while IP networking allows vendors to maintain a direct connection to their device and an ongoing relationship with their customers.

“The integration of Dotdot over Thread moves the industry forward by providing interoperability across different home networks through the Dotdot application framework,” said Tom Kerber, Senior Director, IoT Strategy and Custom Research, Parks Associates. “This kind of cooperation across the industry, vendors, and standards organizations is critical to the widespread interoperability—and success—of smart home devices.”

“When the Zigbee Alliance announced Dotdot, the industry responded,” said Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of the Zigbee Alliance. “Over the last two years, companies from across the IoT worked together within the Alliance on this effort to take the interoperability standard at the heart of Zigbee and enable it to run over any network. Built from this solid foundation, we are excited to announce that the Dotdot spec is now prepared for ratification and release to Alliance members.”

Furthermore, to accelerate time to market, the Zigbee Alliance has leveraged the existing Thread commissioning mobile application and extended it to include application level configuration of devices on a Thread network. This mobile application, along with an automated test harness, will assist member companies in expediting their Dotdot over Thread product development and facilitate their preparation for certification procedures.

Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group members that led development of the Dotdot specification are ready to help product vendors start building with Dotdot over Thread. These include DSR, MMB Networks, NXP Semiconductors, Silicon Labs, and Ubilogix.

“Certification is critical to ensuring interoperability between wireless devices, but it can add time and complexity for product vendors,” said Grant Erickson, president of Thread Group. “Offering an efficient, affordable, and reliable certification process was a priority for both organizations and our members. As the Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group share a number of common authorized test labs, it made sense to streamline this go-to-market phase with a coordinated path to certification.”

Starting this quarter, TÜV Rheinland will be the first test house authorized to perform both Dotdot and Thread certification tests, with more labs to come. These labs will be a one-stop shop for Dotdot over Thread adopters to complete certification testing. Successful products will then receive their accreditations from both the Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group.

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