IoT News Roundup

ZigBee Alliance creates universal language for Internet of Things; Gobot releases new version of its open-source robotics and IoT framework; Canon intros stepper for Internet of Things and artificial intelligence manufacturing markets; Fibocom unveils thin IoT module with global 3G/2G fallback; Semtech LoRa technology enables nationwide LPWAN in Canada; Everest Group study gives HCL high marks for IoT services.
By Rich Handley
Jan 05, 2017

ZigBee Alliance Creates Universal Language for Internet of Things

The ZigBee Alliance will discuss the path to a unified Internet of Things at this week's CES 2017 conference, being held in Las Vegas, Nev. Highlights will focus on the growing momentum behind ZigBee (3.0) products and development solutions, the organization reports, and on the Alliance's newly announced dotdot—a universal language for the Internet of Things that makes it possible for smart objects to work together on any network. Members of the ZigBee Alliance and Thread Group will showcase the first demonstrations of dotdot devices running on Thread's IP-based networks.

"Dotdot represents the next chapter in the ZigBee Alliance's continued commitment to create and evolve open standards for the smart networks in our homes, businesses and neighborhoods," said Tobin Richardson, the ZigBee Alliance's president and CEO, in a prepared statement. "The application layer that is the core language of ZigBee devices has driven significant growth in the IoT. Recognizing 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."

Most IoT devices do not speak the same language, according to the ZigBee Alliance, 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, according to the organization, lies in a common language between all IoT devices on any network, giving developers a common platform on which to innovate.

With dotdot, that language—the application layer at the heart of ZigBee technology—can be applied across other IoT networks. While other organizations are addressing this challenge with new protocols still being drafted, or with single-vendor solutions, dotdot is an open, mature technology supported by the ZigBee Alliance's global membership and a diverse supply chain, offering developers flexibility and speed in building their products and business.

"Silicon Labs and our customers have succeeded in the IoT because of the scalability of ZigBee's interoperability technology," said Skip Ashton, the VP of software at Silicon Labs, a provider of silicon, software and system solutions for the IoT, in the prepared statement. "We've seen a significant increase in the adoption of ZigBee as developers recognize their investment in the established ZigBee market today will enable them to expand into new markets via dotdot."

The ZigBee Alliance intends to announce further details about dotdot, including specifications, certification and logo program, later this year.

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