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Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group release Dotdot over Thread Specification and streamlined certification programs

DAVIS and SAN RAMON, Calif. — Together, the Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group, two Internet of Things (IoT) organizations building and advocating open standards, have reached what they are calling a critical milestone in IoT interoperability, with the completion of the Dotdot 1.0 specification and announcement of the Dotdot over Thread certification program.


January 8, 2019
By SP&T Staff
SP&T Staff

The organizations say that, for the first time, developers of smart products can use a mature, open, and certifiable interoperability language over a low-power IP network; which will reduce product development risk and roadblocks, enable new IoT applications, and improve the consumer experience by reducing IoT fragmentation.

The organizations assert that smart devices can struggle to deliver a seamless experience when they speak different languages, but the Zigbee Alliance solved this by incorporating an open, common application layer that 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. They say the Dotdot program takes that universal device language and enables it to work over Thread’s low-power IP network—extending this same 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, according to the organizations.

“When the Zigbee Alliance announced Dotdot, the industry responded,” said Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of the Zigbee Alliance, in a prepared statement. “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.” 

The Zigbee Alliance also says it 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.

“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 in Q1 2019, certification provider 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 available for Dotdot over Thread adopters to complete certification testing. Successful products will then receive their accreditations from both the Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group.