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ZigBee Alliance partners with Thread Group for IoT interoperability

The ZigBee Alliance is working with the Thread Group on an end-to-end solution for IP-based IoT networks.


January 5, 2016
By Cindy Macdonald

The solution will become part of the ZigBee Alliance’s comprehensive set of product development specifications, technologies, and branding and certification programs.

“With this liaison agreement, we are bringing the industry’s most advanced and proven low-power networking layer experience to a complete and interoperable, end-to-end solution using our consolidated ZigBee Common Applications Library,” said Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance. He characterized the partnership as “an important step toward IoT unification.”

The goal is to release a complete solution, including an end-to-end certification program, during the third quarter of 2016 that meets the market’s desire for IP-based low-power radio frequency communications in the smart home and other IoT markets.

“The ZigBee Alliance and Thread Group are taking a big step towards reducing IoT industry fragmentation,” said Chris Boross, president of the Thread Group and technical product marketing manager, Nest. “Bringing ZigBee’s application layer to Thread-enabled devices will simplify product development and increase interoperability, encouraging the Thread ecosystem – and the connected home – to flourish. Our organizations share many of the same members, and we look forward to collaborating with the ZigBee Alliance to offer the market a combined solution for the connected home.”

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Kevin Kraus, director product management of Yale Security Inc., commented: “As a strong contributing member of both organizations, we’re excited and supportive of this announcement, and believe it will reduce uncertainty and accelerate adoption of IoT technologies by device vendors and consumers.”

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 now 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.


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